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Esports are back: how to watch the top League of Legends and CS:GO competitions

Esports are back: how to watch the top League of Legends and CS:GO competitions


Leagues are in new online-only formats due to coronavirus

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League of Legends
Photo: Riot Games

Esports leagues all over the world have been significantly affected by the ongoing spread of the novel coronavirus. Many have been briefly suspended as the organizers have shifted matches from in-person LAN events to online formats to help prevent the spread of the virus. Now, some leagues are starting to return, including the Overwatch League and the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS), but in a new online format. Weekends will once again be packed with great esports leagues to watch.

We’ve rounded up a few you can follow this weekend while you’re stuck inside because of social distancing.

Image: ESL Archives on Youtube

ESL Pro League: Friday, March 20th at 9:25AM ET

The ESL Pro League, where teams compete in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, has a match today at 9:25AM ET, and there are matches nearly every day until early April. All of the league’s regular season matches of Season 11 will be played online instead of in front of a live audience, ESL Pro League announced on March 11th. Teams have been split into four regional divisions to help the players avoid travel and to reduce latency in matches. You can see the league’s full schedule here and catch games on the league’s Twitch channel.

Image: Flashpoint on YouTube

Flashpoint: Friday, March 20th at 1PM ET

Flashpoint, a new Counter-Strike: Global Offensive league that debuted in February, has its first match of the weekend today at 1PM ET, according to a tweet from Flashpoint. The league said that it would be moving from LAN matches in Los Angeles to an online league on March 16th. Flashpoint differs from other leagues in that it’s owned and managed by the teams that play in it — and some of those teams are big names in esports, including Cloud9, Gen.G, and Dignitas. You can watch matches on Flashpoint’s Twitch channel.

Photo: Colin Young-Wolff / Riot Games

League of Legends Championship Series: Saturday, March 21st at 5PM ET

The LCS is back starting Saturday, March 21st at 5PM ET. Matches will be played online for the remainder of the spring split, which ends on Sunday, March 29th, and the spring split finals, which end on Sunday, April 19th. However, there won’t be Monday Night League games through the rest of the split — but that means each day of LCS now has five games instead of the usual four. Saturday’s match is the first since a one-weekend hiatus put in place to protect players and staff from the spread of the novel coronavirus. LCS’s full schedule is here, and you can see games when they happen on the LCS’s Twitch channel.

Image: Riot Games

League of Legends European Championship: Friday, March 20th at 1PM ET

The League of Legends European Championship teams will also be playing the rest of the spring split entirely online, with matches starting today at 1PM ET. Matches will now be played every weekend until the finals, which take place on April 18th and 19th. You can see the LEC’s full schedule here and watch games on the LEC’s Twitch channel.

Update March 20th, 8:10AM ET: Removed section on the Overwatch League, which has since postponed its online matches.