The esports world is a big place. Any given weekend, there can be more than a dozen competitions taking place worldwide, from massive events such as Dota 2's The International to League of Legends domestic play and regionals in Smash. Each week, we're going to take a look at the big picture and decide who had the biggest weekend, be it in impact on the esports scene, dominance of their game or making the most of a moment.
Here are our picks for who won the weekend this week.
Marquise Brown wins ESPN Madden NFL 2020 Celebrity Tournament
ESPN's Madden tournament took place last week, from Sunday's bracket reveal to the finals airing on ESPN2 on Sunday. Normally, in these kinds of tournaments, you give the athletes, artists, musicians and celebrities participating a pass in terms of their skill -- after all, they are lending their name, brand and following to the event, often for a good cause. At the end of the day, simply seeing them hold the sticks and play the game, with a couple jokes and some banter here and there, is really enough to fill the "celebrity quota" in terms of involvement.
This tournament, however, had the best final we could have hoped for. One one side, Snoop Dogg: He's not only in Madden as a playable character but has dropped a track for the game and is a Madden tournament organizer who's been playing Madden since the very beginning -- nine years before his final opponent was born. The D-O-Double-G is an OG at this game. He loves it, he plays it and he came into this tournament to win.
On the other side was perhaps the best NFL player in terms of Madden skill, Marquise "Hollywood" Brown. He tore through the left side of the bracket like a shredder to your bank statements. Brown took down rapper YG 43-14 in Round 1, demolished Denver Broncos running back Melvin Gordon 40-0, then ran up the score against former UFC champion Chris Weidman 59-35. The closest an opponent got to "Primetime Jet" was 24 points.
The final on Sunday was a firefight, with both players scoring multiple touchdowns, but in the end it was Hollywood throwing up a 60 burger with his Baltimore Ravens, defeating Snoop and his San Francisco 49ers (Snoop, normally a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, switched it up for this tournament) by a final score of 60-42. Another decisive win, cementing Hollywood as the king of athlete/celebrity Madden players. He might even give a good challenge to some pros.
Hollywood's dominance gets the nod for who won the weekend. Now, give me that Hollywood Brown vs. Derwin James Madden superfight!
-- Arda Ocal
Runner-up: Top Esports and JackeyLove
For the majority of this year, one of League of Legends' greatest unsolved mysteries has been the whereabouts of star bot laner Yu "JackeyLove" Wen-Bo.
Amid rumors that he was going to stay with Invictus Gaming, the organization that he'd been with since he was a 15-year-old trainee, there were rumors that placed him with Suning or Top Esports. The latter was an organization that seemed poised to take China's League of Legend Pro League by storm. Yet the season started without JackeyLove on a starting roster, which was then followed by him being quarantined for a lengthy amount of time after returning to his family in Hubei Province right before coronavirus cases ballooned in China.
JackeyLove's triumphant return to the LPL came with the announcement that he had joined Top Esports, and his first game came in the last week of the LPL against Victory Five. Since then, Top Esports have not lost a series.
A win over Team WE set up JackeyLove for a matchup against his old team in the LPL semifinals. JackeyLove was not only a difference-maker in that series but the difference-maker, outperforming new iG bot laner and first-team LPL All-Pro bot laner Ding "Puff" Wang. JackeyLove's performance at AD carry created multiple opportunities for Top Esports and opened up the map for jungler Hung "Karsa" Hao-Hsuan and mid laner Zhuo "Knight" Ding. Top Esports beat iG 3-1 and will now attend their first LPL final in the organization's history.
-- Emily Rand