Esports Will Be Your Valentine

Image: Blizzard (Overwatch)

Don’t have a special someone with whom to share foot rubs and chocolate-covered strawberries tonight? No worries, esports is here for you. Have a special someone but don’t feel like trying to make-up last minute plans to impress them? Esports has you covered there, too.

In esports this is called a double-kill, otherwise known as a win-win. For some strange reason, possibly linked to the movements of the stars, Overwatch, Fortnite, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive all have major events going on tonight and lasting through the next three days.

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The first of and biggest of these is the return of the Overwatch League, which kicks off tonight with Philadelphia Fusion vs. London Spitfire at 7:00 p.m. ET. That’s just the first of four matches. Will the Shanghai Dragons break their losing streak with a win against newcomers Hangzhou Spark? Will New York Excelsior set the tone for another dominant season with a first-night blowout? You can read our comprehensive breakdown of the storylines going on in the background here, but even if you don’t know all the backstories, OWL is always a blast. All of tonight’s matches will be streaming live on Twitch, with a schedule for the rest of the week’s action available on the Overwatch League website.

Both lovers and lonely people can also spend the night watching people shoot one another and build stuff in the Fortnite Secret Skirmish going on today and Friday. Play began today with solos at 4:30 p.m. ET, and duos are scheduled for Friday. With 100 people competing and a total prize pool of $500,000, this event seems poised to offer all sorts of wild and absurd moments, especially because unlike previous Skirmish tournaments, this one is apparently taking place at an actual location. Pros playing in the event are also being forced to use a particular keyboard and mouse set, so look to see who is the first to blame their lack of good fortune on these rigid tournament rules. The entire event will be streaming on Fortnite’s Twitch channel.

Last but not least is a tournament for Valve’s tactical shooter, CS:GO. Because every major competitive game is apparently in a scheduling arms race to see who blinks first, the IEM Katowice Major 2019 is also going on right now. The month-long $1,000,000 event has three acts, the first of which is the Challenger Stage. 16 starting teams play a flurry of matches with the top eight progressing to the next stage, joining eight other top seeds. The top eight from those rounds will then move onto the final stage in early March. North America’s Cloud9 are currently near the bottom of the standings, where they’ll be battling to stay alive, while NRG Esports and Renegades have already secured spots in the next stage with no games dropped thus far. You can catch the remaining matches when play resumes on Friday at 7:00 a.m. ET with everything streaming on ESL’s Counter-Strike channel.

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Ethan Gach

Kotaku staff writer. You can reach him at ethan.gach@kotaku.com