July 2017 eSports Calendar: Biggest Tournaments to Watch from the Biggest Games

If eSports is your cup of tea, July 2017 is a great big pot of it. America’s most patriotic month is jam-packed with exciting eSports tournaments across several major eSports titles. The best part is, the eSports scene will only get more populous in August, with the incoming Dota 2 International headlining with a $20 million (and growing) prize pool.

But that’s for another month. For now, here is a look at five tournaments to watch in July 2017 across four eSports from Counter-Strike: Global Offensive to Overwatch.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

ESLOneCologne

ESL One: Cologne 2017

Date: July 4 – July 9

Prize Pool: $250,000

Where to Watch: Twitch.tv/esl_csgo

This is one of a duo of big CS:GO tournaments in July, but, despite having a smaller prize pool than the other one, the ESL One: Cologne 2017 will probably be considered the more important tournament. While the prize pool is “just” a one-off $250,000, it’s actually part of an multi-tournament series announced in a partnership between ESL and Intel. If one team wins four of these tournaments, they get a “Grand Slam” prize of $1 million. But the competition doesn’t end there. If a team stops another team from hitting that Grand Slam, they get a bounty of $100,000 just for playing spoilers.

PGL Major Krakow 2017

Date: July 16 – July 23

Prize Pool: $1,000,000

Where to Watch: Twitch.tv/PGL

Since Dota 2 has a “Majors” series, Valve didn’t want their other cashcow to feel left out, thus spawning the first Valve-run, officially named “Major” series for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive just this year. Even more like the Dota 2 majors, each of these Majors has a hefty payout, and finishing in the top four guarantees you an invite to the next Major. This might be hard for Western audiences to watch, since the tournament takes place in Europe, but they haven’t yet announced what time the streams will start, so they could line up. Stay tuned.

Dota 2

MDL

Mars Dota 2 League 2017

Date: July 5 – July 9

Prize Pool: TBA (Likely around $250,000)

Where to Watch: TBA

We’re so close to this tournament, and we know so little about it. Prize pool? Well, the last Mars Dota 2 League was $250,000 and we all know how Valve doesn’t like their prize pools to decrease, but there still hasn’t been official details released. And, this tournament has no bearing on the International whatsoever, since the invites have already been decided and we’re well into the qualifiers at this point.

What this tournament does do, though, is give us a little preview of what the International is going to be like. Four of the teams invited to the International are also participating in the Mars Dota 2 League. They’ll get to face off against each other so close to the International that it will be interesting to see how they play, with each team trying to feel out the other without giving away too much of their strategy. This will be a nice primer before the real money is distributed.

StarCraft II

SC2GSL

Global StarCraft II League 2017 Season 3

Date: July 5 – Sept. 16

Prize Pool: $152,000

Where to Watch: Twitch.tv/GSL

In case anyone was wondering, StarCraft II is still kicking, and one of its oldest tournaments, the Global StarCraft League (GSL), is still operating. While this July 5 date will only be the start of season three, with the actual finals taking place mid-September, the stakes are very high. Not only does the winner of the tournament take home a solid prize of just more than $35,000, they also get a guaranteed seed in the Global Finals for the StarCraft II World Championship Series to take place later this year. That’s a half-million-dollar tournament, making their current prize look like a battle over peanuts.

Overwatch

MDL

OGN Overwatch Apex Season 3 Finals

Date: July 15

Prize Pool: $177,000

Where to Watch: Twitch.tv/OGNGlobal

This is one of those great opportunities to just drop in on a big tournament when it matters most. OneGameNet’s Overwatch Apex Season 3 has been going on since April, but it’s all coming to a head on July 15. So, even if you haven’t watched any bit of this season thus far, you can still stop by OGN’s Twitch on July 15 to catch some high-level Overwatch play. It will be interesting to see what happens to tournaments of this caliber when the Overwatch League finally launches.