The European Masters is a tournament that celebrates the best of the European Regional Leagues, namely by getting their best teams together in one place and having them battle it out on the Rift.
This is the very first European Masters tournament, so bragging rights for winning this one will go a long way. Although 26 teams entered the tournament, only one will remain when the competition concludes on Sunday 29th April 2018.
The European Masters Spring tournament has several stages: the play-ins, the group stage, the knockout stage, and the finals.
12 teams took part in the play-in stage, with the top two teams advancing through to the group stage after competing in an eight-team single elimination bracket.
16 teams took part in the group stage. Teams were split into four pools comprising four teams each. Teams competed in a single round-robin best-of-one within their respective groups, with the top three teams in each group advancing to the knockout stage. Although the first placed team in each group earnt a bye to the quarterfinals, the second and third-placed teams only advanced to round one of the knockout stages.
The winners of the round one knockout stage will advance to the quarterfinals, with the winners of the quarterfinals advancing to the semis, and hopefully with another win, the finals. The knockout stage matches are all Bo3 although the finals will have a Bo5 format.
The tournament began on Monday 9th April with the play-in round and finished up on Thursday 12th April. After that, the group stage took place between Saturday 14th April and Tuesday 17th April.
That means that the playoffs are now in full swing. Having started on Thursday 19th April, the playoffs will continue until Sunday 22nd April.
After the playoffs, we will know who our top four teams are. The semi-finals will take place on Saturday 28th April, and the finals will round out the tournament on Sunday 29th April.
All this action will take place at the Haymarket Theatre in Leicester in the UK. The semis and finals will happen in front of a live audience, however even if you can’t make it in person, you can watch all past and present European Masters games on the ESL UK YouTube channel.
There is a total 150,000 Euro prize pool, which will be divided among the final teams. The winners will receive 40,000 Euros, second place 25,000 Euros, third place 13,500 Euros, and fifth to eighth place 8,000 Euros. Teams finishing anywhere from ninth to twelfth will get 4,000 Euros, whilst the thirteenth to sixteenth placed teams will walk away with 2,500 Euros.
With pride and money to play for, expect the remaining matches of the European Masters to be hard-fought.
Which team are you supporting in the European Masters? Let us know in the comments below!