Esports Arena: Games Done Quick Raises $400K to Aid Coronavirus Efforts

Courtesy of Games Done Quick
Awesome Games Done Quick 2019

Elsewhere in competitive gaming: 'League of Legends' wraps up Spring Splits tournaments; BMW partners with top esports organizations; and Wayne Gretzky faces off with Alexander Ovechkin in 'NHL 20' for charity.

Esports Arena is a curated weekly roundup of the biggest stories in the world of online competitive gaming.

Games Done Quick, the video game speedrunning charity organization, raised more than $400,000 for charity during its "Corona Games Done Quick" event over the weekend. The marathon, a one-off GDQ event where players and commentators participated from their homes, featured classic games like Halo: Combat Evolved and Super Mario Brothers 3 and the newly released Doom Eternal and Ori and the Will of the Wisps

The event raised $402,578 in less than 60 hours, with 6,221 donations coming in throughout the weekend at an average of $64.71 per donation. The money raised will be sent to Direct Relief, a “humanitarian aid organization, active in all 50 states and more than 80 countries, with a mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies." 

Games Done Quick normally runs two charity marathons per year: January's Awesome Games Done Quick, which raises money for the Prevent Cancer Foundation, and June's Summer Games Done Quick, where proceeds go to Doctors Without Borders. 

The next GDQ event, Summer Games Done Quick 2020, was originally scheduled for July but will now be held Aug. 16-23 in Bloomington, Minnesota.

Elsewhere, two regional League of Legends tournaments closed out the Spring Splits of the 2020 season. In the North American League Championship Series, Cloud9 Gaming continued its dominance by sweeping Flyquest 3-0, marking its first LCS championship since 2014. Meanwhile, in the League European Championships, G2 Esports also swept the competition, Fnatic, on its way to the LEC Spring Split title. Both teams earn a place in the 2020 League of Legends World Championships with their victories, while both leagues will go on a brief hiatus before the Summer Split season begins May 22 for the European circuit and June 20 for North America.

Here's what else is happening in the world of esports.

Wayne Gretzky to Face Off Against Alexander Ovechkin for Charity

Caps Gaming, the Washington Capitals' esports organization, has announced "The Great One vs. The Great Eight Showcase," an NHL 20 live stream featuring Capitals superstar Alexander Ovechkin and hockey legend Wayne Gretzky. The two will face off in a best-of-three format, while viewers can make contributions during the matches that will benefit the Edmonton Food Bank and the "Feeding the Frontlines" fund, which provides food and support to medical personnel fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. The live stream begins April 22 at 5 p.m. PT on the Washington Capitals’ Twitch channel. 

Blizzard Moves World of Warcraft Championships Online

Blizzard Entertainment has announced the World of Warcraft Arena World Championship will be moving to a fully online format for the 2020 season. The full list of changes was detailed on the Blizzard website, including the new three-stage format: first are the AWC Cup tournaments open to all, where the top eight teams will qualify for the AWC Circuit. From there, the four top teams will move to the Finals. Prize pools will be $250,000 each for the North American and European regions, with $100,000 of each region's pool guaranteed for the Finals. Signups for the AWC Cups are ongoing, with the first tournament scheduled for May 22 at 10 a.m. PT. 

BMW Partners With Esports Orgs

BMW has announced brand new partnerships with five top esports organizations in collaborations that range from social media content to information and technology sharing. Cloud9, Fnatic, FunPlus Phoenix, G2 Esports and T1 are all part of the partnership, in which BMW will also make official team vehicles with custom specifications and team logos for each. Though BMW has been involved in esports previously through BMW Motorsport's participation in the iRacing Pro Series, this marks the first time the company has ventured outside of the virtual racing world in esports.