ESL One Birmingham, powered by Intel, has been confirmed as the first Dota 2 Major and ESL One ever to be held in the UK. Following a fierce pitch between three ESL territories that have never hosted Dota 2 Majors before, ESL One will be held at Arena Birmingham on 25-27th May 2018.
Twelve world-class Dota 2 teams will battle it out for their share of 1,500 qualifying points for The International 8, plus a prize pool of US $1 Million. Six of the twelve teams will be directly invited to participate, while the other six teams will be selected through online qualifiers open to teams in North America, South America, Europe, CIS, Southeast Asia and China.
Thousands of passionate UK Dota 2 fans have always travelled abroad for european ESL One events, making the UK the second largest visiting region. Arena Birmingham, in the heart of Birmingham city, promises an unprecedented esports experience for UK and international fans alike - with some of the country’s best Dota 2 talent involved.
“This is a dream come true for the ESL UK team and a fantastic win for the UK scene,” commented James Dean, managing director at ESL UK. “Dota 2 was the very first tournament we ran just after starting up in 2012. We are honoured to have this opportunity and hope to make the Dota 2 community extremely proud. We look forward to being an integral part of the success of this event, and to the potential of having ESL One back in Birmingham next year.”
Birmingham has already hosted other ESL UK events, including the ESL Arena, the largest esports activation ever held in the UK to date. Held at EGX 2017 at Birmingham’s NEC, 80,000 gamers had the opportunity to witness national and european game-play over four days. The decision to host ESL One in the heart of England marks the next step in ESL UK’s commitment to making esports accessible for more UK fans.
“It’s tremendous news for the city to be playing host to such a prestigious international esports event,” said Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands. “Birmingham is renowned for major sporting events such as the World Indoor Athletics Championships and Commonwealth Games, so we very much look forward to welcoming the Dota 2 community. As the second largest city in the UK, Birmingham has a huge amount to offer and hosting the UK’s first Dota 2 Major adds to the city’s fascinating history.”
“We are thrilled to have been selected to host such a prestigious event for Dota 2,” said Ian Congdon, Head of Venue Sales – Arenas, NEC Group. “Our award-winning Arena Birmingham is one of the busiest and most well-connected large-scale indoor venues in Europe. With our unique canal-side location, in one of the UK’s most vibrant cities, it’s the perfect place to bring the gaming community together.”
ESL One Birmingham will feature a wider festival celebrating Dota 2, as well as opportunities for fans to get involved in making the major special.