DOTA 2 Players Will Compete For The Largest Prize Pool In Esports History This Year

ESL One have announced they’re hosting a Dota 2 Major in Birmingham this May, the first time a tournament of this scale for the game will take place in the UK.

The ESL One will be held at Arena Birmingham between 25-27th May 2018, which will see twelve world class Dota 2 teams battle it out for a share of 1,500 qualifying points for The International 8, along with a prize pool of $1 million (£719,100).

Six of the teams involved will be invited to participate, while the other six slots will be decided through online qualifiers open to teams in North America, South America, Europe, CIS, Southeast Asia and China.

Dota 2 Major is coming to Birmingham (Picture: ESL)

Birmingham has previously hosted other sizeable esports events, including ESL Arena at EGX 2017 which saw 80,000 gamers flock to the Birmingham NEC for tournaments across League Of Legends to Counter Strike: Global Offensive.


Andy Street, Mayor Of The West Midlands, said: ‘It’s tremendous news for the city to be playing host to such a prestigious esports event.

‘Birmingham is renowned for major sporting events such s 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.’

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One of the casters set to spearhead coverage of the event is Pyrion Flax, real name Edward ‘Ted’ Forsyth, who has become a prominent Dota 2 streamer and commentator within the community.

As he tells Metro GameCentral, this tournament represents a massive opportunity for the UK Dota 2 community to be acknowledged by the rest of the world.

‘A massive tournament on the Dota calendar at ESL Birmingham, that’s our arrival on the UK scene for Dota,’ Pyrion says. ‘We’ve been here for years but there’s never been a big tournament here. There just hasn’t been one.


‘Dota is my game, so what it means to me is finally we get the recognition as being part of this community. We’re always competing with League Of Legends so for us to have this, it’s like we’re saying: “We’re here too, we’re really big and we really love Dota.” I’m extremely hyped to have a tournament in the UK.’

He’s also hoping the tournament will bring about a change in attitude within the community itself, inspiring future generations so the UK will finally have a Dota 2 team to compete on the international stage.

‘We’ve had a Dota 2 community for a while here but I don’t think it takes itself seriously,’ Pyrion says. ‘I think that’s the problem. They’re very laid back or just see it as a laugh with your mates, which is great and that’s how I play Dota. But if you want to grow esports you need to have a larger feeling there is a UK Dota scene which is connected by a regular event.’

He adds: ’I do genuinely hope that we can get some pro Dota players from the UK because that’s one thing we’re lacking. There are Peruvian teams, there are teams from every corner of the Europe you can imagine, Russian teams, Chinese teams, Southeast Asian teams, North American teams – where is the English team? Or the Scottish team? Why isn’t there one?’

>>> Screens display Ludwig W??hlberg, player for EG team, during a semifinal match against OG team at the Boston Major Dota 2 tournament at the Wang Theatre in Boston on December 10, 2016. Players compete for a 3 millon USD prize pool during the four day tournament. / AFP / Justin Saglio (Photo credit should read JUSTIN SAGLIO/AFP/Getty Images)
A Dota 2 Major was previously held in Boston’s Wang Theatre in 2016 (Picture: JUSTIN SAGLIO/AFP/Getty Images)

James Dean, managing director at ESL UK, stated the tournament is largely a huge chance for fans of Dota to celebrate, saying: ‘What this really presents is an amazing opportunity for a community meet-up.


‘In esports, the viewing experience is largely better at home. You can sit in your underwear in front of whatever screen you like with access to the fridge 24/7, so the event is really about meeting friends and meeting other members of the community with something massive in common.’

There’s also hope this will be the first of many ESL One events to hit the UK, as long as fans get behind the event.

James adds: ‘Really our message to the community is if you guys get behind this, it will come back. If we can make it a success together, it’s here to stay.

‘Especially with the support from the city as well and the way they’re equally as excited as us about this event happening, which is awesome, then there’s no reason why it shouldn’t return.’

Dota 2 is a multiplayer online battle arena game (MOBA) which sees two teams of five players attempt to occupy and defend their own separate base on the map.

Along with League Of Legends and CS: GO, Dota 2 has become one of the biggest esports titles on the circuit. The game’s largest tournament titled The International, which takes place annually in Seattle, attracts millions of viewers around the world.

Tickets for ESL One Birmingham 2018 go on sale Thursday 15 March, ranging in price from £19 to £139. You can register interest on their official site.

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