ESL One Birmingham will be the first major Dota 2 event in the United Kingdom. It is just around the corner, running from May 23-27 and live on GINX Esports TV from the 25th. The $1,000,000 USD tournament is the second to last Dota Pro Circuit event before TI8 invites. Twelve teams will be competing for the 1500 qualifying points and a bump in their DPC standings.
Twelve teams, TI8 dreams
The twelve team format sees six invited teams joined by six qualifiers. Invited teams Virtus.Pro and Team Liquid have several titles under their belt, which have guaranteed them spots at TI8. They have the luxury to use this Major to test out new strategies and push other teams to reveal useful information. The other invited teams (Newbee, Vici Gaming, EG, and Mineski) have had mixed results – this will be one of their last chances to secure TI8 invites.
The three qualifier teams Optic, Na’Vi, and Fnatic could potentially earn enough points to slide into a direct TI8 invite. They have had a few stand out performances. As patches continue to drop, it is very possible that this major could secure an unexpected invite to TI. Unfortunately, due to roster changes, the other three qualifier teams OG, LFY, and Pain Gaming can’t actually use any points they earn. This won’t stop them from looking to gain a piece of the prize pool and valuable international experience before heading into the open qualifiers.
Finding your way through the format
ESL has had the same GSL groups into six team playoff bracket format for a long time, but with 12 teams they had to change things up slightly. The teams will be split into three groups of four where they play through a double elimination bo3 (GSL) bracket.
The bottom two teams in each group will be eliminated. The first place teams will run through a quick Bo1 round robin to determine which two teams are directly seeded into the semi finals. The loser from that round robin and the runner-ups from each group will start out in the quarter finals of the playoff bracket. This format will give the viewers an interesting early look at how the best teams perform against each other, but it will rely heavily on accurate team distribution across the three groups.
See the groups below:
|Group A||Group B|
|Team Spirit||1-2||Team Liquid||1-2|
|Evil Geniuses||0-2||Vici Gaming||0-2|
|Group C||First Place Decider|
And here’s the knockout bracket as it currently stands:
Top tier talent
ESL have assembled a talent line up that promises expert analysis and entertaining content along the way.
Redeye will take his standard hosting role on the panel while Machine handles the stage hosting. SirActionSlacks will be there to harass players as the sideline reporter. PyrionFlax may have been invited as one of the UK’s top Dota 2 players (ESL’s own words), but it looks like he will be spending his time creating content around the event for everyone at home to enjoy. The full talent line up promises a good mix of professional insight, hype casting, and statistical analysis.
Where do I watch?
Don’t miss any of the action for the UK’s first ever Dota 2 Major LIVE on GINX Esports TV from May 25th.
There will be three special editions of The Daily Download, both coming at you live from the event at 13:30 BST on the 25th and 26th, and 14:00 on the 27th.
Live coverage of the tournament will directly follow the Daily Download, running until 22:00 on all three days of the event.