ESL One Birmingham confirmed for May, the first UK Dota 2 Major

13 March 2018


james dean
James Dean, ESL UK

ESL One Birmingham has now been confirmed as the first Dota 2 Major and ESL One ever to be held in the UK. 

There was reportedly a fierce pitch between three ESL territories that have never hosted Dota 2 Majors before, but it was the UK and Arena Birmingham which won out and will host the event on 25-27th May 2018.

Twelve of the world’s finest Dota 2 teams will battle it out for their share of 1,500 qualifying points for The International 8, as well as a prize pool of $1 million (£719,000). Six of the twelve teams will be directly invited along 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.

Arena Birmingham is right in the heart of the city of Birmingham, and holds up to 15,800. It’s a city, the UK’s second largest by population, with excellent transport links, including to and from London, and an international airport meaning there should be no problems for teams and fans alike getting in and out. 

James Dean, Managing Director at ESL UK commented: “This is a dream come true for the ESL UK team and a fantastic win for the UK scene.

“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 i a city which ESL UK knows well, the company has run events there including the ESL Arena, the largest esports activation ever held in the UK to date. This was held at EGX 2017 in the Birmingham NEC. 

“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.”

It has also been noted that 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’. Nothing more has been disclosed about this so far, but will be in the near future. 

Esports Insider says: Arena Birmingham will host the likes of Dancing on Ice and Michael McIntyre in the build-up to the UK’s first Dota 2 Major, but we’re sure the $1 million major will be just as much if not more of a spectacle. This is another significant milestone for esports in the UK, and follows on from the recent announcement of the nation’s first CS:GO Major in London in September.