Table tennis legend Jan-Ove Waldner creates $100,000 Dota 2 esports LAN event

09 October 2023


waldner cup
Image credit: Waldner Cup

Popular Swedish table tennis star Jan-Ove Waldner has announced a Dota 2 LAN event will take place during the Waldner Cup this year, along with the main table tennis event.

Called the Legends Cup, the event will have a prize pool of $100,000 (~£82,000) and feature the likes of The International winners Alliance and renowned Asian team LGD Gaming. The tournament will take place in Stockholm, Sweden, and will be supported by esports data company GRID and Black Molly Entertainment.

ESI Lisbon 2024

The tournament is organised by legendary Swedish table tennis player Jan-Ove Waldner, one of the all-time greatest players in the sport and the only person to win an Olympic table tennis gold medal representing a non-Asian country. Waldner is behind the Waldner Cup, a table tennis competition that pits the best European players against the best players in Asia.

The esports event will take place alongside the main table tennis event, thus attracting a new kind of audience to the event and helping popularise table tennis. The two announced teams, Alliance and LGD, are both notable Dota 2 organisations in their own right, with Alliance winning The International in 2013 and LGD Gaming finishing in the top three at four separate editions of the global tournament.

Along with the two teams, the tournament will field an online qualifier round that will decide the remaining teams, however, it was not mentioned how many teams will participate in the tournament’s later stage. Esports data company GRID will provide data infrastructure and support for the event together with production company Black Molly Entertainment.

Jan-Ove Waldner commented on the news: “Legends Cup is a unique opportunity to blend my passion for traditional sports with the dynamic world of esports. I look forward to witnessing the talents of Dota 2 players and engaging with fans in Stockholm.”

The news follows on from GRID announcing the winners of its hackathon event, GRID Esports DataJam. Moreover, the company recently partnered with esports fantasy platform Spectatr by Fanclash.

Ivan Šimić
Ivan comes from Croatia, loves weird simulator games, and is terrible at playing anything else. Spent 5 years writing about tech and esports in Croatia, and is now doing it here.