ESL One Birmingham, a Dota 2 tournament hosted by esports tournament organiser ESL FACEIT Group (EFG), has received £145,000 in funding from the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and the UK Government.
The amount is part of a larger initiative in which Commonwealth Games legacy funding totalling £3m has been given to nine ‘cultural and sporting events’. The new funding aims to bring more people to the West Midlands and boost the local economy.
According to a release, the £3m funding is a portion of a £70m underspend from the 2022 Commonwealth Games which took place in Birmingham, the West Midlands and London. In addition to the traditional sporting disciplines, the Games also hosted a pilot esports championship.
Alongside ESL One Birmingham, it has also been revealed that a ‘SuperDome esports tournament’ in Solihull, England taking place September 5th-8th has received £250,000.
The funding aims to generate a ‘£11.5 million boost to the local economy’ through the creation of job opportunities and consumers visiting local businesses in the surrounding area.
ESL One Birmingham will take place from April 22nd to 28th at Birmingham’s Resorts World Arena and features 12 teams competing for a $1m (~£791,090) prize pool.
The UK continues to attract multiple esports events to various areas of the country. In 2024, London will host the League of Legends Worlds Finals at the O2 Arena while BLAST heads to the OVO Arena Wembley in June.
Neil Rami, Chief Executive of the West Midlands Growth Company, spoke on the funding: “We saw during the 2022 Commonwealth Games – where record numbers of visitors and businesses came to the West Midlands – the hugely important role culture and sport play in our regional economy.
“The Commonwealth Games legacy funding is designed to enable the region to carry on that momentum. We received a healthy interest in the fund from applicants across the West Midlands and have selected an exciting calendar of inclusive and sustainable events set to engage our diverse communities and continue driving tourism and investment into the region over the coming years.”