ESB and Qatar Esports Federation launch $2.6m Dota 2 league

Image of ESB and Qatar Esports Federation representatives sat at desk with logos in background
Image credit: ESB, Qatar Esports Federation

Esports production company ESB and the Qatar Esports Federation have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to launch a Dota 2 league.

Starting in 2024, the league will consist of three events and features a combined prize pool of $2.6m (~£2.06m).

ESI Lisbon 2024

In addition to the prize pool, ESB and the Qatar Esports Federation named marketing agency SPORTFIVE as the league’s media rights partner and Qatari esports organisation Quest Esports as its MENA regional partner.

The first of the three events is set to take place on April 3rd in Doha, Qatar. In total, 10 teams will compete in the tournaments, with editions also taking place in July (Lima, Peru) and November (Doha, Qatar). Alongside the three events, the two parties will join forces to create an open circuit and tournaments for amateur players to compete in.

According to a release, the MOU to execute a series of top-tier events is part of a three-year vision.

Alongside hosting two of the three events in the Qatari capital, ESB will ‘settle its new international operations’ in the city. The company also aims to expand into new esports titles in the coming years. Details on the new titles were not disclosed.

The creation of the league follows Valve’s decision to discontinue the Dota Pro Circuit, the highest tier of Dota 2 esports. In September 2023, the developer stated the circuit negatively impacted the ecosystem. As a result, ESB and the Qatar Esports Federation join the likes of the ESL FACEIT Group in operating its own circuit (Dota 2 ESL Pro Tour).

Gonzalo Velasco, CEO of ESB, spoke on the creation of the league: “There is a big space in the Dota 2 and esports scene for innovation and doing great things for the community, not only at the top level of competitive esports, but also at a regional and amateur level.

“The Qatar experience of hosting worldwide top sports events like the FIFA World Cup in 2022, the Asian Football Cup in 2023, and many others, added to its unique location as a transit hub and amazing infrastructure, places the country as an ideal candidate for setting up our global hub.”

The emergence of government-linked esports entities continues to raise concerns amongst sections of the esports community. Currently, Qatari laws contain restrictions on LGBTQ+, women’s rights and freedom of expression.

Jonno Nicholson
Jonno is a Freelance News Writer for Esports Insider and has been part of the ESI team since 2019! His interests include the rapid rise of sim racing and its impact on the wider industry.