The UK has often felt a little neglected when it comes to major esports events, but following on from the CS:GO Major taking place in September, esports fans have even more good news, as ESL One Birmingham has just been confirmed as the first ever Dota Major and ESL One competition to be hosted in the UK.
Birmingham won a fierce battle between three territories that haven't hosted Majors before, and now the Arena Birmingham will host the top talent in Dota 2 between May 25 and 27, where 12 teams will battle it out for their share of 1,500 qualifying points (necessary to get into The International competition) as well as a $1 million USD prize pool. Six of these teams will be directly invited, while the other six will go through online qualifiers open to North American, South American, European, CIS, Chinese, and Southeast Asian teams.
"This is a dream come true for the ESL UK team and a fantastic win for the UK scene," commented James Dean, managing director at ESL UK. "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 is no stranger to esports, including the ESL Arena and EGX tournaments, but this is a step bigger than events we've seen before, and should attract fans on a global scale, not just those in the UK wanting to enjoy top-flight esports.
"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."
Tickets for ESL One Birmingham are going live tomorrow, ranging from £19 to £139, which you can find on the official ESL website. More details will follow in the coming weeks and months, but for now do you think this is a big step for the UK in the world of esports?