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The $1 million ESL One Birmingham tournament will be the first ever Dota 2 Major to be held in the UK

  • ESL One Birmingham will be held at Arena Birmingham from May 25-27 2018
  • It's important as it's the first time a Dota 2 Major has ever been held in the UK
  • Thousands of UK fans have traveled to other Majors, proving the fanbase

ESL One will be held at Arena Birmingham from May 25-27 2018, marking the first time a Dota 2 Major has ever been held in the UK.

12 of the best Dota 2 teams in the world will be battling it out for a prize pool of $1 million, as well as a share of 1,500 qualifying points for The International 8.

Six of the teams will be directly invited, while the remaining six will be selected through online qualifiers in North America, South America, Europe, CIS, Southeast Asia, and China.

ESL One Birmingham from May 25-27 will be the first time a Dota 2 Major has been in the UK

ESL One Birmingham from May 25-27 will be the first time a Dota 2 Major has been in the UK

'This is a dream come true for the ESL UK team and a fantastic win for the UK scene,' said 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 has hosted esports events before. At EGX 2017 at the Birmingham NEC, 80,000 people went to see ESL Arena over four days.

 '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 will go on sale on Thursday March 15, ranging in price from £19 to £139. You can register your interest in tickets right here. 

This is actually the second Major esports tournament to be announced for the UK this year. In September, the FACEIT London Major for CS:GO will be headed to the SSE Arena in Wembley. 

'Along with the FACEIT Major later this year, this is one of the biggest things that's ever happened to UK esports,' Rob Black, COO of ESL UK told Mail Esports.

'It's a similar level to having the League of Legends quarter finals here in 2015, and it shows the growth of UK esports.'

UK audiences have been out in force at other Dota 2 Majors, like at ESL One Hamburg last year

UK audiences have been out in force at other Dota 2 Majors, like at ESL One Hamburg last year

ESL say that at previous events that have been held in Frankfurt and Hamburg, UK attendees made up the second largest proportion of the audience after local German fans. 

Birmingham was in competition with three other ESL territories that have never hosted a Dota 2 Major before, but ended up being the perfect fit. 

'I think it just needed to be right for everybody in terms of finding the right venue, the right timing, and also really knowing that the fanbase is here from a live audience perspective,' said Black. 

The UK esports industry has been growing massively in the past few years, and events and initiatives put in place by ESL UK have been a big part of that growth. 

Tags Sport eSports

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Journalist, writer and broadcaster, based in London and Paris, her latest book is Touché: A French Woman's Take on the English. Read more articles from Agnes.

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