Top-level Dota 2 makes a rare visit to the UK with the return of ESL One Birmingham and everyone is excited, not least Redeye.
ESL One Birmingham 2018 was the first time a Dota major had been hosted on British soil and the event was regarded as a huge success. While the 2019 incarnation is does not have major status, it will feature 12 stellar teams.
ESL One Birmingham is scheduled to take place from May 28th to June 2nd 2019.
It might not be a major, but ESL One Birmingham 2019 has attracted an amazing array of Dota 2 stars. Group A comprises Vici Gaming, Team Liquid, Ninjas In Pyjamas, Forward Gaming, TNC Predator and reigning TI champions OG.
In Group B, there's Team Secret, Evil Geniuses, PSG.LGD, Keen Gaming, Alliance and
As he did in 2018, Paul "Redeye" Chaloner will be desk host for the and he says the "phenomenal" line-up of teams means the event is Britain's version of The International - the most prestigious event on the Dota calendar.
It's not big in terms of the prize money, but in terms of the teams attending - holy crap!
Speaking on The Luckbox Podcast, Redeye said: "I feel very lucky that we've got a big event in the UK because we haven't for many years - last year we had the two majors in Counter-Strike and Dota.
"This year we've had some great stuff as well, I went to Call Of Duty World League, which was fantastic - really enjoyable. There's some ECS going on with FACEIT and DreamHack have heen here before.
"We do have big events, just not for Dota. Therefore, this is Britain's own version of TI.
"It's not big in terms of the prize money, but in terms of the teams attending - holy crap! Just phenomenal teams.
"For British fans, it's effectively like their own version of TI. Never say never, I suppose, but I don't think we're ever going to get TI in the UK. Definitely not in the next three years. So it's the closest thing British fans have got - unless they want to travel to China, which some will, but not everyone's fortunate enough to have the money to do that.
"So ESL One Birmingham is British Dota 2 fans' chance to come along and enjoy something special. A lot of people who didn't go last year have messaged me to say they will go this year because they saw what happened last year and it'll be the first time they've been to an esports event live.
"Good news for you - you're going to meet some amazing people. You're going to sit next to people you've never met before, you're going to make brand new friends, with people who have a similar interest to you. It's amazing."
The Luckbox Podcast is a CSGO and Dota-focused podcast available on YouTube, Soundcloud, Spotify and Apple Podcasts.
Pictures: Adela Sznajder ESL