Dota returns to UK as ESL One Birmingham 2019 confirmed
UK Dota fans got their wish after it was announced that ESL One Birmingham 2019 will take place in the summer.
After a hugely successful inaugural event in 2018, fans who travelled to the Midlands had fingers crossed that the event would return. There is good news for them with the news it will, but unlike 2018, the 2019 event will not be a major.
ESL One Birmingham date
ESL have confirmed ESL One Birmingham 2019 will be held at Arena Birmingham (formerly the NIA), from May 31st to June 2nd.
ESL One Birmingham 2019 format
The event will feature 12 teams, divided into two groups of six, with a round-robin best-of-two group stage that will decide which eight teams qualify for playoffs. All eight matches will be played in the arena, with the prize pool an impressive $300,000.
Regional qualifiers for ESL One Birmingham will take place in March and April 2019 across Europe, North America, China, and South-East Asia. Group stage matches will be played from May 28th to May 30th.
ESL One Birmingham tickets
ESL One Birmingham 2019 tickets will be available from 2pm GMT on Thursday 15th November. Prices will range from £19 for a one-day ticket and £44 for a three-day ticket to £134 for a premium ticket - which will grant fans access to exclusive signings, a special merchandise package and better seats in the arena.
2018 difficult to beat
Luckbox's Director of Esports Sujoy Roy attended ESL One Birmingham, which was won by Virtus.pro.
He said: "When ESL One Birmingham was first announced, some of us Brits were quietly confident that it would be a roaring success. We’d been hyping the UK esports industry and talking about how it was ready for massive growth for a while and the fans didn’t disappoint, buying up all of the tickets in record time.
"ESL promised us they’d return for 2019, and given the support shown last time they’d be stupid not to.
"The players were generally pleased about visiting the UK too, but the biggest question that remains is whether ESL can attract the best Dota 2 teams to return to Birmingham with no DPC points on offer."
An event to remember
ESL managing director James Dean said: "We witnessed unimaginable levels of support from the UK community which genuinely surprised us all earlier this year.
“We can’t thank everyone enough for making ESL One Birmingham an event to truly remember and we are ecstatic to be returning with more next year.
"We’re working on implementing improvements and some additional surprise features based on superb feedback from the community this year."
Margot James, Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries, said “I’m delighted Birmingham will once again play host to an ESL tournament.
"It is a testament to the brilliant fans who made this such a success last year, and we look forward to welcoming fans from across the world. ESL’s presence here is a great boost for the Midlands region and further proof that esports in the UK is going from strength to strength."