ESL Chooses Online-Only Format for Los Angeles and Birmingham Dota 2 Events

  • Two upcoming ESL One Dota 2 events, in Los Angeles and Birmingham, will now be played out entirely online in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
  • Both tournaments will move from a single tournament to regional leagues, with teams selected based on previous event qualifications or ESL’s own World Ranking.
  • Tickets for ESL One Birmingham will be valid for next year. Meanwhile ESL is working with venues to process refunds and to select potential future dates.

The upcoming ESL One Dota 2 events in Los Angeles and Birmingham, UK, will now be held and broadcasted online with significant changes to the tournament format. The decision was reached in conjunction with game publisher Valve, in light of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

Both events were scheduled to play out over a few days, with all teams on-site. Since all players will be competing remotely from different locations, both competitions will now take place over a longer period, in multiple locations. ESL One Los Angeles will take place March 28 to April 19, and will feature five regional leagues with a best-of-three round-robin format, followed by a playoffs of four, six, or eight teams—depending on region. ESL One Birmingham will use a similar format, starting in May. 

There will be no new qualifiers for each event. Instead, the invites for ESL One will be based on those that originally qualified for the Major and Minor, and ESL’s World rankings. Invites for ESL One Birmingham will feature both previously announced invites, and those based on the ESL World rankings.

ESL stated that tickets for ESL One Birmingham will be valid for next year’s event, and that it is working with respective venues in order to process ticket refunds and assessing potential future dates.

It was also stated that the “ESL Academy – delivered by DHL,” component of the events, which was designed to foster new Dota 2 talent, will be canceling its activities for this year. 

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