Announcing the tournament format of ESL One Birmingham

Announcing the tournament format of ESL One Birmingham

ESL One Birmingham powered by Intel will bring UK’s first ever Dota 2 Major to Arena Birmingham on May 25-27. 12 top teams from around the world competing for a US$1,000,000, as well as invaluable Pro Dota Circuit points. Today, we explain the tournament format and the reasoning behind it.


Initially, ESL’s May Dota 2 Major was supposed to be held in Manila, Philippines, following the success of ESL One Manila. However, local policy changed and local narcotic tests became mandatory for any sporting event held in the country. After speaking with the players on the top teams and researching the situation, it was decided to move the event to Birmingham.

Many of the top teams are competing in China right before ESL One Birmingham, so to accommodate for the extra travel back to Europe (as opposed to a quicker trip to Manila), ESL One loses one day of the tournament: 6 days become 5. Three of these are the arena days which limits the amount of matches possible. Having 2 days for group stages ultimately explains the reason for the decreased number of teams.  


As such, the format of the tournament will be as follows:

  • 3 groups, GSL-style
  • first match bo1, the rest bo3
  • 6 teams will play in front of the live crowd

The three group winners will play a bo1 decider match to determine the first two teams directly qualified for the semifinals. While it was originally considered for the decider to be a bo3, the ability for teams to lose on purpose in the final match to achieve a desired outcome of the decider made us switch to bo1. The team coming in third in this decider will join the three runner-ups from the groups in the quarterfinals.

Similar to the formats that have been used so far, it has been decided not to use bo1 in any match which eliminates teams from the competition.

See you in Birmingham

ESL One Birmingham will be second to last Dota Pro Circuit tournament of the season, with 1500 DPC points available. Be sure not to miss UK’s first ever Dota 2 Major and join us in Arena Birmingham on May 25-27 - tickets are available.

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