The CIS region will have a new representative at ESL One Birmingham 2019 powered by Intel. Gambit Esports will join us this summer after Virtus.pro were forced to drop out of the event due to scheduling issues after initially accepting their invitation.
The Gambit Esports roster made up by Nikita “Daxak” Kuzmin, Andrey “Afoninje” Afonin, Vasily “AfterLife” Shishkin, Alexander “Immersion” Hmelevskoy and captain Artiom “fng” Barshack is experiencing somewhat of a breakthrough in 2019. Second place at ESL One Katowice 2019 and the Bucharest and Starladder minors in the first quarter are results that speak of a team preparing to jump into the upper tier of competitive Dota.
Despite reigning champions Virtus.pro missing out on the chance to defend their crown in the UK, the tournament’s lineup will still bring together most of the heavyweights in the global scene. Multiple The International and Major winners from the current DPC season will battle alongside in-form challengers that could deliver an upset.
The new lineup for ESL One Birmingham 2019 consists of: Gambit Esports, ViCi Gaming, Ninjas in Pyjamas, PSG.LGD, OG, Team Liquid, Evil Geniuses, Team Secret, The Alliance, Forward Gaming, Keen Gaming, and TNC Predator.
“We won't be able to defend the title in front of our English fans,” lamented Virtus.pro General Manager Roman Dvoryankin. “The best teams in the world will battle on Birmingham stage and we were looking forward to thrilling and challenging games against them. However, the current DPC season schedule has taken its toll and as we approach the peak of the season we need to focus on preparation for our home Major and The International. Sometimes it means sacrificing events. We will work hard to perform on the highest level possible and ensure the best results in these two tournaments.”
"It is very unfortunate that Virtus Pro have to drop out of the event on short notice, but we ultimately understand that the health of their players is an important consideration here,” said ESL Senior Vice President of Product Senior Ulrich Schulze. “ESL One Birmingham 2019 will be an incredibly competitive event regardless, featuring the top contenders of the current DPC season and Gambit as the rising star from the CIS region. With twelve world-class teams in attendance, fans on site and at home will be able to watch a thrilling tournament."