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Dota 2: ESL One returns to Birmingham in 2019

ESL One first came to Birmingham, England, in 2018. It makes its return to the U.K. from May 31 to June 2 next year. EPA/David Hecker

ESL has announced it will return to Birmingham, England, with a $300,000 Dota 2 event that will run from May 31 through June 2 next year.

Regional qualifiers for the 12-team ESL One Birmingham will begin in March and take place across Europe, North America, China and Southeast Asia.

Unlike the first major held in the United Kingdom earlier this year, the 2019 event at Arena Birmingham will not award points for teams competing in the Dota Pro Circuit.

"Over the last couple of months, one request has oppressed the meta of our social media game," ESL said in its Thursday announcement. "Whenever we posted about one of our other events, like ESL One Katowice in February, or even about other games, there would always be a couple of replies along the lines of: 'pls cnfrm doto back 2 uk 2019.'

"This level of passion is more than understandable. In 2018, ESL One Birmingham powered by Intel became our fastest-selling Dota 2 event to date. Fans gathered from more than 38 different countries and 120 different areas of the UK for a multi-day festival to celebrate the pinnacle of competitive strategy gaming. Across the globe, more than 30 million people viewed the action on our various streams.

"Dear UK, let's keep the party going in 2019!"

The format for ESL One Birmingham 2019 will follow that of ESL One Hamburg 2018, with group stage matches being played May 28-30, consisting of two groups of six teams in a round robin best-of-two configuration. The top two teams in each group then will be seeded in the upper bracket semifinals, while the third- and fourth-placed teams will go to the lower bracket.

The Arena Days will consist of multiple best-of-three matches and culminate with a best-of-five grand final.

"I'm delighted Birmingham will once again play host to an ESL tournament," said Margot James, minister for Digital and the Creative Industries. "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."

-- Field Level Media