ESL One Birmingham 2019 kicks off this week. With $300,000 USD on the line, twelve teams will compete from May 28-June 2.
We’ve got all the details to get you up to speed for watching the event:
Three days of group stage will be followed by roughly three days of the playoffs, which will be a best-of-three double elimination bracket, with a best-of-five finals. We say roughly because the first round of the upper bracket will be played at the end of the day on the last day of the groups.
The group stage features two groups of six teams each competing in a two-game series Round Robin format. The top two teams from each group will advance to the upper bracket, the middle two will advance to the lower bracket and the bottom two will be eliminated from the competition.
The playoff bracket avoids the sometimes-unpopular best-of-one elimination matches that have plagued recent Dota 2 tournaments.
Of the twelve teams attending ESL One Birmingham, eleven are competing in the final set of Dota 2 Pro Circuit (DPC) events, nine of them in the last Major, the EPICENTER Major 2019. Nine of the teams are in the top twelve of the DPC rankings. Let’s be clear, this event will feature most of the best Dota 2 teams in the world.
The full list, in order DPC rankings:
Ninjas in Pyjamas
When Virtus.pro declined to attend, Gambit Esports took their spot. The CIS region squad have had moments of brilliance in the last year. They were second at the last ESL One event, in February in Katowice, and second at the StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor. Their performance at the OGA Dota PIT Minor 2019 was disappointing. A strong showing in Birmingham would set the team back on the right trajectory heading into their final DPC event of the year.
Setting aside the events won by Virtus.pro, all of the tournaments in 2019 with prize pools of $300,000 or more were won by teams who will be at Birmingham with one exception. That’s EHOME, who won the Bucharest Minor on January 13. The other winners were Team Secret, Vici Gaming, TNC Predator, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Keen Gaming and Team Liquid.
These are your #ESLOne Birmingham Groups! Which teams do you think will come out on top?
— ESL Dota2 (@ESLDota2) May 17, 2019
Group B looks, perhaps, slightly easier to predict results for, because Evil Geniuses and Team Secret have been so consistently top tier this season. Group A should be very competitive, make no mistake.
This tournament is set to have some top-notch Dota 2.
But of course, it can’t be that straightforward.
The gameplay patch hit servers Friday night. That gave teams less than four days to adapt strategies—to adapt their understanding of how to win the game.
This new patch introduces Scepter upgrades to the 24 heroes who didn’t have them yet, brings Mars to Captain’s Mode as well as returning Io to Captain’s Mode, tweaks Roshan, the map, items and hero abilities, base stats and talents. It’s a heckuva patch.
And ESL One Birmingham is an opportunity for to watch the professionals figure it out while there’s money at stake.
The first match-ups for #ESLOne Birmingham are set! Any predictions? Who do you think will top each group?
— ESL Dota2 (@ESLDota2) May 27, 2019
Tune in on Tuesday, May 28 at 7 a.m. EDT to see the first three matches of ESL One Birmingham 2019. Vici Gaming versus Team Liquid, Ninjas in Pyjamas versus OG and Forward Gaming versus TNC Predator will kick off the event. You can find all the streams at http://live.esl-one.com.