ESL announce the format for ESL One Birmingham

ESL One Birmingham is scheduled to be held from  May 25-27 at Arena Birmingham. The Dota 2 Major is going to be a very strong tournament with several top teams in attendance.


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.

Quoting from the ESL website,


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.

They have decided not to use Best of One format since there has been widespread criticism of the format which sees the top teams being eliminated from the tournament.

Source : ESL ( direct Quotes)