This week, one of the biggest ever esports tournament in the UK is happening; ESL One Birmingham 2018. It is the UK’s first ever Dota 2 Major and has caused tournament organisers to increase capacity 4 times at Birmingham Arena. ESL have even gone on record to say it’s the fastest selling ESL tournament there’s ever been worldwide. The prize fund is $1 million with the winning team getting $500,000. 12 teams will be playing at the tournament. 6 have been invited with a further 6 coming through regional qualifiers. Out of these 12 teams, none are from the UK. There isn’t even a UK player in the tournament.
While this Major will bring a lot of eyes to the UK, there is a danger that this publicity isn’t going to help UKDota. If your unaware of the UKDota scene then here is an article I wrote a couple of months ago about the scene – https://esportsscotland.co.uk/ukdota-lul/. If you don’t want to read this, here’s a sum up; UKDota has 20 – 30 players, none of which are sponsored as players never mind teams. The only way this is going to change, is if the thousands of people in the UK that play Dota 2 start getting involved in UKDota through playing in online tournaments and attending LANs.
Firstly, there is Esports Scotland’s own tournament; Scottish Esports League. Every five weeks, there is a single bracket Dota 2 tournament. Teams can accrue points in these tournaments depending on number of participants and placement. At the end of the season, we’ll add up the points with the top teams gaining an invite to our finals in October. The league is open to anyone with week 2 happening this Wednesday 23rd May. If you would like to sign-up click here and more information about the tournament can be found here.
Another UKDota league running this year is UK Masters Weekly Cups by Game. Ran every Sunday, and with prizes for every stage of the competition, it’s a good chance to play high tier UKDota stacks and teams. You can sign up here and join their Discord here. Season 3 has just started on 13th May so there’s still time to enter and earn points for that big end of season tournament.
As well as SEL and UK Masters Weekly Cups, there are a number of other UKDota tournaments happening through-out the year. Just announced this week, there is The Gentlemen Present: The Summer Shindig. Starting June 11th and combining a 5 week Swiss Bracket followed by an 8 team double elimination bracket, to coincide with TI8. The organisers if this tournament deserve a lot of credit for knowing their scene well as the grand prize is 5 X £10 Greggs vouchers. More information, including full rules and sign-up, can be found here and their Discord can be found here.
If you would rather attend an offline tournament then Epic.LAN is your best bet. Thought of as the most prestigious UKDota tournament, and one of the hardest to win, many have tried and failed to lift the cup. Epic isn’t just about Dota 2 though. There’s 500 other people playing everything from Just Dance to Prop Hunt to CS:GO as well as pub quizzes are a host of other activities. If you want to meet people from the scene, play some Dota 2 and have a great time doing it, the next LAN, Epic24, is happening June 7th – 10th and there’s still tickets available. You can see all the information about the event here.
With ESL One Birmingham being one of the biggest esports events ever happening in the UK, and the biggest Dota 2 tournament ever to be played here, there has never been a better time to get involved in UKDota. If you are one of the thousands of people that play Dota 2 here then grab some friends, make some new ones and start putting a team together. Will you become a professional Dota 2 player? Probably not. But by getting involved, you are contributing to there being pro UKDota players and maybe even a pro team in the future. Esports scenes are never dead as long as there are people out there willing to support them. There’s currently 30 people doing so, with only two of them from Scotland, in UKDota. Let’s see if we can double that to 60 folks, then take it from there.