ESL has announced that this year’s ESL One Los Angeles and ESL One Birmingham events will now be held and broadcasted online with significant changes made to the format of both tournaments.
ESL One Los Angeles 2020, which was originally the third Major event of the 2019-2020 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) season, was notably postponed earlier this month as a result of the worsening COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak in the United States.
Under its new online format, ESL One Los Angeles will run from March 28 to April 19 and will feature 35 teams across five regional leagues competing for a total prize pool of US$375,000.
North America, South America, China, and Southeast Asia will have their own leagues. Meanwhile, Europe and CIS have been combined into one encompassing league for both regions.
The EU-CIS regional league will feature 16 teams competing for a US$200,000 prize pool, the Chinese league will have 6 teams competing for a US$55,000 prize pool, and the North American, South American, and Southeast Asian leagues will each have four teams vying for a US$40,000 prize pool.
The 35 teams competing in the new ESL One Los Angeles regional leagues have been selected from those who originally qualified for the Los Angeles Major as well as select teams from the StarLadder ImbaTV Kyiv Minor 2020 and the ESL World Ranking.
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Meanwhile, ESL One Birmingham will be held from May to June and will feature a total prize pool of US$335,000. It will also be split into regional leagues for North America, China, Southeast Asia, and Europe-CIS.
ESL noted that, “after carefully reviewing all possibilities” with Valve, they came to the conclusion that both ESL One Los Angeles and ESL One Birmingham cannot proceed as initially planned. Instead, both events were turned into online tournaments with the safety and well-being of players, fans, and staff as their utmost priority.
“It’s the best, and more importantly, the safest decision for players, coaches, team staff, fans, and our event crews while still keeping the core of esports alive. We are happy that our sport can go on even in the most difficult of times and we hope to bring you some great entertainment during the quarantine period and overall dynamic situation,” ESL said in a statement.
While there has been no formal announcement from ESL or Valve as of yet, ESL One Los Angeles is apparently no longer a part of the 2019-2020 DPC despite the event itself being pushed through online. The now-canceled Los Angeles Major originally featured 16 teams competing for a prize pool of US$1 million and 16,000 DPC points.
The coronavirus pandemic has virtually ground the 2019-2020 DPC to a halt, with the DOTA PIT Minor and EPICENTER Major in May being canceled shortly after the Los Angeles Major was postponed.
There is only one Major event, the ONE Esports Singapore Major, remaining in the season before The International 2020 is set to begin in August. With that said, the status of the season’s last Major remains up in the air as coronavirus outbreaks around the world continue to worsen.