ESL has announced both the ESL One Los Angeles and Birmingham Major Dota 2 tournaments will move online due to the virus outbreak.
The ESL One Los Angeles Major was previously postponed due to the pandemic, but now the event will continue online from 28th March to 19th April.
ESL One Birmingham 2020 was scheduled to take place from 26-31st May at Arena Birmingham, UK, but will now be taking place entirely online.
Tickets for Birmingham will remain valid for next year’s event, while those who want a refund can also apply through venue websites.
Important update to both #ESLOne Los Angeles 2020 and Birmingham 2020:— ESL Dota2 (@ESLDota2) March 25, 2020
Both tournaments will now be held and broadcasted online with significant changes to the tournament format.
Find out more: https://t.co/KZtO6nr00opic.twitter.com/9hN1rQbWed
Ulrich Schulze, ESL SVP, said: “Postponing or hosting our tournaments online is the best, and more importantly, safest decision for everybody involved while still keeping the core of esports alive.
“Because esports are global and inherently digital, we are uniquely positioned to continue to entertain everyone even when other things are on hold.
“We are pleased to be able to continue to deliver some quality Dota 2 content to the community.”
ESL One Los Angeles and Birmingham online will take up a new format, featuring five regional leagues with group stages in best-of-three (BO3) matches. This will be followed by playoffs before a BO5 grand final.
There’ll also be a bump to the prize pools with $375,000 for ESL One Los Angeles and $335,000 for ESL One Birmingham.
Any future ESL Academy activities have been cancelled for the remainder of 2020, although ESL states they’re “committed to developing tier 2 ecosystems” and will revisit ESL Academy down the line.
Invites for the ESL One Los Angeles online tournament will be based on the original qualified teams for the Major, Minor and ESL world rankings. Teams confirmed so far include OG, Team Secret and Evil Geniuses.
Considering the amount of esport event cancellations and delays due to the outbreak, the move to online isn't exactly surprising - following in a similar vein to The Overwatch League and Call of Duty League.