If you're looking for some incredible Dota 2 action to tide you over til the EPICENTER Major at the end of June, then look no further than ESL One Birmingham, the UK's largest DotA event.
The group stages started yesterday, with Vici Gaming and Evil Geniuses taking a quick lead, while Forward Gaming and Alliance slipped to last in the rankings. But the real show starts this Friday, as the live playoffs begin, allowing thousands of fans from across the UK and around the world to enjoy Dota 2 in one of the best atmospheres in esports.
At ESL One Birmingham 2018, the arena was filled with one of the most engaged crowds ever seen at an event of this size, with chants, waves, beach balls being thrown around, and a general atmosphere of carousing and partying.
This year is expected to be much the same, especially considering ESL has fully embraced last year's antics by appointing the Brewmaster himself as the official host of the tournament. So if you're attending in person, expect a loud but friendly crowd, a long queue for the bar, and keep a close eye on any inflatable projectiles being thrown through the crowd.
But even if you're watching at home, you're sure to pick up on the atmosphere in the Arena Birmingham. This is one of the few major arenas in the country that is almost directly in the center of the city, which itself is right at the heart of the UK. As many esports and gaming events, such as EGX, have recently moved south to London, unable to resist the lure of higher ticket prices, ESL One will use its accessibility to attract a more diverse audience.
And for fans of the game, this is also your first chance to see the 7.22 patch played professionally. Meaning Mars gets his first competitive outing, Io returns to the scene, and Aghanim's Scepter will be bought across the board. With new heroes being played, a vibrant and exciting atmosphere at the event, you should definitely make sure you catch penultimate big tournament before the end of this year's Dota Pro Circuit.