The ESL ​​​explained its reasoning Wednesday for some of the changes made to the upcoming ESL One Birmingham Major tournament. 


The number of teams in the tournament went down from 16 to 12. ESL explains that it had planned to hold the tournament in Manila, the Philippines, as it had previous success there. Local policy changes, though, led ESL to move the tournament to Birmingham. That added a day of travel for many Asian teams and brought the number of days available for the tournament from six to five. Thus, ESL cut the number of teams to have enough time for group stages.

That change means the tournament will have three groups rather than two. The third place for each group will be decided in a best-of-one match instead of best-of-three because, according to ESL, "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."


These changes come in the middle of ​debates in the fandom about the variety of tournament formats for DOTA 2. Some argue that having a unified format would benefit the scene and benefit the teams with consistency, while others say that having a longer standard format would force less privileged teams to suffer.


The changes to the Birmingham Major seem to be due to logistical issues and accommodating as many teams as possible. Therefore, a streamlined tournament format may not be possible for many organizations.


ESL One Birmingham will take place from May 25-27, in Birmingham, England. The event features 12 teams that will be fighting for their share of a $1 million prize pool. This tournament is the first Dota 2 Major to be held in the United Kingdom.


Mineski, ​the final invite, joins Newbee, Virtus.pro, Team Liquid, and Evil Geniuses as teams to receive direct invites.


Cover photo courtesy of ESL