It has been a busy time for ESL as just after the news that they had agreed on a deal with GG.bet for them to become the ESL’s gambling provider at a number of top ESL Pro League, ESL One and Intel Extreme Masters events, the company has made a further announcement regarding its Dota 2 ESL Thailand 2020 event.
The event, which had already been split into two geographic areas, the Americas and Asia, has now been confirmed as being switched to an online event. The Asia tournament is set to start on August 20 and will run until Sept 6, 2020, while the Americas event takes place from August 8 to 30 2020.
Of a total prize pool, the Asia Tournament will see 12 teams competing for the lion’s share of the money of $135,000. A total of 12 teams will compete in the event, including eight invited teams, two teams from the ESL Thailand Championship 2020 Season 1 and two teams from a special closed qualifier event that will take place prior to the tournament.
The aim is for at least a couple of local Thai-based teams to have the opportunity to play alongside some of the top Dota 2 teams in Asia.
One rather interesting and unusual aspect of the event is that the ESL has teamed up with the Ministry of Tourism & Sports and Sports Authority of Thailand to provide drone footage of Thailand’s beautiful scenery which will be used within streams of the tournament to encourage people to visit the nation.
The Americas tournament is slightly different and will feature just eight teams, six of whom will be directly invited to the tournament from the top Dota 2 teams in North, Central and South America, with two other positions in the event available in for teams taking part in a closed qualifier ahead of the start date of the tournament.
Teams in the Americas will be competing for a prize pool of $65,000, meaning across both tournaments a total prize pool of $200,000 is up for grabs.
Both events will play through to a Grand Final although there are no plans as yet for the winners of both events to face off against each other.
This exciting new addition to the Dota 2 season has been developed with one eye on developing future events in the south Asian region as Ulrich Schulze, the Senior Vice President of Product at ESL explains:
“We are very excited to bring some of the world’s best Dota 2 players together for this online competition, which will pave the way for live events in Thailand in the future.”
“By hosting the event online we are able to cross borders to unite players and fans even in those challenging times, and we are proud to have collaborated with the Ministry of Tourism & Sport and the Sports Authority of Thailand to provide local Thai players [with] the chance to compete against some of Asia’s best pro Dota 2 teams.”
The tournament will also be used to promote Thailand as a tourist destination across the globe as Minister of Tourism and Sports of Thailand Phipat Ratchatkitprakarn explained:
“ESL is the world’s largest esports company and we knew that they could deliver an event at the highest quality possible. They are also one of the most recognised brand in esports and broadcasts, which gave us confidence in their PR ability to draw in a lot of interest and viewers and thus promoting Thailand as a top tourist destination to viewers around the world.”
“Bringing esports to Thailand does not only grow the local esports environment, but will also attract more and more people to engage with sporting activities that this country offers and for tourists worldwide in the future.”
Image Credits: Screen Grab via ESL