ESB launches Dota 2 league with $2.6 million budget

ESB, a leading esports production company, and the Qatar Esports Federation have recently announced an exciting collaboration. They have officially signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to launch a highly anticipated Dota 2 league.

Scheduled to commence in 2024, this eagerly awaited league will comprise a series of three thrilling events. What makes it even more enticing is the impressive combined prize pool of $2.6 million (~£2.06 million). In addition to the prize money, ESB and the Qatar Esports Federation have joined forces with marketing agency SPORTFIVE, which will serve as the league’s media rights partner. Furthermore, they have also partnered with Quest Esports, a prominent esports organization based in Qatar, to represent the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in this prestigious league.

Three tournaments – date of the first

The first event of the trilogy is slated to occur on April 3rd in Doha, Qatar. A total of 10 teams will participate in the tournaments, with subsequent editions also taking place in July (Lima, Peru) and November (Doha, Qatar). In addition to these three events, the two entities will collaborate to establish an open circuit and tournaments specifically designed for aspiring amateur players.

As per an official announcement, the signing of the MOU to organize a series of top-tier events aligns with a three-year vision.

ESB, alongside hosting two of the three events in the Qatari capital, will also establish its new international operations in the city. The company has further ambitions to venture into new esports titles in the coming years, although detailed information regarding these titles was not revealed.

The creation of this league follows Valve’s decision to discontinue the Dota Pro Circuit, which served as the premier tier of Dota 2 esports. In September 2023, Valve stated concerns about the circuit’s negative impact on the ecosystem. Consequently, ESB and the Qatar Esports Federation, like ESL FACEIT Group, have taken the initiative to operate their own circuit, known as the Dota 2 ESL Pro Tour.

ESB CEO spoke about the creation of the league

Gonzalo Velasco, the CEO of ESB, shared his perspective on the league’s creation, highlighting the potential for innovation and community development within the Dota 2 and esports realm. He acknowledged the importance of not only focusing on high-level competitive esports but also nurturing the regional and amateur scenes.

Velasco expressed confidence in Qatar as a host country, leveraging its successful track record of organizing major sporting events like the FIFA World Cup in 2022 and the Asian Football Cup in 2023. He also emphasized Qatar’s advantageous location as a transit hub and its impressive infrastructure, making it an ideal candidate for establishing ESB’s global hub.

However, it is important to note that the involvement of government-linked esports entities has raised concerns within certain segments of the esports community. Qatar’s existing laws encompass restrictions on LGBTQ+ rights, women’s rights, and freedom of expression.

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