photo by: ESL One
For a Dota 2 fan there is nothing worse than planning a trip to an event, buy tickets, book days off, even book travel and accommodation sometimes, only to find out that some of your favourite players and teams won’t attend anymore.
For various reasons things like that happen sometimes, but it’s one thing when a team has to play with a stand in or withdraw entirely from a LAN tournament due to visa issues or health concerns and it’s an entirely different kind of disappointment felt by the fans when nearly half of the teams are dropping. A situation similar with what ESL One Mumbai is experiencing now, happened back in January 2018 with Galaxy Battles II: Emerging Worlds. No less than seven squads withdrew back then from the event that was supposed to be Major held in the Philippines. Valve rescinded the tournament status and the Filipino fans, who are probably the most amazing crowd for Dota 2 LAN events, were left with not many choices in terms of who to cheer for.
When it was announced, ESL One Mumbai was received with a lot of enthusiasm by the entire community, and especially by the teams. It’s India’s first large Dota 2 event and it’s the first chance to get to meet the fans from a region which we know it has a huge fan base. However, the event was scheduled to end just a day before a Dota Pro Circuit Minor would begin. It was a known schedule conflict from the very beginning, but some of the teams took a leap of faith and accepted ESL ‘s invite hoping that they won’t have to play in the Minor. For some, the plans from home didn’t match the reality.
Alliance, Ninjas in Pyjamas and Gambit Esports do have to play in the OGA Dota PIT Minor starting on April 22 for a shot at making it into the MDL Disneyland® Paris Major. Some are tempted to believe that a solution could have been found between the two event organizers. Changing the tournament dates should not be in question since both events are to be played with live audience, and therefore tickets were sold. A DPC event should always have priority on the schedule, and in fact, the Minor dates were known before ESL announced the Mumbai event. Some might think that one solution might have been to schedule the first Minor matches in such manner so the 3 teams can arrive a day late or have a day to rest and adjust the jet lag. However, running a Lan event means that the organizers have to rehearse a day or two before the event goers live, they need to schedule a day for official team photos, intro videos and so many other things that are related to the tournament production. With that in mid, a compromise solution could not be found and some of the teams took the time to release a statement and explain their decision to the fans.
[A] tough choice – Alliance
“Gothenburg, Sweden – April 10th 2019 – The Dota Pro Circuit of 2018/2019 is nearing the end, which means there’s just a few chances left for teams to collect enough points to be able to make it to the coveted The International, (TI). For the Swedish team Alliance, it would mean a chance to become unique: Nobody has ever won two TI.
But the road there is not easy. Coming up in the near future is the OGA Dota PIT Minor, a tournament which Alliance recently managed to qualify for. Winning this tournament would give them a spot at the Disneyland Paris Major – where just the experience alone would mean more than any prize money,” Alliance declared in a post released after it was officially announced that they will have to pass on the ESL One Mumbai.
Alliance’s CEO and Dota 2 coach Jonathan “Loda” Berg added the followings:
“I am truly sad that we had to pull out of ESL Mumbai. We tried to resolve the situation by suggesting a lot of solutions, but we ultimately couldn’t come to an agreement that worked for both organizers.
As the minor is crucial in our goal of reaching The International this year we have to choose going to compete in the Minor at Split, Croatia.
We send our deepest apologies to all fans in India, our entire Dota division was looking forward to competing in Mumbai and meeting everyone there. We hope to be able to attend another event at India soon again.”
Gambit: “[…] competing for DPC points is critical for our team”
Konstantin Pikiner, Gambit Esports CGO released the following statement:
“Unfortunately, we weren’t able to reach a compromise with event organizers. We respect ESL and always take practice and participation at this tournament’s competitions seriously. But we find ourselves in a situation where competing for DPC points is critical for our team, therefore we had to choose to participate in Minor, since tournaments’ schedule didn’t allow us to participate in both, even if we were to take no break after flying from Mumbai to Split.
We wish all ESL One Mumbai participants lick and to show good level of play, and hope that we’ll get other opportunities to participate in ESL One events in the future.”
Ninjas in Pyjamas posted a brief tweet to apologize to their fans wanting to see them performing on the NSCI Dome stage.
Two other teams, which are in fact not involved with the Minor in Split, have also decided to forfeit their spots at ESL One Mumbai. For both Chaos Esports club and J.Storm it was more important to dedicate their time to practice for the MDL Paris Major by staying in their region instead of risking fatigue and health issues by traveling to another continent before the Major. J.Storm however will play this weekend at WSOE #6: Serenity’s Destiny, which is a small consolation for their fans around the world who wanted to see them in action before the Major in May.
Chaos Esports Club: “The dense dota circuit has caught up with us”
“Unfortunately our team will not be participating in ESL One Mumbai. While we consider the event a great opportunity to compete in front of a passionate and under-served community, the dense dota circuit has caught up with us. At this time we consider it better to pass on an event in order to focus on practice, team chemistry, and avoiding burn out. We take full responsibility for the misset expectations for the fans planning to attend and spectate the event. Our hope is that with better planning and awareness of our players fatigue we can avoid this situation going forward.”
Even with five teams withdrawing on short notice, ESL One Mumbai will still run as scheduled but with a slightly changed format and just eight teams competing for a share at the $300,000 prize pool. The event starts on April 16 with a GSL group stage counting for the playoffs bracket seeding.
ESL One Mumbai groups:
- TNC Predator
- compLexity Gaming
- Team Team
- Keen Gaming
- The Pango
The playoffs begin on the 19th of April when all the eight participants will move into the NSCI Dome to compete in front of their fans from India.