Steven R. March 16, 2020
The Dota 2 pro scene is left in a state of limbo due to a string of event cancellations, but WePlay! is looking to fill that void.
The tournament organizer has announced WeSave! Charity Play, a 24-team tournament that will serve as a “charity marathon.”
“The novel Coronavirus COVID-19 has spread across the globe in just a few months and shows no sign of stopping. Many are ill with even more shut-in at home as health specialists search for a cure. Well, now it’s time to help their efforts and fight back against the deadly disease,” WePlay! said in a statement on its website.
The event will consist of six regional tournaments, with four teams competing in each. A specific format wasn’t announced.
Though the complete list of teams hasn’t been confirmed yet, fans will be able to look forward to some high-quality action. Teams listed as participants include Team Secret, Nigma, TNC Predator, Team Liquid, beastcoast, and Invictus Gaming. On top of this, WePlay! is bringing together a strong list of casters and talent to work the event including Jorien "Sheever" van der Heijden, Owen "ODPixel" Davies Kyle, Troels "syndereN" Lyngholt Nielsen, Danil “Dendi” Ishutin, and Kyle "Kyle" Freedman.
The event will feature a “prize pool” of $120,000 that will be donated to coronavirus charities, which can be driven up further with donations from viewers and sponsors. WePlay! did not specify which charity will be receiving the money.
WePlay!’s WeSave! Charity Play best bet after ESL LA Major, Epicenter cancellations
All of esports has been hit hard by event cancellations stemming from the coronavirus, but Dota 2’s pro scene proved to be far less prepared for it than other titles. The cancellations of the ESL One LA Major, 2020 Dota PIT Minor, and 2020 Epicenter Major have left professional Dota 2 in a state of limbo through May and ultimately leaves esports fans with very little to watch until the summer.
This stands in harsh contrast to other esports titles. Overwatch and League of Legends both felt the effects of the coronavirus much earlier than Dota 2, but have returned to action with online league play. The Dota Pro Circuit is built entirely around interregional live events, and there isn’t really an effective alternative to that.
WeSave! Charity Play won’t necessarily fix those woes, but it will help keep Dota 2 pro players active and fans’ appetites sated. The event begins on March 20.