Steven R. April 10, 2019
The ESL One Mumbai Dota 2 tournament is fast approaching, but many of the teams set to participate in it have peeled off and headed elsewhere.
According to a statement from ESL, the event set to take place in India was rocked hard by a series of withdrawals, largely surrounding those teams qualified for the OGA Dota PIT Minor. Though the event will continue on, it will feature a reduced lineup of teams.
Withdrawing from ESL One Mumbai are J.Storm, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Alliance, Gambit Esports, and Chaos Esports Club. Joining the fray as a late direct invite to bring the number of teams up to eight is North American side Team Team. That squad joins remaining teams CompLexity Gaming, The Pango, Natus Vincere, TNC Predator, Mineski, Keen Gaming, and Signify.
”We are disappointed that we could not work out a way for the affected teams to attend both tournaments,” ESL tournament director Alexander Nehr said in the statement. "We think that the remaining seven squads and the addition of Team Team makes this a very competitive lineup where now every team is guaranteed to play on stage in front of thousands of fans.”
The new tournament format will begin with a group stage to determine whether teams will begin in the upper or lower brackets. The eight squads are divided into two groups, with the top two placing teams in each group starting the playoffs in the upper bracket while the bottom two start in the lower bracket. The playoffs are set to be a standard double-elimination affair with each series being a best-of-three prior to a best-of-five grand finals.
It is unclear how the prize pool will be distributed with just eight teams now set to compete.
Some withdrawals from the tournament were expected, but the exact reasons are somewhat elusive. Ninjas in Pyjamas, Alliance, and Gambit Esports are all set to compete at the OGA Dota PIT Minor, which kicks off just hours after the end of ESL One Mumbai. That event carries a comparable prize pool and much greater importance in the Dota Pro Circuit, so those withdrawals are understandable.
J.Storm’s withdrawal is something of a surprise, with the team stating on Twitter that it was opting to compete at WSOE 6 rather than making the trip to India. Meanwhile, Chaos Esports Club was open about the fact that it is withdrawing from the event due to player fatigue.
“We take full responsibility for the missed expectations for the fans planning to attend and spectate the event,” the team said. “Our hope is that with better planning and awareness of our players’ fatigue we can avoid this situation going forward.”
Despite the withdrawals, ESL One Mumbai features a solid lineup of competitors and should make for a good watch for Dota 2 fans. The event begins April 16.