ESL One Mumbai is set to kick off on the 16th of April, but it will feature just eight teams down from 12, initially announced.
Although the event is extremely important for the Indian community and it was bound to be the first large Dota 2 LAN tournament where some of the best teams in the world would have had their first chance to meet their Indian fans, the poor timing overlapping with a Dota Pro Circuit tourney lead to 5 teams dropping out of ESL One in one day. ESL One Mumbai ends just a day before the OGA Dota PIT starts, which makes it impossible for the teams who were booked to play in both events to make it from a continent to another and be in a good shape at the Minor. Jetlag, possible flight delays, travel sickness, fatigue in general represent risks that all teams try to avoid going into the Minor.
Alliance, Ninjas in Pyjamas and Gambit Esports are the three teams who decided to forfeit their slot at ESL One Mumbai so they can focus on the Minor.
“Despite willingness and multiple attempts from all parties to allow the teams to play in both events, we were ultimately not able to reach a solution which would have worked for everyone. The Dota Pro Circuit is the ultimate priority of all organizations in the scene and we understand their decision,” said today, April 10, Alexander Nehr, Tournament Director at ESL in an official statement regarding the situation.
Additionally, Chaos Esports Club and J.Storm have also withdrew from the event. While for Chaos the main focus now is to train for the MDL Disneyland® Paris Major, J.Storm have decided to stay on the NA continent and compete this coming weekend in WSOE #6: Serenity’s Destiny instead of flying to India.
Chaos Esports official statement:
“Unfortunately our team will not be participating in ESL Mumbai. While we consider the event a great opportunity to compete in front of a passionate and underserved 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 burnout. We take full responsibility for the missed 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.”
Team Team to salvage the damagesWith five squads dropping out, the bracket was down to seven participants, which would make for an awkward event. But the roster was evened out by adding Team Team to the list and even so, the tournament format had to be changed. The NA squad expressed their wish to travel to the event a few days ago, when the OGA Pit Minor qualifiers were over and it was already clear that some teams might have to choose between the two events.
ESL One Mumbai will carry on, but with a changed format
The eight teams were split into two groups of four and will play a GSL style, best-of-three games. The results will determine the seeding for the main event playoffs, with no team being eliminated. The only good news from all this mess is that the Indian representative, Signify is now guaranteed to play at least one series on the big stage at the NSCI Dome. The playoffs format remains the same; double elimination bracket, best-of-three series, with a best-of-five grand final.
ESL One Mumbai groups: