ESL One Birmingham returned to the UK for a second year in a row and witnessed record-breaking viewership numbers, so says ESL.
The event saw Team Secret, who now hold four ESL One titles, rise to victory and claim their share of the $300,000 prize pool.
ESL said the event was the UK’s largest esports tournament – and surpassed the highest viewership for an ESL One Dota 2 event so far.
Arena Birmingham saw a footfall of more than 24,000 fans, while 306,070 tuned in to the broadcast online. This is a new peak concurrent viewership record and a rise of 12.4% since its last record during the Hamburg Major in 2017.
“Birmingham did it again for the second year running. The crowd was electric, memes were rife, the dotes were incredible and yet again records were set. It’s safe to say ESL One has found a true home in Birmingham.”
James Dean, ESL UK
Hours watched exceeded 7.6m over the course of the weekend. Meanwhile, on social media, ESL One Birmingham saw nearly 8 million video views and just over 6 million impressions. Millions watched the final between Team Secret and Evil Geniuses.
Despite being outside of the Dota Pro Circuit, ESL One Birmingham hosted 15 TI winners when it took place between May 31st and June 2nd.
Fans gathered from around the world, including actor Asa Butterfield, who provided an in-depth analysis of the games as a surprise guest and big Dota 2 fan.
The UK Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries, Margot James, was also present in the arena. She met with players, teams and the production crew, which ‘opened [her] eyes to the sheer variety of careers that are on offer in the esports environment’:
After celebrating innovative tech in the #CreativeIndustries at today’s @Createch event for @LDNTechWeek, hear Digital Minister @margot_james_mp talking about the UK’s flourishing #eSports scene at #ESLOneBirmingham last month #TechnologyIsGREAT #LTW pic.twitter.com/1FNQqz60cO
— DCMS (@DCMS) June 11, 2019
James Dean, ESL UK CEO, said: “It was an honour to welcome Margot James to the event, a very exciting demonstration to the entire UK esports industry of support and enthusiasm from UK government. I am very excited about what the future brings for the UK esports scene.”
Scott Gillingham, UK Gaming and esports Lead at Intel UK, said: “We have seen incredible support from the UK esports community in the last year, so it’s been fantastic to return with ESL One Birmingham in 2019.”
James Dean, ESL UK CEO, added: “Birmingham did it again for the second year running. The crowd was electric, memes were rife, the dotes were incredible and yet again records were set. It’s safe to say ESL One has found a true home in Birmingham.
Image source: ESL / Bart Oerbekke
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.