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Published: September 19, 2023

Written by: Stefan Velikov


  • ESL One announced it is hosting a tournament in Malaysia’s capital
  • It’s a big step to popularizing Dota 2 in Southeast Asia
  • The event will be themed after the host city’s “mystic charm and rich folklore”

In December, Kuala Lumpur will be the center of world-class Dota 2 as the city will see twelve of the finest teams from around the world competing for a share in the $1 Million prize pool.

ESL One Will Host a Big Tournament

Top-level competitive Dota 2 is returning to Malaysia at the end of this year with the announcement that ESL One made earlier today. The tournament organizer will host the ESL One Kuala Lumpur 2023, an event that will be held between December 11 and 17, its theme being inspired by the host city’s mystic charm and folklore.

The tournament will start with a three-day Group Stage featuring two groups of six teams each. The competitors will compete in a single round-robin format with the top six teams of each group proceeding to the live Playoffs. They will be held from December 15 and will feature a double elimination format, making for quite the hardcore overall experience for teams. Speaking of them, the names of the participants have not yet been disclosed, but the ESL One said in its announcement blog that this will happen soon.

“We know Dota fans across South-East Asia have been eagerly waiting for the return of ESL One for over a year now,” said Shane Clarke, Director, Game Ecosystems – Dota 2 at ESL FACEIT Group. “This December, we’re bringing back ESL One, bigger & more accessible than ever before, as we move the tournament from Genting to Kuala Lumpur for the first time.”

On a wider scale, the announcement of the tournament is a breath of fresh air for Dota 2 fans worldwide. Many of them were worried that the Dota 2 Circuit would become more stagnant after Valve recently abolished the Dota Pro Circuit. But it seems that, at least for now, the potential negative effects of that decision have not reached the Southeast Asian Dota 2 scene.

Speaking of the geographical region, it plays a huge part in the theming for the event, which is called Rise Above Fate. “Our theme draws inspiration from Kuala Lumpur’s mystic charm and rich folklore, inviting players and fans alike on a transformative journey,” said Carolin Linden, Senior Marketing Creative at ESL FACEIT Group.

“A journey led by none other than Nerif, the Oracle and great foreseer. His prophecies don’t merely predict the future – they shape it. As courses collide in the grand battle for the crown, we’ll have to wait and see if fate is something to be conquered. Knowing Oracle … it could go either way.”

ESL One Kuala Lumpur 2023 will also be live-streamed on the ESL Dota 2 Twitch and YouTube channels, and through various broadcast partners, so make sure not to miss it.

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