The Indian Dota calendar is already looking full and we are just into the second month of 2019. Phase 2 of the COBX Masters was announced in December and it was a big deal, featuring a 200k USD prize pool split between CS:GO and Dota 2. As per the official announcement, the tournament will kick off on the 1st of March and go on till the 3rd. Along with this, ESL One Mumbai was also announced featuring a prize pool of 300,000$ and will be taking place in April.
But the unfortunate scenario in all of this is that the schedule is looking a bit cramped. The Indian closed qualifier dates for ESL One Mumbai are also set for the 1st of March and coincidentally lasts till the 3rd. What’s even more interesting is the fact that the Regional qualifiers for all other regions last from the 27th of Feb to the 1st of March while only for India the dates are different. Dota teams such as Signify, ROG Titans, LXG and Reckoning Esports, who would have hoped to play in the COBX Masters and then look to qualify ESL One are now in a spot of trouble.
COBX Masters was one of the biggest LANs in India when it was announced with much hype and buzz surrounding it and the expectation that international teams will be coming. However, soon after, ESL announced that one of their prime IPs ESL One would be taking place in Mumbai. While ESL One Mumbai will be a Dota only tournament, the fact that it is such a well known TO means that a few tier 1 teams will be in attendance. It’s safe to say that it is the biggest tournament that has ever been held in the country and will feature a list of teams that is sure to pull in the crowds.
While the COBX Masters is a great opportunity for teams to hone their skills in a LAN setting against what we expect to be some decent tier 2 SEA and Asian teams, ESL One Mumbai will definitely be an opportunity that no team in their right minds will be willing to miss. It will be a once in a lifetime opportunity for whichever team makes it as the exposure and experience they will get from ESL One will be unparalleled.
Even though the COBX Masters LAN is just 3 weeks away, not a lot of details have been released yet, which makes matters more confusing. Not only do we not know which teams are playing, the location and format are also undisclosed.
While Counter-Strike teams aren’t facing the crunch yet, for Dota, the clash in schedule could certainly be worrisome especially if no TO is willing to change their dates.