BBC Teams Up with ESL for Live Coverage of Dota 2 Major
The BBC has joined forces with ESL to bring the semifinal and final matches of ESL One Birmingham, the first Dota 2 Major in the UK, to viewers. The matches will be broadcasted on the BBC’s digital platform BBC Three. The semifinals will kick off at 2pm BST on May 26, while the grand finals will commence at 3pm BST on May 27.
Max Gogarty, executive editor for BBC Three, stated, “As esports continues its rapid growth amongst young audiences, BBC Three’s coverage of it is evolving. We’re proud to bring live Dota 2 matches to the UK mainstream and we’re excited to be collaborating with BBC Sport as they bring their high production values to this unique event.”
BBC Three’s coverage will be hosted by BBC Radio 1 presenter Julia Hardy, with Gareth “Gareth” Bateson and Shane “Shaneomad” Clarke providing commentary for the matches. To enhance the esports experience for viewers, the channel will also conduct live interviews with players before and after matches.
“With over 25 million gamers in the UK, it’s fantastic to have the BBC supporting ESL One Birmingham,” said James Dean, MD of ESL UK. “BBC Three will be covering the finals at a much more accessible level so viewers without in-depth knowledge of Dota 2 can still enjoy the action and learn what’s going on.”
This is not the first time the BBC has ventured into esports. In 2015, BBC Three showcased matches from the League of Legends World Championships, specifically the quarterfinals at London’s Wembley Arena. Additionally, the BBC aired Gfinity’s Elite Series on BBC Three for eight consecutive weeks in July 2017.