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ESL One Hamburg is the first Dota 2 Major tournament for 2017-18

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ESL has announced that ESL One Hamburg, the largest Dota 2 throwdown in Europe, will be the first official Valve Major for the 2017-18 season. It will also be the first major Dota tournament to be held under the new format announced last month, when Valve revealed plans to scrap the previous Major system in favor of directly sponsoring more third-party tournaments. 

ESL One Hamburg will see the top eight Dota 2 teams in the world square off for a share of a $1 million prize pool, as well as qualification points for 2018 edition of The International. Two of the teams taking part will be invited directly, while the rest will fight for placement in online qualifiers in North and South America, Southeast Asia, China, Europe, and the Commonwealth of Independent States.   

"We are extremely proud to see ESL One be named an official Valve Major," ESL senior vice president of product Ulrich Schulze said. "Having ESL One Frankfurt for three years in a row was a great learning experience that showed us how passionate the Dota 2 community is. With this year’s world class Dota 2 event being held in a completely new location, we are expecting to mint many new legendary esports moments in Hamburg." 

ESL One Hamburg will run October 28-29 at the Barclaycard Arena. But before all that comes The International 2017, which will go down August 7-12 at the KeyArena in Seattle. We've got a rundown of all the teams taking part (China and SEA, and America, Europe, and CIS), and also some handy spectating tips for newcomers that you definitely shouldn't miss if this is your first time watching the big show.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.