On the day its online fundraising tournament concluded, WePlay! Esports announced Thursday that it is hosting a $250,000 online Dota 2 tournament next month.
The WePlay! Pushka League will start on April 23 and feature 14 teams divided into two regional groups. The event joins a line of esports events that are being held online with large portions of the world dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
The European group will include Team Nigma, Team Secret, Team Liquid, OG, Alliance, Ninjas in Pyjamas plus one team that wins a regional qualifier.
The Commonwealth of Independent States group will include Natus Vincere, Virtus.pro, B8, HellRaisers, Gambit Esports, Team Spirit and a regional qualifier.
Teams will play a round robin within their group, with the top four from each group advancing to the double-elimination playoffs. All matches will be best-of-three except for the grand finals, which will be best-of-five.
Oleg Krot, CEO and managing partner of Ukraine-based WePlay!, said in a statement that the Pushka League “combines the best teams, talents, and WePlay! Esports infrastructure, which includes video production, logistics, software tools, media, PR, and other elements. Having found a nice window in the tournament schedule, we happily present our audience with a new league.”
Team Nigma said a statement related to the tournament’s introduction, “We are grateful that esports can go on during these times. Having online leagues is the right approach, and we appreciate being able to participate. We want to provide a good show for everyone watching.”
Virtus.pro general manager Sergey Glamazda added in a statement, “Online tournaments are definitely what Dota 2 fans, players, and teams were hoping for during the period of quarantine. In some sense, we’re going back to the roots when the majority of tournaments were played online.
“Players are hungry for competitive Dota, so I believe 99% of teams would agree that launching online tournaments with such speed is huge for the Dota 2 community.”
Pushka means “gun” or “cannon” in Russian.
WePlay! raised more than $187,000 for causes fighting against the coronavirus through its 24-team WeSave! Charity Play event. The tournament concluded Thursday with European champion Team Nigma defeating Commonwealth of Independent States champion HellRaisers 3-2 in a final showdown.
—Field Level Media