Administrator and Community Engineer
DotA was at WCG Asia in 2006 and was at Blizcon for multiple years. Had multiple competitive leagues since 2004 (ESL, ICG, etc) and major international tournaments. Was at Dreamhack as early as 2007, etc. Part of the reason IceFrog is so revered is that he was balancing AllStars for competitive/tournament play.Nope the first WCG to feature Dota 1 or 2 was in 2012. Neither it nor League was an Esport until Warcraft 3 was nearly a decade old - not a fair comparison.
DotA was both in CAL and was featured by the CPL, the original big esports organization and league.
DotA was an Esport whether you like it or not. Esports is simply bigger now than it was back then.