ESL to Disqualify ESL Meisterschaft Rosters Due to DPC Qualifiers

by in Dota 2 | Jan, 6th 2021

It sounds to us like there’s a whole lot of confusion going around in the ESL Meisterschaft right now. The way it seems right now, the ESL is going to disqualify ESL Meisterschaft players who also try to join DPC qualifiers on a regional level. With as many potential players also join the Tier 2 or 3 events, the Dota Pro Circuit might suddenly feel very barren. This came to light courtesy of Damian “Ascendancy” Kostorz. What’s gone down in Dota this week?

Three Teams to Auto Disqualify

From what we understand, one of Ascendancy’s teammates reached out to the ESL staff about taking part in DreamLeague Season 14’s open qualifiers. This sounds perfectly fine until we found out that the ESL staff didn’t get back to this Dota player until minutes before the tournament began. The ruling came down that any player that was not competing with the same roster in the DPC would auto disqualify from ESL Meisterschaft.

The ruling is as follows: “Anyone who is a member of an organization that is involved as a license holder with a team in the ESL championship may not at the same time be a member of another organization that is a license holder with a team in the same discipline in the championship or other national ESL competitions, the ESL One, the Intel Extreme Masters, the Mountain Dew League, or the ESL Pro League. Membership in a team is not limited to the ESL team account.”

This gets a little complicated. So, they would be fine if they were playing with the same roster. But the DPC forbids players from playing in multiple events while also taking part in a qualifier. This rule only exists in the ESL, so that players can’t take part in a series of ESL tournaments simultaneously, with different rosters. This would let one or two players potentially make a wealth of money by joining different squads for events.

Since DreamHack and ESL merged, the DreamHack events are technically ESL events as well. This means if you aren’t already on a Tier 1 team, you are pretty limited in what else you can do. Ascendancy points out this: “They are saying it’s illegal to play ESL Meisterschaft+ any other ESL tournament, ESL One and DreamLeague are considered that even though they already invited a lot of our players to closed qualifiers.”

It seems that ESL will disqualify a player if they’re in the ESL Meisterschaft and play in the DPC. According to Ascendancy, three DPC teams will see an auto disqualify hit them, despite having ESL Meisterschaft players invited to compete. Being told two minutes before an event that you can’t compete hurts. Either you don’t play and hurt your whole team, or you get a disqualification elsewhere. 

A few teams have already seen the disqualification hit them for playing in a DPC qualifier while also being on the ESL Meisterschaft teams. This is going to hurt a lot of events and players if the ruling stands. At least one player has already spoken about it, Ade. He dropped an apology on Twitter: “I got disqualified for this season of ESL Meisterschaft due to breaking rules. I played ESL One Germany OQ with a team that is not playing ESL Meisterschaft. Even though I think the rule is incredibly stupid, I accept the punishment.”

We agree this is an arbitrary and strange ruling. Sure, there has to be a line drawn, so players don’t compete too many places at once and potentially harm the integrity of the esport. But this feels harmful to the scene more than anything else. We hope the ruling changes so that players will play in these DPC qualifiers, especially if invited to closed qualifiers. That or the people running tournaments should do their due diligence and not invite people who will get disqualified from competing in other events.


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