Huge Dota Pro Circuit Changes Coming
Dota Pro Circuit changes were inevitable. On the one hand, the way Valve does things is unique and quite fascinating. On the other, it feels like they’re being left in the dust by Riot Games and Blizzard. League’s competitive calendar is brimming with action. There’s always something to watch and consume.
Overwatch is similar when it comes to the Overwatch League and the World Cup. Dota 2, however, doesn’t have that kind of output when it comes to esports action. The Majors are spectacular, but an alarmingly small number of people tune in to the Minors (excluding the WePlay! Bukovel Minor 2020, which broke records because of its sheer entertainment value).
To make things even more complicated, top-tier teams and challengers often sit out a good chunk of the season. That’s yet another problem Valve must deal with. The fact that teams want time off is understandable, but if you have a Minor that has one or two fan-favorite (competitive) teams, then there’s not a big enough reason to tune in.
Change Is Coming
Valve realized this, which is why they’re going for a ton of Dota Pro Circuit changes that’ll come into effect once the 2020/2021 season kicks in.
Let’s focus on some of the most important changes:
- The entire calendar year will now consist of three smaller seasons. Each season will lead to a Major. So, we’re going from five Majors to just three. The best teams from each region will then once again compete for a spot on The International.
- Each region/league will have a prize pool of its own ($280,000 per season) and divided into two divisions (the Upper and Lower half), with eight teams per division.
- Each season will last for six weeks, with the Upper half of the division broadcasted in-studio.
- The two lowest-ranked teams in the Lower division will eventually get relegated and replaced by the two best teams from the open qualifiers. This will ensure that each region stays competitive over longer periods.
- The teams that end up in the Top 5 (of each region) will earn DPS points and therefore improve their odds of qualifying for The International.
- Each Major will consist of 18 teams (from all regions) who’ll compete for $500,000 (and DPS points). Europe and China will get four slots, North America and Southeast Asia will have one less at three, and the CIS region and South America will have just two.
- Each team needs to have at least three native players to compete.
- Rosters will be locked throughout each season. If a team wants to make a change, they’ll have to wait for the season to conclude, after which they can switch things up but endure a 15% penalty of their DPC point total.
Each calendar year will have a fixed schedule. Tournaments will be organized as follows:
- Fall League: October 5 – November 15
- First Major: December 11 – December 20
- Winter League: January 4 – February 14
- Second Major: March 12 – March 21
- Spring League: April 12 – May 23
- Third Major: June 25 – July 4
Third-party organizers will be able to hold tournaments outside of this range.
Valve’s decision to go for a complete overhaul is quite commendable. It remains to be seen if this was the kind of shake-up competitive Dota needed, but at least it’s a step in the right direction. If anything, fans will have a chance to watch the best teams in the world compete more frequently, which is always a plus.
If you want even more information about the entire regional league concept, you can click here to go to Valve’s official website.