Valve Announces 2021 DPC Format

by in Dota 2 | Jan, 4th 2021

If you’re a fan of competitive Dota 2, you finally have a reason to celebrate: Valve has just announced the 2021 DPC format! Needless to say, after the drought that was 2020, this is quite exciting stuff! There’s a lot of ground to cover, so let’s not waste any more time than necessary. We’ll also deconstruct everything into bite-sized chunks for legibility reasons!

Dota 2 2021 DPC Format

  • First of all, this year’s competition is slated to begin on Jan. 18 and will be comprised of two separate seasons that’ll eventually lead up to The International 10. 
  • Each season will consist of a six-week portion that’ll lead up to a Major. 
  • After the seasons above conclude, qualifiers will take place for the remaining TI10 slots.
  • Speaking of The International, this year’s TI is still happening in Stockholm, Sweden, although there are still no guarantees given the volatile nature of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

Season Start and End Dates

  • Season 1: Jan. 18-Feb. 28 (Chinese teams will have a break in the middle, which is why their season will conclude on March 14); Major 1: March 25-April 4
  • Season 2: April 13-May 23; Major 2: June 2–13
  • There will be six regions: Europe, China, SEA, CIS, North America, and South America. 
  • Valve will not be using last season’s DPC point totals to seed teams into their respective leagues but will instead select the four best performing teams and directly qualify them for the Upper division. After that happens, a series of qualifiers, but closed and open, will determine the remaining 12 teams across both divisions. 
  • At the end of the season, the top teams from each region’s Upper division will automatically qualify for the Major. 
  • The 18 Major slots’ distribution will be as follows: Europe will get four seeds along with China, SEA and CIS will get three seeds apiece, whereas North and South America will have to do their best with just two seeds per region. 
  • The bottom two teams of the Upper division (from each region) will relegate into the Lower division, with the top two Lower division teams getting a promotion. These four teams will, of course, be duking it out to see who’ll get to advance once the next season comes along. 
  • A specific tournament organizer will operate each regional league. DreamHack will handle Europe, ESL will take on the CIS, Perfect World will take over China, PGL for SEA, BTS for North America, and Dotapit for South America. 
  • Valve also plans to integrate the DPC circuit with the Dota 2 client in an upcoming update. This will feature regional standings, schedules, tournament information, along with the option of purchasing seasonal Fan Support bundles! 

As for which teams received direct invitations, you can check out the full list below: 

  • Europe: OG, Team Secret, Team Liquid, Team Nigma
  • CIS: Virtus.Pro, Natus Vincere, Team Spirit, Live to Win
  • China: PSG.LGD, EHOME, Vici Gaming, Elephant
  • SEA: TNC Predator, Fnatic, T1, BOOM Esports
  • NA: Evil Geniuses, Quincy Crew, 4 Zoomers, Sadboys
  • SA: Beastcoast, SG e-sports, Thunder Predator, Infamous

Quite a spectacular list, one could argue! 

Overall, these are incredibly exciting times. Valve is setting up a foundation for competitive Dota 2. It seems like they’re making all the right moves. Whether things will pan out as expected, however, remains to be seen. If there were ever a time to queue up and play some Dota 2, now would be it! Plus, there’s a brand-new hero out, as if an obscenely large patch wasn’t enough to pique your interest!


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