Valve completely revamped the tournament system starting with The International 5 by introducing the roster lock period. This prevented teams from dropping or adding players before tournaments. This also gave the professional scene more stability by encouraging teams to stay together for longer periods of time. Another feature Valve later introduced was the Dota Pro Circuit through which players earn DPC points by winning events. These DPC points are added up at the end of a season in order to determine who gets invited to The International. This removed the bias previously present in the invite system for The International. DPC points can only be earned at Major or Minor events that are endorsed by Valve. The next such event is the Kuala Lumpur Major.
Majors and Minors
Majors are the biggest tournaments of the year outside of The International. They boast a prize pool totaling $1,000,000 and offer nearly 5000 DPC points for first place. There are a total of five Majors spread out across the 2018/19 season. Majors and Minors are hosted in pairs, so there are also five minors scheduled for this season. Minors are obviously smaller tournaments awarding less prize money and points. However, these tournaments allow lower tier teams to earn points and a shot at The International. Although direct invites are often left for the tier one teams.
The Kuala Lumpur Major
The first major in the 2018/19 season will be hosted in Kuala Lumpur from November 9th to November 18th. It will operate as any other tournament would, beginning with a qualifier stage, moving into a group stage and finishing with the main stage event. The qualifiers begin on September 16th and will allow 15 total teams from a total of seven regions. One spot in the qualifiers is open to the winner of the preceding minor. Teams will then play in a mere 2-day group stage event. Generally speaking this is a small amount of time for 16 teams to play each other in best of two series. But once that is complete the teams will move on to the main stage event which is a total of eight days.
Revisiting regional qualifiers
Valve has done a lot when it comes to improving the competitive scene for DotA 2. The introduction of The International in 2011 is one of the most defining moments in esports competitive event history. As discussed earlier they also added DPC points and roster lock periods in order to stabilize the scene further. The next item on their competitive revamp agenda then should be regional qualifiers. Many individuals and players from the CIS region are upset that European players are able to qualify through the CIS region. The same goes for players in the North American region being frustrated when European players go through their qualifiers. Unfortunately, because of DotA’s global status, teams will always be comprised of multiple regions, so it is hard to assign teams to definitive regions.
Another problem with regional qualifiers is that certain regions are given extra spots through which teams can qualify. This allows regions with more strong teams to feature those teams at tournaments. However, it does not give enough of a chance to rising teams who might be forced through the open qualifiers. One bad game can lose an entire open qualifying series which can spell doom for teams that need early tournament wins to make ends meet.
Featured image courtesy of Valve
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