As with most things Valve this season, the Regional Qualifiers have been more than a bit messy. This can be credited partially to Valve handing most of the control over to PGL. Their coverage of the Regional Qualifiers has left many fans dissatisfied. With everything going on, it can be tough to keep track of everything. To help, here are all the important details in Dota 2’s Regional Qualifiers Report.
Eastern Europe And South America
The first regions on the agenda were EEU and SA, starting on September 3. For Eastern Europe, the first-place winner was BetBoom Team. Outsiders took second place, while Na’Vi took third, sending them both to the Last Chance Qualifier. Na’Vi was at TI 2019, and the Last Chance Qualifier could give them a shot at this one too.
In South America, the winners were newcomers Hokori, followed by Infamous and Tempest. Interestingly, both Tempest and Infamous had more DPC points than Hokori, having 167 and 238 to their 97, respectively. It remains to be seen how Hokori will fare against the top teams, but even being there is impressive.
China and North America
Just a day after the first two regionals concluded, the next two began. In North America, the first place winners were Soniqs, followed by nouns and Wildcard Gaming. Unfortunately, The Cut did not make the cut. Royal Never Give Up, conversely, did live up to their name, taking first in China and earning their TI invitation. Behind them were Xtreme Gaming and Vici Gaming, who will have one more shot at the Last Chance Qualifier.
This year’s International looks to be an unusual one, and it has yet to even begin. In the past, Valve has always tried to bring something new to the game’s biggest tournament. Dota 2’s Regional Qualifiers don’t get much attention in comparison, but this one is unusual nonetheless. While Valve still has a hand in managing the tournament, most of the work has gone to PGL instead. While not as disastrous as the Shanghai Major, their handling of things has been less than stellar. Streams have gone down several times, disrupting the experience for most viewers. Rumors have also been circulating that the broadcast talent for TI 2022 will be held remotely from Norway. With their rocky handling of the Regional Qualifiers, these rumors seem more and more likely to be accurate.
Betting On The Wrong Courier
One of PGL’s most unpopular recent moves has been securing a betting partner for TI 2022. While betting on pro Dota, and especially on The International, this is new. This is the first time there has been an official sponsored betting partner for a pro Dota event. Worse still is their choice of timing. Many fans already feel like Valve is fleecing them with the release of the stingy Battle Pass. This announcement feels to many like another attempt by Valve to empty the pockets of their loyal fans.
On top of that, there’s another issue with the timing. Twitch, the world’s most popular live-streaming platform, has recently seen a problematic rise in gambling streams. More and more streamers are promoting gambling to their often young audiences, and streaming rigged bets to entice viewers. This hasn’t gone over well with most viewers, who have pushed Twitch to crack down on these streams. As pro Dota games are traditionally streamed on Twitch, this announcement seems tone-deaf in this context.
Will They Or Won’t They
Ever since the DPC closed, there has been a small but notable discrepancy in the reporting of points. Valve’s official site and some non-official sites were reporting two different DPC point totals for Fnatic. The thing that made this important was that Fnatic was just on the edge of qualifying for TI 2022. Thus, fans were unsure as to whether Fnatic had made it in or if they had failed to qualify.
As they announced on Twitter, Fnatic had indeed qualified, meaning Outsiders had not. This was due to some small points penalties Outsiders had incurred by swapping out players mid-season. Valve rounded the points penalties, rather than directly applying them like the non-official sites. While not a huge issue, it ended up being one more annoyance on top of the pile.
What Lies Ahead
With so many missteps on the way to TI 2022, it seems as though the event will inevitably disappoint. But the recent matches of the Dota 2 Regional Qualifiers have shown that the players aren’t disappointing the fans. With the Aegis still on the line and the prize pool still massive, the heart of TI will remain. The last few teams to join the fray are yet to be determined though, so stay tuned.