The ninth edition of The International is now behind us, capping off Dota 2’s 2018-2019 season. While players are enjoying a well-deserved break, Valve is hard at work putting together the competition’s next iteration.
As we already knew, the coming Dota Pro Circuit will still feature five Minor-Major event pairings. This year, qualification for these are condensed into a single qualifier per set. This means there are fewer events on the calendar, giving players more time to rest and acquire visas and the like. Both have been problems for the game’s pros in years past.
Additionally Valve predetermined the format of these tournaments, each starting with a group stage before moving into double-elimination playoffs. Uniformity between these events levels competitor’s chances, regardless of which they choose to attend.
Prize distribution adjusted
Another change is that the qualifiers themselves now yield a small measure of DPC points. This is the all-important currency deciding who plays at The International. Previously it could only be earned by playing in proper events. That said, the main events will still grant the majority of available points.
The next International will be held in Stockholm, Sweden.
Prize money is adjusting for the event as well. For example, winning a Major used to net winning teams $350 thousand USD. Now this will be $300 thousand USD instead. For Minors, the drop is even steeper. $72 thousand USD down from last season’s $125 thousand USD. The differences are distributed to teams lower in the standings.
Both of these changes aim to make competing in the DPC more sustainable for lower-tier teams. In the past, these often saw little return for competing, which hopefully becomes less the case now.
Point ownership remains with the team
Sadly, the rules regarding DPC point ownership are remaining the same. It still lies with the teams instead of the individual players. As was the case last year, a team that doesn’t attend a LAN with the roster with which it qualified, will incur increasing deductions in points earned.
For larger teams, this is obviously undesirable. But for smaller stacks, which generally hold fewer points, the percentual penalty will be a lot lower. Because of this, rosters at lower levels will likely remain volatile, as they were last year. These rules also don’t really affect teams already assured of TI participation. Since they won’t be competing for points anymore, they can freely remove members, as long as it’s done before the last event of the year starts.
Save the dates
Overall the changes are a step in the right direction. Valve’s incremental approach is preferable over another full rework of the system, which would likely introduce new problems of its own.
The full calendar for the next DPC season is below. Organizers and locations will be released piecemeal over the coming months. Team registration closes on September 28th at 10:00 AM PDT.
- Qualifier 1: Sept 30 – Oct 5
- Minor 1: Nov 5 – 9
- Major 1: Nov 16 – 24
- Qualifier 2: Dec 1 – 6
- Minor 2: Jan 7 – 11
- Major 2: Jan 18 – 26
- Qualifier 3: Feb 9 – 14
- Minor 3: Mar 3 – 7
- Major 3: Mar 14 – 22
- Qualifier 4: Mar 29 – Apr 3
- Minor 4: Apr 22 – 26
- Major 4: May 2 – 10
- Qualifier 5: May 17 – 22
- Minor 5: June 9 – 13
- Major 5: June 20 – 28
Credit to Xander Teunissen