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Dota 2 Pro Circuit Second Season breakdown

Chelsea Jack | 
Valve’s made several significant changes to how the DPC works this year, some of which we’re seeing in practice at the first event already. (Photo courtesy of Carlton Beener | ESL)

Valve’s made several significant changes to how the DPC works this year, some of which we’re seeing in practice at the first event already. (Photo courtesy of Carlton Beener | ESL)

The second season of the Dota 2 Pro Circuit (DPC) is underway with DreamLeague Season 10. Valve’s made several significant changes to how the DPC works this year, some of which we’re seeing in practice at the first event already.  

There are some fundamental similarities between the DPC’s season one and two, as in there are official events categorized as either Majors or Minors where teams will earn points. Also, the teams with the most points will earn a direct invitation to The International 9 (TI9). But the details have changed, everything from the number of events to the distribution of points to qualifier requirements and even how rosters are locked.

Let’s take a closer look at what’s new this season:

The Stakes

Valve announced TI9 will take place in Shanghai, China in 2019. Invitations to the event will be awarded to the twelve teams that earn the most DPC points. This is an increase from the eight invitations that were awarded for TI8. An additional six spots for TI9 will be available through regional qualifiers, one per region.

This change ensures that the teams at TI9 will represent all regions, but will also be the most competitive field possible. Each team will earn their right to be there.

The Events

There are only ten DPC events this year, down from last year’s twenty-two events. Events are paired, one Minor for each Major, with the winner of each Minor being given an invitation to the Major that follows it. All teams must earn their invitations through regional qualifiers. Majors will have a minimum of sixteen teams, with a minimum of two qualifiers per region. They will have a minimum prize pool of $1,000,000(US). Minors will have a minimum of eight teams, with at least one qualifier per region. They will have a minimum prize pool of $300,000(US). Valve assigns extra qualifier slots to regions.

Major qualifiers are run first, followed by Minor qualifiers. Teams that qualified for the Major are not eligible to participate in the Minor. The lack of overlap between teams in the paired Minor-Major means there are at least twenty-three unique opportunities for each of the five tournament sets. We will see more diversity of teams from Minor to Major this year than we did last year when every team wanted to compete at every event (and potentially could).

The Points

The points system was revamped this year to emphasize the significance of Majors. Those tournaments will distribute 15,000 points, and all participating teams will receive a portion. Minors will be worth 500 points, and the winner of the Minor will receive either 120 points for winning the Minor or the points they receive for their placement at the following Major, whichever value is more. There will be no double-dipping for points, and there is a clear emphasis on the significance of Majors over MInors.

The Rosters

A final important change is to how the new system treats rosters. There’s no hard lock on rosters. Instead, teams must register at dota2.com/majorsregistration/ to be eligible to play in qualifiers for the events. Teams can play qualifiers with four of their five registered players without penalty, but any stand-ins for the registered roster at LAN events will result in a 40% penalty to earned points.

Teams can change rosters mid-season at any time, but for each player change, they will incur a 20% penalty to earned DPC points. Points this season are attached to the team rather than the players, meaning no strategic player swaps to buff a team’s point total.

This has meant plenty of roster changes in the early season, because there are effectively no penalties for changes. However, it may limit roster changes later in the season, at least until teams are feeling comfortable with their DPC point totals.

Happening Now

The DPC season kicked off with qualifiers in September, and then it was a long wait until DreamLeague Season 10, began on October 28 and runs until November 4. The winner of this Minor will participate in the Kuala Lumpur Major November 9-18.

Only one additional event has been officially announced: the Bucharest Minor. This event will take place January 9-13, 2019.

Valve has released an approximate schedule for tournaments, available at dota2.com/procircuit.

To watch DreamLeague, tune into twitch.tv/dreamleague!

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Chelsea Jack
Chelsea's days are full of esports, books, and raising two video game enthusiasts. She's passionate about storytelling and community.
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