Dota 2’s Stacked Schedule: April Edition
Last year, much was said about the busy Dota 2 Pro Circuit (DPC) schedule. While the second season is thinner, there’s still plenty of off-Circuit events filling the calendar.
In its first season, the DPC had 22 events. Teams stretched themselves thin trying to attend as many as possible to ensure their path to The International 8. Valve tweaked the format for Season Two, reducing the number of DPC events to 10 and spreading them evenly across the year.
This has left distinct gaps in the calendar: after qualifiers and before the pair of DPC Minor and Major begin. Tournament organizers have flocked to these gaps, filling them up with a range of events from novelty to regional to international in scope.
Take this month, April, as an example. Keep in mind, Regional Qualifiers for the OGA Dota PIT Minor 2019 will end on April 6. Tournaments aren’t waiting even that long to get started.
With $100,000 USD on the line, the Cobx Masters 2019 Phase II takes place April 5-7 in Mumbai, India. A CS:GO tournament will also take place at the same time and venue.
While the teams aren’t as competitive as we’ll see at other tournaments this month, it’s a good opportunity to put a pair of Indian teams, Signify and Entity Gaming, in the spotlight on a LAN alongside some international teams. Tigers, Aachen City Esports, DeToNator and Exclamation Mark will round out the competition.
Also coming up this weekend, from April 6-8, is the Qi Invitational Americas. This will be an online event. The prize money is $10,000. It’ll be the second Dota 2 event run by Qi Entertainment, following their China Dota 2 Winter Cup in December 2018.
Six teams from North America and South America will compete, including MDL Disneyland® Paris Major NA qualifiers compLexity Gaming and TEAM TEAM. J.Storm and Forward Gaming will also represent NA, while Infamous and Thunder Predator will represent SA.
WSOE is a fascinating series of events, similar in style to MMA events. WSOE #1 was Dota 2-focused, but the events since then, WSOE #2-#4, have taken on other esports. For the sixth iteration, we’re back to Dota 2 again. It’ll take place from April 13-14 in the PokerGO studio, in Las Vegas.
Five teams are competing. Four, including J.Storm, gg and gg, Infamous and TEAM TEAM, will compete in a double-elimination “Challenger Bracket” and the winner of that will play versus Team Serenity, the WSOE #1 champions, in a best-of-seven Championship Match.
OpenAI is a unique event as the focus is having top tier human players compete against AI. The purpose has generally been to help viewers understand how advanced AI has become and understand how it will (and does) fit into our world. This event will take place on April 13, with a collection of talent to cast the event and The International 8 champions, OG, on hand to compete.
The Betway Asian Dota 2 League features eight teams from China and Southeast Asia competing for $20,000. Teams are competing from April 7-20, overlapping with a few other events this month. As an online event, Betway can schedule around other tournaments to accommodate their teams.
Newbee, Mr Game Boy, Invictus Gaming, DeToNator, Team Aster and Tigers were all directly invited. Vampire Gaming and Future.club both qualified for the event.
The last tournament to finish up before the OGA Dota PIT Minor 2019, ESL One Mumbai 2019 has a Minor-worthy prize pool of $300,000. It runs from April 16-21, ending just a day before Dota PIT is scheduled to begin. It won’t be surprising if teams that qualify for the Minor pull out of ESL One Mumbai due to the timing.
This event features the biggest line-up of teams: twelve. This includes Ninjas in Pyjamas, Alliance, Gambit Esports, compLexity Gaming, Chaos Esports Club, Natus Vincere, Mineski, The Pango, J.Storm, Keen Gaming, TNC Predator and Signify.
To Take a Break or Not
Clearly, some teams are choosing to take time off during this period. Whether the prize pools weren’t big enough to tempt them, the travel was too onerous or other factors have come into play, many of the top teams in the DPC rankings are staying home. It could be that this is a prime time to boot camp before the Paris Major. But it could also be that this is a good time to take a break.
Two weeks isn’t long, but it could be perfect for a boot camp. Structured Dota 2 play in a comfortable setting rather than an unfamiliar one with the demands of competition could still be a break, by comparison.
Though the DPC has fewer events this year, teams still need to be picky about how they spend the time between them. With organizers happy to provide multiple options, it would be too easy for players to stretch themselves thin. No one wants a repeat of last year, with players burned out before The International.
On the plus side, fans will be able to watch a variety of different formats and event styles. The overlap of some of these events means no one can watch everything live, but at least there’ll be something for every Dota 2 fan this month.