A New Era
Yesterday, on July 3rd, Valve posted an update to their Dota 2 blog about the upcoming changes to the competitive Scene. The following is a summary of the post and its implications.
Previously, Valve would host 2-3 Majors in between each of The Internationals. This presented a number of issues for the competitive scene, famously outlined by commentator Tobiwan:
“-All tournaments are eclipsed by Valve tournaments
– Crowd funding is now exclusive to Valve tournaments
– Workshop artists are expressing issues, if not leaving the community.
– Majors/TI are done by contractors and not by people who are building sustainable DOTA scenes/communities outside of the Majors/TI”
It seems Tobiwan’s words resonated with Valve as they’ve made a series of significant changes that they admit make the new scene “more organic”. Firstly, they will no longer be hosting Majors themselves. Instead, they will be working more closely with third-party organizers and directly sponsor tournaments with large prize pools. These will earn either a Minor or Major title, based on the prize pool:
“Majors must have a minimum prize pool of $500k, and will receive an additional $500k towards the prize pool from us.
Minors must have a minimum prize pool of $150k, and will receive an additional $150k towards their prize pool.”
In addition to this, in order to qualify as a Major or Minor Valve have set a series of conditions that these tournaments must meet and that promote competitive play. In particular, these tournaments must have a qualifier from each of the primary regions and have a LAN finals to ensure there are no connection issues.
Valve have added Qualifying Points. Each player will earn these points by competing at Majors and Minors and will be the sole component in determining invites to The International. Measures have been put in place to avoid this system being abused. Only the top three players with highest Qualifying Points will count towards that team’s total points. This is to avoid roster changes close to The International by making it so that players with a large number of points don’t join together just for a guaranteed invite.
What does this mean?
The new changes to the competitive scene imply that there will be a higher number of large prize pool tournaments. Through Valve’s cooperation and sponsorship, Dota 2 as an esport should flourish. The competitive scene should be more stable with fewer roster changes. The tournaments themselves should also be better organized and be more professional, improving the players’ experience. Whilst the new Majors will likely have less money individually, they will be more frequent. This also gives teams more chances to win big money and to get noticed.