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What’s Next For Dota 2’s Competitive Scene?

Valve announced last week that the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) was no more. They described the difficulties inherent in the circuit and the stress it placed on the market as a whole. As an alternative to the traditional direct invite and returning International Champions systems, Valve initially introduced the concept in 2017.

The previous system’s obvious shortcomings were highlighted by the international champions’ direct invitation. Due to their recent poor performance, many teams thought that not all former winners deserved the straight invite. Even though teams like Natus Vincere and Alliance have struggled since TI5, they were nevertheless given a spot in the TI.

What’s Next For Dota 2’s Competitive Scene?
The Dota 2 Epicenter Stage

It all started with good intentions. The goal of the Dota Pro Circuit was to develop a unified competitive ecosystem for the game of Dota 2.

However, it did not differentiate between core and fringe areas, instead treating the competitive landscape as a single entity. DPC points were distributed equally across all areas, therefore even poorly performing teams in less competitive regions might still place in the top twelve.

The intensive and competitive schedule monopolized eight months of the year and discouraged the participation of outside parties. The players were pushed to their limits since they couldn’t afford to stop competing and risk not making it to TI. Even though there were a lot of DPC points up for grabs during the Majors, the champions still only took home 400 DPC points, which was about the same as winning a regional league.

Even though Gaimin Gladiators won all three majors this season, Team Liquid nevertheless managed to finish first on the DPC leader boards because of the uneven allocation of points.

Despite still reliant on independent organizers and decentralized rankings, CSGO boasts one of the most stable esports communities. Each year, Valve only recognizes and sponsors two Majors with an average prize fund of around $1 million. The major tournament series are managed by independent organizations like BLAST and ESL, while other smaller organizations handle the grassroots efforts.

Even though these tournaments use a different leaderboard system than Valve’s, they nonetheless provide a solid avenue for qualifying for direct invites to their respective championships. To allow teams to compete regionally and earn invites to their own Majors, Valve uses their own Regional Major Ranking (RMR) system. This sort of real-time scoreboard may seem mundane. Valve isn’t saturating the market with too many leagues.

It makes more sense from a long-term standpoint to let third-party organizers plan ahead for more events of the kind Valve’s hosting capabilities can support. Similarly, Valve may form partnerships with existing event organizers to run Dota 2 competitions on their own initiative. Whether or not Beyond the Summit, WePlay, EPICENTER, and the rest of the competition actually take this seriously remains to be seen.

Valve may kill two birds with one stone by creating a more sustainable and less monopolized Dota 2 esports scene by instituting a tier-grading system for the amount of points each tournament holds.

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