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Dota 2 in 2021: What to Expect

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2021 will be different! (Image Credit: Valve Corporation)

A lot has changed in Dota 2 in 2020, but the year just came to an end and we are all looking forward at the new one with hopes for better times. What can Dota 2 fans expect in 2021? Let's have a look.

2020 was a letdown for many Dota 2 fans and players for one big reason. The International never came to be. The Dota 2 event which sets a new record for the biggest prize pool didn’t happen this year. This led to many organizations dropping their teams entirely or at least putting Dota 2 aside for the season.

On the bright side, the esports scene adapted accordingly and switched to an online format. It basically gave us what Valve were planning to do with the next DPC season and, for the most part, it worked. The only thing that’s clearly missing was the international element as teams were essentially locked to only play in their respective region.

What’s Coming to Dota 2 in 2021?

The International

Dota 2 the international

Another record for the TI prize pool was set in 2020! (Image Credit: Valve Corporation)

First and foremost – The International. Valve’s prime Dota 2 event was initially delayed and any details surrounding it were vague. 2020 was supposed to mark the 10th anniversary of the big event and return it back to where it all started – Europe. Sweden was the go-to country for the event and the prize pool for TI managed to break the previous record as players contributed to a total of over $40 million. The International will return in August 2021, Stockholm, Sweden.

There’s one thing that’s unclear. Will Valve save the $40 million as the prize pool for the 2021 edition or use it to fund the next competitive season.

The Dota Pro Circuit

Dota 2 pro circuit

Changes to the DPC are coming in 2021. (Image Credit: Valve Corporation)

Much like The International, the Dota 2 competitive season was also postponed. It was initially supposed to start this fall but that never happened. Valve gave fans an update on the situation in September and the new Dota Pro Circuit is set to start on January 18.

Unlike the previous season where we saw numerous minors and majors, this one will be different. The Dota 2 scene will be split into regions and we’ll be seeing regular play. This’ll bring Dota 2 closer to the format of CS:GO. Worry not though as this doesn’t mean there’ll be no third part events:

For this upcoming competitive season, there are going to be at least four third party events and leagues in EU/CIS events, three in China, and a few others that are still in the preliminary planning stages and are not able to commit at this time.

Finally we are excited to announce that the 2021 Dota Pro Circuit will start on January 18th. 16 teams within two divisions will compete in each of the six Regional Leagues. The best from each region will also qualify to the first Major of the season.

The scene will definitely change, and it should be for the better. Imagine the next DPC as something similar to the regional online events we saw in the past year except there’ll be international play this time (hopefully).

New hero(es)

Dota 2 mistwoods update

Hoodwink is the latest hero in Dota 2. More are on the way. (Image Credit: Valve Corporation)

In 2019, a total of three heroes were released – Mars, Snapfire, and Void Spirit. Whether the pandemic slowed down development or some ideas were scratched off the drawing board is unclear but only Hoodwink was released in 2020. While the latest hero has been criticized quite a lot it’s certainly a breath of fresh air.

Valve announced that fans should expect more heroes in 2021 and the next one will be coming in Q1. Some say it’ll be Puppeteer, others hope for characters from Artifact or Underlords making their way to the MOBA. In all honesty, after seeing Hoodwink, it’s all possible.

We are currently aiming for end of November for a new hero release, followed by more that are spread throughout next year with the next one in the first quarter next year. Recently we’ve been thinking about trying an overall development approach of spreading out updates during the year, rather than only having most content and updates centered around The International.

Balance Change / A Map Update

In addition to Hoodwink, the Mistwoods Update brought a lot of changes in terms of heroes and items, perhaps too many. We’ve only seen one patch so far, but more balance changes will probably come in January. After all, the DPC is set to start on January 18. Patch 7.28 didn’t make any notable changes to the map and there’s still a clear advantage for Radiant when looking at statistics.

Having the farming triangle and Roshan at the same spot is a bit too good for Radiant at the moment and we have a feeling that might soon change. What are your thoughts on the matter? Tells us on our Facebook page!

For more Dota 2 news and everything else gaming or esports check EarlyGame.

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