Just a few days back Valve revealed more details about the Dota Pro Circuit 2021. Needless to say, the reception wasn’t good. The community agreed that both the format and the invites could’ve been better. What about third-party events?
After the intense 2020 which despite the coronavirus pandemic was filled with online Dota 2 events, we’re about to enter the long-awaited Dota Pro Circuit. The start of the competitive Dota 2 season was delayed from fall 2020 to January 18, 2021. Was the waiting worth it?
Judging by the reactions of many casters, players, and talent, things could’ve been better. For starters, the whole DPC 2021 will only have two seasons (instead of the initially planned 3) of regional leagues and two Major tournaments. If you haven’t played in the leagues you can’t make it to the major. If you didn’t get an invitation to the league, well too bad for your team.
To make matters even worse, the number of third-party events for the 2021 season is also going down. At least according to Quincy Crew manager, Jack “KBBQ” Chen:
like am i losing my mind here? for everyone, you get to play less competitive dota than ever with fewer chances to prove yourself. and if you actually are a very competitive team in your region, you get like 2-3 bo3s that shape your entire season with no possibility of 3rd party— Jack Chen (@KBBQDotA) January 5, 2021
As we’ve already mentioned there’ll be a total of two seasons for the entire year. During that time the best Dota 2 teams will be focused on earning as many points as possible there to secure a slot at the Major. That'll probably mean teams won't be willing to play in the league and another event at the same time. After all, the former is the only way to get to The International as open qualifiers are no longer an option for it.
For what little it's worth these were my thoughts exactly when looking over the new DPC format. The objective here appears to be to get us to TI (and compendium revenue) with minimal fuss. Outside investment or development of new players/teams/brands is not happening this year.— Nahaz (@NahazDota) January 5, 2021
As both KBBQ and Nahaz state, outside of the regular season, there’ll be almost no available time slot for third-party events. Ironic, considering those events basically saved the Dota 2 scene in 2020. On the other hand, Valve claimed that third party events are already planned for 2021.
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. However, there are still going to be a lot of teams, casters, organizers and fans around the world that are not going to be meaningfully served based on the current trajectory and that is our fault for not pushing on those and supporting them enough.
That’s a total of at least 7 third-party events according to Valve. The question of when remains as there hasn’t been any further information since that statement. A good guess will be the period between the end of the second Major (June 13) and The International (end of August).
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