Another challenge after the qualifiers
The StarLadder Minor, ESL Major and visa concerns
Qualifiers are one thing, but making it to the actual event is a whole new field. Dota 2 has always been plagued by visa issues. There are numerous cases of players, teams and even casters/commentators who failed to reach Dota 2 tournaments. The StarLadder Minor and ESL Major are no exception.
The current system
The Dota Pro Circuit for 2020 may be good in theory but it's nowhere close to perfect. Part of the problem is the short amount of time teams and organizations have to actually secure a visa for an event. Fnatic's Dota 2 director already expressed his concern about the potential issue.
The current combination of a Minor in Ukraine followed by a Major in the USA could prove even more problematic.
China and the coronavirus
To make matters even worse, there's also the coronavirus situation in China. As we saw last week, qualifiers for the region were delayed as some players weren't able to play due to the quarantine. Furthermore, events in the country may get canceled or relocated.
On the matter of securing a visa, numerous countries have either implemented a 14-day quarantine for any Chinese visitors or straight up banned flights from the country. We'll find out soon enough as the China qualifiers for the StarLadder Kiev Minor are almost done and more info will be available in the weeks to follow.
While Valve is usually silent on the matter and rarely does anything directly, this time it might have done it. If the rumors about the next Dota 2 season are correct, Minor events will be completely gone and the number of Majors will drop from 5 to 3. This will give teams a lot more time to secure a visa and eliminate most of the problems in the current Dota Pro Circuit.
Germany is once again first in the law department as the country introduced a new type of visa specifically for players outside of the EU.
The news came at the end of 2019 and the aforementioned visa will take effect in the spring of 2020. While Dota 2 may not have more official tournaments in Germany planned for the year, this will surely make things a lot easier for many of the other esports titles.
There's still a couple of weeks before the Kiev Minor and the ESL Major in Los Angeles right after it. If there are any complications, stay tuned for an update.