Here’s a Round-up of the 2020 Dota 2 Esports Scene

Saying goodbye to 2020!
Saying goodbye to 2020! Valve

The year 2020 is finally over, and for the Dota 2 esports scene, it’s been a wild ride. There were some ups and downs this year. Today, we take a look back at what happened and what to expect in 2021.

Valve being Silent

Let’s get this one out of the way. When it was clear that the pandemic would become a huge deal, many in the Dota 2 community knew that there were going to be some changes in the esports scene. There were already some tournaments held by teams as ranked. So, it wasn’t really a surprise when DPC events were canceled.

The problem was the shortage of information in the competitive scene. There was no word on what would happen to teams that already got DPC points. Overall, there was a deafening silence from Valve. It didn’t help that games like League of Legends held their own major tournaments, despite the pandemic.

It was in September when Valve finally released a statement and there wasn’t really much to it. You can read more about that here.

Tournaments Continue

Although Valve didn't give a hand to the esports scene, several third-party organizers stepped up to the plate. Epic Esports Events, for example, managed to organize two Tier 1 tournaments, both offering a prize pool of $500,000.

ESL, meanwhile, managed to hold a Tier 1 tournament with ESL One Germany having a prize pool of $400,000. They even hosted a Tier 2 tournament with ESL One Thailand.

Special mentions to One Game Agency and Beyond the Summit, both managing to hold many tournaments.

Throwing in the Towel

There’s no question that third-party organizations made Dota 2 esports alive during Valve's apparent inaction. However, for some teams, that wouldn’t be enough as they had no choice but to throw in the towel.

As early as March, J.Storm announced the shutdown of its North American operations. A month later it was Cloud9 that made the decision to disband and release the entire roster.

In Southeast Asia, things weren’t also smooth. Even with some strong performances in recent tournaments, Geek Fam decided to release its roster. The main reason cited was the lack of news in the DPC scene. In November, rising star Adroit Esports also raised the white flag and called it quits. Like Geek Fam, they too cited the lack of updates in the pro scene.

Both Europe and CIS regions confirmed major problems among pro teams. Team Unique closed its Dota 2 division until the start of the new DPC season. Cyber Legacy made the same decision pretty much in the same week. Read about that here.

Then, there's 5men who disbanded, as well as Tempo Esports.

Interesting Roster Changes

The EU/CIS region remains to be one of the vital sources of strong Dota 2 teams. While there were teams that folded and disbanded, there were also teams that secured their future., for example, made a surprise move when it finally let go of the roster led by Vladimir "No[o]ne" Minenko, marking the end of an era. No[o]ne had been with VP for four years before being released. The new roster managed to make its mark by winning against OG in the EPIC League Division 1.

Natus Vincere, on the other hand, officially signed in a roster that was on a trial basis. Like in VP, the new Na’Vi roster showed just what they were made of by winning the OGA Dota PIT Season 4 for the Europe/CIS region. Learn more about the new roster here.

Two-Time Champs

Of course, this wrap-up wouldn’t be complete without news from two-time TI champion OG. Early this year, as expected, Anathan “ana” Pham took a break until the next DPC season. Yet it was a surprise to fans when Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka announced that he was retiring from the competitive scene. Sebastien “Ceb” Debs also stepped down from the active roster.

OG tried to experiment with a different roster but to no avail. This led to Ceb to go back to the active roster, with OG also signing Yeik Nai “MidOne” Zheng and Martin “Saksa” Sazdov.

OG also formed a secondary squad known as OG.Seed but the team didn't last long and got disbanded in July 2020.

What Next?

With 2020 over and the new year starting, what’s going to happen now? Valve says it will start a new DPC Season. Hopefully, it’s going to be a good one and we expect to see some excellent matches. We’re also crossing our fingers that Valve will be more active this time.

How was 2020 in Dota 2 for you?

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