Dota 2 Improves Competitive Scene With Regional Leagues

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2013-07-09
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New format coming to competitive scene. Valve

Dota 2 is going to be implement a new system that it hopes is going to make its competitive scene more consistent and better scheduled. Dubbing as the Regional Leagues, Valve hopes to offer more particularly for Tier 2 and Tier 3 teams. This new system starts after The International 2020.

Under the current season, there are a total of four Majors with a corresponding Minor tournament. For the Majors, direct invites are no longer allowed and teams need to go through the qualifiers. The top 12 ranked teams after the four Majors get spots to TI, with the rest going to another round of qualifiers.

However, after TI10, the year is now going to be divided into three seasons with each season having Regional Leagues that lead to a Major. Of course, the year still ends with The International.

Each league is going to offer a prize pool of $280,000. The leagues are going to have two divisions with eight teams in the Upper Division and another eight in the Lower Division. With a total of six regions (North America, South America, Europe, CIS, Southeast Asia, China), that means 96 teams can join.

Each league lasts six week and each region is going to have a full best-of three round robin for all teams. To make it easier for fans to follow their favorite teams, all matches are going to have consistent date and time slots throughout the year. Europe, for example, has these dates and time for these matches:

  • Upper Division
    • Tuesday: 12:00 PM EST
    • Tuesday: 3:00 PM EST
    • Wednesday: 12:00 PM EST
    • Thursday: 12:00 PM EST
    • Thursday: 3:00 PM EST
  • Lower Division
    • Monday: 3:00 PM EST
    • Wednesday: 3:00 PM EST
    • Thursday: 3:00 PM EST
    • Friday: 3:00 PM EST
    • Sunday: 3:00 PM EST

Note that each of those slots features one best-of three series.

For the inaugural season, Valve is going to be the one to assign teams to each division, which means that teams need to declare what region they want to be in.

After each season, all eight teams get to receive a monetary prize, but DPC points are going to be awarded to the top five teams. In addition, the top four teams get:

  • 1st Place: Qualifies to the Major Playoffs
  • 2nd Place: Qualifies to the Major Group Stage
  • 3rd Place: Qualifies to the Major Wild Card Stage
  • 4th Place: Qualifies to the Major Wild Card Stage

As mentioned, in order to mix things up and give everyone a chance, the bottom two teams can swap places with the top two teams of the Lower Division. The bottom two teams of the Lower Division then gets eliminated.

In order for a team to be eligible in a region, it needs to have at least three players residing in the region they plan to be part of. Teams also need to have a stand-in for up to four of their matches as long as that stand-in is either competing in a lower division or not competing in a league at all.

Teams that make the decision to change regions need to enter the region through open qualifiers and climb through that region’s Lower Division.

There's also going to be roster lock which starts at the beginning of the league until the end of the Major. Teams can change rosters after each Major and before the next season starts. However, player changes result in a 15% penalty on current points for that team.

You can read more about the new system here.

In terms of the competitive scene, Dota 2 has been focused on trying to find ways for new teams to participate and this looks to be that. There’s the chance that this new system was prompted by talks within the community of the number of players decreasing. No doubt it’s not only going to perk up interest in Dota 2 again, but it’s sure to make for one exciting year.

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