For the first time in the history of pro Dota 2, a Valve-sponsored event will be played in a game mode other than Captains Mode—the official mode for competitive events.
The fourth edition of Captains Draft, first created by Dota 2 content channel DotaCinema and now managed by casting studio MoonduckTV, will be held from Jan. 4 to Jan. 7 next year in Washington, D.C.
This iteration of the crowd favorite alternative tournament will be sponsored by Valve, as an official Minor event of the Dota 2 Pro Circuit. It will hold the distinction of being the only Pro Circuit event this year played in the Captains Draft mode, making it a significant departure from what players and fans alike normally see in professional tournaments.
As opposed to Captains Mode, where the entire pool of 112 heroes is available during the pick and ban phase, Captains Draft offers a pool of only 27 random heroes per game. These 27 heroes are divided by the three primary attributes, giving both teams nine heroes from the Strength, Agility, and Intelligence categories to choose from.
In addition, heroes that have been disabled in Captains Mode—either due to balance concerns or a recent rework or redesign—are fair game in Captains Draft. As of today, only Techies is completely banned from Captains Mode, but with the Dueling Fates update scheduled for release in just nine days, the two heroes coming with the patch will also be in the mix.
Should Techies and the upcoming new heroes be selected by the draft generator, we should see some pretty crazy games—if they aren’t just banned outright by the teams involved.
Captains Draft 4.0 will boast a $300,000 prize pool, and 300 Pro Circuit points up for grabs. Evil Geniuses and Team Secret have been invited to the tournament, with the rest of the field still pending via the six regional qualifiers. These qualifiers will be held from Oct. 28 to Nov. 15. All games will be streamed via the official MoonduckTV Twitch channel.