When fans think of CIS Dota 2, one of the first names that comes to mind is likely former Virtus Pro player Vladimir “No[o]ne” Minenko.
No[o]ne, who left VP in November alongside his teammates after being moved to the inactive roster, is still one of the best players in the world. But after the Just Error stack disbanded following EPIC League, he’s been left teamless heading into the 2021 Dota Pro Circuit.
As a result, the CIS veteran vented to his followers on Twitter earlier today. He said if he doesn’t end up finding a team to compete with for one of the upcoming DPC regional leagues, he’ll be unable to qualify for a spot at The International 2021.
“And so, if I miss the first DPC season, my chances of making the International are almost zero,” No[o]ne said, according to the translation provided by Twitter. “Sounds fun given the announcement after all of this.”
No[o]ne is referencing the fact that Valve essentially gave players who weren’t already in talks with an organization a limited window to pull together a team or find a spot on an open roster before the qualifiers for their individual regions began. Some regions opened up their qualifiers as early as Jan. 3 despite the details for the 2021 DPC only being announced on New Year’s Eve.
He’s also entirely correct about his concerns regarding TI10, too. If a team decides to make a roster change in the middle of their DPC run, they’ll suffer a penalty to their current DPC points. This is because Valve is finally implementing a roster lock system that aims to make sure an organization can’t just dump a player or roster because of poor results and try to bring on another team.
There’s a transfer period that will start after the first DPC Major in March, which will allow teams to bring in new players. But each roster move will result in a 15-percent penalty being levied against the team’s DPC point total at the time of the move.
“Changes can be made at any point between the end of the league and the Sunday the week after the end of the Major,” Valve said. “Teams that qualify to the major however will receive a penalty to the points earned at the major if they make any substitution before the major is concluded.”
So if No[o]ne, or any other player at his level, doesn’t end up participating in season one of the DPC, they still have a chance to be picked up by a team down the road and compete for a spot at TI10. But that will entirely rely on a team’s willingness to lose out on a percentage of their points to make the roster move.
This point deduction system doesn’t apply to stand-ins, who can be used for up to four matches for a single team in the league as long as that stand-in is either competing in a lower division or not competing in a league at all.