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In a bombshell announcement regarding next year’s Dota Pro Circuit, Valve released full details on what it’s been working on last night. While there had been rumblings beforehand, the developer confirmed that Minors will be entirely removed and Majors will be reduced to just three per season along with the introduction of regional leagues.
Several pros and prominent figures in the scene have already voiced their opinions on the matter—and the initial reception seems frosty.
Team Secret’s coach, Lee “Heen” Seung Gon, has voiced his displeasure about the new system. Heen elaborated on what he feels is going to be a time-consuming system and how regional league systems might affect some of the best teams in the world.
Ninjas in Pyjamas captain ppd also talked about the new regional leagues and, more specifically, Heen’s argument. While he respected the coach’s passionate thoughts, ppd wasn’t entirely in agreement.
Heen brought up that the prize pools have been shrinking since 2015. He cited that a championship at a 2015 Valve Major would net the winning team $1 million, which has been reduced to $200,000 next year.
Lee “SunBhie” Jeong-jae also chimed in, citing that while a more evenly distributed prize pool is a positive thing, the reduced budget isn’t.
“People in Dota are so fucking short-sighted,” ppd said. “What if we actually [came] together to build something bigger than ourselves and we actually see what could come of it?”
Yet, the captain relented on his harsh words when he looked at the prize pool distribution a second time. The last eight teams at each Major won’t earn a share of the prize pool or DPC points.
“If you are a team at the Major, I think you should be paid for competing,” ppd said. “You should be getting paid for your time.”
While the decreased prize pools are a concern, it appears that this distribution might be entirely out of Valve’s pocket. If tournament organizers join the fray, prize pools might increase as a result.
A more regular esports circuit could also entice the developer to release a regular Battle Pass that provides players with cosmetics and loot instead of just during the period surrounding The International.
DPC points allocation
Heen’s main gripe was with the distribution of the prize pools. Due to the relatively equal distribution throughout every region, regardless of strength, the coach feels that is “is a forced way to support the tier two to three scene.”
He maintains that he isn’t against it in principle, but feels that competitive integrity over different regions will likely be compromised.
“Are all regions equal in Dota right now? No.” Heen went on to explain that the flat distribution for every regional league unfairly rewards the strongest team in a region, regardless of the strength of the entire region, rather than the strongest teams across the world.
Since the regional leagues and Majors provide the same amount of points, it’s practically guaranteed that the weakest regions will still able to send representatives to TI.
“It just basically ensures that there’s going to be a South American team at TI, which isn’t a bad thing,” ppd said. This adds on to the captain’s previous point of seeing things in the big picture. One region monopolizing the strength of esports isn’t a good thing, either.
“This shows how important the league matches are going to be… to qualifying to TI,” ppd said. “It’s just as important [as the Major].”
“Is that bad? It’s different for sure,” ppd said. NiP’s captain went on to elaborate on why despite the negative reception, Valve is doing the right thing by releasing its plans for next season early on.
Since the 2020-21 DPC season isn’t slated to start until October, this gives the developer eight months to work out the kinks in its system. The captain ended with his final words on the matter.
“Because this page is out today, conversations like we are having right now are happening… and Valve is going to be listening,” ppd said.