The Aegis of Champions upon its podium.
Photo via [Valve](https://www.flickr.com/photos/dota2ti/48616275311/)

Valve ends Dota Pro Circuit’s 6-year event ‘stranglehold’ after TI12

Next year will be a return to a "beautiful unregulated" kind of Dota.

Just a few short days after rumors of a new Dota 2 event structure started getting louder ahead of The International 12, Valve has now confirmed the Dota Pro Circuit is being shut down after six years at the end of this season. 

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In a blog post, Valve officially announced the death of the DPC and explained that this move comes because the team can see how it has become “a stranglehold on the event calendar” for a number of reasons. 

Originally, the DPC did the job Vavle set out to accomplish with it, providing “clarity and transparency” on how teams could qualify for The International without needing to get a “golden ticket” invite from Valve or a handful of regional qualifiers. But since the DPC began in 2017, it has led to a slow decline where competitive Dota has grown “less exciting, less varied, and ultimately much less fun.”

valve-dota-2-battle-pass
The Aegis remains while the DPC changes. Image via Valve

A major part of that decline was stifling innovation from tournament organizers and limiting the way players can compete with a “long list of rigid requirements” that ended up being too much of a focal point. 

“Before we introduced these constraints, the world of competitive Dota was healthier, more robust and more varied than the one we have now,” Valve said. “Events used to be less rote and more creative, and there was more room in the calendar for them. Everything was open for exploration: event length, themed venues, team participation, and even the basic assumptions of tournament design. There was a beautiful unregulated insanity to it all.”

Valve wants to return to that “beautiful unregulated insanity” where house parties can co-exist with something like the Dota 2 Asia Championship in the same competitive space without the “sterile, near-monoculture” format that the current DPC helped contribute to. It is time for a return to Dota’s grassroots. 

While Valve did not specify exactly how things will be handled without the DPC in place, the previous rumors said it will be through a renewed focus on a calendar chock full of third-party organizers running tournaments and rolling them into a new kind of qualifier system for The International 2024. All we know for sure is regional leagues are dead and a much more relaxed and innovative year of competitive Dota is on the way.

“Competitive Dota predates the DPC by many years and will continue long after. The International will continue as well—we’re already working on The International 2024, and next year we’ll be talking more about how invitations to that event will work,” Valve said. “But for now, we’re going to return our focus to this year’s event—which, unbelievably, is only four short weeks away.”


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Cale Michael
Lead Staff Writer for Dota 2, the FGC, Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and more who has been writing for Dot Esports since 2018. Graduated with a degree in Journalism from Oklahoma Christian University and also previously covered the NBA. You can usually find him writing, reading, or watching an FGC tournament.