Dota 2 teams competing for the $170,000 at stake in September’s World Esports Championships were supposed to play in qualifiers throughout Asia, Europe, and North America. But those plans have changed.
Organizers for the China-based event announced today that the qualifiers in both Europe and North America were cancelled effective immediately.
The reason? A flurry of roster changes that have rocked the professional Dota 2 scene over the past four weeks since the completion of The International 4.
Rather than punishing the best teams in each region for making such changes, the organization decided to directly invite them. So instead of battling through a qualifications, American sides Evil Geniuses and Cloud9 will directly attend the event. Also invited will be an additional team from Europe, which WEC hinted would either be Alliance or Natus Vincere.
Both confirmed invitees have seen changes since The International. Evil Geniuses were quick to part ways with Mason Venne, the fill-in for injured Clinton “Fear” Loomis, who’s now expected to return to the team.
Cloud9 also made an exchange on their roster, parting ways with Weh Sing “Sing Sing” Yen and acquiring the services of former Mousesports player Adrian “Fata” Trinks.
Natus Vincere have also made changes with more expected to follow for the European icons. Only the roster of Swedish side Alliance remains untouched following The International.
Asian qualifiers for the event are set to continue as previously scheduled. The Southeast Asian qualifier has already been completed, with Malaysian side Titan qualifying for the final with a victory over MVP Phoenix of Korea.
The top three teams in an upcoming Chinese qualifier will join the other qualified and invited competitors for the final in Hangzhou, China. Newly-crowned International champions Newbee won’t be required to qualify, as they too were directly invited to the final.
That final event will begin play on September 5 at Hangzhou’s Yellow Dragon Stadium.