The storied developer announced the Dota Major Championships on Friday with preliminary details about how it will structure the competitive season. The year-long series of four major tournaments, including the International, will not only bring seasonal action to the competitive calendar, but require teams to carry consistent rosters should they choose to participate.
While little is known regarding the dates, partners, or prize pools of the tournament circuit at this time, Valve articulated specific issues with competitive Dota it hopes to address with the new series. “While the lack of roster stability and major focal points during the year had its advantages, it has eventually come at the cost of fan engagement and competitive stability for the players,” said Valve in the official statement.
A placeholder website for the Dota Major Championships references fall, winter, and spring tournaments, followed by the International in the summer. “The three additional tournaments will be Valve-sponsored events hosted by third-party organizers at different locations around the world,” said Valve. Additionally, teams that participate in the circuit “will be required to adhere to limited roster trade periods during the year.”
The announcement comes not a moment too soon for an esports title whose track record of career opportunities leaves something to be desired. Winners frequently garner enormous paychecks while the losers go home with little in the way of money or security. Over three years of competition, the International has also earned the dubious honor of publicity tool, with teams like Counter Logic Gaming and Mousesports sponsoring teams only for the duration of the tournament.