Dota 2 has long been notorious for revolving around The International, and nothing else. Winning TI means everything for a team, and losing it leads to major roster implosions in the aftermath.
Valve is looking to rectify this cycle by introducing meaningful changes to the major system. This includes the introduction of regional leagues, that’ll incentivize teams to stay together across the year, not just for one event.
Announced in a February 25 blog post, the Dota 2 organizers revealed a new league-based system “that presents competitive Dota in a more scheduled and consistent way during the year and features a better structure for the development of Tier 2 and Tier 3 teams.”
Six regions will be made across the world in Europe, North America, China, South America, South East Asia, and the CIS (Russia and Eastern Europe).
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Each region will play in their own respective leagues, with an Upper (Tier 1) and Lower (Tier 2) division. Teams can qualify for the system through Open Qualifiers (Tier 3). For the inaugural season, Valve will allocate teams to each division.
There will be promotion and demotion between divisions after each season, with the bottom two Upper =teams being replaced by the top two Lower ones.
The top two teams in Upper Division, regardless of region, will qualify for the next major, while wildcard spots will be given to other top-performing teams in Europe, China, North America, and SEA.
$280,000 will be up for grabs in every season of every regional league, while the majors will have prize pools of $500,000.
League play will now also give DPC points, which teams can put towards qualifying for The International. However, to incentivize teams sticking together throughout the year, rosters will be locked mid-season, while any roster changes after each season will incur a 15% point penalty.
The top 12 performing teams across the year in their respective regional leagues and at majors will earn a spot at The International, with Open Qualifiers being removed for the big event. Closed Qualifiers with the remaining best eight teams from each region will take place instead.
The first Dota 2 Fall League will kick off on October 5 after The International 10, which is set to be held in Stockholm, Sweden, in August.