Valve Updates the World on Plans for the 2021 DOTA 2 Pro Circuit

Valve has finally released some new information about the upcoming DOTA 2 Pro Circuit. We haven’t heard much from them since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down most live events. Now, with a vaccine being rolled out, it looks like the organisers have a bit more confidence. This year will see two regular seasons of the Pro Circuit leading to The International 2021.

Pro Circuit plans

We won’t have long to wait before we can get our DOTA 2 fix, the first season begins on January 18th. Each region will hold a six week long DOTA 2 league that leads to a Major. After each region has completed their league and Major, qualifiers will then be held to determine the other teams that can enter The International 2021. The qualifiers will be held in Sweden in August.

The only region to deviate from this plan is China. They are planning a break in the middle of their six-week league. This will extend the length of every league because the end of season Major needs to include all regions.

Season two will be far more uniform, all regions are keeping the same timetable. The second season will begin in April of this year and run from April 13th and May 23rd. The majors will be held from June 2nd to 13th. The second round of qualifiers for The International 2021 will be held soon after.

Event seeding

Valve has had to change their seeding practices for the upcoming year. The long gap between seasons and the major changes in the teams make ups have made the current system of evaluating the previous years DPC points practically useless. Instead, Valve is looking at the top 4 teams in best form from each region. Those teams will be directly qualified to the Upper division, while a series of qualifiers, closed and open, will determine the remaining 12 teams in both divisions.

Regional Qualifiers

The top teams at the end of the two regular seasons this year will automatically qualify for a place at one of the two Majors. Valve has also announced the breakdown of how many teams each region will get to send to the Majors.

  • Europe: Four
  • China: Four
  • Southeast Asia: Three
  • CIS: Three
  • North America: Two
  • South America: Two

At the other end of the spectrum, the bottom two teams from each region’s Upper division will be relegated to the Lower division. Then the top two teams from the Lower division will take their place. If they are really unlucky and any teams perform exceedingly poorly, the bottom two teams from the Lower division will be kicked out of the Pro Circuit entirely to be replaced with two new teams via open qualifiers before the next year’s Pro Circuit.

Tournament Organisers

Valve will not be running the whole show, they are delegating responsibility of each region’s tournaments to some of the best tournament organisers around. Here is the full breakdown for each region:

  • Europe: DreamHack
  • China: Perfect World
  • Southeast Asia: PG
  • CIS: ESL
  • North America: Beyond the Summit
  • South America: Dotapit
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