The 2021 edition of the Dota 2 pro circuit is just around the corner, and the multiplayer game’s developer Valve has dropped a whole bunch of info on what to expect when its first season kicks off. The studio has now announced the format will be broken down into two seasons in the run-up to the MOBA game’s International 2021 event later this year, with the first starting in a fortnight’s time.
According to Valve, the 2021 Dota 2 pro circuit’s first season launches on January 18, running through to February 28 (“March 14 for China with a break in the middle”), followed by the second in spring, which runs April 13 to May 23. As the studio’s outlined before, each season will see six-week-long leagues followed by a major at the end, with majors one and two held March 25 to April 4 and June 2 to June 13, respectively.
Once these seasons are up, there’ll be some qualifiers held to fill The International 2021’s remaining slots ahead of the event, which will be held in Stockholm in August this time around.
Here’s the schedule, via Valve:
One change this year is that DPC points from the previous season won’t be used to seed teams for the coming event’s leagues – instead, the “top four teams in best form from each region [will] be directly qualified to the upper division”, with the remaining 12 teams for both other divisions being decided through a series of closed and open qualifiers. This change is due to several teams having “experienced a lot of roster changes throughout the year and performance has varied among teams from the previous DPC season”, the dev explains.
At the league’s end, the top teams from the upper division of each region will then qualify to enter the major, with the breakdowns of the 18 slots for the first major being as follows: top four for both EU and China, and top three for each of the SEA, CIS, NA, and SA regions.
“The bottom two teams of the upper division in each region will be relegated to the lower division, while the top two teams of the lower division will be promoted, “Valve says. “The bottom two teams of the lower division will be eliminated from the league and open qualifiers will decide which are the two teams that will occupy those slots on the next season.”
Before the end of January, the studio adds, the DPC pro circuit will get integrated into the game’s client, so you’ll be able to catch info on the contest’s standings, schedule, and tournament in-game. Additionally, there’ll be some “seasonal fan support bundles” available to buy, the dev says.