It’s only six weeks until the world champion is crowned at this year’s Dota 2 International, but Valve are changing things up for the next year of competitive Dota. Rather than focusing on Majors leading up to the International, this year there will be more smaller tournaments leading into the main event, from which players can earn Qualifying Points - these will be the sole currency for those wanting a shot at the world title.
Check out our list of the best Dota 2 heroes to get in the mood.
These third-party tournaments will be sponsored by Valve, and will still be labelled as Major and Minors. Majors will have a $500k minimum prize pool, with Valve throwing in another $500k to sweeten the deal. Minors will start at $150k, again with Valve chucking in another $150k. Each tournament requires a qualifier from the six primary regions, and each must have a LAN final. Valve will handle scheduling to avoid conflicts.
“Qualifying Points will be awarded based on the total prize pool of a tournament, and whether the tournament is a Major or a Minor, with Majors giving more points per prize pool dollar,” Valve say in the official announcement. “The total points per tournament will also partially scale based on the time of year, with tournaments closer to The International awarding additional points. Qualifying Points will be granted based on placing high in Majors and Minors and will accumulate on individual players.”
Seasons can still be roster-locked, but players switching teams in approved periods will keep their Qualifying Points. Despite points being accumulated by individuals, though, only the top three point earners on a team will count towards their effective total Qualifying Points. A public leaderboard will let Dota 2 fans keep track of the rankings as players work towards the International.
These changes mark an end to Valve’s deciding on who gets a place in the International, laying the groundwork for a more structured competitive circuit. More importantly, it’s one fans can track. That means every tournament, including Minors and Majors, will feel more important over the next year of Dota esports.