Steven R. September 11, 2019
The 2019-2020 Dota Pro Circuit season is going to be a bit different from the last one.
Valve has released an updated rule set designed to combat some of the issues encountered last season. Most of the changes were well-met by fans, but many griped that the changes did little to address the larger issues that arose during the season and could hurt Dota 2’s long-term viability as an esport. The full list of rules can be found on the official DPC site.
The biggest change is a consolidation of the major and minor qualifiers. Throughout the previous season, there were separate qualifiers for each major and minor, which forced teams that failed to qualify for the major to immediately compete in another set of qualifiers. The new format will group together the qualifiers in order to alleviate pressure on tournament organizers, teams, and players.
The point distribution has also been altered. Qualifier participation awards teams with points, though specifics have not been detailed as of yet. The number of points awarded from minors have been increased from 500 to 660, with 20 additional points being awarded to each team.
However, teams can no longer receive points from both a minor and its accompanying major. First-place at a minor awards 140 DPC points, but if the team places ninth or higher at the following major, those points are expunged by the higher yield from that major. If the team is awarded fewer than 140 points at the major, they will retain the points they received in the minor but will not receive additional points from the major.
On top of that, teams receive points for participating in regional qualifiers. Details on how much teams can expect from this were not revealed.
Finally, new penalties for roster changes were announced. Most of the established rules remain in place with the biggest change being an additional 20% DPC point penalty for teams that make roster changes after qualifying for a tournament.
A number of controversies erupted last season stemming from teams qualifying for majors and the promptly kicking a player, with the most infamous example being Team Team’s removal of Nico “Gunnar” Lopez. This new caveat will, at the very least, give teams a disincentive for making these moves.
New Dota Pro Circuit rules do little to impact Dota 2’s larger problems
Few have griped about the changes made for next season’s rules, but some say they haven’t done enough.
One such individual is Alan "Nahaz" Bester. The analyst and statistician took to Twitter to identify some of the game’s outstanding issues, in particular regarding qualifiers and roster changes.
“Consolidation of Major and Minor qualifiers is a great change that almost everyone asked for,” Nahaz said. “Current Major champs STILL have to play online [qualifiers]. Why not have top three auto qualify to next Major instead of 3 slots ‘assigned by Valve’?”
He added that players could still be kicked from teams prior to The International with little recourse in the new season's system, and that kicked players would actually be further penalized by regional qualifer invitations if they try to form a new team after being kicked.
Regardless, these changes are likely locked in at this point. The 2019-2020 Dota Pro Circuit season kicks off on September 30 with the start of online qualifiers to the first major and minor tournaments of the circuit.