Dota 2 fans furious over ESL One Los Angeles regional slots

Steven R. February 5, 2020

The regional slot allocation for the ESL One Los Angeles Major has been revealed and Dota 2 fans are displeased with it.

Each Dota 2 major cycle sees slots for the event distributed differently based on regional strength. While there will always be some debate regarding how to best handle this, fans are almost unanimously frustrated with how things are set up for the ESL One Los Angeles Major and its accompanying StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor Season 3.

The slot allocation for the major and minor breaks down as follows:

  • Europe: 3 major spots, 1 minor
  • China: 3 major spots, 1 minor
  • Southeast Asia: 3 major spots, 1 minor
  • North America: 2 major spots, 2 minor
  • CIS: 2 major spots, 2 minor
  • South America: 2 major spots, 1 minor

This setup has fans perplexed on multiple fronts, with fans questioning Valve’s math and wondering aloud if decision makers even bothered to watch the DreamLeague Leipzig Major.

Europe snubbed, SEA overvalued in ESL One Los Angeles Major

There are a number of different gripes that fans and pro players alike are coming forward with regarding the slot distribution. The most common complaint centers around Europe not being given enough slots to accommodate the overwhelming amount of talent in the region.

With three major slots and one minor slot, at most only four teams will be able to compete at the ESL One Los Angeles Major. Considering Team Secret, Team Liquid, Nigma, Alliance, and OG all rank among the 10 best teams in the world, that’s difficult to justify. It also puts solid teams like OG Seed and Ninjas in Pyjamas into a position where it’s almost impossible for them to get into the major.

The next biggest gripe centers around Southeast Asia. The region received three major slots for the MDL Chengdu Major and DreamLeague Leipzig Major. That initially made sense for both events as a number of top European and Chinese teams sat out of Chengdu, and top SEA squad TNC Predator ultimately won that event.

Leipzig saw the region receive a harsh reality check, though. All three teams underwhelmed at the event with none of the teams reaching the top six. Part of this can be chalked up to how they were all pitted against one another very early in the tournament, but part of it is because there were several other teams that were clearly better.

The trouble is that there’s no particularly good way to fix this under the current format. Though China and Europe are arguably deep enough to warrant having four major slots and two minor slots apiece, that’s never been done before in the Dota Pro Circuit.

Valve could hypothetically introduce a new system to improve this, but that’s not likely to happen for the time being. As such, expect these sorts of gripes to pop up for the rest of the season until Valve hits the reset button next year with a heavily overhauled format.