Valve looking for partners for next year's Dota 2 majors, leagues

Neslyn A. March 2, 2020

Tournament organizers can now submit their proposals for hosting majors and leagues in the next Dota Pro Circuit season. This comes after Valve’s call for cities to bid on hosting The International 2021.

The Dota Pro Circuit, which serves to determine the invitees to The International, received a significant shakeup this month. The 2020-2021 season will see its format changed to include regional leagues in place of a hectic tournament schedule. 

With that in mind, Valve is opening its inbox to tournament organizers that would like to host a portion of the Dota Pro Circuit season. From 2015 to 2017, the Dota 2 publisher hosted its own major tournaments, which were produced by PGL. 

In late 2017, Valve changed this approach. Instead of hosting its own events, Valve began sponsoring tournaments hosted by third-party tournament organizers and using them to count towards invitations to The International.

The 2020-2021 Dota Pro Circuit season will see Valve continue using this approach for both majors and the regional leagues that will make up the bulk of the tournament calendar.

Pro Circuit’s Dota 2 leagues will shake up pro scene, The International 2021

Regional leagues will replace minor tournaments, and will have upper and lower divisions. The top teams in the upper division will advance to the major tournament, while top teams from the lower division will be promoted to the upper division. The weakest teams in the upper division will be relegated to the lower division, while the weakest in the lower division will be forced into open qualifiers.

With leagues taking up a significant portion of the calendar, there will be only three majors in the 2020-2021 Dota Pro Circuit season. The total prize pool for each major is $500,000.

Valve is seeking tournament organizers to run both the leagues and the majors. The publisher outlined some of the requirements for bids.

Majors will need at least three days of live, public attendance. The prize pools will be split between both Valve and the organizer.

The developer also encouraged bidders to include as many details about the tournament as possible. Outlines should include a specific location, venue, partners, sponsors, broadcast plan, number and type of talent for each language, technologies, and production features.

The six Dota 2 regions will each have three seasons ahead of The International 2021, for a total of 18 seasons.

Organizers’ bids must include plans for both the upper and lower divisions. Valve will also accept joint bids between multiple tournament organizers.

Proposals for individual league seasons will be considered, but Valve will favor proposals that encompass the entire year. The publisher stressed that it is not interested in bids that have a single organizer operating all leagues.

The deadline for submission is March 31, 2020. Valve will likely receive bids from all the major tournament organizers that have worked with Dota 2 in the past, including ESL, StarLadder, DreamHack, and Mars Media.