Dota 2 major spots have fans raging against China

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China and Western Europe have historically deserved the most major spots in Dota 2 esports, but recent trends show that one doesn’t deserve such attention.

Dota 2 fans on social media have calculated the average major placings of different regions in 2023, and the results are very interesting. China is the biggest discrepancy, with an equal number of slots as WEU despite having the worst average performance. This has fans riled up, and it brings further attention to the opaque process Valve uses to determine major spots.

The data was compiled by Reddit user m3ghost, and it shows the average placing of teams from each region at the Lima Major and Berlin Major. It confirmed that Western Europe is by far the most dominant region, with South America as a surprise runner-up. Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, and North America follow, with China all the way at the bottom by a significant margin.

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The data is based on a relatively small sample size, and both grand finals featuring two WEU teams certainly tip the scales. The lowest placement for any Western Europe team was Tundra, with 9th in Lima. In theory, having more slots should lower the average score, as having four teams guarantees a slot off the podium. However, that fails to put a dent in the very impressive average.

That statistical note fails to compensate for China, which has equal standing in Valve’s eyes despite abysmal results. With four spots at each Dota 2 major,  Chinese teams place 12.38 on average. The highest placings were Team Aster at 7th place in both events. Three of the four last-place teams were from the Chinese DPC.

How does Valve determine major spots for Dota 2 regions?

The developers of Dota 2 are not open about how it determines the major spots distribution.

The basic idea is that all six of the major regions are represented at international events. The number of spots ranges from two to four, with the number based on how competitive Valve considers each region. However, Valve eschews that system for The International, defaulting to DPC points.

China has historically been even with Western Europe, trading the Aegis of Champions back and forth for the first six TIs. Even since 2016, China has put up great showings at majors and The International, with PSG.LGD getting multiple podium finishes. However, China has performed much worse in the last year due to multiple factors, including declining national interest and multiple scandals.

It’s not clear if Valve will respond to this fan’s analysis, but it does show that the company should reassess the competitive value of each region. If they respond to this exact analysis, we could see China lose major spots to South America for the 2023 Dota 2 Pro Circuit.


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