Valve hasn’t given either casual or pro Dota 2 players much reason to care about any event outside of The International, but that’s changing with the ESL One Stockholm Major as the Fantasy Challenge returns.
Rewards for watching esports are the standard across every major esports title. League of Legends, Overwatch, and almost every other major esport have some sort of reward for regular viewers of their top leagues. Valve’s Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive are among the few exceptions.
Things might be changing for Dota 2, though. For the first time in years, Valve is giving players a reason to tune into the ESL One Stockholm Major.
Though Dota 2’s Fantasy Challenge mini-game has existed for a long time, it’s usually been limited to The International. That changed with the start of the 2021-2022 Dota Pro Circuit season, with the Fantasy Challenge expanding into the regional DPC tours. Evidently, it now also extends to the majors as well.
During the major, Dota 2 fans have the ability to lock in a roster made up of players competing in the major. Cards earned during the DPC tour season roll forward into the major. Players have the ability to recycle cards from the tour into dust, and turn that dust into packs that exclusively contain cards representing players competing in the major.
The major will give players prizes akin to those of the DPC tour. Players receive Fantasy Levels based on their performance, with four Fantasy Levels giving the player a seasonal DPC treasure.
Players compete in the Dota 2 Fantasy Challenge by opening packs of in-game cards and using these cards to build a team.
For each day of the major and each week of a Dota Pro Circuit tour, Dota 2 fans can build a team of pro players. Fans earn points based on the performance of their roster of pro players, with those points being measured against every other Dota 2 Fantasy Challenge competitors. Rewards are given out based on their total points during each period.
Rewards are determined on a percentile basis, with players in the bottom 50% receiving no rewards and players in the top 10% getting the most rewards. For the DPC Fantasy Challenge the rewards are Fantasy Levels. Every four Fantasy Levels gives the player a seasonal treasure chest, while every level in between grants shards.