Details for the 2022 Dota Pro Circuit season may have been leaked as part of an update for Dota 2.
In a small update for Dota 2, new strings were added to the game’s files that hint towards the future of the Dota Pro Circuit. Based on placeholder names, Valve appears to be planning a three-season year for the 2022 Dota Pro Circuit. That could mean three Dota 2 majors for next year as well.
The strings in questions are labeled “dpc_event” with a season and year written after. There are three sets of strings for a fall, winter, and spring major. There is no summer major which is likely reserved for The International. The strings include both leagues and majors assigned to each season.
2021 marked a considerable change to the format of the Dota Pro Circuit. Regional leagues became the focal point of competitive Dota 2 instead of a series of majors and minors. Each of the six major regions held two six-week-long leagues which determined the competitors for the majors. Those leagues and the majors determine which teams will attend The International 2021.
The number of Dota 2 majors per year has greatly varied throughout the game’s existence. For a long while the only Valve-sponsored tournament was The International, but Valve started to dabble in other significant events 2015 with the Dota 2 Asia Championship, which was the prelude to Valve’s $3 million majors. The Dota Pro Circuit began in 2017, with the first season featuring eight majors worth at least $1 million each and 13 $300,000 minors. Due to the overcrowded schedule, the number of events was pruned back to five majors and five minors. The 2021 Dota Pro Circuit season featured two $500,000 majors.
The format was theorized to be designed to bring more organizations and tournament organizers into the space. A handful of teams in Europe have found sponsorship through the DPC, but the rest of the world is mostly unaffected. North America still has zero sponsored Dota 2 teams aside from Evil Geniuses. As a result, successful Dota 2 teams can still find themselves living below the poverty line.
When will the 2022 Dota Pro Circuit start?
Going by the update strings, Valve appears to have plans for a 2021-2022 Dota Pro Circuit season that starts this fall. The date for the first 2022 DPC season isn’t confirmed, but Valve typically gives a two-month buffer for teams to shuffle after The International. In previous years, activity usually starts up again in November but plans may change due to The International 2021 being pushed back to October.
As for the winter and spring seasons, the start dates will probably be similar to the last season’s. Expect the 2022 winter DPC season to begin in mid-January. The spring season is listed in the update strings for April through May. The exact dates of the majors are less predictable, but they usually start within two to four weeks of a season ending.