The International 10 being indefinitely postponed has left a huge void in the Dota 2 pro scene calendar this season, but a number of enduring organizations are looking to fill the gap.
Team Liquid, OG, and Team Nigma are among the teams coming together to create the Omega League. The new competitive event features a $550,000 prize pool, will involve European, CIS, and North American teams, and will run from July 20 to September 6. The Omega League will be presented by WePlay! and Epic Esports Event, the company behind Epicenter.
We are proud to announce the OMEGA League. Built in cooperation with the leading European teams, @epicentergg and @WePlayEsport, this $550 000 online league will be a true celebration of top-tier Dota.
— Omega Dota 2 League (@OmegaDotaLeague) July 16, 2020
Omega League will feature four separate divisions, with European and North American leagues divided into two divisions each.
The top competition is the European Immortal division, which will boast 12 teams fighting over $500,000. The teams will be divided into two six-team groups, and teams will compete for upper bracket seeding in the playoffs. The playoffs will take place in a standard double-elimination format, with the best group stage teams gaining upper bracket seeding. The top prize is $200,000.
10 teams have been invited to the event, with the list including:
Qualifiers will be held to determine the last two teams. Despite being a North American team, Evil Geniuses will be able to compete in the European division. The open qualifiers begin on July 20 and will be followed by the closed qualifiers. The closed qualifiers has a strong list of invitees including B8, Vikin.gg, and Team Empire.
There will also be a lower European division, with a prize pool of $50,000.
On the other side of the Atlantic will be Americas competition, with the upper Divine division and lower Immortal division. The Divine division will feature 10 teams and a prize pool of $31,500 and Immortal division will feature eight teams battling for $8,500.
At a quick glance, the Omega League looks like one of the many online leagues that have popped up over the last few months, just with a larger prize pool. But there are a few key differences.
The timing of the event suggests it will be one of the last before the new Dota Pro Circuit goes into effect. Valve previously announced that the Dota Pro Circuit was set to change from a circuit of majors and minors to a series of regional leagues, with interregional events held periodically throughout the year.
The plan was for this to begin following The International 10, and while the event itself has been moved, the timetable for introducing the leagues remains unchanged.
Something else of note is that while the event is being presented by Epic and WePlay!, the Omega League is actually a team-owned league.
Team-owned leagues have become a major part of the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive esports scene with the ESL Pro League and Flashpoint being owned in part or in full by a host of top esports organizations. This business model hasn’t been done before in Dota 2, and if it’s successful, it could lead to some interesting new developments in Dota 2 moving forward.