Valve has released the 2019/2020 Dota Pro Circuit calendar. It is currently accepting proposals from organizers interested in hosting events on one of the preset dates. The deadline for these is May 25.
The announcement comes on the heels of the confirmation of this year’s The International dates. This tournament will cap off the current season. Mirroring this year, the developer is planning 10 official tournaments for the next. There will be five Minors and five Majors.
Majors currently sport a $1,000,000 prize pool and give out 15,000 points towards The International qualification. Minors give $300,000 and 500 points. We don’t know if this distribution will also be carried over to the new season.
We do know that Valve will be the one setting the format for all of the next season’s official events and accompanying qualifiers. This more active hand in its tournaments comes after backlash over a number of recent ones using best-of-one matches to eliminate teams.
While the increased involvement is commendable, the announcement does leave a number of other issues with the DPC unanswered.
Almost every tournament in this year’s circuit has had its share of drama over qualifier invites and team eligibility. As we speak, Valve itself is sitting on a number of qualifier slots still to be distributed for the last Major of the season.
The last two seasons have also seen a lot of scheduling problems. Operators of tournaments both in and outside of the DPC have historically had trouble cooperating on this (and, to be fair, are not left with a lot of space to do so in). Because of this, teams are left faced with tough decisions about which events to attend. This can be seen as the market at work, but it does raise questions of profitability for non-DPC organizers as well.
Lastly, there’s recently been a lot of ado about point distribution and who owns the points a team receives. We do hope a more clear rule set on issues like this is in progress for 2019/2020.
That said, the developer is getting involved, which is something its competition desperately needs. It’s even making announcements several months ahead of the new season, which is something others could learn from. But let’s hope it does not stop here.
Writer, developer and esports observer from the land of cheese and windmills.