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With Dota 2’s biggest event, the International, only six weeks away, Valve took the opportunity to announce sweeping changes to how they handle tournaments from here on out. These changes have been sorely needed thanks to e-sports’ drastic changes since Dota 2 roared into popularity four years ago.
To start off, Valve will track player’s accomplishments in tournaments via a new point system. These points will count towards a team’s total and the top teams will get invites to top tournaments. This removes the arbitrary system from before, in which top teams simply got invites based on Valve’s internal rhyme or reason. This also means if a player chooses to transfer to a new team within a specific period of time, their points will carry with them. A team’s points will only matter for the top 3 players, so teams can bring in fresh newcomers when necessary without worry of losing their invite.
“The total points per tournament will also partially scale based on the time of year, with tournaments closer to The International awarding additional points. Qualifying Points will be granted based on placing high in Majors and Minors and will accumulate on individual players. Roster lock seasons will still exist, and players switching teams during the approved periods will retain their Qualifying Points.”
Speaking of invites, Dota Majors and Minors now have distinct definitions. A Major must have a prize pool over $500,000, which will then be matched by Valve to make it a cool million, whereas a Minor will be around $150,000 and will count for less points than a Major when players compete. If either size of competition wants a Valve sponsorship, they will also need teams from all six regions from around the world. This means Valve will have less of a direct hand in creating and putting on tournaments, but have set up specific regulations in place for those who do want to run a tourney.
These changes give clear structure for teams, players, and tournament organizers from here on out. Dota 2 is beginning to look more and more like a typical sport, rather than the hodgepodge of competitions it, and other e-sports, have resembled in the past. With League of Legends still burning brightly, Dota 2 has plenty of reason to believe it’ll keep fighting the e-sports fight for at least a few more years to come.