After a rough year, which saw both the cancellation of all Dota 2 Majors and Minors and the postponement of The International, Valve has finally released information about the Dota Pro Circuit 2021. It seems the professional circuit has been organized better than in past years, with better match frequency, tournament organization, and streaming times.
The DPC 2021 Seasonal Leagues
A Dota 2 blog post listed changes to the Dota Pro Circuit starting with the confirmation that the DPC 2021 will start on January 18, 2021. The new DPC is slated to have two seasons, each with a six-week ‘League’. Both the DPC seasons will eacg end with a Major.
Here is the projected season calendar:
Season 1: January 18 – February 28, 2021 – with the exception of the Chinese season, which will on March 14 due to a prior break.
The first Major will start on March 25 and end on April 14, 2021.
Season 2: April 13 – May 23, 2021.
The second Major starts on June 2 and ends on June 13, 2021.
After the conclusion of the second Major, a round of qualifiers will be held to fill the vacant slots for The International 10. The International 10 will take place in Stockholm in August 2021. As of this post, the erstwhile Minors are no longer a part of the DPC.
Seeding Process & Regional Team Slots
Valve has decided to seed teams into the League by selecting four top-performing teams at the time. This process will happen for each region, with the selected teams being placed in the upper bracket. A series of open and closed qualifiers will take place to fill the 12 slots in both the divisions, though the details for these qualifiers currently unavailable.
The reasons for not using the previous year’s DPC points for seeding is said to be due to volatile teams rosters and performance. At the end of each seasonal league, differing numbers of top performing teams in each region will qualify to the Major. Eighteen teams will be selected for the first Major.
Each region will be able to select a certain number of teams for the Major. They are as follows:
Europe (EU) – Top 4
China (CN) – Top 4
Southeast Asia (SEA): Top 3
Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) – Top 3
North America (NA) – Top 2
South America (SA) – Top 2
The bottom two teams in each region’s Upper Division will be cast to the Lower Bracket, and the top two teams of the Lower division will gain entry to the Upper Division. The two bottom-placing teams in the Lower Division will be eliminated from the League. The vacant spots for the next season will be determined by open qualifiers.
Game Times and Tournament Organizers
Dota games have typically been played on United States Time Zones, which serves as a barrier for many international viewers to watch their favorite teams. With this in mind, Valve has tweaked the DPC match timings to suit each region better.
Match schedules are as follows, with times listed in Pacific Time:
The regional leagues for each season will be under the aegis of many tournament organizers. The organizers will be sharing more details about the leagues and schedules in the days to come.
The European region will be managed by Dreamhack, CIS by ESL, China by Perfect World, SEA by PGL, and North and South America by BTW and Dotapit respectively. The exclusion of WePlay is surprising, but since there is no solid announcement about the Major organizers, we may yet see the creativity of WePlay in the DPC.
You can have a look at the official blogpost here.