The Dota Pro Circuit system has been quite a success so far. When the DPC system was announced, it was with the intention of ensuring a profitable endeavor for third-party organizers. The International is the biggest tournament in the entire calendar year and it was overshadowing the other Dota 2 Majors. There was no prospect for Dota 2 Tournament organizers to profit off their tournaments when the International was the only tournament that mattered to the teams.
So Valve decided to reform the system in order to make the entire calendar year a qualifier for The International. Dota 2 Majors and Minors would act as stepping stones towards The International. Each tournament would grant you Dota Pro Circuit Points ( DPC Points) which would ensure an invite to The International.
While the system looked good on paper, there were some obvious problems with it. The first year saw 11 Majors and 11 Minors announced. The only differentiation between Majors and Minors would be the Prize Pool of the tournament.
The DPC system was however filled with several tournaments all over the world. The high frequency of these tournaments left the players little room for anything else. They would not have time to meet their families as they were to travel all over the world attending tournaments. On paper, the teams should have been able to choose the tournaments to attend. However, in reality, we saw the biggest teams constantly attending minors. They would win these tournaments, essentially robbing one fo the biggest differentiation between Majors and Minors
What is the difference between a Major and a Minor?
This gets us to the question, what is the true difference between a Major and a Minor? Is it just the prize pool or is it dependent on the teams in attendance? In this season, we have had 11 Minors in the Dota Pro Circuit.
The winners of these 11 Minors are as follows:
- Starladder I-League Invitational Season 3: Liquid / Mineski
- PGL Open Bucharest: Mineski / LGD
- Dota Pit League: Liquid / VG
- Perfect World Masters: Newbee / VG
- MDL Macau: OG / TNC
- Dota Summit: VP / Fnatic
- Captains Draft 4.0: Secret / VG
- ESL One Genting 2018: Newbee / Liquid
- Starladder I-League Invitational Season 4: Liquid / LGD
The top three teams in the current Dota Pro Circuit standings are Virtus Pro, Team Liquid, and Team Secret. But if we take a closer look at the finalists of most of the Majors, you can spot one of these teams persistently amongst the finalists. There are only three Majors in which neither of these three teams is present in the finals. However, it was not due to a lack of participation but just poor performance on part of these teams.
The presence of the top rated teams in almost every event in the Dota 2 scene is the primary cause of confusion amongst fans. How do we differentiate the Majors and Minors, when it is the same teams attending all of these tournaments.
Starladder I-League Season 5
For all it’s shortcomings on the DotaTV observer aspect, Starladder I-League Season 5 presents the perfect example of what a Dota 2 Minor should look like. The invited and qualified teams represent the perfect example of what a Dota 2 Minor should look like.
The teams attending the Starladder I league Season 5 are at best Tier-2 teams. They represent a group of teams which have been trying to break into the top echelons of Dota 2 but have fallen just short of the same. The fans love to watch their favorite teams, which are not often the best teams in the scene. Starladder I-League Season 5 might not have the most talented or skilled teams, but we have seen how much the fans loved watching their team play.
The current Dota 2 Minor and the Major system has several flaws, some of which are fundamental to the system in Season 1. With next season, we do expect Valve to make several changes to the system. Below are a few examples of how Valve can change the system in order to differentiate between the Minors and Majors.
How can Valve fix the Dota 2 Minor issue?
There are several steps that VAlve could take in the upcoming season to fix the issues of the current system. For starters, the distribution of DPC points should be changed from the current system.
The current format grants 1500 DPC per Major while the Minors mostly comprise of 300 DPC. There are the exceptions such as the Chinese SuperMajor and ESL One Genting which had a different number based on their prize pools. But with the top teams attending these events, most of the points are snagged up by the best teams in the system.
Link the Minors and Majors
One potential solution would be to link the Minors and Majors. Making the minors as stepping stones towards the majors would ensure a ladder system to reach the heights of Dota 2 esports scene. It would also make the Minors much more valuable for Tier 2 and Tier 3 teams instead of Tier 1 teams.
Majors should have a specific number of slots set aside as invites. Between invites and qualified teams, Majors would represent the perfect balance for upcoming teams to have a chance to earn DPC points. At the same time, they would also ensure that the top teams are given an invite to the Majors and do not have to go through Minors.
This would essentially leave the minors as smaller tournaments for the smaller teams to participate in.
Rework the points distribution system
The Dota Pro Circuit points system needs a rework. The current points system only grants reasonable of points to the winners in a Dota 2 Minor. The other two teams are given points, but they are negligible at best.
Valve needs to rework the points distribution system in order to give Tier 2-3 teams a chance to qualify for The International. This would be possible only to the winners, but the lower placed teams will also gain a significant advantage since they would have an outside chance to remain relevant in the DPC standings.
Now, this poses the question as to how would this prevent the Top eight teams from participating in Minors. A higher percentage of points in the minors would seem as a good opportunity for the Top teams. But if their participation in the Minors would be controlled and probably limited, it would present a nice balance in the scene.
Right now only the top four teams in an event get a chance to earn DPC points. Making the points system more spread out would definitely help in balancing the DPC. The current format is very top heavy with the event finalists receiving the bulk of the DPC points. Having an even spread on these points would definitely help out the teams, not in the top four.