The Dota 2 scene is entering the new year with updates from Valve regarding the Dota Pro Circuit set to begin on January 18, as well as The International 10.
The new Dota Pro Circuit featuring a new format, which should have been put in practice last year, but got indefinitely postponed, is finally arriving in 2021, Valve confirms in an update released on the New Year’s Eve. The 2021 competitive season will feature just two regional leagues, each leading up to a Major and culminating with The International 10.
First season will begin for all six regions on the 18th of January and except for China, it will end on the 28th of February. Given the fact that the first season will unfold during the Chinese New Year, the teams in the region will be given a short break mid-competition and will end their regional league matches on March 14. The first Major of the year is scheduled for March 25-April 4.
The second season will unfold April 13-May 23 with the Major set for June 2-13.
While no information has been released yet about the location for the two Majors, Valve did mention that the long awaited The International 10 will remain in Stockholm, Sweden and it will take place during the month of August.
2021 DPC schedule:
- Season 1: January 18 – February 28 (March 14th for China)
- Major 1: March 25 – April 4
- Season 2: April 13 – May 23
- Major 2: June 2 – June 13
- The International 10: August
Taking into consideration that a lot of teams underwent massive roster changes through 2020, Valve will ignore all the previous DPC results to determine the seeding for the first season of regional leagues and instead will hand-pick the top 4 teams in each region to be directly invited into the Upper League, leaving the rest of the competitors to duke it out through closed and open qualifiers for the rest of the 12 slots up for grabs.
Four more teams will earn a spot into the Upper Division, while the other eight will be placed in the Lower Division.
At the end of the league, the top teams from each region’s upper division will qualify for the Major. A total of 18 squads will make it to the first Major of the year, the slots distribution being as follows:
EU: Top 4
China: Top 4
SEA: Top 3
CIS: Top 3
NA: Top 2
SA: Top 2
The bottom two teams of the Upper Division in each region will be relegated to the Lower Division, while the top two teams of the Lower Division will be promoted. The bottom two teams of the lower division will be eliminated from the league and open qualifiers will decide which are the two teams that will occupy those slots in the next season.
Season 1 regional leagues full broadcast schedule:
Each region will have its league operated by a third party tournament organizers. As per Valve announcement, ESL and DreamHack are listed as separate entities, however the two companies merged at the end of September 2020 under the ESL Gaming name.
Season 1 regional leagues operators:
China: Perfect World
NA: Beyond the Summit
SA: Dota PIT
More information on the first season of regional leagues as well as the whole schedule along with seasonal Fan Support bundles are promised to be integrated in the game client in an upcoming update.
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