Valve makes small changes to the DPC as it prepares for the next year

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The MDL Disneyland Paris Major has come to an end with Team Secret claiming their second Major victory for this DPC season. While the team was already qualified to TI9, this victory further cements their position as the best Dota 2 team in the circuit.

In addition to two Major victories, Team Secret has also won the second place at the Kuala Lumpur Major as well as the fourth place at Dreamleague Season 11.

The Official Dota 2 Pro Circuit Standings after the MDL Paris Disneyland Major. Image Credit: Liquipedia

The standings clearly indicate eight teams who have their positions confirmed for The International 2019. There will be a total of 12 invited teams to the International. The remaining four teams are not yet confirmed, however, we will see the final list of the teams after the conclusion of the EPICENTER Major. The details of the upcoming Dota 2 Minor and Major are already in the public domain with Valve already inviting applications for the upcoming DPC Season.

Valve changes the number of slots for North America

In what seems to be a preparation for the upcoming DPC Season, Valve has informed EPICENTER of changes to the qualifying system. In the previous majors, there was only one slot reserved for the preceding Minor. The winner of the Dota 2 Minor would receive a slot in the subsequent Major.

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According to an EPICENTER tweet, the new Valve rules specify only two slots for the North American region. The freed up slot would go to the Starladder Minor finalists. This allows the teams who reach the Grand finals of the Starladder Ukraine Minor to get a chance to play in the Major.

Why did Valve change the rules for the last Major?

The timing of this decision, as well as its implications, are many. Allowing two teams to move to the Major from the Minor finals was a constant demand by fans, viewers and eminent Dota 2 personalities as well. While it is rare for Valve to listen to the community and act upon it so quickly, it is a welcome move.

Providing an opportunity for more teams to be present at the Major

MDL Disneyland Paris Major
The MDL Disneyland Paris Major stage view

The new decision allows two teams to have a chance to qualify for the Major via reaching the Grand finals of the Dota 2 Minor. Taking a look at the past few Majors, we see a familiar pattern in team names. The Top teams in Dota 2 often crush their opposition and reach the latter stages of tournaments. The Grand finals of these Majors often have similar teams in contention for the trophy. There is not much separating the winner of the Minor from the other finalist. In fact, many of the 2nd-place finish teams for Dota 2 Minors are equally skilled if not more than some of the Major attendees.

With the new rules, Valve allows more established teams to participate in the Major from all over the world. They removed a North American slot, which means it goes to the next team based on merit. It provides some really strong teams to play in the major. Some of these teams can cause real upsets and possibly go deep in the Major. With the International coming up right after the EPICENTER Major, these teams will get the last shot at qualifying for the upcoming Major.

Valve chose North America because of the instability in the region

Team Team. Image Credit: ESL
Team Team made changes to the roster despite qualifying for the Major.

North American teams just seem unable to find the right stability with their rosters. We have seen Team Team kick Gunnar immediately after ESL One Mumbai. The lack of stable teams from the region is often a cause of worry for the tournament organisers as they have to maintain constant communications with the team.

At the same time, there is a huge disparity in the number of teams for North American qualifiers and other regions. Valve’s action is simply a much-needed balance in the Dota 2 esports scene. With Valve having limited control over the stability of teams, they have chosen to award teams who can prove themselves on the big stage. Instead of allowing three slots for North American teams, teams from all over can focus on winning the Minor ( or at least reaching the Grand finals ) and securing their spot at the Major.

The Right Choice: The last Major of the year

EPICENTER Major Image
The EPICENTER Major is the final Major of the current DPC Season

Valve has conveyed this decision only for the last Major of the year. While there is no official announcement as of yet, we can take EPICENTER for their word. The decision to include two teams from the Minor into the Major will not be a hindrance to anyone. For many teams, this is the perfect opportunity to gather all-important DPC points.

Receiving a direct invite to The International 2019 will allow teams the time to prepare for the International. At the same time, it should not affect the top teams by much. They will still have an opportunity to earn the lion’s share of the prize money if they reach the latter stages of the Major. Throughout this DPC Season, there have been calls for Valve to make changes to the number of teams qualifying to the Major via the Minor. The Minors often see top tier teams in the Grand finals and it is indeed unfortunate that one of them is eliminated from participating in the Major. Attending a Major not only provides the teams with an opportunity to possibly earn a part of a larger prize pool but also earn valuable Dota Pro Circuit points.

The Dota Pro Circuit points are the qualification criteria for the upcoming International Direct Invites. Since the Prize pool of The International is already on an upward trajectory, we might even touch $30 million this year. It will be interesting to see which teams can gain benefit from this rule change and whether it will affect the final list of direct invites to The International 2019.

Team Secret continues its dominance in the Dota 2 esports circuit

Team Secret Image
Team Secret won $350,000 and added 4950 points to their DPC tally.

Clement “Puppey” Ivanov has led Team Secret to yet another victory. The MVP player was crucial in the draft and the final implementation of many of their strategies.  Virtus Pro seems to be on a slightly downward trajectory of late, however, they still remain very skilled top team. There is little doubt that Team Secret is the forerunner for being the favourites at this year’s International 2019. Team Secret did not lose a single match at MDL Disneyland Paris Major. They topped their Group defeating teams like EMPIRE and Chaos. However, in the Playoffs, they had to face off against much better teams. You can read our article on Team Secret’s victory at MDL Disneyland Paris Major here.

Their matches were close and often Puppey would experiment with the draft. It is always a treat to watch Puppey draft and see the usage of different heroes in various methods. Team Secret cruised through the Upper bracket against teams such as PSG.LGD, OG, Evil Geniuses and Team Liquid.

Team Secret after winning MDL Disneyland Paris Major
Team Secret is one of the favourites to win TI9 this year

With the victory, Team Secret won $350,000, the prize money for the first place. In addition, they also won 4950 DPC points officially crossing Virtus Pro in the Dota Pro Circuit points as well.

The remainder of the teams will compete for the upcoming Minors and Majors. According to Liquipedia, the number of DPC points required for qualification at present is 2041. The top 12 teams in the Dota Pro circuit rankings secure a direct invite to The International 2019.


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