The Dota 2 developer Valve announced Tuesday the creation of regional competitive Dota leagues that will start after The International 10, which is set for this August.
The upcoming year will be divided into three seasons, during which six regional leagues will compete, leading up to a major at the end of each season. Each major will include 18 teams from across the regions and have a $500,000 prize pool and DPC points. The six regions also will compete for spots at The International.
Regional leagues will have an upper and lower division, each with eight teams (96 teams total) competing for a prize pool of $280,000 per season and a slot in the season’s respective major. Following each season, the bottom two teams in the upper division will be relegated to the lower division and replaced by the top two teams in the lower division. The bottom two teams in the lower division will be relegated from the league entirely, replaced by two new teams coming in through Open Qualifiers.
The seasons will run for six weeks each, with teams competing in a best-of-three Round Robin. Teams must declare which region they’ll compete in before the start of each season and need at least three of their five players to live in the region in which they’ll compete in order to be eligible. The rosters for each season will be locked through the conclusion of the corresponding major.
The new format removes open qualifiers for The International in an effort by Valve to keep disgruntled players from forcing their way off teams before TI and rounding up players to make a run at the tournament.
—Field Level Media