While the record-breaking International 8 is in the past, teams are now shuffling to prepare for the 2018-2019 Dota 2 competitive season which begins with a Minor in October and the first Major for the season in Kuala Lumpur Major. On top of it all, Valve has recently announced changes to the Major and Minor qualification systems.
All teams participating in either Majors or Minors will have to go through qualifications, meaning no more direct invitations. Each region will get a minimum of two qualified teams for Majors and minimum of one qualified team for Minors. The remaining three regional qualifying spots will be assigned by Valve. The winner of the preceding Minor will also be automatically qualified for the Major earning either the DPC points for the victory or placement in the Major, whichever is greater.
Both the Majors and Minors will be held in pairs, with qualifiers for each running in scheduled windows. Majors will include a prize pool of $1m (£773,893) with 15000 DPCs point distributed, with first place receiving 4950 DPC points. Minors will include a prize pool of $300,000 (£232,150) with 500 points distributed and first place receiving 120 DPC points.
In addition to the qualification changes, Valve announced changes to the DPC point distribution system in June that now give points to the teams instead of the players. Points are earned by all 16 teams playing in the Major and eight teams playing in the Minor.
When it comes to The International 9 in Shanghai, China, the top 12 DPC teams will secure a spot with the remaining six teams coming from qualifiers, one team per region which means no more direct invitations from Valve.
Teams must register their full roster by September 15th for the first Major and Minor but hard roster locks won’t be enforced until the qualifications for The International begin.
Esports Insider says: After Valve introduced the DPC system last year there’s been a lot of discussion within the Dota 2 competitive community as to how to mould it to the perfect format and it seems as if the developers are paying attention. The new qualification and lack of direct invitations will certainly yield a more competitive season with higher rewards for winning and no safety nets.