DreamLeague to return in September with new format

24 August 2023

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DreamLeague Dota 2 Season 21
Image credit: DreamLeague, via Twitter (@ESLDota2)

Esports holding company ESL FACEIT Group has announced that Dota 2’s DreamLeague is set to return on September 18th with a new format.

Sponsored by Intel, DreamLeague will occur prior to the upcoming The International 2023, with its 21st season once again having a $1m (~£791,000) prize pool.

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Taking place over seven days, the season will feature a shorter format than previous seasons to fit the event into the 2023 Dota 2 esports calendar.

DreamLeague Season 21 invites 12 Dota 2 teams — including Evil Geniuses and Team Liquid — to compete for a total prize pool of $1m (~£791,000). The new format is divided into two stages: DreamLeague’s new Group Stage from September 18th-21st and the Playoffs from September 21st-24th.

The Group Stage was significantly shortened to feature two round-robin groups of six teams each, with two teams being eliminated from each bracket. All Group Stage games will be played in a two-game series containing two consecutive BO1s.

The eight advancing teams will have to battle through the double-elimination bracket of the Playoffs. All playoff matches will be BO3, with four teams starting in the upper bracket and four in the lower bracket. The winner of the BO5 Grand Finals will take home $300,000 (~£237,000).

DreamLeague is one of the longest-running DOTA 2 events following its launch in 2013 by DreamHack. The competition is now organised by ESL FACEIT Group (EFG) and DreamLeague revamped the event in 2023 to fit within the newly restructured ESL Pro Tour.

Shane Clarke, Director, Game Ecosystems – Dota 2 at EFG, commented on the upcoming DreamLeague season: “We’re incredibly excited to continue the ESL Pro Tour for Dota 2 journey and bring DreamLeague’s unprecedented online atmosphere to live again this September.

“With Season 21 being played on patch 7.34 and the last top-tier competition before TI12, it promises to be an even more electrifying battle as teams have the opportunity to gain additional tournament experience and finetune their skills.”

Lea Maas
Lea is a business student with too many passions and too little time. In addition to missing her shots in Valorant, she spends her free time advocating for mental health awareness and fostering inclusive esports communities.