The next Dota 2 International champion will be crowned in six weeks, but Valve has already announced that big changes were coming to next year’s tournament schedule.
This year, the International will be held in Seattle from August 7 through August 12. From next year, the structure will be changed and outside third-party tournaments will lead to the International.
These tournaments will be selected and sponsored by Valve, and they will serve as players’ entrance to the main event. Players will be awarded Qualifying Points that will determine whether they will be given the green light to conquer the world title.
The third party tournaments will be labeled as Majors and Minors. The Majors will have a minimum prize pool of $500,000. Valve will add another $500,000 just to sweeten the deal. The minimum prize pool for the Minors will be $150,000 and Valve will throw another $150,000. Each tournament must have a qualifier from the six primary regions (North America, South America, SE Asia, China, Europe and CIS). A LAN final is also among the requirements.
As for the Qualifying Points, Valve representatives said that the Majors would give more points per prize pool dollar. The time of the year will also have an impact on the total points per tournament. The closer the International event is, the more points players can get.
Players, who switch teams in approved periods, will not lose their Qualifying Points. However, there is a small catch. Each team member will be able to accumulate Qualifying Points, but only those, accumulated by the three top point earners will count towards the total Qualifying Points a team has.
Valve has been searching for the right path towards establishing a more structured competitive circuit for quite some time. The changes that will take effect from next year seem to ease Valve in making a decision who gets a place in the International.
The International has the reputation of one of the most prestigious e-sports events. At the time of writing, the prize pool is well beyond $20 million. Currently, Activision Blizzard seems to be focused on developing the Overwatch League and turning it into the next big thing in e-sports industry. Time will tell whether the International will remain the most lucrative e-sports tournament on a global scale.