Valve is planning to more directly impact the esports ecosystem and is planning to work more closely with third-party tournaments. “For the next year we will be taking a more organic approach to growing the competitive ecosystem, working more closely with third-party tournaments”, said Valve in its announcement.
Rather than sponsoring a limited number of Major tournaments a year, Valve is moving toward a two-tier system determined by prize pool size.
Major tournaments will fall under the first tier and will have a minimum total prize pool of $500,000. Valve will match that and provide another $500,000. Valve will similarly provide for the second tier – Minor tournaments – as well, with a total prize pool of up to $150,000.
Events sponsored by Valve will be required to have at least one team for each region, i.e, NA, SA, SEA, CN, EU and CIS. The teams will be determined via qualifier. Furthermore, Valve will directly manage the schedule of sponsored Majors and Minors to avoid any conflicts.
Introducing the Dota 2 tournament point system
Another big change is that Valve is bringing in a point system. Individual players will each have a point value which in turn will determine the total point value of the team they represent. Individual player points will go with them when they change teams, thereby affecting the total point value of both teams (the one they leave and the one they join). Additionally, only the top three players of each team will contribute to the team’s overall score. This was done so as not to penalise teams for bringing on fresh talent or new members as and when needed. Valve will maintain a leaderboard for all players competing throughout the year.
It’s interesting to note that this news comes after Valve was recently criticised for their hands-off approach to tournaments. But they’ve clearly decided to work on that aspect. Consistent tournaments, attractive prize pools, and a point system similar to the ones used in other competitive esports like Street Fighter or Hearthstone for example. Only time will tell how these changes will affect the Dota 2 competitive scene.