Dota 2 and the DPC - Peter Dager
I am not saying I am 100% right however I like to share my thoughts which will hopefully lead to beneficial conversations that lead to quality ideas. Thank you for reading!
Remove minors and minor qualifiers
Minors have proven to be another qualifier spot for EU/China and are not attractive for tournament organizers to host.
Unattractive to host because:
1. Qualifier for another more important tournament
2. Cannot include a majority of the best teams in the world
3. Still expensive to run an 8 team LAN
Removing minors will allow for more time throughout the year for 3rd party events to operate. Currently all parties (teams, TO’s) have to keep their schedules clear to avoid any possibility of DPC conflict which makes organizing non-DPC events a nightmare. (ie: ESL Mumbai)
Solution: 4 slots to China/EU via the major qualifiers (or invites to top 2 of major and keep slots as is)
If keeping minors is a MUST let’s at least remove the minor qualifier and give the minor qualification spots to the teams who place 3rd/4th/5th in the major qualifier. This will save everyone time, reduce expenses of teams and TO’s, allow more time for non-DPC events, and create more off-time to improve player’s quality of life.
I say this as someone who has competed in 5 major qualifiers and 3 minor qualifiers this year (each lasting around 3-5 days). Math = about a month of qualifier days.
Reduce tournament play-days
Since the DPC has been introduced we finally have a non-arbitrary system which allows us to rank teams. However not a single tournament throughout the year actually utilizes these rankings to determine seeding. Instead every tournament we attend runs a 2-4 day group stage in order to determine a playoff bracket.
Remove group stages and run a double elimination bracket with seeding based off of current DPC rankings. This will allow us to reduce the number of days a tournament takes to play saving TOs and players time/money. This will also create more time in the schedule for non-DPC events and more time-off for players.
Currently a minor takes about 7 days including travel/media days and a major takes anywhere from 10-14 days. I believe we could drastically reduce these durations. I’d love to see minors take 5 days and majors 8 days. If we remove group-stages I believe this is possible.
Matumbaman is the first player of this season to be kicked by his team after qualifying to the expected 25-30 million dollar event. When Valve decided to reduce the number of DPC events from last year to 10 (5 that the best teams get to play in) while not increasing the prize money of said tournaments the significance of the already paramount International became even bigger.
I believe that most players/teams will make more money at TI than they will the rest of the year which means if you play throughout the year and qualify to TI, you should go to TI.
I’d like to see stricter restrictions or punishments to teams who change rosters after qualifying to events. I believe we (team Dota) had a similar situation at TI4 when Era was removed from Fnatic and Valve stepped in to make sure he still got to compete. This was an awful situation for everyone involved so hopefully we can find a better way to protect individuals in the future.
Development of Domestic Leagues / Semi-Professional Scene
Currently in Dota there is an extreme lack of opportunity for anyone who does not compete in DPC events. This means if you aren’t on one of the top 3-5 teams in your region you will not have access to any prize money, international competition, or audience exposure. Without these things it nearly impossible to find a team willing to sponsor you that would help you offset the costs of everyday life. So unless you have someone paying your bills it will be nearly impossible to climb the Dota ladder.
I think that all of the regions could begin to develop domestic leagues within themselves. These leagues could even replace Major/Minor qualifiers. These leagues would serve as training grounds for countless teams and with the top teams competing in them Dota audiences would show up which would allow for sponsorship opportunities to fund them. These leagues would operate online and could run at very minimal costs. The top placements could be qualification spots to the Majors/minors which would earn the teams a minimum prize of last place at the LAN. Prize money could then stretch down to include teams who just miss out on qualifying to DPC events. This would give weaker teams the opportunity to play against the best teams on a regular basis and would give incentive for teams to actually build up their region which I believe was the intention of the minimum slots rule Valve introduced alongside the DPC. Because of the increased exposure for weaker teams and players I would predict more teams to find sponsorship bridging the gap between amateur and professional.
TOURNAMENT ORGANIZERS STOP BEING RIDICULOUS
Esports is a phenomenon brought on by the introduction of the internet, it does not have to be run the same way that professional sports operate. Many professional sports do not expect to fill a stadium. 99% of our audience is online and prefer to sit in their rooms on their PCs so let’s please focus our resources on improving the broadcast and player/talent treatment. Too many irresponsible “businessmen” have latched on to esports over the past couple of years and have convinced billionaires that they are sitting on top of a golden egg. Yes esports is new, yes it is exciting to be at the front of an emerging industry but you are setting everyone else who is to follow up for failure by creating unrealistic standards and expectations.
The Dota audience is not going to grow immensely, let’s build sustainable events so we can continue to enjoy the game we love so much. I understand that many of you will host events for whatever game pays your bills but please try to think about who actually spends money on esports and how they spend it when hosting your next event!
- Peter Dager