I took a deep breath
I wasn't sure if I should write another long post but I've been getting a lot of feedback and since I already spit out my honest impressions within hours of the next year's DPC announcement, I figured I might as well.
I'll admit that the way I expressed myself and the tone of the whole post may have come off as aggressive and arrogant to many people. I initially wanted to point out flaws of the system in order to stimulate a productive discussion. However, I was indeed a bit emotional because these changes do affect myself directly. I felt blind sided by the changes even though there were rumors (no details though) about them circulating among insiders. What's worse is that I have a feeling Valve would not have listened even if like-minded people as myself were part of the discussion. Maybe it's an unfair assumption to make but it felt like a one way notice instead of a conversation between teams and Valve to reach the best middle ground. My hope is that these changes are a rough draft of what next year's season will look like and some numbers can be tweaked.
I am trying to keep an open mind about the fact that I am wrong on certain points as people have been bringing up counter arguments. It has become clear that I'm the minority voice and the majority of people are quite excited for the changes. The fact that for every person that competes in a tournament, there's 1000+ people who watch hadn't fully occurred to me. That's why I think it's all the more important that I voice my opinion even though it may be too late. If anything I'm usually a rather passive person. If these changes were implemented as is, I could carry on thinking this is just how things are and deal with it. But there's still a lot of time to spark discussion.
Instead of basically repeating the points I made in my 1st post, I'll attempt to clarify my perspective.
1. A better supported scene is better for DotA. Agreed.
2. Regional representation is good and important. Agreed.
3. Stability is good for the scene. Agreed.
However, I do not agree that these things should come at such steep costs of sacrificing competitive fairness. Many people have pointed out that the status quo of DPC is in my favor. I suppose that's true. But let me rephrase the question and ask you how the new system is better than the current one.
1. Better support for the tier 2-3 scene: Yes.
I support the intention entirely. Tier 2-3 teams realistically want stability and the sense of progress. I've been there. I played DotA for 2 years receiving $0 salary and only living off of only prize money. My hypothetical example of placing last in every tournament + 1st in TI > placing 1st in every tournament + 2nd in TI was to emphasize the fact that the scene is already unstable for tier 1 teams since their goals are usually to win or place very highly in TI. The new system furthers that gap no matter how many times I think about it. Essentially just how much TI dwarfs all other tournaments creates a contradiction of stability for tier 1 teams. Yes, that is why tier 1 teams skipped Majors. They sadly don't matter in the long run.
My main points of criticism in the 1st post were about inconsistencies and competitive injustices. The stability for tier 2-3 teams gets better but worse for tier 1 teams. I'll define tier 1 teams as teams that are likely (or not surprising) to make TI if somehow we lived in a world with 0 ping globally and everyone played from the same region. Not the best teams you can count on one hand.
'Instead of players making $1 million a year, they make $300k now. Boo hoo. Life is so hard.'
I don't see how these kind of arguments are valid. Just as a better tier 2-3 scene is better for the tier 1 scene in the long run, the reverse is true too.
Another common jab I've been getting is that now we have to 'work' for our money instead of being lazy and content. First of all, I don't think it's possible to be lazy and be a good team. And even if that were possible, how is that relevant? When was the last time we pondered whether a player/team put in the legwork instead of just being in awe of how good they are and enjoying good DotA? In fact, I raised the question of why the new 'qualifier' is 6 weeks long. Could it not have been shorter so that.... we can play more DotA outside of just the DPC?
I do not know much about sponsors but from what I understand is that DotA teams have a hard time securing sponsors compared to other games because of its unstable nature. I believe the new system makes this situation worse for tier 1 teams. If the Majors are not even remotely balanced in proportion to TI, it's a worse change for all tier 1 teams. Basically, you can shave off $5-10 million off the TI prize pool, redistribute to the Majors and people will be happier even though this doesn't address my problems with the DPC point distribution.
2. Regional representation: No. Because even now, every region gets 2 or 3 slots. The difference is that there will be a higher chance of 'undeserved' slots taken at TI in the new system. I understand that no system can be perfect but surely it can be less flawed.
Since every region has a league now, doesn't that already lay a vastly improved foundation for cultivating new blood, stronger teams, etc? People accuse me of being anti-South America. Overall, I do think they are the weakest region but I am not against their representation. I think Infamous was spectacular at the last TI. However, they earned it. Yes, they have potential but why isn't the same argument made for teams in other, stronger regions that are in the middle of the pack. Couldn't they also pull off an amazing underdog story? It's all about balance. The announced system seems too one-sided on the representation vs. competitive fairness scale. For all I know, the new system might play out in a way that as the previous way of deciding TI attendees. But it might not for bad reasons.
Solution: Maybe TI ought to have more slots. If I'm not mistaken, LOL has like 24 teams for their version of TI. Play wild cards like the Majors but for TI. The specifics are trivial at the moment. Equality of opportunity while teams from weaker regions can play among the best. More teams from more regions will be represented. Win-win?
3. Stability: Yes for tier 2-3. No for tier 1.
I feel like I unintentionally addressed this portion above here and there so I'll keep this short.
There are less Majors. The points are rewarded are way flatter meaning it's more random when taking into account regional inequality of skill level. I am not a math guy but all these factors point to more unpredictability from what I can understand. Let's say you are a pretty good team. You are looking for sponsors. They ask you how likely it is that you will make it to TI. Your answer is that no team can ever be 100% certain but this year, it's more uncertain than previous years. How is this a good thing?
Solution: Better distribution of DPC points. More slots at TI to settle the region 'dispute.' I doubt increasing the number of Majors is an option at this point so that's that. On a side note, is having a longer league better for spectators than having more individual tournaments? Genuinely curious.
If you've read this far, you'll notice that I am entirely for supporting the tier 2-3 scene. Maybe I am too idealistic but in my mind, I believe there's a way to implement these changes (which conceptually can be good) in a way that's more fair and beneficial to ALL teams.