Valve, the developer of Dota 2, just dropped a major bomb about the multiplayer online battle arena video game's pro level: a league system to sustain its competitive scene next year.
In a lengthy blog post in the game's official website, the Seattle-based company announced new rule changes to its playing field, which will be based on regional leagues. The developments will take hold once the current Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) season ends come The International in August.
According to Valve, there will be a regional league for each of the six major competitive regions: Europe, China, North America, Southeast Asia, Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and South America.
Each league will be divided in two divisions with eight teams each. The Upper Division will house current top tier teams like Team Secret, TNC Predator, Vici Gaming, and Evil Geniuses. Meanwhile, the Lower Division will be an avenue for Tier 2 to Tier 3 squads to develop their skills.
Part of the post read, "We believe the consistency and regularity of the league throughout the year, paired with a flat and deep prize pool distribution will, over time, nurture healthy and strong Tier 2/3 competition."
For the 2020-21 DPC, the year will be divided in three seasons, with each league running for six weeks. The top teams from each region will compete for DPC points in a Major Championship to earn a spot in next year's The International (TI).
The new system also rewards winning squads with prize money. DPC points will also be distributed among those in the Upper Division and the Lower Division's Top 6.
It gives a chance for Lower Division teams to fight for a slot in a Major, with their end-of-season Top 2 seeds replacing the Upper Division's bottom two. Unfortunately, the worst two in the Lower Division will be succeeded by squads from the Open Qualifiers for the next season.
Games will also be more regular with a weekly schedule — each league has a three-days-a-week competitive calendar. Every Upper Division game has a studio broadcast, while Lower Division matches can be watched via Dota2TV.
Roster changes will be much stricter, with teams having only before and after a season to tweak lineups. They must also declare their region during the preseason. If there are plans to re-classify or "relocate," they need to compete in their new region's Open Qualifiers.
For the first season, Valve will determine the Upper and Lower Division squads with an Open Qualifiers right after TI.