Valve continues with profound changes to Dota 2 and eliminates Dota Pro Circuit

Definitely, something has happened at Valve. We come from more than relevant announcements in just two months. In June they already announced more than significant changes by abandoning the Battle Pass for Dota 2. In August, perhaps less surprising due to the imminent arrival of CS2, they also announced changes in the rules of their tournaments. And today we have directly come across the news that Valve will discontinue the Dota Pro Circuit, Dota 2’s top-tier tournament structure, following The International 2023.

In the announcement, Valve admitted that the competition created a “absolute dominance” in the calendar of events and negatively impacted the ecosystem by reducing innovation and enthusiasm.

Since 2017, the Dota Pro Circuit rewarded teams with points through sanctioned events that would go towards qualifying for The International, Dota 2’s biggest event of the year. With the circuit’s cancellation, it’s unknown how teams will qualify for The International 2024however, Valve has stated that the event will still take place.

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Prior to the Dota Pro Circuit, Valve sent invitations to The International through regional qualifiers and invitationals.

Reflecting on the Dota Pro Circuit, Valve detailed that the system was initially launched to solve problems related to invitations to The International, such as providing more clarity for fans and players. However, due to the circuit’s rules and regulations, Valve claims to have made competitive Dota “Less exciting, less varied, and ultimately a lot less fun.“.

The decision to eliminate the Dota Pro Circuit should, in theory, provide greater opportunities for outside tournament operators to create more diverse tournaments. This is because the Dota 2 event calendar is becoming more open.

Before we introduced these limitations, the competitive world of Dota was healthier, more robust, and more varied than what we have now. Events used to be less routine and more creative, and there was more room in the calendar for them. Everything was open to exploration: event length, themed venues and team participation, and even the basic assumptions of tournament design. There was a beautiful unregulated madness to it all.

Valve press release

The International 2023 will be the last major event to qualify teams using the Dota Pro Circuit method. The 20-team event will take place next month in Seattle, USA.

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This year, Valve has made significant changes to the ecosystem in both Dota 2, by closing Dota Pro Circuit, and Counter-Strike, with the elimination of associated team competitions. In addition to the impending release of Counter-Strike 2, 2024 could be an important year for Valve’s eSports ecosystems.

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