Life after the DPC: what to expect from the professional season in Dota 2 in 2024S0d
Even before The International 2023, it became known that Valve is cancelling the usual DPC system for its professional season in Dota 2. Such a radical change of format can not but have a radical impact on the whole esports scene in the discipline. Some people rejoiced at this decision, and someone on the contrary predicts the sunset of everyone's favourite MOBA-game.
In this article you will learn about what the esports scene in Dota 2 will turn into, how ESL and PGL will become the dominant organisers in the market, why the number of analysts and analysts in the coverage studios will decrease, why esports will focus more on the top teams, as well as many other things concerning the prospects of the esports component of Dota 2 next year.
Turning the esports scene into a free market
The first major change is that from now on, the main player in the eSports scene will not be Valve, but third-party tournament operators. They will be the ones who will run all the championships of various scales, as well as tournament series. Valve will leave it up to Valve to organise The International, issue direct invitations and hold qualifications.
The previous policy left little room for the organisers to hold tournaments. After all, almost the entire year was occupied by regional leagues and Major Championships. In turn, tournament operators were left to organise various levels of tournaments in between the official season. Sometimes major teams refused to participate precisely because of the schedule and preparation for the more important tournaments of the rating season.
Now the main competition will be between outside players in the market. This could create space for new organisers to emerge. Although Dota 2 has already lost some big names in the industry in recent years, such as Beyond The Summit.
The dominance of ESL and PGL as the major and most experienced tournament operators in Dota 2
The main mastodons among tournament operators in Dota 2 are ESL and PGL. Both companies have a rich portfolio and experience in running esports championships and leagues in a wide variety of disciplines. ESL has already had experience this year with the ESL Pro Tour Dota 2 2023, a tournament series consisting of DreamLeague Season 20, DreamLeague Season 21 and Riyadh Masters 2023.
ESL offered a fairly clear series that allowed teams to compete for impressive prize money. Getting to the final event in Saudi Arabia was determined by both performance at the series championships and performance over the course of the year.
PGL has been helping Valve organise The International and various Major Championships for a long time. Obviously, the Romanian tournament operator will delight fans with the next Dota 2 World Championship, as well as several major tournaments in different parts of the world.
Reduction of staff in coverage studios
Another significant change in the еѕроrtѕive environment at the end of the DPC ѕtunеt is the reduction of staff in lighting studios. Having regular leagues in all regions made it possible to attract young, up-and-coming and aspiring sаѕtеrs and analysts to work on various matches, even if sometimes not the most interesting ones.
Next year the number of matches, regardless of the number of tournaments, will be reduced, which means that the threshold for entry into the eѕportѕive industry will be noticeably higher for specialists in this field. Lighting studios will focus on working with the best of the best, while newcomers will have to spend noticeably longer time in various fan casts or banal streaming on Twitch or YouTube.
Shifting the focus to Tier-1 and Tier-2 teams
We can safely state the fact that Tier-1 and Tier-2 teams will benefit from the renewed esports scene, but less experienced and skilful teams will lose out. After all, in order to have pleasant viewing statistics on your championship, you need to call the best of the best, who will show a bright and memorable game.
It will be very difficult for novice teams to break into the club of teams that travel to international tournaments. Yes, the organisers of Moon Studio and European Pro League level will hold championships for not the most famous teams, but the practice and opportunities to play with stronger opponents for such teams is noticeably less.
Overpopulation of bookmakers and events organised in Arab countries
It is no secret that all teams and players eventually want to make money from еѕроrtѕе. The cancellation of DPC leagues will encourage more and more teams to enter into partnerships with bookmakers. Rumours that the Talon Esports roster will be playing under the auspices of 1Xbet next season are proof of that.
We should also expect an increase in the number of tournaments, including major tournaments, which will be organised by one or another representative of the gambling industry. This year's BetBoom Dacha event was a prime example, where the bookmaker was able to allocate $250,000 for the prize fund and invited famous teams from all over the world.
At the same time, the role of Arab countries in the European Dota 2 scene will grow. Arabs love Dota 2, Arabs have a lot of money and despite the ban on gambling in the region, Riyadh Masters 2023 offered a record prize pool this year. And among the sponsors, the Saudis were able to attract an international economic giant like Saudi Aramco. So we should expect more major tournaments in the Arab region, particularly in Saudi Arabia.
The decline in the status of The International
In the last two years, it's hard to ignore the fact that The International is losing its influence and its status as a major tournament not just in Esports, but in Dota 2. Valve doesn't know what to do with the game in order to bring back the former The International heresy to the world championship of their MOBA discipline. From $40,018,195 in prize money in 2021 to $3,231,716 in 2023, the drop is impressive.
Is this a conscious decision by Valve, or are they instead trying to make the esports component of the game less centred around a single tournament? Time will tell. But at the end of this year, we can say for sure that Riyadh Masters 2023 was at least as good, if not better, than The International 2023. And Team Spirit earned $5,000,000 for winning the tournament in Riyadh, which is more than the entire prize pool at this year's Dota 2 World Championship. This is the first time in the history of the discipline.
The future of the Dota 2 scene
The future of Dota 2 lies in the saturation of various tournament operators, as well as the organisation of tournament series along the lines of BLAST Premier in Counter-Strike 2. The only problem for Dota 2 ѕtunet is the fact that such things are not built in a year. In 2024, we obviously can't expect a breakthrough and local CCT, ESL Pro League, BLAST or Intel Extreme Masters, but with the right circumstances, the systems and scene will start to blossom.
If the esports component survives 2024, there are chances that esports in Dota 2 will live and grow in the future, regardless of Valve's willingness or unwillingness to invest in competitions in their discipline. But there are also risks that things will only get worse, which will eventually lead to the death of Dota 2 as a mainstream esports game.
For Dota 2, the year 2024 after the cancellation of the DPC ѕtunеt a kind of Wild West. Tournament operators will have a huge market to fill as efficiently as possible. It will be difficult for beginner and intermediate level teams, but they will be able to take their piece of the eѕportѕive pie. And the main earnings will be received by the top teams, which have already felt good before.
Yes, there will probably be a huge number of team signings by bookmakers, who will also be holding their own tournaments with big prize money. Without a change in Valve's approach, The International will lose its status and will become just a big international tournament with a rich history, but not the main event of the year. But in any case, the uncertainty only adds to The International rіgіng to what's next for the Dota 2 eѕportѕіve scene.