In a recent blog post by Valve, some major changes will occur to the competitive Dota 2 scene after The International 2020. These changes are intended to provide a better structure for professional teams. At a glimpse, the year will be divided into three (3) seasons, each of which consists of six (6) regional leagues, leading up to a Major with the best teams in the world. This will then conclude once more with The International.
A breakdown of regional leagues: Each league will feature a prize pool of $280,000 per season. Leagues are supposed to be divided into two divisions of eight teams (half in Upper and half in Lower divisions) for a total of 96 teams participating across the globe. The bottom two teams in the Lower Division will be eliminated from the league and replaced with two new teams coming from the Open Qualifiers, so as to allow for new talent to enter the scene each year. Leagues will each have a duration of six weeks with each region consisting of a full best-of-three Round Robin among the teams. All matches will take place during consistent times so that players can more easily follow their favorite region and teams. More details can be found here regarding the schedule for Upper and Lower divisions as well as how the prize distribution will occur.
Player reactions to the changes: Since the announcement for the change was made, numerous professional players have already voiced their opinions on the subject. Overall, the response has been… rough. Team Secret’s coach, Lee “Heen” Seung Gon voiced displeasure, some of his sentiments mirrored by Ninjas in Pyjamas’ captain, though with some disagreements. Lee “SunBhie” Jeong-jae chimed in saying that while a more evenly-distributed prize pool was a good thing, the reduced budget was anything but. Some players voiced concerns over the decreased prize pool, as professionals want to be adequately compensated for their time and efforts. Here’s more on what the professionals think.