Valve is tinkering with competitive Dota 2 once again. The company has announced that it will no longer be holding Majors between Internationals; at least not directly. Instead, selected third-party tournaments will receive the designation as official TI qualifiers.
These third party tournaments will be split into Majors and Minors. Although the mainly difference appears to largely be centered on the prize pool. Majors will have at least $500,000 to offer, while minors must have at least $150,000. Valve will throw in additional prize money support equaling the minimum prize pool amount; effectively doubling potential earnings for participants.
Any tournament looking to be designated as a Major or Minor must hold open qualifiers for all regions around the world. This can be as small as one slot per region, but it essentially guarantees that each event must have several international teams taking part.
Teams participating in these tournaments will earn points based on their final placings and the prize pool. Which should make bigger tournaments all that more attractive for pro-players. Collecting points will be necessary for gaining entry into The International.
This move looks like a more hands off approach to the Dota 2 scene from Valve. It’s encouraging local organisers to get their acts together, and may be good for building a network of high quality tournaments.
That said, the minimum prize pools are quite substantial, and there are very few tournaments capable of meeting the requirements. It may be designed as a matter of quality control. Any organisation that can raise half a million dollars for the prize pool should know what it’s doing.
Valve’s announcement doesn’t actually change much in terms of global tournaments. The introduction of Majors didn’t see the company suddenly reach out to foreign markets. And the Majors themselves have been largely run by partners local to the country they are held in.
Although, the introduction of Minors may offer more opportunities for smaller teams to begin gathering Qualifying Points and look for a place in the World Championship.