Dota Pro Circuit 2021 Open Qualifiers and troublesome new DPC system
Open Qualifiers for the Dota 2 DPC 2021 season are happening across all regions this week. ESL, DreamLeague, BTS, OGA and Perfectworld have divided the pie and are all holding qualifiers. The prize is a spot at Season 1 of the new Dota Pro Circuit and a potential placement at one of the two Majors this season.
Several regions concluded their first round of open qualifiers yesterday and this morning, while the rest will start today and continue through the weekend.
Open Qualifiers for DPC 2021
As teams prep for their first matches in the open qualifier, their likelihood to play for weeks to come is also on the line. Matches are best-of-one across every region, making it a dreadful experience for most teams. Many “favorites” might kicke the bucket early.
The open qualifiers are not the same across all regions. For instance, there are four rounds of open qualifiers over at the SE Asia, providing eight teams with a shot to play in the closed qualifier’s stage 2. The North America open qualifier also has four rounds, but winning teams proceed directly to the closed qualifiers. Prominent regions such as CIS and Europe have two rounds of open qualifiers for four winning teams, who will all proceed to the Lower Division.
Meanwhile, South America’s open qualifiers might seem more lenient as the top four teams in the open qualifiers move to the Lower Division. This is due to the lesser number of South American teams and the overall smaller Esports scene in the region. Regardless, in the end, these teams will stand a chance to play in the Lower Division, where they will compete for a top-two finish by the end of February 28.
Whereas, China will have a prolonged schedule till March 14 as they have a break in between the period.
Potentially flawed system
Best-of-one single-elimination matches are never fair for the losing end, nor are they enough to prove a team’s worth. Especially for a long-term league that will ultimately determine the invitees of the International 10.
Furthermore, DPC 2021 seemed like a move to nurture the amateur scene, but really, the lower division is worth nothing for teams in the bracket. There are no DPC points given out in this division, hence the main event is still reserved for powerhouses like Team Secret and OG. Furthermore, the open qualifiers, albeit traditionally best-of-ones, are blatantly rushed for the Upper and Lower Division phases instead.
Many teams and fans are looking forward to any form of Dota 2 Esports to come, yet many others share the opinion of Ben “Noxville” Steenhuisen. The statsman wasn’t satisfied with the half-baked league system and expressed it in a long series of tweets.
He explained how rundown teams and the pro scene have been for the past year, and after what felt like ages, Valve announced the upcoming Dota Pro Circuit 2021 season to feature regional leagues with only two factions.
You can read the full tweet series linked from the tweet below.
While Noxville may have been harsh with his words, there’s a deeper meaning in his tweets than mere rants. The DPC system while imperfect always had avenues for teams to go through the “Cinderella story” and reach TI or a Major by grinding lower tiered events. This time around it feels like the system is set up to only favor the old guard.
In the end, everyone is aware the DPC 2021 plan may not look promising, but it is still nice to have the Esports scene reshaping after quite a lackluster 2020 season.