Virtus.pro No[o]ne: Dear Valve, let the regional leagues begin!

No[o]ne, the mid player of CIS powerhouse Virtus.pro, suggests Valve should implement the regional leagues system sooner rather then later. This serves to maintain the viewership of DOTA2 as there are currently no tourneys happening.

Recent events have taken their toll on most major gatherings across the globe. Esports events and tournaments are no exception. It has forced the postponement of Los Angeles major which would have concluded by today. Yet, the destruction is not limited to the upcoming majors as the fourth and presumably fifth major are to be cancelled altogether. As the situation is still murky, fans are not to expect any hype-worthy tournaments anytime soon. The penultimate fear is the possibility of Dota 2 The International 2020 being cancelled.

The athlete viewpoint

No[o]ne, who plays for Virtus.pro, is one of the players who was supposed to be be playing in Los Angeles Major. He recently shared his opinions about the whole scenario. In an interview by Virtus.pro, No[o]ne was asked, “what should be done by Valve as damage control solution to the cancelled events?”. After all, the DPC season is left hanging with only the top 3 teams hogging most DPC points. (Team Secret, Vici Gaming and Evil Geniuses)

No[o]ne responded that the regional leagues that are supposed to be introduced by Valve next year, should be implemented immediately.  In his opinion, that it is the only solution to the current crisis. By organizing regional leagues with high prize pools, it would generally maintain high viewership.

Regional online leagues are not new in the Esports scene however. Many esports titles like League of Legends, PUBG and Overwatch are doing it for years. The added benefit is nurturing the tier-2 scene, as the prize pools go to much-needed amateur teams, to fuel their expenses as an emerging pro team. Due to the limited number of teams in a region, it also indirectly improves the quality of games among similar-leveled teams. It provides an equal yet incremental growth among the teams who scrim among each other. In most cases, facing an overwhelming opponent like Team Secret, to the point of getting stomped, would not benefit weaker teams on how to play better.

Valve’s options

If Valve lets third parties (FACEIT, ESL One) organize the online leagues further troubles may arise. FACEIT specifically, has a bad reputation for not handling qualifiers properly. For instance, during the International 2019 EU open qualifiers, a team led by a former International 2013 champion, AdmiralBulldog, was eliminated by a Russian team. According to FACEIT’s rulebook, non-EU teams are not allowed to play in this EU qualifiers, so his team should have gotten the free win to proceed to the next opponent. Instead, FACEIT decides to disqualify the Russian team when they face the next opponent, resulting in an unfair loss for the former TI Champion.

On top of that, regional leagues would most likely be organized by one party in each region. This would create a monopoly against other third-party organizers who would like to host their official franchised tourneys. For years, DOTA2 tournaments have been funded by various third-party organizations. Be it big like the World Electronic Sports Games (WESG) or humble ones like BeyondTheSummit. Regardless, all these tournaments still fueled the DOTA2 pro scene, as we continuously saw tier-1 teams return to the events despite them not awarding DPC.

Future uncertain

The recent DPC season has dried up the pool of organizers of tournaments entirely. A good example was last year’s ESL One Mumbai. Despite being backed by a major organizer, it turned pale as teams participating in minors, withdraw from it to focus on the bigger goals, to win DPC points. The regional leagues would only contribute to wiping out any opportunities left.

Regardless of these stakes, Valve has not announced how they plan to deal with the current crisis. It’s not even known if the International 2020 would still happen. Knowing Valve, they are quite smart when it comes to delivering the best possible solution in these needing times. Till then, we could show our support to non-DPC events such as the ongoing WeSave! Charity Play.

Read next: WeSave! Charity Play gets Dota 2 on track with OG headlining