Dota Pro Circuit tiebreakers fiasco settles with no accountability

We were about to close the final week of DPC Tour 2 with teams booking tickets to the Stockholm Major. However, players were left confused when the tournament organizers informed that the Western European Division 1 shall play last-minute tiebreakers. Tundra Esports and Team Liquid were required to play a tiebreaker for third place, while OG and Gaimin Gladiators for first place.

Drama and outrage ensued and within a day everything was resolved and nobody was held accountable.

DPC 2022 Tiebreaker

Image credit: Valve

DPC Tiebreakers drama quick recap

As we came into the final days of DPC Tour 2, the standings of teams were pretty clear and Major participants were largely set. However, DPC organizers “decided” tiebreakers need to be played out due to a silent rulebook change that took place a month earlier. The tiebreaker potential was harmlessly hinted in tweets ahead of matches, but nobody took it seriously until the organizers tried to enforce the rule.

Once the day was concluded, DPC organizers informed the teams tiebreakers had to played out and all hell broke lose.

Pro players voiced out their disbelief

Oliver “skiter” Lepko from Tundra Esports, shared receiving the shocking news on playing tiebreakers without advance notice. It’s useful to note that Tundra Esports is already the fourth-place team, and could have played for third-place relegation.

The tiebreaker also clashed with their booked flight tickets. This caused Tundra Esports among other teams to postpone their flights for the tiebreaker. Tommy “Taiga” Le from OG voiced similar discontent after receiving notice on the tiebreaker despite defeating Gaimin Gladiators previously.

Liquipedia shuts down DPC pages

Due to ESL and DreamHack’s violation of guidelines, Liquipedia had temporarily terminated the DPC pages on their platform, quoting:

Succinctly, the organizers broke Liquipedia’s notability guidelines for the Dota 2 Wiki.

Liquipedia shared further that: Rules in DPC tiebreakers were changed without prior notice, specifically in February 2022. No updated rules regarding the change were provided, hence Liquipedia contributors interpreted the DPC guidelines, whereby there should be no matches played to break ties among Major-qualified teams (and instead of using head-to-head score), or any of the teams that are going to the same “seed” level.

The Stockholm Major does not have Wild Card, Group Stage, or Playoffs slots for teams according to Division 1 placement. Hence, the only difference between the top-four finishes is the DPC points distribution and the prize pool reward.

Tiebreakers canceled, everything returns to normal

ESL and DreamHack canceled the tiebreakers as if there were no rule change to begin with. This left many parties even more baffled by the DPC’s poor management.

Kurtis “Aui_2000” Ling shared that the outrage was due to last-minute notice and uninformed guideline changes. Hence, leading to canceled flights and delayed media days, which indirectly impacted their bootcamp plans before the Stockholm Major 2022 kicks off on May 12.

No official apology or statement was made from either ESL/DreamLeague or Valve about this issue. One quick sweep under the rug and a hope that everything is forgotten. Tough luck for teams that cancelled tickets and had to reorganize their schedule.

Although the DPC tiebreaker fiasco has cleared, the Stockholm Major participants aren’t complete yet. For the uninitiated, the Eastern European Tour is still on hiatus due to the ongoing Ukraine-Russia crisis. Hence, there are still three empty slots for Eastern European representatives. Considering the current crisis, it’s unlikely that we see any EEU team making their appearance at Stockholm Major. This raises the concern about how EEU teams will earn DPC points, let alone qualify for the International 11 (TI11). Valve has yet to announce any update on how they will handle the DPC EEU scene.