DPC Tour 1 Winners to be decided at Regional Finals – Good or Bad?

Valve introduces regional finals for the top four teams in respective regions’ Division 1 of Dota Pro Circuit 2021/22. We would be lying if we didn’t admit that the Tour 1 of DPC2021-22 felt lacklustre after Valve cancelled the Winter Major.

The initial goal of qualifying top four in Division 1 to play the major immediately shifted to survival mode. It didn’t matter for mediocre teams as they feel that securing a top-six finish was all that’s required. Well, with the Regional Finals into play, teams such as Team Secret must be kicking themselves for not performing better.

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Why Valve introduce the DPC 2021-2022 Winter Tour Regional Finals?

Valve’s initial cancellation plans and distribution of Tour 1 DPC points to the second and third major seemed absolute. Well, turns out there’s more happening behind the scenes between Valve and other DPC stakeholders. Valve admitted that they overlooked what it means for the teams, particularly the good performers in DPC2021-22 Tour 1. Hence, they opened the discussion with teams and tournament organizers for suggestions on what should be the best course of action.

As a result, 6 Regional Finals became the alternative to the cancelled major.

The Regional Finals span from February 11-20, with the match schedule as below:

  • Feb 11-13, 2022: WEU, SEA, SA
  • Feb 18-20, 2022: CN, EEU, NA

The format would be of best-of-three double-elimination playoffs between the top four seeds, except the grand finals being best-of-five. Every region shares a prize pool of $100,000 and 380 DPC points, distributed as below:

  • 1st place: $50,000 USD + 250 DPC points
  • 2nd place: $25,000 USD + 130 DPC points
  • 3rd place: $15,000 USD
  • 4th place: $10,000 USD

Are regional finals the best solution?

Let’s address the elephant in the room, these regional finals are not LAN tournaments. Instead, they are literally another Division 1 bracket with lesser participants. Valve did consider postponing the major over cancelling it. However, they realized setting back the major to a later date is disadvantageous for players who undergo roster changes after a major ends. There will be scarcity in teams looking to change line-up given the shorter timeline before Tour 2 begins.

With LAN tournaments out of the question, many suggested hosting a global online tournament. This, unfortunately, poses a different issue, that is the unstable latency for participants across different regions to compete together. On a similar note, bi-regional tournaments could work well in mimicking a LAN tournament for nearby regions, such as Western-Eastern Europe, North-South America, or China-Southeast Asia.

Bi-regional tournaments aren’t out of the ordinary since these regional combos have long been implemented by tournament organizers, such as the Huya Winter Invitational and BTS Pro Series. But, with every region sharing the same prize pool amount and DPC points, it raises concerns of competitive level in bi-regional tournaments. For instance, WEU and EEU are highly regarded for stronger team pools, while the SA teams in the Americas are depicted as weaker than their NA counterpart.

The International 11 and qualifiers

In hindsight, the Regional Finals won’t solve every issue due to the major cancellation, but it’s certainly better than a half-baked Tour 1. The fixed DPC point offering in every regional final still inevitably leads to disproportioned circulating points towards TI11 qualification. TI11 qualifiers will still go on as planned, whereby only the first-placed regional winner qualifies for TI11.

Instead, the addition is that the runner-up at second and third place now have a shot in a LAN event, prior to TI11. The first and second place qualify for TI11. The additional two teams in TI11 also means that there will be twenty teams in TI11, which will be distributed to two groups of ten during the group stage.

Conclusively, we will be covering the matchups for every regional final very soon, so stay tuned. Meanwhile, consider checking the dota 2 betting handbook and the curated esports bookmakers providing exclusive odds for the DPC2021-22 regional finals.