Photo from a Dota 2 tournament arena

Like most ideas out there, Valve's Major system started out with good intentions. After years of Dota 2 tournaments suffering from payment issues, overlapping schedules, and a variety of other problems Valve decided to chime in and create an organized system, one that would give pro teams the sort of stable environment they need in order to grow and advance. While it managed to do just that, the Major system also had the unfortunate side-effect of not only pushing out a variety of third-party tournaments, but also significantly lowering their viewer-counts and consequently prize-pools.

In an effort to fix this newfound problem Valve has yet again announced massive changes to Dota 2's tournament scene, though this time around I think they might have found the real solution. Instead of the previous Major system, Valve will be selecting a variety of third-party tournaments to directly sponsor. Furthermore, players competing in these tournaments will earn Qualifying Points which will be the sole factor in determining invites to The International 2018! If you're interested in the specifics, here's what Valve had to say in the announcement:

"There will be two tiers of tournaments that we sponsor: Majors and Minors. Majors must have a minimum prize pool of $500k, and will receive an additional $500k towards the prize pool from us. Minors must have a minimum prize pool of $150k, and will receive an additional $150k towards their prize pool. In order to ensure a baseline level of competitiveness, and to support teams from different regions around the world, both Majors and Minors will be required to have at least one qualifier from each of the six primary regions (NA, SA, SEA, CN, EU, and CIS). In addition, Majors and Minors must have a LAN finals component to their tournament in order to accommodate teams from the different regions. We will directly manage the schedule of Majors and Minors to help avoid collisions during the year.

Qualifying Points will be awarded based on the total prize pool of a tournament, and whether the tournament is a Major or a Minor, with Majors giving more points per prize pool dollar. The total points per tournament will also partially scale based on the time of year, with tournaments closer to The International awarding additional points. Qualifying Points will be granted based on placing high in Majors and Minors and will accumulate on individual players. Roster lock seasons will still exist, and players switching teams during the approved periods will retain their Qualifying Points. In order to allow for teams recruiting new entrants to the competitive landscape and to facilitate sometimes necessary roster changes between lock periods, only the top 3 point earners on a team will contribute towards a team’s effective total Qualifying Points."

Not only will this new system create an entirely new wave of tournaments for all of us enjoy, but it will also ensure that all of the best teams from around the globe will be incentivized to participate given the enlarged prize-pools and addition of Qualifying Points. Valve may have done some missteps when it comes to Dota 2's tournament scene, but these changes are straight up amazing and I'm really looking forward to seeing them in effect next year!