Photo: StarLadder i-League Invitational Season 3, Kiev. — StarLadder
For Dota 2 fans around the world, The International, hosted by Valve in Seattle is definitely the event to look out for in August each year.
Started in 2011, TI has since become the largest tournament ever in eSports with record breaking prize pool offered every successive year.
To further improve the competitiveness of the Dota 2 scene on the global stage, Valve kickstarted the seasonal Major Championship system back in 2015, featuring four majors (TI included) in a calendar year – each representing Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer.
However, moving forward post-TI7, the game will see a complete makeover as Valve has laid out a new tournament system with 11 majors and 11 minors, all packed into a single calendar year.
First up will be the StarLadder i-League Invitational Season 3 in Kiev, Ukraine.
Taking place from Oct 12-15, the tournament will be a minor, with US$300,000 prize pool up for grabs.
This will be followed by PGL Open Bucharest from Oct 19-22. The minor in the Romanian capital offers similar total bounty of US$300,000.
PGL has confirmed that LGD Gaming and Evil Geniuses are the two direct invites for the major.
Both minors will offer two direct invites for a total of eight participating teams.
Other than the two secured spots, the rest of the teams will be chosen via the regional qualifiers from the six in-game regions namely North America, South America, China, Southeast Asia, Europe and CIS.
Previously, only four regions were recognised by Valve. The addition of South America and CIS is seen to offer a more equal representation for teams around the world.
According to a blog post by Valve, the teams’ performance throughout the calendar year will be taken into consideration to determine the invites to The International 2018.
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.
The first two minors will be followed by the first major – ESL One Hamburg in Germany.
The major, which takes place from Oct 26-29 offers US$1mil total prize pool, which is somehow lesser than the ESL-hosted Frankfurt Major back in 2015.
If you are wondering what’s coming up next for the coming months, check out Team Secret manager Matthew Bailey’s tweet.
With so much money being thrown around, it has never been a better time to be a Dota 2 pro player, don’t you think so?