In July 2017 Valve announced significant changes to the Major Championship circuit. Following The International 2017, Major Championships other than The International will be third-party tournaments chosen to receive a $500,000 USD sponsorship from Valve in addition to the events own prize pool. Eligible third-party tournaments must have a minimum prize pool of $500,000 USD, at least one qualifier from each of the six primary regions (NA, SA, SEA, CN, EU, and CIS) and a LAN final.
Furthermore, Valve will also sponsor smaller events dubbed Minors. Similar in requirements, these Minor Championships must have a prize pool of at least $150,000 USD to be eligible for a $150,000 USD sponsorship. Valve will directly manage the schedule of Majors and Minors to help avoid collisions during the year.
Competing in Major and Minor Championships will award qualifying points to players which will be the sole criteria for invitations to The International 2018. Points will be awarded based on the total prize pool of a tournament, with Majors giving more points per prize pool dollar (1.5x multiplier). For the entire season, a total of 20,050 QP will be awarded, while only the top 3 point earners on a team will contribute towards a team’s effective total qualifying points.
On August 1st, 2017, Valve released a preliminary tournament schedule for the 2017/2018 season consisting of 11 Major and 11 Minor Championships. As of January 4th, 2018, there are 9 Majors and 14 Minors planned for the upcoming season.
- On October 13th, 2017, popular streamer and former pro player AdmiralBulldog received threats of being banned from Twitch for streaming matches of the Starladder Minor for his viewers. In the following, Valve clarified their position on independent broadcasts of tournaments: " [...] we believe that anyone should be able to broadcast a match from DotaTV for their audience."
- On November 23rd, 2017, MDL announced EHOME as their surprise 3rd invite to MDL Macau Minor. Valve later clarified via Twitter that EHOME had been incorrectly barred from participating in the Chinese qualifiers and had thus instructed MDL to invite EHOME. EHOME finished fifth in the group stage, narrowly missing the playoffs.
- On January 4th, 2018, Galaxy Battles II, originally scheduled to be a Major on the Pro Circuit, had its status revoked by Valve, citing concerns over the Philippines's regulation regarding esports athletes. In the following days, many of the participating teams dropped out of the tournament.
- After ESL's decision to use Facebook as exclusive streaming platform for CS:GO's ESL Pro League and the Dota's ESL One tournaments, many independent streamers on Twitch decided to stream the matches of ESL One Genting on their private channels. Despite these streams being done in accordance to Valve's earlier statement, ESL issued DMCA takedowns against MLPDota, BananaSlamJamma, and the Portuguese Beyond the Summit stream, stating that they wouldn't tolerate English and Portuguese broadcasts that competed with their official stream. ESL later retracted their statement and the DMCA takedowns against the affected streams. Valve later reiterated their previous statement concerning independent broadcasts and further clarified that only they would be allowed to issue DMCA notices over content from DotaTV.