Dota Pro Circuit 2021
Starting with this season, Valve has once again reworked the Dota Pro Circuit. Regional Leagues replace the Minors, from which the Major participants are determined. This competitive Dota year is divided into two seasons, each punctuated by a Major. Thus the number of Majors is reduced to two.
Roster locks are implemented from the start of each season until the end of the respective Major. Transfer periods start after the Major and before the next season begins, but each roster change incurs a 15% penalty on current points. Stand-ins may be used for up to four matches in the league as long as that stand-in is either competing in a lower division or not competing in a league at all.
The format for the Majors is also overhauled. They now feature 18 teams, with the following slot allocation:
- Four teams each from Europe and China
- Three teams each from SEA and CIS
- Two teams each from North America and South America
The top team from each region directly qualifies for the Playoffs of the Major, while the second team qualifies for the Group Stage. A further six teams (two each from EU and CN plus one each from SEA and CIS) participate in the Wild Card stage.
As in the previous year, the top twelve teams by DPC points are directly qualified for The International 2021. The remaining teams that participated in season 2 of the regional leagues have a last chance to qualify through the regional qualifiers provided that they didn't replace more than two players from their last season's team. For the first time since The International 2014, there will not be any Open Qualifier.
Each of the six regions will feature a Regional League, divided into an upper and a lower division of eight teams each. Each league lasts for six weeks and throughout the year. At the end of each league, the bottom two teams of the upper division are relegated to the lower division, while the top two teams of the lower division are promoted to the upper division. The bottom two teams of the lower division are relegated from the league and replaced winners of the open qualifier. All other teams retain their position for the following season.
Valve will not be using previous season’s DPC points as a way to seed teams into the leagues but rather selecting the top 4 teams in best form from each region to be directly qualified to the Upper division, with remaining spots to be filled by closed and open qualifier. Only teams with at least three players residing in the region are eligible to play in that region's league.
The six regional leagues will be operated by the following tournament organizers:
Both upper and lower divisions receive prize money: a total of $280,000 USD can be earned by every league each season. The top five teams of the upper division can also earn DPC points from a total of 1150 points. The prize pool and DPC points are spread as follows:
|1||30,000 USD||500||Qualifies to the Major Playoffs|
|2||28,000 USD||300||Qualifies to the Major Group Stage|
|3||27,000 USD||200||Qualifies to the Major Wild Card Stage1|
|4||26,000 USD||100||Qualifies to the Major Wild Card Stage2|
|5||25,000 USD||50||Remain in Upper Division|
|6||24,000 USD||0||Remain in Upper Division|
|7||23,000 USD||0||Relegated to Lower Division|
|8||22,000 USD||0||Relegated to Lower Division|
|1||17,000 USD||Promoted to Upper Division|
|2||16,000 USD||Promoted to Upper Division|
|3||15,000 USD||Remain in Lower Division|
|4||11,000 USD||Remain in Lower Division|
|5||9,000 USD||Remain in Lower Division|
|6||7,000 USD||Remain in Lower Division|
|7||0 USD||Eliminated from Lower Division3|
|8||0 USD||Eliminated from Lower Division3|
- 1 Only EU, CN, SEA and CIS
- 2 Only EU and CN
- 3 Replaced by an Open Qualifiers Team
- Majors feature 18 teams from among the six regions
- Wild Card
- Six teams
- Bo2 round robin
- Top two teams advance to the Group Stage
- Bottom four teams are eliminated
- Group Stage
- Eight teams
- Bo2 round robin
- Top two teams advance to the Upper Bracket of the Playoffs
- 3rd to 6th placed teams advance to the Lower Bracket of the Playoffs
- Bottom two teams are eliminated
- Twelve teams, Double Elimination bracket
- Four teams start in the Lower Bracket
- Eight teams start in the Upper Bracket
Majors award $500,000 USD and 2,700 DPC points among the top eight teams as follows:
|Color Key||Total QP|