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Published: September 15, 2023

Written by: Stefan Velikov

  • The company says the DPC succeeded in “demystifying” certain aspects of TI, but at a cost
  • It said the many rules brought upon by the DPC have stifled grassroots events
  • Fans and pros still do not know where this will lead high-level competitive Dota 2

In a somewhat shocking statement, Valve revealed that it is putting an end to the Dota Pro Circuit, which has been a crucial part of the esports scene since 2017.

Valve Ends DPC

For years, the Dota Pro Circuit was a staple of the game’s esports ecosystem. It is a structure that awarded teams with points for placements within Valve-sponsored tournaments, with the top-ranking teams being invited to The International – the biggest Dota 2 competitive event.

However, all of this will change completely, as Valve has decided to abolish the DPC altogether after being at the forefront of professional Dota 2 since 2017. In a recent statement, Valve acknowledged that the series was a key part of the qualification for The International, but the “demystifying” of the invitation criteria has come at a drastic cost.

Although the DPC succeeded in its initial goal, Valve thinks that it brought with itself too many regulations that negatively impacted the sport. “Unfortunately, the DPC brought with it a set of rules and regulations, and those have come with a cost that’s become clearer to us over time: The world of competitive Dota has grown less exciting, less varied, and ultimately much less fun,” Valve wrote.

Naturally, this drastic change will have big consequences on the entirety of top-level competitive Dota 2. Valve hopes that this will lead to a more varied competitive scene as the company felt that the DPC made tournaments to show less innovation as they focused attention on Valve’s rules instead of the viewer experience.

“Before we introduced these constraints, the world of competitive Dota was healthier, more robust and more varied than the one we have now,” Valve’s statement further reads. “Events used to be less rote and more creative, and there was more room in the calendar for them. There was a beautiful unregulated insanity to it all — casual house parties and oyster prize pools coexisted alongside the Dota Asia Championships and one-off invitationals.”

Valve’s decision regarding competitive Dota 2 might come as a shock to many as it brings with itself a whole lot of uncertainty. Perhaps co-founder of Beyond the Summit David “LD” Gorman’s words describe the current situation the best. According to him, this “could herald a new renaissance for the grassroots scene,” or a return to the free market model that would “inevitably lead to the entire scene being owned by the Saudi Public Investment Fund.”

Nobody can know for sure what the future of Dota 2’s competitive scene will be like, but let’s hope that Valve has not made the wrong decision.

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