Valve Criticized Over the Dota Pro Circuit 2021

Dota 2 dpc trophy
Getting to TI will be harder than ever! (Credit: Valve Corporation)

The Dota Pro Circuit was delayed from the fall of 2020 to January 2021. The invitees for the first event are already clear and they were met with criticism from the community. Oh, Valve.

The Dota 2 competitive season is almost here with less than two weeks remaining. The DPC 2021 is set to kick off on January 18 (14 for China) with regional leagues that will build-up to the first Major tournament of the year in late March (remember Minors no longer exist in 2021).

The top teams from each region will form the 18 teams that’ll make it to the Major. A different number of teams per region will be distributed:

  • EU: Top 4
  • China: Top 4
  • SEA: Top 3
  • CIS: Top 3
  • NA: Top 2
  • SA: Top 2

Valve also revealed the list of invited teams for each of the regions. Here they are:


  • OG
  • Team Secret
  • Team Liquid
  • Team Nigma


  • Natus Vincere
  • Team Spirit
  • Live to Win


  • Vici Gaming
  • Elephant


  • Fnatic
  • TNC Predator
  • T1
  • BOOM Esports

North America

  • Evil Geniuses
  • Quincy Crew
  • 4 Zoomers
  • Sadboys

South America

  • Infamous
  • Thunder Predator
  • beastcoast
  • SG E-Sports

The remaining four slots in each of the regions will be determined by closed qualifiers. There are hardly any surprises here as the biggest teams in each of the regions are on the list. Some of them just feel weird though. Evil Geniuses basically abandoned the region for the better part of 2020 and didn’t even compete in any events. Sadboys was formed recently and they got an invite. Huh?

Some players and talent are rightfully concerned about the invites and the fact that if you don’t get an invite to the closed qualifiers, you’re on the bench until next season. Otávio "Tavo" Gabriel explains the situation quite well as his team didn’t get an invitation.

Others were more displeased with the format and the fact that if you miss the first league your chance to get to The International is non-existent.

The first season is the period between the league and the end of the first Major (January 18 – April 4). That’s a long period and when you think about it, there’ll only be two seasons in 2021 so Noone’s statement makes perfect sense.

Noxville went a step further and called Valve out on their incompetence.

Valve had plenty of time to figure out a format that’ll improve on the already existing one. What we’re seeing is definitely not that. Regional Leagues will serve as qualifiers for the Majors and Majors will mostly determine who goes to The International. Remember there aren’t going to be any Open Qualifiers for TI this year.

Just like tavo mentioned if you don’t get an invitation to the closed qualifiers your team is done for as you’ll be missing the entire season. We hardly doubt that Valve will be making some last-minute changes to the rules. You can check the official DPC 2021 FAQ on the Dota 2 website.

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