Valve killed the Dota Pro Circuit, what’s next for The International?

gabe newell dota pro circuit meme

The Dota Pro Circuit has been a mainstay of Dota 2 esports since 2017, but things will be very different next year.

Valve officially confirmed on the official Dota 2 website that the DPC will be nixed in 2024. The company originally introduced the DPC to provide a definite structure for earning an invite to The International, Dota 2’s world championship tournament. Prior to the DPC’s creation, invitations to The International were handed out based on opaque criteria.

Given the prevalence of the DPC in Dota 2 esports over the past six years, it’s natural to wonder how this will affect the game’s competitive scene. While nobody knows for certain what it will look like next year, there’s enough information for some educated guesswork.

the international 2016 crowd shot

Does Dota 2 have DPC leagues in 2024?

There will be no DPC leagues in Dota 2 esports in 2024. The 2023 Dota Pro Circuit season will be the last one.

Valve has yet to specify what kind of system, if any, will take its place. In explaining its motivations for this change, Valve cited a desire to bring back the creativity and variety in Dota 2 esports that existed before the DPC’s creation.

In particular, the DPC’s leagues and majors fill up the calendar and crowd out third-party event organizers. Valve hopes that removing the DPC will encourage more of these third-party organizers to re-emerge and host a wider variety of event types. While the return of third-party organizers in greater numbers would make things interesting, it remains to be seen exactly how this change will impact the competitive Dota scene.

How do teams get invited to The International 2024?

It is unclear how teams will receive invites to The International in 2024.

The Dota Pro Circuit provided a clear, easy-to-understand path for pro players to get invited to The International. While The International itself will remain going forward, it’s no longer clear-cut how to get there. Valve stated it plans to outline its plans for the Dota 2 pro scene in 2024. Until then there’s no way to be sure what this will mean for the competitive scene.

Tundra Esports wins The International 2022

It’s also worth noting that Valve has been slashing the prize pool of The International since 2022. The event paid out as much as $40 million in 2021, but the company is removing The International Battle Pass in 2023. The teams competing at TI12 will likely have much less money on the line.

Valve presumably hopes that third-party tournament organizers will help cover the gap, but The International has always constituted a majority of the money that changes hands in Dota 2 esports. With so few tournament organizers left in Dota 2, it’s unlikely that things will balance out in a positive way for Dota 2 pros.

In short, the competitive future of Dota 2 is currently shrouded in mystery. Pro players and fans anxious about what this will mean going forward will have to wait for Valve’s 2024 announcement.

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Written by Jorie McKibbin

Jorie has been playing video games and writing creatively since they were old enough to hold a controller and a pen. They’re passionate about the indie gaming scene, and some of their favorites include Salt and Sanctuary, Stardew Valley, Hollow Knight, and Vintage Story. They also adore such classics as The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind, Fallout: New Vegas, and Dark Souls.

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