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DOTA 2, the familiar shortcut for Defense of the Ancients 2, is one of the most popular competitive video games in the world, played by millions of people around the globe. Its format classifies it as multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game. Since its debut in 2013, it has established itself as one of the premier games in the entire industry. It is also the basis for a professional esports league that only a couple of other games can compare to in terms of popularity and audience. 

DOTA 2 esports tournaments feature elite players competing for prize money in tournaments across the world. The DOTA 2 Pro Circuit (DPC) is the highest level of professional competition for the game. It’s organized by Valve, the game’s developers, and consists of a series of tournaments held throughout each year in locations around the world.

There are plenty of high-level, meaningful DOTA 2 tournaments sponsored by different organizations but the DOTA 2 Pro Circuit is the gold standard of competition. It hosts the best of the best and winning it brings by far the most prestige. 

DOTA 2 Pro Circuit betting is also huge, as you would expect from a competition with this kind of global following. 

To ensure uniformity throughout the competition, Valve has set up a defined tournament format system. These are the rules, structures and guidelines that help to standardize competitions no matter where they take place. The need to clearly define what tournaments must look like became an issue during the early days of rapid growth of DOTA 2 tournaments and now, a decade later, the DOTA 2 Pro Circuit is largely settled as the default for any DOTA 2 competition. 

The current format of the DPC was introduced in 2017, replacing DOTA Major Championship Series. The current arrangement was created to ensure greater transparency around which teams received invites to the International.

The DOTA 2 Pro Circuit format

Here are the broad outlines of how the DOTA 2 Pro Circuit (DPC) is structured. 

The DPC takes place over two separate seasons within a single calendar year. Each season is made up of several tournaments that are all part of one overall circuit. At each tournament, teams compete for points which are then used to determine their ranking on the leaderboard at the end of the season. The teams with the most points at season’s end will be invited to compete in The International, an annual world championship event for DOTA 2 players. 

To qualify for any given tournament, a team must have gained a certain number of Qualifying Points (QPs). These QPs are awarded based on their performance at previous tournaments during that season. Teams can also earn QPs through regional qualifiers if they are not able to secure enough points through tournament play. In order to remain eligible, teams must also participate in at least one tournament per season or face disqualification from future events.

The points system helps to ensure a level of competitiveness beyond just the teams that win prize money. Points are a valuable incentive for teams that finish outside of the cash winnings. 

The prize money available at each tournament varies greatly depending on its size and format, but generally speaking it ranges from $1 million to $5 million USD. As mentioned earlier, teams also earn points based on their performance at each event which are then used to rank them on the leaderboard at season’s end. The top twelve teams will be invited to compete in The International while those ranked lower will have to go through regional qualifiers if they wish to participate in this prestigious event.  

Competitions on the circuit are divided into two tiers – Majors and Minors – with points awarded based on finishing positions at each competition. Players can earn points from both Majors and Minors, but those who qualify for Majors will earn more points than those who only compete at Minors. 

At the end of the season, teams with enough points qualify for The International, where they can compete for part of an enormous prize pool (which was over $34 million in 2019). Furthermore, teams that finish first or second at either Major or Minor tournaments also receive direct invitations to The International.

Tournaments in the DOTA 2 Pro Circuit

Pro Circuit Tournaments  

In addition to The International Championship, there are several other professional tournaments throughout the year that make up the DPC. These tournaments are hosted by Valve Corporation, the developers of DOTA 2, and offer teams points based on their performance. These points determine seeding into The International Championship at the end of each season. Teams with more points have a better chance at making it into the tournament. 

Minor and Major Tournaments  

The DOTA 2 pro circuit schedule is divided into two types of tournaments, minors and majors. Minor tournaments usually feature smaller prize pools but still offer teams valuable points for their position in the pro circuit rankings. Meanwhile, major tournaments feature larger prize pools and more points available for participating teams—which makes them highly attractive to players looking to secure their spot in The International Championship. 

International Championship

The biggest event in DOTA 2 esports is The International Championship, which takes place yearly. This championship pits teams from around the world against each other to settle the matter of who really is the best DOTA 2 team on the planet. This tournament offers one of the largest prize pools in all of esports—over $35 million in 2020 alone—and features only elite DOTA 2 teams.  
Most players and teams at this level of competition are members of the Professional Players Association (PPA), an organization created by professional players to represent their interests and ensure fair play within the industry. It serves as a collective bargaining unit for players and helps them negotiate contracts with tournament organizers and other stakeholders within esports. In addition, it offers legal advice and career guidance for those interested in becoming professional gamers.

Understanding the DPC

The DOTA 2 Pro Circuit is the official, developer-sponsored league for one of the biggest titles in esports. Understanding how it works is important for players, fans, bettors, team managers and anyone with an interest in one of the world’s biggest gaming phenomenons. 

Knowing about The International Championship and its importance along with minor and major tournaments should provide a solid foundation for those looking to get involved in this space or just stay informed about what’s going on within it. DOTA 2 tournaments continue to attract massive crowds, both online and offline, with no end in sight. 

The DOTA 2 Pro Circuit is an exciting competitive opportunity for aspiring esports professionals and team managers alike. Knowing how it works—from qualifying for tournaments and earning points through to competing for prize money—is key when looking to get involved in this increasingly popular scene. With so much potential available in terms of prize money and prestige, participating in the DPC as a player, fan or bettor continues to be a rewarding, intensely fun experience!

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