Major News: Dota 2’s New Pro Order

The Majors have been on the horizon for the Dota 2 [official site] pro scene for a while now. They’re a series of big tournaments spaced through the year and around the globe culminating in The International. But Valve were reluctant to go into further detail until this year’s International was done and dusted – i.e. now.

The bit I’m most interested in is the restrictions this places on teams with regard to kicking players or reworking the lineup but first here’s some basic detail:

The first Major will be a European affair taking place in November. Europe’s going to be quite the place to be for MOBA eSports fans this Autumn it seems as October’s going to be all about Riot taking League of Legends’ World Championships hither and yon on the continent.

Open qualifiers for November’s event will take place 6-9 October and two teams from each region will be added to the regional qualifiers lineup (that’ll be taking place October 10-13th).

As you might expect, some of the top teams will skip the auditions process that is the qualifiers and receive a direct invite to the Major (I hope it has a catchier name than that), while other teams will skip the open qualifier stage and get a direct invite to regionals. All of that will be revealed on October 5th.

With that out of the way let’s have a look at the roster stuff.

Through the registration system admins issue invitations to join a team to players and substitutes. By accepting the invite that player is then locked to the team until just before the next official trade period. In this case that would be just after the conclusion of the first Major.

“While a player is locked to a team, the team cannot kick the player, and the player cannot leave the team.”

If you need to make a change after the rosters are locked down (the official end date for this current trade period is 12am PDT on September 5th) you can do so but it means the team forfeits the ability to get a direct invite to Majors of the regional qualifiers. The same doesn’t apply when it comes to sponsorship, though. You can switch organisations or sponsors as much as you like, you just have to stay together as a set of players.

It’s a move which fits with Valve’s philosophy for The International, which is that they invite rosters of individuals who they have watched prove themselves rather than inviting the team name. I’m also not sure how the primary/sub thing works. You’re allowed to switch a primary for a sub if both players agree but the primaries are the ones who get invited to Majors so if you switch after that invite or if you need to switch during the event does that mean you can’t?

You can have a look at the list of noteworthy confirmations here. Apparently Fear is yet to lock in to Evil Geniuses but Arteezy and Universe signed up within a minute of each other so I am now picturing them doing so while sitting together in a room eating ice cream. Except Artour ate his too fast and got a headache. It was too brainfreezy for Arteezy.


  1. Ranjeev says:

    Thanks Philippa :)

  2. Kohl says:

    The biggest thing I don’t understand about this new system is how the subs are going to work. In Dota it is a pretty rare player who can play any of the 5 roles at a high level, and even then it requires some practice to adjust. Currently when Pro teams use a standin they get someone who knows how to play the role. Under this system are they suggesting that this sub is the only available standin? Or if the sub player is just there to be an option for a roster shuffle, does that not put a huge amount of strain on whichever player is the Primary at that role?

    • Jayblanc says:

      I suspect the ease with which teams could “substitute” a player into the team was part of why the changes were made. Team Roster shouldn’t be part of a meta-game, which it was with easy substitution.

      The current system seems to allow two registered Subs, who can be swapped in for any Primary player. This is a much stronger limit, and promotes the idea that the teams can’t just have super-specialised subs they can swap in.

  3. plavski says:

    If Fear isn’t a lock for EG yet, I hear Aui_2000 is a good 4 looking for a home. He seemed to do pretty well with his last team.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      Ouch. Well, he can wipe his tears with a couple of $1000 bills.

  4. kwyjibo says:

    Is Valve running the majors, or third parties?

  5. robotslave says:

    This seems like a pretty raw deal for the subs, unless teams are going to spontaneously start compensating their substitute players a lot more generously than they have in the past.

    Being locked into a team and locked out of a paycheck for a few months at a time sounds really crappy.

    • P.Funk says:

      Seems to me like being a sub with these kinds of restrictions makes it so that the sub has a stronger bargaining position if anything. Rather than being free agents they’re now effectively on the roster as well. There’s no self interest in signing on like that if you’re not getting compensated.

      • robotslave says:

        If there are dozens of teams with revenues high enough to provide a livable paycheck for seven players, plus maybe a manager or a coach? Sure.

        But if there aren’t?