Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) officially comes to an end.
DPC 2023 is the last season of the Dota Pro Circuit, as per the latest announcement through the official Dota 2 blog.
To the uninitiated, Dota Pro Circuit was introduced in 2017, and the system kept changing with few tweaks over the subsequent years.
"We started the Dota Pro Circuit in 2017 to answer a question that was coming up more and more frequently: How do you earn an invite to The International? Up until then, invitations were driven by a handful of regional qualifiers and “golden ticket” invites from Valve."
However, not all changes were satisfactory, which led to the DPC being a hotbed for discussion in the community.
The number of tournaments and the prize pool kept spiralling down over the years other than The International (barring The International 2022 which saw a huge drop in the prize pool).
"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."
Serving as the only official league, the DPC occupied much of the space in the calendar year with barely any room for third-party organizers to host tournaments.
The stranglehold of the DPC on the event calendar led to the organizers now competing for compliance with Valve’s long list of rigid requirements rather than focussing on being more innovative, competing for viewers and players by organizing compelling and inventive tournaments.
"Relaxing those requirements doesn't help. The best world is the one where event organizers aren’t competing for our attention but for yours."
The announcement comes four weeks shy of The International 2023 (TI12)
as Valve intends to return to the "third-party" events route.
"Before we introduced these constraints, the world of competitive Dota was healthier, more robust and more varied than the one we have now. Events used to be less rote and more creative, and there was more room in the calendar for them."
Valve acknowledges that the DPC has slowly steered the competitive scene from its roots.
They also believe that it has taken the freedom away from the organizers to explore and host tournaments with different themes and designs.
As the blog post suggests, "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."
"It would be too simplistic to say that the slow drift of the Dota competitive scene away from this focus on fun and creativity towards the sterile, near-monoculture of today is entirely the fault of the DPC"
DPC 2023 is the last season of Dota 2
"The Dota community has decades of grassroots experience coming up with innovative and entertaining events, and right now the DPC is getting in the way."
With the above, the Dota Pro Circuit officially ceases to exist.
As for the future, the priority will be on The International 2023 (TI12) which starts in about four weeks.
Valve has also started working on The International 2024 and will be releasing more information about next year's competitive season soon
Thus the Dota Pro Circuit ends.
All images courtesy of Valve.
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