South American Qualifiers Prove Tavo’s Point About Valve

Tavo’s squad ‘One Million’ have been eliminated from the South American Regional League Open Qualifiers in a 2-0 defeat to Madara and Jericho’s 0-900 Esports. This loss comes after Tavo’s criticisms of his team’s placement into the Open Qualifiers and community uproar over Valve’s inconsistency with regards to this DPC season’s direct invites.

Contention and confusion have been the orders of the day in the Dota 2 community over the Regional League qualification process for this 2021 DPC season. This time the focus has been on the South American qualifiers. Team One Million player Tavo, has pointed out the inconsistencies in Valve’s invites for the DPC Regional League and has garnered much community support.

Tavo’s Tweet About the South American Qualifiers

In a Twitlonger post on January 3, Tavo explained his frustrations about his team, One Million, being placed (to his mind incorrectly) into an Open Qualifier for the South American region’s Lower Division. He went on to point out that 3 members of the squad, 444 (Bob), hFn and Mandy (leo) had all played in the last Major of the previous DPC season and his old team, NoPing e-sports had played in the final Minor of the season (StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor Season 3).

Tavo’s point essentially is that they have a squad of more proven South American players than many of the teams who made it into the Closed Qualifiers. This appears to be true when looking at results, where teams such as Incubus and Infinity Esports have displayed poor-to-middling tournament finishes and no other team had a Major or Minor qualification in the last DPC season.

The Dota 2 Subreddit Weighs In

Reddit user Karidota pointed out that teams like Hokori, Crewmates and Latam Defenders were all given a place in the Closed Qualifiers despite none of them having any tournament results. In comparing these teams to other newly formed European or North American teams like Hellbear Smashers and Sadboys, Karidota makes the case that the South American squads don’t have veterans of the scene to back up the lack of results —Sadboys has Fear and Ppd and Hellbear Smashers has Misery and Ace, all accomplished Dota 2 players.

Now that the results are in for the group stage of the South American Closed Qualifiers, we can see that the standings most definitely reflect the community’s concerns:

Credit: Liquipedia

Don’t Blame the Teams for the South American Qualifiers

Obviously, the teams are not at fault here, they are simply here to play Dota. However, what we are seeing with this South American Qualifier, is that Valve’s lack of transparency is becoming a problem. Tavo and his team, must feel incredibly disenfranchised with the way the DPC season is being handled. Not only that, but for future teams watching this unfold, it will likely be discouraging when forming a squad.

Another important aspect to look at, is that there is only one Open Qualifier for the South American Region. Other regions have at least 2 Open Qualifiers and some have up to 4. On top of that, there is no direct route from the Open Qualifiers to the Upper Division. This makes Open Qualifiers an extremely difficult route for any team trying to earn precious DPC points.

Valve’s Responsibility

It seems to me that Valve should be trying to use the Regional Leagues as a way to nurture talent in each individual region’s scene. This would help the players at the same time as building up the game of Dota as an Esport. Instead, what we are seeing is growing concern over the way Valve is handling their DPC seasons. Specific criticisms are being levelled at Valve’s lack of transparency in their process for this season’s direct invites —a process that seems entirely arbitrary to most.

The South American teams that have made it into the Lower Division via the Open Qualifiers are 0-900, Gorillaz-Pride, Inverse, and Blood for Blood. These teams will compete against the losers of the Closed Qualifier matches in the hopes of making it to the Upper Division. The top team in the Upper Division will earn $30,000, a place in the Major Playoffs and 500 DPC points.

The International’s Importance

The importance of a high Upper Division placement for teams is monumental on their path to The International. The tournament’s prize pool easily eclipses every other event for the year, sitting this year at around $40 million, a factor that has made third party tournaments feel almost redundant to competitive teams.

The Dota Pro Circuit was an attempt to fix this issue, as DPC points from events throughout the year would at least have concrete weight in terms of a team’s chances of making it to The International. The purpose of this was to allow third party organisers a slice of the pie so to speak.

Unfortunately, if Valve continues to use entirely opaque methods when inviting teams to events, we could see more dissention in the scene. This could lead to a lack of new talent partaking in the Dota Pro Circuit and stagnation of competitive Dota 2.