The good and the bad of Dota 2 Majors

Dota 2 Pranjal “pranjal26” Drall

According to a recent story published by “The Daily Dot”, everything has changed; Valve has decided to host these tournaments themselves and this has also been confirmed by an ESL Executive Produce. This will obviously have major implications on the pro scene, let’s look at what is going to happen if this decision isn’t overturned.

Lets look at what this entails from the perspective of tournament organizations, players and fans. 


Tournament Organizers:

The thing that separated DotA 2 from other eSports was the limited control that the publisher had over it. Just to provide some context, Riot (the publisher of League of Legends) controls all aspects of the professional scene, such as the teams, regional leagues, even broadcasting . There are a very limited number of tournaments who are organized by third party companies.

With this announcement, Valve will be hosting the four most likely biggest events of the season; this is obviously a huge blow for the organizers since it’ll be hard for them compete with these events. They won’t be able to even come close the prize pools or the production quality just because of the lack of funds.

One of the big problems in the professional DotA scene is the frequency of tournaments. It feels like there are three events every month, this has lead to a decline in the value of “big” matches.

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With the majors, the sheer number of tournaments will definitely decrease. Also less tier one teams will be competing at third party events so if they conflict with each other, it’ll be equivalent to killing themselves since the viewers for third party events are going to be less and the situation will be even worse if two events take place simultaneously.

For instance, MLG and MDL took place simultaneously; MDL had six TI invited teams, compared to MLG’s one therefore the viewing numbers for MLG were already very low and the matches didn’t matter much. Imagine this happening after the advent of the Majors.

The tier one teams will now cherry pick the tournaments they want to attend, there will be very less third party events that teams will attend since they’ll be busy preparing for the majors or the International. For example; there wasn’t much DotA2 played around the International 4, the event itself is a week long event in August but the preparation begins in July and teams take a month to relax after the event.

Another example is the International 5 Qualifiers the past month, the teams in the qualifiers didn’t play any official matches in the three weeks before it. Since there will be four “Major” events every year, there won’t be much time left for third party events.

The professional teams might not even attend a1ll the other events since they’ll have the major to focus on, we can look at the International; there are very few tournaments that are held before the biggest event of the year. Imagine having an event comparable to TI every three months, the chances for a third party organizer to host an event with the best teams is very low since they’ll be preparing for the Majors.


  • Less financial gains

  • Less viewer numbers, essentially exposure for their sponsors

  • Sponsors will reduce the prize money they put up or some might even drop out

  • Less chance of conflicts


Professional Teams and Players:

Players complain about the inconsistency of equipment at the events they attend. It all started with Cloud9’s carry player Eternalenvy who is famous for his blogs on Liquid Dota. With the majors, the equipment used by Valve will be the same at all events; same chairs, monitors and so on.

This is a great news for players and teams, they’ll have a proper schedule and will know when and where the big majors will be held in the start and would be able to prepare properly for the big events. It’ll also fix the problem of oversaturation, they’ll be able to cherry pick the events they want to attend and could even use some of the lesser events to practice against the other top teams.

All of these tournaments would likely have a proper qualifier system such as the International and will help tier two and three teams to get noticed and participate in the majors. These teams will also be able to participate in LANs outside of the majors which will have a substantial prize pool since the tier one teams might not attend all of them. Teams such as 4 Anchors, NAR, Mouz, HGT, Rave and so on, will help improve and will compete in a lot of big events.

With the increase in opportunities, more teams will enter the professional scenes and making it more competitive overall.  


  • Allow players to properly prepare for major events since they’ll be spaced over three months

  • Fixes the problem of oversaturation

  • More opportunities for tier 2 teams

  • Potentially more prize money to be earned


Fans and the Community:

The major’s will entail different things for the different type of viewers. It’s great news for people who watch a limited amount of the DotA scene and are keen to watch the historically significant matches or the ones which matter in terms of prize money and prestige. They’ll have a very concise and easy to follow tournament schedule; every major organization will be participating in the majors and will provide for some of the highest quality DotA.

But for the fans who watch, each and every match and follow all facets of the professional scene won’t be able to watch the same amount of DotA since most of the teams participating in the non-major events won’t be as good. The top teams in the scene will mainly be participating at the majors and some of the other events but those won’t feature a lot of tier one teams.

The overall quality of DotA might decrease since most tier one teams won’t attend the other third party events, even if they do; it’s highly unlikely that a majority of them will participate at the same event.


  • For casual fans, its great since it’ll be easy to follow just four major tournaments

  • For fans who closely follow the pro scene, the overall quality of DotA will decrease and non-major events won’t be prestigious so lesser hype


Final Thoughts:

The DotA 2 Majors might appeal to at you at first, three more TI-esque events does sounds great but the thing that separates DotA2 from other eSports titles is the community and its circuit. We have one big marquee event which is bulit up by smaller events such as DAC, the Summit, MDL and so on. 

But now things will be different, all the story lines will be bulit up by Major events that'll be spaced three months apart and as I mentioned above, each event will take up two months if we account for the time take by the qualifiers and time for relaxation. Going into these majors, there will be lesser storylines which ultimately means less hype; they might have a huge prize pool but winning one won't be as prestigious as winning a TI or even a DAC. 

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Pranjal “pranjal26” Drall
NBA and Politics junkie who writes about Dota 2, likes Physics, non fiction books, TV crime dramas <a class="twitter-follow-button" href=""> @PranjalDrall</a>