Valve has taken a more direct role in Dota's eSports calendar by announcing three more officially sponsored championships to join The International.
The new tournaments will be held during each season of the year, with the first Dota 2 Major Championship, to take place this Fall after The International.
The premier event, held every August in Valve's home city Seattle, has provided a single tournament to act as the most important achievement of the year. However, in the time between each International, a lack of coherent structure to Dota's competitive season has allowed many third-party competitions to spring up to fill the void.
While providing year-round competitions for players, Valve feel the disparate competitive scene has had a negative impact on fans and teams alike.
As fans of the game, we love watching teams compete in high stakes tournaments, but we also recognize that there is room for improvement on a more structural level,” the team wrote in the Dota 2 blog announcement. While the lack of roster stability and major focal points during the year had its advantages, it has eventually come at the cost of fan engagement and competitive stability for the players.”
The times between each Major will also feature limited trade periods for participating teams, helping to reduce the risk of bad practices and maintaining team quality and performance.
Each Major Championship will be organised by a third-party, but officially sponsored by Valve, and held in a different city around the world. Clearly, one of the events will be hosted in China, possibly taking the form of the Dota Asian Championships, leaving two more events throughout the year to be split between other competitive regions such as Europe and CIS.
The hands-on approach is something many fans and players have been calling out for from Valve for the majority of this year, with constant travel to minor tournaments causing exhausation and ultimately leading to teams pulling out. How the tournaments will interact, and whether invitations to The International will be linked to teams' performance in other Majors is yet to be revealed. More information will surely follow at this year's tournament.