With TI recently being announced in Vancouver, Canada and multiple DPC events taking place this year across the world, here’s a look at the region wise distribution of the events, the why’s and the impact.
The season currently has 23 events, 14 Minors and 9 Majors not counting the events which were cancelled - the Galaxy Battles Major and the unnamed Major which was to be hosted by Beyond The Summit.
This season, the majority of the events have or will take place in EU or China. It’s safe to assume that the last Major of the season which will be hosted by PGL and Perfect World will also be in China. With this assumption, 15 out of the 23 events are concentrated in these two regions. And out of the 9 Majors, a whopping 8 are taking place in EU or China.
Both regions are very much in tune with Dota but it’s pretty clear that they have been overrepresented this season. While in EU the love for Dota is strong, the fact that it’s much easier for fans to travel to different countries within the region should ideally mean a lesser number of events. However, this same reason is why tournaments in the region are attractive business prospects for large-scale tournament organizers. Add to this, the fact that ESL and PGL - arguably the two most recognized Dota2 tournament organizers are both based out of EU.
For a region that is synonymous with Dota and tunes into Dota consistently for all events, the CIS region has gotten fair representation this time around. 2 Minors and 1 Major is what the region has been alloted with both Minors taking place in Kiev and the Major in Moscow.
The Bucharest Major, for example was watched more on the Russian streams than on the English ones. The peak viewership and total hours watched for the Major were both higher for the official Russian stream than the official English one. While the exact numbers aren’t out yet, the preliminary data for the GESC Minor, suggests the same. BTS is by far the most popular English channel covering regional qualifiers, LANS and other Dota content. It currently has 630,000+ followers. In comparison, the main Russian channel, Dota2RuHub which only caters to one specific region, has 397,000 followers which is approximately 63% of what BTS has.
In addition to the region consuming a lot of Dota content, the number of teams signing up for open qualifiers is also significantly higher than other regions. And to top it off, the region currently is home of the world’s top team Virtus Pro and one of Dota’s most followed and watched teams Natus Vincere. Organizers like Starladder, who have been operating out of the region since the beginning of Dota 2 have been rewarded with 3 Minors. While Starladder has been conducting a lot of events in China of late, the two remaining CIS Minors are going to be in Kiev.
NA has gotten two Minors this time around with one Major being cancelled on account of Beyond The Summit pulling out. It’s likely that the unannounced Major goes to NA as well. SEA originally had 3 Minors and a Major, but then Valve rescinded the Major status of Galaxy Battles and now SEA has only 3 Minors taking place in the region.
In terms of volume, the SEA server sees the most number of games hosted per day on an average, (source) but the number of teams registering for open qualifiers is steadily on the decline. The region itself is highly competitive and LANs here have always provided some of the best live crowds. Players and personalities have often spoken highly of the LAN environment in SEA and the recently concluded GESC: Indonesia Minor pretty much sums it up.
Unlike EU, each region in SEA is a bit more isolated and fans in one country are not always able to make it to events in others. Despite this, SEA events, especially those held in the Philippines, have always impressed, packing entire venues, unlike EU and NA.
The scarcity of proven tournament organizers in the region is, of course, one of the bigger challenges as it is very hard to host a tournament here without local assistance. GESC hosted its first Dota Minor just recently and while Fallout Gaming has had multiple issues plaguing their past events, their recent execution of the Galaxy Battles II was viewed as a success.
GESC felt more like a major than most majors right now. Seemed like most players and talent were well taken care of. Every time there was a problem, there was always an immediate response. Fantastic great event, hope I see more of their events next year— Cap (@DotACapitalist) March 19, 2018
NA is a major hub for many esports but has never been a place where Dota is the most popular title.The player base is much smaller in the region (source) largely due to the gamer population being into other titles/platforms and genres. In Open Qualifiers as well, NA has not been impressive with a fraction of teams signing up as compared to the other regions.
Despite 2 Minors going their way, they lost out on a Major with BTS pulling out. NA also hosts the years biggest Dota 2 event, The International, which has shifted from Seattle to Vancouver this year.
Unfortunately, while Valve made it compulsory for all DPC events to have slots for SA, the region itself has not been allotted any DPC events. The absence of tournament organizers in this region is a major factor, however, ESL has hosted a CS:GO tournament in Sao Paulo for Counter-Strike. In any case, SA’s love for esports is infectious and with more and more teams signing up for Open Qualifiers, the community seems to be very invested. (SA has the third highest average participation in Open Qualifiers with 190 teams signing up roughly per event). The player base is also there but may not be directly shown in the data as a lot of the players prefer playing on US East. Hopefully, the next DPC season will have some events in South America.
Also read : Average Dota 2 Viewership and Registrations on the Decline