With the first Major being announced just yesterday, Valve has come out with additional information on how the qualification process for TI8 will work. Last season, organizers were free to decide which teams to invite to their DPC events and with points eventually going towards TI8, some teams definitely got a worse deal. Even the number of qualifier spots per region for TI8 were announced quite late and there was much debate and discussion in the community whether some regions deserved the spots given to them.
This year, 12 teams will qualify for TI9 via the DPC system, instead of 8 like last year. The remaining 6 slots will be filled by teams coming from regional qualifiers. Unlike the previous years, only one team will be able to qualify per region. The regions identified are as follows:
With the qualification process information made available before the season starts, Valve has removed much of the ambiguity as to how teams will end up in Shanghai. The new system also places more importance on consistency and performance throughout the year as 12 teams will have a shot at finding themselves at TI9 simply based on their performance in DPC events. Also, the fact that no DPC event will have invited teams either means that no region will have an overwhelming advantage when it comes to picking up DPC points. Organizers will have some leeway in deciding how many spots they want to give each region but with rules already in place to ensure maximum fairness, the discrepancy will be much lower than last years.
The number of points per DPC event have also been released by Valve. Every team playing in a Minor and Major will win points depending upon their placing. From this season onwards, points will go to teams and not players with penalties if a roster change occurs during the season.
Majors will have a minimum of 15000 points associated with them but this will increase linearly if the prize pool is above a million dollars.
Minors will have a minimum of 500 points associated them. Since the team that wins a Minor also qualifies for the subsequent Major, that team will earn either the points for the Minor or the ones which they get from the Major, whichever is greater.
The new changes to the DPC system along with the ones announced earlier, certainly look to be an improvement from last time. It will definitely allow for a more competitive scene and with no direct invites for DPC events, teams will have to stay on top of their toes the entire season. Changes to how transfers and rosters work will also allow more flexibility for teams to decide how they want to build their teams and exactly how much they stand to lose if a change is made. How the system works in practice is something that we will see as the season progresses.