What We Want to See In Dota 2 in the Lead up to TI10
The news that the International 10 (TI10) is happening this year and that it has a new home in Bucharest, Romania, has been a welcoming announcement for Dota 2 fans. As a result of the location change, the largest Dota 2 event will be postponed from the usual August month to October; however, fans will be able to view the best Dota 2 action after a lengthy hiatus. On the other hand, since this delay will last three months, there is not much to fill this time at the moment, whether it is in terms of the competitive circuit or general aspects in-game.
Here are some of the things we would like to see in the Dota 2 space in the months leading up to TI10.
A Valve Organized “Mini Major” Event
In the absence of competitive Dota 2 tournaments for three months, Valve can organize a tournament that could keep Dota 2 fans entertained, as well as give professional players a little bit of financial backing and glory to play for. Organizing something as large as a Major would require a lot of time and would not be feasible for teams that have qualified for TI10, however, a "Mini Major" in each of the six regions, lasting for two to three weeks, seems viable.
Directly invited teams, as well as teams from an open qualifier, can compete in this "Mini Major". Directly invited teams can be selected based on the performance in the DPC or can be the ones that have qualified for TI10.
It will give fans something to tune into in the absence of The International in August 2021 and will perhaps allow teams to build up storylines and momentum heading into TI10. Valve could also allow some aspects (perhaps the seeding in TI10 Group Stages) to be influenced by this tournament, which would add some real stakes to this Mini Major.
A String of Third Party Events
Third party tournament organizers have been an integral part of the Dota 2 competitive circuit whenever there has been a period of time between official Valve tournaments. Many organizers, including Beyond the Summit, ESL, Movistar, the Chinese DOTA2 Professional Association, Epic Esports Events, and Moon Studio, made online tournaments available in 2020 for both low and high tier teams.
We would like to see third-party tournaments popping up for each region with three months lead up to TI. Epic Esports Events with support from the Russian Esports Federation will be hosting five Dota 2 Champions League events for the teams in the CIS. The first season is slated to run from 19th July to 8th Aug, 2021.
Dota 2 fans are eagerly hoping for the release of a new patch following the conclusion of the TI10 qualifiers on 10th July, 2021. The current meta is beginning to become stale and may become boring unless some new changes are made to the game. With three months to go until TI now instead of one, Valve has ample time to be able to introduce two or three minor patch updates or one big balance patch within the next one and a half months, which could result in a perfectly balanced TI patch.
Ideally, the patch should focus on buffing some forgotten heroes such as Earthshaker and Bane, while nerfing heroes like Templar Assassin and Terrorblade, and even items such as Holy Locket which have been in the meta for too long. Also, some general and economic changes can be introduced, since the meta has become more carry-focused over the past year, focusing heavily on taking first and second Roshans.
It can also focus on further balancing the hero and item aspects, as well as addressing any loopholes that develop from the first patch’s economic changes.
Players will then have a month and a half to plan strategies, practice on this patch, and by the time we reach TI, will likely have a fresh meta.
Twerks to the Nemestice Game Event
The Nemestice Game has not been well received by the community. Meteor Hammer and heroes like Nature's Prophet are deemed as exploiting this event game, which just requires the destruction of four enemy towers that do not possess Backdoor Protection. Embercharges, which were the exclusive part of this event and grant damage increases, spell amplification, and movement speed increases, are considered not critical to winning the game, which seems to be the problem.
Adding Backdoor protection is one of the first and most important things Valve should do to make this game a lot more fun and balanced. Additionally, Nemestice Embers should be given more importance. The following is a suggestion that could improve the game's engagement.
In order to take down towers below a certain HP threshold, teams would need a certain number of Embercharges. As an example, after a tower is reduced to 500 HP, the team needs at least 10 Embercharges to target the tower further. Players of that team can bring down a Tower to 500 HP but not more than that if they have fewer than 10 Embercharges. By reducing the number of towers from 4 to 3, we can compensate for the increased game time that will result from these changes.
An Out of the Blue TI Wild Card?
Perhaps our most outlandish wish. Almost every year, some strong teams miss TI, but this year's DPC format has been more grueling than ever and as a result, a lot more star-studded teams will be missing TI than ever before. Among these teams are Na'Vi, TNC Predator, AS Monaco Gambit, and NoPing e-sports who have showcased some incredible Dota 2 over the past few months. In addition, out of all the star studded teams in Europe and China, only one out of OG, Team Nigma, Tundra Esports, Team Liquid, and Team Nigma will qualify from TI10 EU qualifier that is currently underway, while only one out of EHOME and Elephant will qualify from TI10 China qualifier.
Introducing a TI wild card could accommodate some of these top-tier teams who always seem to bring their A-game around TIs. Perhaps Valve could host a small LAN event that could allow some of the biggest Dota 2 teams who did not make it to TI 10, have one shot at making it through. With a $40 Million prize pool on the line, the story writes itself and it could be an interesting preview of what awaits us in Bucharest, Romania come October.
Nonetheless, it seems unlikely that the format of a high stakes tournament will be changed at the eleventh hour.
In the coming three months, it will be interesting to see what awaits both the Dota 2 competitive circuit and the game's community. At the moment, we know that TI10 will be held in Bucharest, Romania, from 7th-17th Oct, 2021, involving 18 of the best Dota 2 teams in the world, and until then we’re just going to wait and see if any of our wishes come true.