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The 2021 Dota Pro Circuit


As we start a new year amidst positive news regarding the vaccine for COVID-19, we wanted to share with you our plans for the Dota Pro Circuit season 2021. 

This year’s competition is slated to start on January 18th, and will consist of 2 seasons, leading up to The International 10. As previously announced, each season, will consist of a six week League portion leading up to a Major. After two seasons, there will be qualifiers for the remaining slots for The International 10 happening in Stockholm in August. The calendar for the two seasons is as follows:

Season 1: January 18th – February 28th. (March 14th for China with a break in the middle)
Major 1: March 25th – April 4th

Season 2: April 13th  – May 23rd
Major 2: June 2nd – June 13th

Given that several teams experienced a lot of roster changes throughout the year and performance has varied among teams from the previous DPC season, we will not be using previous season’s DPC points as a way to seed teams into the leagues but rather selecting the top 4 teams in best form from each region to be directly qualified to the Upper division, while a series of qualifiers, closed and open, will determine the remaining 12 teams in both divisions.

At the end of the league, the top teams from each region’s upper division will qualify to the Major. For the first major, the distribution of the 18 slots will be as follows:

EU: Top 4
China: Top 4
SEA: Top 3
CIS: Top 3
NA: Top 2
SA: Top 2

The bottom two teams of the Upper Division in each Region will be relegated to the Lower Division, while the top two teams of the Lower Division will be promoted. The bottom two teams of the lower division will be eliminated from the league and open qualifiers will decide which are the two teams that will occupy those slots on the next season.

Due to feedback from fans and players, the schedule has been revisited to make sure all match times fit the regions play and watch times as best as possible. The new schedule is as follows (All times Pacific Time):

Schedule:

Upper Division
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
12AM China SEA China SEA China
3AM China SEA SEA SEA China
6AM CIS CIS
9AM Europe Europe CIS CIS Europe CIS
12PM Europe SA NA SA Europe NA
3PM NA SA NA SA SA NA
6PM
Lower Division
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
12AM China SEA
3AM SEA CIS CIS CIS
6AM CIS Europe Europe CIS Europe
9AM Europe SA SA SA
12PM SA NA Europe SA NA
3PM NA NA NA
6PM
9PM China SEA SEA China SEA China China

The six regional leagues will be operated by the following tournament organizers, who will in the following days share more information on qualifiers, broadcasting, show and talent information:

Europe: Dreamhack
CIS: ESL
China: Perfect World
SEA: PGL
NA: BTS
SA: Dotapit

In an upcoming update, by the end of January, the DPC circuit will become integrated with the client, featuring Standings, Schedule and Tournament Information, as well as making it easy for people to follow their favorite teams and support them through purchasing seasonal Fan Support bundles.


The Mistwoods Update

Deep in the outlands, beyond the deserts of Nanarak and north of the coal fires of Krimwohl, a treacherous expanse of woodland awaits — where a stash of precious Aghanim’s shards has been discovered and a cunning new hero runs wild.

Head over to The Mistwoods Update page to learn all about this new warrior in the battle for the Ancients and the trove of all-new powers that Aghanim’s magnanimity has bestowed upon us all.


Dota Plus Update – Winter 2020

Winter gloom may shadow the lands, but for those battling over mastery of the lanes and destruction of an Ancient, nothing stops the action. And for the most dedicated, whose mastery is no longer in question, today’s update unveils a new level of greatness — Grandmaster — along with other seasonal updates for Dota Plus.

Dota Plus Grandmaster Tier
Dota Plus members can now level up heroes to a brand-new Grandmaster tier at level 30. In addition to the inherent intimidation factor, players who earn the title of Grandmaster have access to a new chat wheel voice line for that hero. Any hero challenges completed as a Grandmaster will also grant shards as a reward instead of hero XP.

Dota Plus Seasonal Treasure
To accompany the debut of Grandmaster, the Winter 2020 Seasonal Treasure is now available for purchase with shards. Exclusive to Dota Plus members, this treasure features all new sets for Dragon Knight, Puck, Spirit Breaker, Templar Assassin, Earth Spirit, Vengeful Spirit, Luna, Necrophos, Undying, Ember Spirit, and Centaur Warrunner. There’s also a chance to receive the Very Rare Hermid the Crab courier, which comes preloaded with random prismatic and kinetic gems.

Updated Seasonal Quests & Guild Rewards
Today’s update also comes with a new set of Dota Plus quests to haul in some extra shards for the Seasonal Treasure, helping you earn up to 115,200 shards over the course of the season.

Not to be left out, the guild rewards for silver, gold, and platinum tier guilds have been switched out for the season.

Guild Tier Rewards
Silver
  • :guildbanner: emoticon
  • :dazzle_shrug: emoticon
  • :pump_glad: emoticon
Gold
  • “Happy Tree” spray
  • “Earthshaker Dunk” spray
  • “Chicken” spray
Platinum
  • “The next level play!” chat wheel
  • “啊,队友呢?队友呢?队友呢?! 队友呢?!?!” chat wheel
  • “Ай-ай-ай-ай-ай, что сейчас произошло” chat wheel

Upcoming Updates

With Thanksgiving coming around the corner, we wanted to take the opportunity to thank you all for your continued support during the year and wish you stay safe and healthy during this time. Additionally, we wanted to give you another quick update about some of the upcoming things we’re working on.

As we mentioned in the previous Dota Plus update, the new season will be starting December 1st and it will feature a seasonal quest reset, a new seasonal treasure and more. We have also started rolling in backend changes to gather data for the upcoming Overwatch features. When fully implemented, this tool will allow users to review suspicious matches and help identify bad actors, in addition to our existing systems.

On the gameplay front, our original plan for the new hero was November 30th, however she needs a bit more time to cozy up for the winter. We will be releasing her, along with the 7.28 gameplay update, in mid December.

Finally we are excited to announce that the 2021 Dota Pro Circuit will start on January 18th. 16 teams within two divisions will compete in each of the six Regional Leagues. The best from each region will also qualify to the first Major of the season. More information on schedule and details will be available soon.


‘Tis the Season

He's back!

Slivers of the Mad Moon cast their waning light across the land. A dormant beast stirs in his cave, a powerful hunger overcoming the arcane tendrils that bind him in his hibernation. We once celebrated his taste for sweets and the blood spilled in his honor by both Radiant and Dire. But that was quite long ago. Yet he stirs. Could it be? Yes! Now comes the season of Roshan! And with him comes an all-new Halloween game mode, rewards upon rewards, gobs of candy to steal and a heaping new treasure for one and all. Lo, it’s Diretide.

Featuring a new version of the Diretide game mode, collect and steal candy from your enemies, while keeping Roshan at bay. The best-of-5 fast-paced brawl will be available for everyone to play until December 22nd. For the duration of the event, Diretide and Dota games you play will reward you with Diretide Points. Every 100 Diretide Points collected, you’ll receive one of over 75 unique rewards including exclusive sets, couriers, wards, a Chest of the Diretide, a Pumpkin Head equippable by any hero, ghostly costumes for your heroes and your courier, an alternate in-game art style global item, chat wheel lines, sprays, MMR Double down tokens and more!

Diretide is not the only thing that is back from the past this year: The Hallowed Chest of the Diretide, with more than 60 items among 5 tiers, including Immortals and Emblems, reintroduces the Chest and Key system. Similar to Dota chests from 2013 and CSGO, the Chest of the Diretide drops as a reward for playing and is opened with a key purchasable on the store. Both the Chest and its contents are immediately marketable and can be purchased and sold on the Marketplace directly from inside the client. Additionally, we are introducing a Trade Up system that allows you to turn 10 items of a tier into a random item of a tier higher. Don’t have 10 items of the same tier? We will help you automatically fill the empty slots with the cheapest items from the marketplace so you can find the best bargains and turn them into more valuable items. Like CSGO crates as well, the odds of tier 1 to tier 4 are 1:5 compared to the tier immediately below. The odds for the cosmically rare emblems are 1:100000, like previous emblems.

Find more details on the Diretide Website


Update to Dota Plus and Guilds

The Fall Season is upon us and we’re excited to announce updates to Dota Plus and Guilds. The Season begins today and it will run through the beginning of December, 2020.

Autumnal Treasure 2020

Dota Plus members can now purchase a new treasure with shards. This treasure features 12 community-created sets for Nyx Assassin, Leshrac, Medusa, Vengeful Spirit, Weaver, Clockwerk, Faceless Void, Doom, Sven, Axe, Crystal Maiden, and Tusk. It also includes the re-introduction of Ethereal and Prismatic gems, with the very rare Blazing Hatchling courier coming pre-equipped with a random one of each.

Our plan right now is to have a new seasonal treasure available for purchase with shards every 3 months. The next treasure will be available on Dec 1st, and then again every 3 months after that. This will also align with seasonal quests and seasonal terrains.

Updates to Dota Plus

In addition to the existing ways to earn shards, Dota Plus members can also earn up to 57,850 shards from a new season of quests for Fall 2020. These extra shards will give the currency you need to take advantage of the Seasonal Treasure.

Dota Plus members can now use the new Role Assistant hero grid arrangement. As the Dota community finds new and different ways for heroes to be played, the new Role Assistant automatically records the picks of every hero in Ranked Roles matchmaking and displays heroes in their most picked roles. This data is updated automatically to highlight the latest trends and is filterable by MMR rank.

Several features from the Battle Pass have also moved into Dota Plus:

  • The Chat Wheel sound effects (e.g. Moo, Orchestra Hit) are now available by redeeming shards.
  • The pull timers when holding ALT are now available to Dota Plus members.
  • The post-game healing and gold breakdowns have now merged with the existing Dota Plus damage tab.
  • The Battle Pass MVP feature is now available for all players, but Dota Plus customers can earn extra shards with a new Seasonal quest.

We’ve also bumped up the number of players allowed to be on the Avoid Players list from 16 to 25.

Shards for Everyone

We want all players to enjoy earning and spending Shards, so we have changed the currency to be available to all players rather than being Dota Plus exclusive.

While the most effective way to earn shards is to have Dota Plus, we’ve enabled the following subset of features to be available for all players:

  • All players can now reach up to Hero Level 5 without a Dota Plus subscription. Only subscribers can reach Silver tier and above.
  • All players can now use tipping for shards.
  • All players can now earn the weekly shard reward for winning 3 matches. Non-subscribers earn 500 shards per week, while Dota Plus members earn 1000.
  • The Dota Plus Rewards store has been renamed to the “Shard Shop”, and the premium hero sets, legacy hero sets, and tools are now purchasable by everyone. The Seasonal treasure, Chat Wheel sound effects and Hero Relics remain Dota Plus exclusive.

Guild Updates

We reintroduced Guilds during the Battle Pass, and we were happy to see how many players participated in Guilds and shared their feedback with us. We are keeping the existing Guilds, but many of the rewards received only worked in the context of the Battle Pass. We’ve redesigned those features so that you can enjoy playing with your guild all the time.

Guilds no longer have a Guild Level – instead there is now a weekly leaderboard of guild points earned in a given region. Once a week, guild members will receive their new guild rank and can claim a reward of shards; Dota Plus members earn double the amount of shards. A Guild’s weekly leaderboard position also determines access to special perks that may change over time. The current set of perks is:

Leaderboard Position Perks
0-24th Percentile Bronze Tier
25th-49th Percentile Silver Tier
250 Shards per week (500 for Dota Plus)
3 Guild Emoticons
50th-74th Percentile Gold Tier
500 Shards per week (1000 for Dota Plus)
3 Guild Sprays
Includes Silver Tier Emoticons
75th Percentile or higher Platinum Tier
750 Shards per week (1500 for Dota Plus)
3 Caster Chat Wheels
Includes Silver Tier Emoticons and Gold Tier Sprays

At the end of the week, all existing guild points will decay by a percentage. This is so that new guilds have a chance to catch up to existing guilds; however, they’ll naturally have to work hard to catch up to the leaders! We want this feature to reward active and engaged guilds working together week-by-week to gain points – so with that in mind we’ll be monitoring and adjusting the weekly decay to achieve that goal.

Guild contracts now earn both guild points and shards. All players have access to one contract slot per day, and Dota Plus members have access to a second slot. Guild challenges are still completed in parties of 3+ guild members, and they earn guild points for leaderboard position. Playing a match while in a guild earns guild points, with bonuses for being in parties with your guildmates.

All players can participate in a guild, but only Dota Plus members can create them.

Ranked Season

In the past we’ve seen a bunch of negative aspects to forcing everyone to reset their MMR at the same time. That has been part of our reluctance to continue with resetting every 6 months. However after we’ve expressed this reluctance recently, we’ve gotten a lot of feedback about how valuable they felt this functionality was to them, along with various suggestions to handling this topic.

For this season, we are going to try a new approach to MMR resets. We are making the MMR reset optional, and for those who want to participate, we instead spread it out so it doesn’t create too much volatility at the same time (ontop of the volatility that already exists when you enter calibration). We hope this will remove most of the downsides of MMR resets, and let the people that really want to do it be able to do so in a little bit more of a stable environment.

Upon logging in, you can go to Settings, and under the Account tab there is a new MMR Recalibration section. To prevent everyone from recalibrating at once, start-times will be spaced out evenly between October 22, 2020 and November 22, 2020 and can be activated anytime until the Season is over. Feel free to press the button the moment it’s available to you, never press it, or warm back up to competitive play before activating it.

Communication

The community has been wanting us to talk a bit more about things we are working on. There are a variety of reasons we don’t tend to get into those things until something is ready to release, because sometimes plans change, or an idea doesn’t develop into something solid, etc. Sometimes we also aren’t sure about dates yet, and don’t want to set up false expectations for either the scope for an update or to create disappointment if estimations are wrong.

That being said, we recognize that sometimes we need to balance that approach with the desire for some information to the community. So we’ll share more information on a few topics below.

First is with regards to new heroes. We know the community tends to expect new heroes in the fall each year (usually released around November sometime). We are currently aiming for end of November for a new hero release, followed by more that are spread throughout next year with the next one in the first quarter next year. Recently we’ve been thinking about trying an overall development approach of spreading out updates during the year, rather than only having most content and updates centered around The International. We are hoping a steady state of content will prove to be more engaging to users than the previous approaches.

Another area we’ve been doing work on recently is player behavior and toxicity. Some of that has been work we’ve been doing recently in public without patch notes, while some is upcoming stuff that is still in development. We’ve made improvements to our smurf detection systems, and as a result we’ve started separating new accounts from entering the pool of normal and new players. Smurf accounts are now much more likely to play with other smurfs only, this includes parties where only one player is a smurf. They are also likely to inherit any negative behavior scores of their alternate accounts, to limit their negative impact when playing. We’ve also done a few more improvements on making new accounts converge to their correct MMR faster, however there is still more to be done on that front. We have a couple of approaches to solve that which we are working on but they are in the research/experimental stage at this point.

We’ve also been ramping up our banning of booster accounts, as we’ve improved detections systems in recent months and gained more confidence in the ability to ban for it. In the past 30 days we’ve banned over 14000 accounts, and have set up systems to continually ban for boosting moving forward. This is an area however that needs constant work and improvements to not stagnate, and some of this will benefit from more advanced detection methods that are also in early research/experimental stages.

In terms of toxicity and game ruining behaviors from players, we are working on a new Overwatch style system, similar in some ways to that of CS:GO. We aren’t ready to share more information about this yet, but we will as soon as we are able. We are hoping to get this in the game as soon as possible.

Lastly, we’ve done some engine development that results in moderate performance improvements on multi-core CPU’s and will be bringing those to Dota. There’s still a bit of testing to do as it may result in some bugs, but we are aiming towards the next week or so for it. As you can expect, given the code changes required, the release could be a little bit spooky.