The 2021 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) is finally about to begin. After last year’s DPC was put on a nine-month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, Dota fans will soon be able to watch the game’s highest-level of competition in a new regional league format starting on Monday (18 January).
Ahead of its long-awaited return, here’s everything you need to know about the 2021 DPC.
The regional leagues
This year’s DPC has been split into two seasons leading up to The International 10 (TI10), which was announced in 2019 be held in Stockholm, Sweden, in August.
Each season consists of two parts, the first being a six-week regional league for the five major regions in the world competitive of Dota — Europe, China, Southeast Asia, CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States), North America, and South America.
The regional leagues are also split into two divisions of eight teams each. The teams in the Upper Division will be fighting for DPC points and a spot in the Major at the end of each season’s league, while the teams in the Lower Division will be fighting to get into the Upper Division.
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. Meanwhile, the bottom two teams of the lower division will be eliminated from the league and open qualifiers will decide their replacements for the next season.
Each regional league will be hosted by a different organiser, DreamHack (Europe), Perfect World (China), PGL (Southeast Asia), ESL (CIS), Beyond the Summit (North America), and DotaPit (South America).
The regional leagues will be followed by a Major, which will gather the 18 best teams from the different regional leagues. Each regional league has been assigned a specific number of slots in the Major, which is determined by the level of competition in the region.
Europe and China both get four slots, Southeast Asia and CIS both get three slots, while North America and South America both get two slots.
The top team from each regional league will automatically qualify to the playoffs of the Major, the second-placed team will start in the group stage, while the third-placed team (for all regions except for North America and South America) will have to go through the Major’s Wildcard stage.
After the two seasons of regional leagues and their respective Majors have concluded, the teams that earned the most DPC points will receive direct invites to TI10. The remaining slots will be determined through regional qualifiers.
The regional league for the first season of this year’s DPC will run from 18 January to 28 February for all regions except China. The Chinese regional league will run until 14 March, as it will have a break in the middle to accommodate the Chinese New Year on 12 February.
Meanwhile, the Major for the first season is set for 25 March to 4 April.
The regional league for the second season is slated to run from 13 April to 23 May, with all regions now following the same schedule. Its Major is planned for 2-13 June.
While Valve has not yet released the schedule for TI10, it is expected to start in mid-August. TI10 was originally planned to hold its main event from 18-23 August last year before the coronavirus pandemic grounded the DPC to a halt.
Once the regional leagues kick off, Dota fans can expect to watch pro-level Dota at any time of any day for every week they will be running. The schedule has been designed so as to ensure that each regional league will have its own time slot for both the Upper and Lower Division.
Here’s the weekly schedule with all times in Pacific Time (PT):
List of teams
Each division of every regional league is comprised of eight teams. For the Upper Divisions, four teams received direct invites due to their performance over the past year while the remaining teams were determined through qualifiers.
Meanwhile, the Lower Division teams are comprised of teams that failed to qualify for their region’s Upper Division and the winners of open qualifiers, except for the Southeast Asian regional league, which filled its Lower Division solely with teams that didn’t make the cut for the Upper Division.
See below for the list of all teams competing in both divisions for each regional league:
Team Secret (Direct Invite)
OG (Direct Invite)
Team Nigma (Direct Invite)
Team Liquid (Direct Invite)
Chicken Fighters (Qualified)
No Bounty Hunter
PSG.LGD (Direct Invite)
Elephant (Direct Invite)
EHOME (Direct Invite)
Vici Gaming (Direct Invite)
Invictus Gaming (Qualified)
Team Aster (Qualified)
Team MagMa (Qualified)
Royal Never Give Up
Sparking Arrow Gaming
TNC Predator (Direct Invite)
Fnatic (Direct Invite)
T1 (Direct Invite)
BOOM Esports (Direct Invite)
Neon Esports (Qualified)
Vice Esports (Qualified)
496 Gaming (Qualified)
Virtus.pro (Direct Invite)
Natus Vincere (Direct Invite)
Team Spirit (Direct Invite)
Live to Win (Direct Invite)
Team Empire (Qualified)
Imperial Pro Gaming
Evil Geniuses (Direct Invite)
SADBOYS (Direct Invite)
Quincy Crew (Direct Invite)
4Zoomers (Direct Invite)
Black N Yellow (Qualified)
Beastcoast (Direct Invite)
Thunder Predator (Direct Invite)
SG Esports (Direct Invite)
Infamous (Direct Invite)
Omega Gaming (Qualified)
Team Unknown (Qualified)
Latam Defenders (Qualified)
Blood for Blood
Where to watch
Europe stream: https://www.twitch.tv/dreamleague
China stream: https://www.douyu.com/6829849
Southeast Asia stream: https://www.twitch.tv/pgl
CIS stream: https://www.twitch.tv/esl_dota2
North America stream: https://www.twitch.tv/beyondthesummit
South America stream: https://www.twitch.tv/ogadotapit
Yahoo Esports Southeast Asia will also bring you all the updates in a weekly round up of the DPC.