Dota 2: Chinese teams to miss Stockholm Major, will play Regional Finals instead

The 2021-2022 Dota Pro Circuit Spring Tour will kick off with the regional leagues from 14 March to 24 April, followed by the Spring Tour Major in Katowice, Poland in May. (Photo: Valve Software)
The four Chinese teams that qualified for the ESL One Stockholm Major will be unable to compete in the tournament, likely due to lockdown and travel restrictions being implemented in China due to rising COVID-19 cases. (Photo: Valve Software)

Perfect World Esports, the organisers of the 2021-2022 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) Chinese regional league, announced on Friday (29 April) that the Chinese representatives for the upcoming Stockholm Major will be unable to attend the tournament and will instead conclude the Spring Tour with a Regional Final.

Perfect World did not explicitly state the reason why the Chinese representatives in the Stockholm Major, namely PSG.LGD, Xtreme Gaming, Team Aster, and Royal Never Give Up (RNG), will be unable to travel to the tournament.

However, the announcement comes amid recent lockdowns and travel restrictions in China caused by a rise of COVID-19 cases.

Earlier this month, the Spring Tour regional league for China was notably postponed twice over lockdowns in Shanghai, where the league was being hosted live.

The four Chinese teams that are unable to compete in the Stockholm Major will instead compete in the Chinese Spring Tour Regional Finals from 6 to 8 May. Perfect World Esports has yet to reveal more details on this replacement tournament, including the prize money and DPC points at stake.

Dota 2 developer Valve Software and Stockholm Major organiser ESL have also yet to issue statements on the absence of the Chinese teams from the tournament.

Some changes to the Major's format may be implemented since the number of participating teams has now been reduced from 18 to 14, unless the organisers decide to replace the absent Chinese teams with teams from other regions.

China isn't the only region in the DPC that has faced issues in getting their teams to the Stockholm Major. Eastern Europe is currently hosting qualifiers for the Major in lieu of its Spring Tour regional league, which was postponed in late February shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine began.

The ESL One Stockholm Major will take place from 12 to 22 May in the Hovet Arena in Stockholm, Sweden. It will feature the 18 best teams in the DPC competing for their cut of a US$500,000 prize pool and 3,530 DPC point pool.

The Stockholm Major is planned to feature a live audience and will be the first Dota 2 Major to be hosted in front of a crowd since DreamLeague Season 13: The Leipzig Major in early 2020.

Chinese Dota 2 teams aren't the only ones that have been unable to compete internationally due to the lockdowns and travel restrictions in the country.

RNG's League of Legends (LoL) team has been forced to compete in the game's upcoming 2022 Mid-Season Invitational in South Korea remotely as the travel restrictions in China have prevented them from participating in the event in-person.

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