Dota Pro Circuit 2021: Rules, Format, and Teams

After a miserable season and no International in 2020, DPC, or Dota Pro Circuit, is about to restart. For the first time in many years, we have a competitive year beginning in January. Usually, October is the month when Dota 2 tournaments and qualifiers begin, around 2 months after The International.

Dota Pro Circuit 2021: Rules, Format, And Teams

The New Rules of DPC

The upcoming Dota Pro Circuit will have new rules and a completely different format. Instead of Minors, there will be Regional Leagues. These leagues will also decide who goes to the Majors.

The circuit is now divided into two seasons. Each season lasts for 6 weeks. At the end of those 6 weeks, the best teams from each region advance to various stages of the Major that follows. In that sense, you can think of the Major as a Playoffs Stage of the regional leagues. This will be a tournament that reunites everyone and allows global matches to take place in these difficult times.

Roster changes are discouraged. They are allowed only at the end of each season and for every player changed, a team loses 15% of its qualification points for The International.

Teams can use stand-ins in up to 4 of their 14 league matches (in both seasons combined), but not as freely as before. The stand-in player must either not compete in a DPC league or he must compete in a lower division. This prevents situations in which formidable players are called to the rescue right before an important match.

The New Major Format


The competitive format of Majors has changed as well. Major events will now feature 18 teams instead of 16. The participants will come from all of the 6 regions but not every region will receive 3 invites as you might expect.

  • 3 teams from Southeast Asia
  • 3 teams from CIS
  • 4 teams from Europe
  • 4 teams from China
  • 2 teams from North America
  • 2 teams from South America


In their new format, Majors offer $500,000 and 2700 Dota Pro Circuit points to the top 8 participants. These rewards will be divided like this:

  • 1st: $200,000; 500 pts
  • 2nd: $100,000; 450 pts
  • 3rd: $75,000; 400 pts
  • 4th: $50,000; 350 pts
  • 5th – 6th: $25,000; 300 pts
  • 7th – 8th: $12,500; 200 pts

The International 2021 Invites

The International 2021
The International 2021

At the end of the second Major, the top 12 competitors will receive direct invitations to The International 2021. 6 more teams will have the chance to quality for the event by going through regional qualifiers. For the first time in recent memory, there will not be any Open Qualifiers. And in a way this makes sense, given that in each region, the lower division will receive fresh teams after every season.

The Regional Leagues

Every region has a Regional League. These leagues are divided into two divisions, made up of 8 teams: the upper division and the lower division. A league lasts for 6 weeks. Based on the results, the composition of these divisions changes. Some teams are relegated while others are promoted. The best teams advance to different stages of the Major.

Upper Division

  • 1st: $30,000; 500 pts; advances to the Major Playoffs
  • 2nd: $28,000; 300 pts; advances to the Major Group Stage
  • 3rd: $27,000; 200 pts; advances to the Major Wild Card Stage (only in Southeast Asia, China, Europe, and CIS)
  • 4th: $26,000; 100 pts; advances to the Major Wild Card Stage (only in China and Europe)
  • 5th: $25,000; 50 pts; remains in the upper division
  • 6th: $24,000; 0 pts; remains in the upper division
  • 7th: $23,000; 0 pts; relegated to the lower division
  • 8th: $22,000; 0 pts; relegated to the lower division

Lower Division

  • 1st: $17,000; gets promoted to the upper division
  • 2nd: $16,000; gets promoted to the upper division
  • 3rd: $15,000; remains in the lower division
  • 4th: $11,000; remains in the lower division
  • 5th: $9,000; remains in the lower division
  • 6th: $7,000; remains in the lower division
  • 7th – 8th: gets eliminated and then replaced by an Open Qualifiers competitor



These are the competitors that have been offered direct invitations to join the upper division of their regional league.

  • China: PSG.LGD, Elephant, EHOME, Vici Gaming
  • Southeast Asia: TNC Predator, BOOM Esports, Fnatic, T1
  • Europe: Team Liquid, OG, Team Nigma, Team Secret
  • CIS: Natus Vincere,, Team Spirit, Live to Win
  • South America: Thunder Predator, Infamous, beastcoast, SG e-sports
  • North America: Quincy Crew, Evil Geniuses, Sadboys, 4 Zoomers


Except for a few regions, the new DPC is scheduled to start on January 18th. The CIS region will have a slightly delayed schedule and will start on January 21st. The first season will end between February 26th – 28th.

Radu Muresan

Esports professional, Dota 2 expert, interested in a wide array of topics, from copywriting to computer science. In esports, my main specialties are Dota 2, League of Legends, and CS:GO.
Comparison List (0)