For the 18 teams attending The International 2018, the day started in Vancouver, Canada with an official meeting with Valve officials.
Valve had prepared a couple of exciting announcements and one of the most interesting is related to the next Dota Pro Circuit and the way The International 2019 direct invites and regional qualifiers will work.
The recently ended DPC system decided the eight teams that secured their appearance at The International 2018. The top eight in the DPC rankings stopped the points grind and were able to take a much-needed vacation time ahead of the big event while for the rest of the competitive scene, the hardest battle for a TI8 ticket started with the open and/or closed regional qualifiers.
TI9 direct invites and regional qualifiers slots
Since the very first year when Valve implemented regional qualifiers for their annual event, the community has always found something to comment about the slot allocation for each region. To stop all the speculations the TI9 regional qualifiers will have just one spot allotted for each region. No more 3 spots for NA or China, no more 2 spots to EU or SEA. It’s just one spot for each of the major regions: China, Southeast Asia, Europe, CIS, North America, South America. This means that the top 12 teams in the next DPC season will make the cut for a direct invite at The International 2019.
2018-2019 DPC points distribution
According to sources, the DPC points allocation at each Minor and Major will also be changed. Throughout the entire past season the players complained about the DPC points distribution, mainly the fact that only the top four teams earned points. According to what was discussed today, the points will be awarded to more than just four teams, however, it is not decided if to the top six or top eight finishers.
Sponsorship from betting websites
Valve advised today the professional teams to stop accepting sponsorship from any gambling website. However, as many of the teams have already signed long terms contracts with such companies, it is unsure when and how these contracts must be ended. The contracts issue was raised by one of the team managers today at the meeting, but it was said that more detailed discussion on this topic will be held “later.”
Valve wants pro teams to train with OpenAI during TI8
Since OpenAI made their first public showing of one of their bots at TI7, players and teams alike wanted to have a shot at playing against these extremely efficient bots. It was only last week when the OpenAI Five defeated 2-1 the Human team of former and current professional players and it is most likely that we will witness another show match on the Rogers Arena big stage OpenAI Five versus TI attendees, this time.
To help the developer team behind the OpenAI bots, Valve invited today the professional teams to express their wish to play 5vs5 with the bots while they are in Vancouver for TI8, saying that they will personally take care of the schedule for those matches.