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Valve, the game publisher of Dota 2, has announced it will be canceling the game’s fourth Major and Minor tournaments this year, in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This affects the planned EPICENTER Major in Moscow, Russia, due to take place May 2-10, as well as the AMD SAPPHIRE Dota PIT Minor in Split, Croatia, originally scheduled for April 23-26.
After careful consideration of the current state and trajectory of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the health risk that this presents to competitors, staff and fans alike, we have made the difficult decision to cancel to the 4th minor and major tournaments of the DPC season.
— DOTA 2 (@DOTA2) March 15, 2020
At this time, Valve nor the tournament organizers have indicated that online matches would be played instead. The winners of Minor tournaments qualify for their corresponding Major, with both also awarding points as part of the Dota Professional Circuit (DPC). These points allow high-performing teams to qualify for The International 2020—still due to take place in Stockholm this September, at the time of writing.
“We are very sorry to report this, but the tournament we were all looking forward to has been canceled,” said Evgeny Kalganov, event director of Epic Esports Events, in a statement. “The safety of players, fans, and employees is the most important thing for us. Anyone who has already purchased tickets for EPICENTER Major will receive a refund as soon as possible.”
It has not been stated at this time how the lost points will be accounted for. Valve offered a second tweet stating “we will keep following the situation and decide how to approach the final major and minor of the season as the weeks progress.” The ESL One Los Angeles Major, originally set to take place March 15-22, was last week postponed to a currently undetermined time and place.
The DPC is set to transition after the next edition of The International to a set of six regional leagues, rather than a tournament circuit system. Each of the leagues will feature three seasons, each with a prize pool of $280K USD, with a $500K Major tournament featuring 18 teams from all regions to take place after each season. These Majors will still award DPC points, which will be used to qualify for The International.
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