China and Esports are hardly out the news at the moment and the country has hit the news once again today with the announcement that ImbaTV has confirmed that it will soon start the first season of its previously mooted China Dota 2 Professional League.
Additionally, ImbaTV have also confirmed that the China Dota 2 Development League, which was revealed back in July, will also run for a second season after what organisers feel was a pleasing inaugural competition.
Overall Aim of China Dota 2 Pro League
With the first season of the Development League, ImbaTV’s latest tournament announcement is designed to strengthen and develop the Dota 2 scene within China. Part of the strategy for the tournament is for organisers to continue to develop a new generation of talented young Chinese Dota 2 players.
The aim is to produce a conveyor belt of talent that will play through these regional tournaments and then go on to play for bigger teams in the larger Dota 2 events, such as the Dota Pro Circuit Major and Minor events and The International.
League Structure and Changes
The two teams that finished top of the Development League last season, Typhoon and iG Vitality, will be promoted to take part in the professional league alongside some familiar names from the Dota esports community.
In another change of team in the Development League, Royal Never Give Up’s second string squad, Royal, has been replaced by a brand new team SAG.
PSG.LGD, Vici Gaming, Keen Gaming, Newbee, Team Aster, Royal Never Give Up, Invictus Gaming and EHOME will compete alongside the promoted two teams for a prize pool of 1.5 million RMB, the equivalent of around £166,350.
The new league from ImbaTV is being seen as the natural successor to Mars Media’s Dota 2 Professional League, which ran in China from 2016 through to December 2018 when the event organiser pulled the plug on the original event and talked about organising a new one.
In July, we jointly planned a new Chinese Dota2 Professional League and launched and successfully held the first China DOTA2 Development League.
Today we are happy to announce the Official Professional League as well as the Second season of the Developmental League.
Next Monday? pic.twitter.com/RSQTrYrjpz
— ImbaTV (@imbatv) October 11, 2019
Reservations About Regional Leagues
Despite the seemingly positive move for the Chinese Dota 2 esports community, some commentators have expressed their concern that smaller regional tournaments like the aforementioned China Dota 2 Professional and Development Leagues, will struggle to pique the interest of the top teams.
With the Dota 2 esports community primarily focused on the far higher prize pools available in the Dota Pro Circuit Majors, and The International, which is still by far the richest tournament in esports, many feel that teams are not particularly willing to invest a great deal of effort in smaller regional events.
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This could lead to teams fielding second string teams in these events, or even electing to pull out of them altogether if they don’t feel it is worth their time to play in them.
However, that may well precisely be the point of regional leagues. With Valve’s Major and Minor tournament system in place, these tournaments are generally contested by the best of the best, which leaves little room for developmental tournaments for the next tier of players to develop.
That is what ImbaTV and China hope their new tournament system can help them develop.