Dota 2 is one of the biggest disciplines in the esports industry. One of its main features is the annual change of the tournaments format and the tournament ecosystem. Valve is constantly experimenting to search the perfect format. One year ago the developer created brand new Dota Pro Circuit system, which is used to determine the direct invitations to the main tournament of the year — The International.
The DPC system of 2018\2019 season was changed greatly compared with the previous year — the number of titled tournaments decreased significantly: from 22 to 10 (5 Majors and 5 Minors). It should have increased the importance of each tournament.
The most popular tournament of the past DPC season China Dota2 Supermajor — it gathered 450.573 people at the peak without the Chinese viewers. The first Major of the current season, The Kuala Lumpur Major, hit the jackpot, as after The International 2018 there were no really major tournaments with the best teams in the world. It helped him to gather at the peak of 526.015 viewers without the Chinese.
Russian-speaking audience played not the last role to make this happens. The strongest team in the CIS region, Virtus.Pro, reached the grand finals, where players met the equally popular in the English-speaking audience Team Secret. This fact had a positive effect on the tournament statistics.
DreamLeague Season 10 is a Minor tournament of DPC system and it was organized before The Kuala Lumpur Major. The fact that it wasn’t a huge event it gathered impressive audience — 229.401 people at the peak. All thanks to Natus Vincere — this team is extremely popular all over the world. This tournament appeared to be more popular than any Minor of the last season — ESL One Genting 2018 was the most favorite.
You could have noticed that we didn’t count the Chinese viewers on The Kuala Lumpur Major and DreamLeague Season 10. The reason is simple — the Chinese partner of PGL is the broadcasting service douyu. It doesn’t show the specific number of viewers, but the degree of popularity of the broadcast.
It is important to understand that the lack of a huge number of tournaments was used by third-party tournament organizers who hold championships outside the DPC system. For example, ESL One Hamburg 2018 was able to invite the best teams from all over the world which helped it to gather at the peak of 206.511 people, which is quite a lot. Also, numerous online tournaments became popular, the brightest example of that was Maincast Autumn Brawl — 284.820 spectators at the peak. It hit the jackpot because of the sensational match between Team Secret and. Natus Vincere in which former NaVi player Daniil “Dendi” Ishutin was a stand-in for Team Secret. It was the first match in the history when Dendi played against Natus Vincere.
Apparently, Valve chose the right course for the development of the Dota 2 professional esports scene. Statistics prove it — the number of viewers has grown, despite the fact that the number of tournaments didn’t decrease if we count also online events. It will be interesting to see what will happen to the following tournaments.