The Dota Major Championships are four annual championship series sponsored by Valve. They were announced in 2015 as part of Valve plans for developing the competitive Dota 2 landscape. The tournaments consist of fall, winter, spring events, while the summer event is The International.
The 2015 - 2016 Major Championships: A New tradition
Valve made an announcement of their plans for developing landscape for Dota 2 by hosting final series of four tournaments for the season of 2015-2016 in April 2015. The new Major Championship round includes the new Autumn, Winter, and Spring majors, which are named for their host cities, as well as the existing final event, the Summer major - The International. Major tournaments that are sponsored by Valve are hosted at various locations around the world by organizers of third-party. The aim is to increase the engagement of fan-team and the stability of team roster during the year. The Frankfurt Major, the first Dota 2 Major Championship Event which was sponsored by Valve, got announced in September 2015. It was known by the $3,000,000 fixed prize pool and was hosted at Festhalle Messe in Frankfurt, Germany by ESL.
The 2016 - 2017 Major Championships: A Review
In 2016, during the summer championship - The International, it was announced that the 2016/2017 season would consist of only three Major Championships instead of four as in the previous season. In addition, there would be used a shorter format of single elimination bracket in the first two majors instead of the double elimination format that was the main element of The International and copied for the 2015-2016 season Majors. In Boston was held the first Major of the season and it kept the Eaglesong trophy from the previously held Autumn Major (Frankfurt). Likewise, in April 2017 the Kiev Major kept the Winter trophy from the Shanghai Major. For the sixth successive year The International 2017, the final major of the 2016/2017 season, was hosted in Seattle.
The 2017 - 2018 Competitive Season
In July 2017 Valve revealed remarkable changes to the Major Championship round. After The International 2017, Major Championships will now be third-party tournaments selected to receive a sponsorship of $500,000 USD from Valve as an addition to the existing events prize pool. Acceptable third-party tournaments must have at least one qualifier from every six primary regions (SA, CN, NA, SEA, CIS, and EU), a minimum prize pool of $500,000 USD and a LAN final.
Besides, it will also sponsor smaller events called Minors. These Minor Championships have similar requirements. In order to be qualified for a $150,000 USD sponsorship, there should be a prize pool of at least $150,000 USD. To help avoid collisions during the year Valve will precisely manage agenda of Minors and Majors.
The one and only criteria for invitations to The International 2018 is the qualifying points players receive by competing in Minor and Major Championships. Based on the tournaments, total prize pool points will be awarded, with Majors giving the most points per prize pool dollar. Also, based on the time of the year, the total points per tournament will partly scale. For example, the tournaments closer to The International grant additional points. Towards a team's efficient total qualifying points only the top three point earners on a team will contribute. Lastly, qualifying points for everyone to follow and leaderboards of player will be maintained by Valve.