Gaimin Gladiators proved they are by far and away the best Dota 2 team of the year at the Bali Major last week, but Valve’s very own official Dota Pro Circuit rankings seem to say otherwise—perplexing fans and pundits alike.
The Western European squad secured their third Dota Major title in Indonesia on July 9, downing perennial rivals Team Liquid 3–1, and thus cementing themselves amongst Dota’s elite having won every single Major in 2023. Yet despite this, it is actually Liquid who sits at the top of the DPC rankings ahead of Gaimin.
The detail was discovered following the Bali final, and confirmed by Valve themselves via their DPC points standings. Liquid clears Gaimin by 10 points. While there is no extra benefit to topping the standings, it is nonetheless Valve’s “official” ranking for Dota.
The DPC points system rewards Dota 2 teams for performances at both their regional tour as well as their placement at any offline Majors, should their tour result net them an invitation. In an effort to diversify DPC standings with as many teams from differing regions, the seasonal tours offer almost as many points as the Major, and there is a much wider margin between first and second than at the Major.
As a result, Liquid’s wins in Tour I and Tour II earlier in 2023 netted the squad 700 DPC points, whereas Gaimin—who finished second and third respectively—received just 340 points. Meanwhile, Gaimin’s championships each landed the squad just 50 more than TL.
Fans took to social media to argue against the system, with some believing Major performance should outrank anything a regional league should offer, even if it means teams from outlier regions earn a direct invite to The International.
One fan pointed out that TSM, who won both North America Tour I and II, earned enough points to guarantee themselves a spot at TI. But at both of the Majors they attended, the squad’s performance was poor; 8-24 over the two events. In Lima, TSM narrowly missed playoffs, while in Berlin the team was the worst-performing of all attending.
BetBoom was also seen as a beneficiary of the points system. The squad finished in the top three in each seasonal tour but failed to make the playoffs in Lima and Berlin. After finally securing finals in Bali, the team then received a match disqualification and crashed out of the event without earning any DPC points.
It’s not to mention the conflicting tallies between Valve and “unofficial” standings like Liquipedia, which sees numerous discrepancies between certain teams’ DPC points. For example, Valve has Execration through in 12th and thus guaranteed a spot at TI later this competitive season—but somehow, the team received an extra 300 points from their Bali Major campaign, despite the team failing to finish in the points at all.
It’s not even the first time such issues have arisen, with last year’s TI11 invites marred by last-minute changes and discrepancies between rankings affecting Fnatic and Outsiders.
For what is supposed to be a tier-one esport with a clear path to the pinnacle on the calendar, Valve hasn’t made things easy for fans to follow.
We’ll be keeping a sharp eye on Valve’s official Dota 2 rankings nevertheless in case any further corrections are made ahead of TI’s regional qualifiers next week.