Valve should keep the LCQ for TI12

09:07 PM June 11, 2023

The TI12 Aegis of Champions. (Photo: Valve | Edited by: Dave Bernasibo, Esports INQ)

The Dota 2 International 12 is coming around the corner, and teams are rearing their gears for a shot at the Aegis of Champions. Last year, Valve held the first-ever Last Chance Qualifiers (LCQ) for teams who failed to garner enough DPC points and failed to make it out of the regional qualifiers. The LCQ took the 2nd and 3rd placers from each region and pooled them together for one last shot for a slot at The International 11. Teams like T1, Team Secret, Team Liquid, and Vici Gaming duked it out in a four-day tournament to determine the two teams to take the final wildcard slots for TI11. In the end, European teams Liquid and Secret nabbed the slots and went on to finish third and second, respectively, in last year’s The International gauntlet. 

TI11 Playoffs bracket. Team Secret and Liquid faced each other in the lower bracket final. (Liquipedia)

The LCQ gave teams on the cliff’s edge a chance to grasp a shot at the title’s most prestigious global tournament. Unfortunately, there might not be an LCQ for this year’s The International 12.


The LCQ was more entertaining

When Valve announced the date and venue for this year’s The International, there were no announcements regarding the Last Chance Qualifiers. Although there is a section on it on the Liquipedia page, it is not explained in the TI12 format. This upset a lot of Dota 2 esports fans, and rightfully so. The LCQ was a great way for fans to root for their favorite teams who have had a bad DPC run and were unfortunate enough to miss their chance in the regional qualifiers. The LCQ was a free-for-all consisting of teams hungry for their chance at The International. That’s surely a fun tournament to watch— imagine a gladiator’s arena with only the two best fighters making it out alive.


DPC system favors Division I

Valve’s removal of the Last Chance Qualifiers meant the removal of that free-for-all gladiator’s arena. It also means that we’d be seeing the same 18 teams competing in the past two majors. There’d be a few regional qualifier teams, but that’s it. The DPC point system heavily favors the region’s Division I teams. Division II teams have to fight tooth and nail just to climb out of their division before qualifying for the point system direct invite. That means they have to climb twice as hard before they’d even get a shot at being offered a direct invite. In the case that a Division II team does manage to climb to Division I, their DPC points revert to zero the moment they climb down. That makes sense, but it all the more builds the case that Division II players only have the regional qualifiers as their ticket to The International. 

While the top-seeded teams of Division I had all their chances to rack up points through DPC tours and majors, Division II teams are forced to climb up before they even get a shot at a TI invite. The LCQ was an avenue for Division II teams to get additional chances at qualifying for The International. Removing the LCQ removed a Division II team’s shot at redemption.

Same teams, different TI

For years, we’ve been seeing the same teams qualify for The International. Now, they deserve it with the kind of performance they’re showing, but it gets stagnant. Valve has always boasted that it does not have a franchise system in place for any of its tournaments, be it regional or international. But seeing the same teams almost every year makes it less exciting and predictable to an extent. The regional qualifiers attempt to change that by granting non-outstanding DPC performers a chance at a TI slot. But it wouldn’t hurt to give more slots, right? Plus, LCQ teams are poised for an underdog story. Two teams who managed to get in just as the gates to The International were closing, and now have to fight against the giants of the professional scene. Who wouldn’t love that?

With one last major and a few months before TI12, we cling to good old hopium and wish that Valve changes their minds. We hope that by the end of the Bali Major, the lights go off, and Jake “SirActionSlacks” Kanner announces the Last Chance Qualifier. The LCQ was the best addition to the TI journey, and we hope Valve realizes that.

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TAGS: dota 2, esports, lcq, Team Liquid, Team Secret, The International, ti12
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