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Regional qualifiers continued this week with Dota Asia Championships 2018, Dreamleague Season 9, EPICENTER XL, and GESC: Indonesia all handing out invitations to deserving teams including Effect, VGJ.Thunder, The Final Tribe, paiN Gaming, OG, Fnatic, Mineski, and Evil Geniuses.

The Dreamleague Season 9 North America qualifier continues through the weekend after which there’ll be a pause in qualifier action for the next Dota 2 Pro Circuit tournament, ESL One Katowice.


Valve released the second of their bi-weekly patches on Thursday, advancing us from 7.08 to 7.09 with a comparatively smaller patch. Full patch notes can be found here, with highlights including a potential gold bonus for players who stack neutral camps for other players to farm, and the reduced cost of the courier upgrade.

The bi-weekly patch experiment is scheduled to continue for roughly another five and a half months.

Casters Moving On

Ben “Merlini” Wu and David “LD” Gorman both confirmed they’ve moved on from Dota 2 casting in separate tweets on Tuesday this week. LD indicated his focus has to be on the business side of his esports production company, Beyond the Summit. His passion for Dota 2 is clear in the statement, as well as his commitment to giving his best to the community and the employees at Beyond the Summit. While LD left open the possibility that he’ll do some casting in the future, Merlini made it clear that he’s moving on to different opportunities. Merlini cited a divergence between what he envisions for his future and what’s possible if he were to continue casting. Several other casters and content creators responded with heartfelt well wishes, gratitude for the inspiration both men provided, and assurances they themselves were remaining active as casters.

ESL & The Dota Community

ESL’s relationship with the Dota 2 community has been fraught with missteps in recent weeks. The latest involved the announcement of the ESL One Katowice schedule. Originally the organization intended to have three best-of-three series, including one of the two quarterfinal series and both semi-finals, on day one at Spodek Arena, with the grand finals on day two.

A portion of the community aired complaints on social media and the Dota 2 subreddit regarding their disappointment (and the expenses involved) in viewing so few matches in the arena. ESL took to reddit twice in response. First, they acknowledged that they had heard the feedback, explained why they’d originally set the schedule as such, and stated they were looking at ways to increase the content on grand finals day to satisfy fans. The second post announced that a new best-of-three would be played prior to the grand finals to determine the third place spot. Not only does this give fans an extra series to view, but in the Dota 2 Pro Circuit point system, more qualifying points are awarded to a third place team and fewer to a fourth place team than to teams sharing third-fourth place.  

ESL One Katowice begins on February 20th. Catch all the action on


Feature Image  Copyright: ESL | Photography by Steffie Wunderl 

About The Author

Esports have become my life. I love silver linings, books, and Dota 2--not in that order. You can follow me on Twitter at @writingdaeja .

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