The cancelled Winter Major is set to be replaced with several online regional tournaments featuring a $600,000 prize pool, according to Shannon “SUNSfan” Scotten via his podcast “We Say Things”.
Valve’s abrupt cancellation of The Winter Major amid rising uncertainty over COVID-19 was met with severe backlash from the community and pros alike.
The backlash led Valve to issue an apology and subsequently assure the community of the possibility of hosting a LAN event behind closed doors. However, their plans seem to have derailed.
Instead, Valve will now be running regional finals as a way to compensate. The online leagues will reportedly take place over two weekends in February, with three regions being hosted every weekend.
The $600,000 prize pool will be equally split into $100,000 for six regions, namely, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, North America, South America, Southeast Asia and China.
The top two teams in every region will be awarded an undisclosed set of DPC points. Sunsfan talks about Valve’s decision to rollback its decision to redistribute DPC points throughout the second and third DPC Majors.
Additionally, Sunsfan also mentions that the next iteration of The International will now feature 20 teams as opposed to 18. If the reports are true, then the community is in for a “Wild Card LAN event” treat after the TI11 qualifiers.
The second and third place teams from the TI qualifiers will reportedly compete in a LAN setting. A total of twelve teams, two from each region, will compete for the last two spots to qualify for TI.
Twenty teams at TI will be divided into two groups of ten each, and two bottom seeded teams will be eliminated from each group before the main event begins.
An official announcement from Valve is still awaited.