GreenGT: "The mere fact that an event has the DPC status changes everything about it."

posted by Smyke,
The WePlay! Bukovel Minor 2020 kicks off on January 9th and heralds the DPC season in 2020. We talked with Eugene "GreenGT" Luchianenco, Head of esports at WePlay! Esports, about the tournament organisation, the DPC system and the influence Valve has.

The Minor "could define the competitive meta for a couple of months ahead."

joinDOTA: Hello Eugene and thank you for the time. What do you expect from the competition at the Minor?

Dota 2 had a huge content update recently, and during the qualifiers, we saw players adapting to it virtually on the fly. When the main event starts, they will have figured out the most optimal ways to play the game. This makes us very excited, since WePlay! Bukovel Minor 2020 is a part of Dota Pro Circuit, and the players will be taking the tournament extremely seriously.

We have a sick lineup that includes teams that participated in the previous DPC Major — Gambit Esports and Team Spirit. The Minor also features Nigma, which consists mostly of TI7 winners and TI9 runners-ups.

All of the above will add up to unusual and interesting matches that could define the competitive meta for a couple of months ahead.

While the players will be delivering great games, we’ll be doing all we can to create a show. People who have been following our tournaments, know that the WePlay! events are not just about the competition, they are about a show you enjoy watching even if you are not into this particular game or even esports at all. We’re preparing a couple of surprises that will show a new way you can broadcast a tournament. The event will look and feel very charming.

joinDOTA: Why did you decide to bring the Minor to Ukraine?

WePlay! Esports has an office in Ukraine and also has roots here. Though we can host events abroad, we decided to bring it to the native land. We are excited about the opportunity to hold the first DPC event in Ukraine outside of Kyiv. Though our primary goal is to create a great experience for the fans, we also hope they will be able to see the country from new and unexpected angles.

joinDOTA: How difficult is it to get a Minor slot in the DPC?

To even have a chance to host a DPC tournament, a company needs to prove that it’s able to deliver a good esports event. It’s critical for Valve that the company has a portfolio of recent successful tournaments. Throughout the last year, WePlay! Esports has held two LANs (CS:GO Forge of Masters. WePlay! League Season 1 & Season 2 Finals) and about ten online tournaments in CS:GO, Artifact, Dota 2, and Dota Underlords. Back in 2016, we also hosted a $200,000 Dota 2 LAN-tournament In the International Exhibition Centre in Kyiv.

Our team has proven that it can handle the aspects of event organization while being creative and entertaining the audience at the same time.

Valve recognized everything we’ve managed to do recently and gave us an opportunity to host a Minor.

"WePlay! Esports is ready to host a full-fledged Major"

joinDOTA: Do you think not having full Minor qualifiers made it easier to organize the event?

Of course, it was easier for us, since we didn’t need to host open online qualifiers with hundreds of teams across six competitive regions. But relatively speaking, it’s not the hardest challenge a DPC-event organizer has to face.

Most of the heavy lifting takes place during the LAN, that’s why I can’t say things changed drastically for us. I think the change was meant to lift some weight off the players, who don’t need to go through another grueling round of open qualifiers.

joinDOTA: What are your next goals?

In the future, we are aiming to host more Minor and Major DPC events. We also won’t be focusing on Dota 2 exclusively.

joinDOTA: Why do you organize a Minor and not a Major?

It’s up to Valve to decide what type of event a company gets. We applied for both Minor and Major with separate event concepts. So far, Valve granted us the privilege to host a Minor only.

We are aiming to deliver a great show at TC “Bukovel” and prove that WePlay! Esports is ready to host a full-fledged Major.

"The mere fact that an event has the DPC status changes everything about it."

joinDOTA: What do you think about the Dota Pro Circuit compared to other systems like in CS:GO?

In my personal opinion, DPC-system has areas that could be reworked. For example, we see that some teams are skipping the first minor/major after The International. This shows that the teams need more time to rest, reshuffle and maybe even reinvent some parts of the internal structure. When a month after TI you need to start thinking about qualifiers to the next DPC event, that can be counterproductive to the top-level teams.

I’d suggest stretching the off-season period. In big sports, it takes about three months for teams to gear up for the new season.

Overall, we see that Valve keeps working to improve Dota Pro Circuit and make it more streamlined.

joinDOTA: How does Valve influence a DPC event? How different is it from any other tournament?

The mere fact that an event has the DPC status changes everything about it. You get much more attention from the teams and the media. A team may participate in a non-DPC event merely to gain stage experience. With DPC events, the players are laser-focused on winning no matter what.

Apart from that, I’d say the biggest impact Valve made was deciding which region got an additional slot. As you know, 8 teams play in a Minor and we have 6 competitive regions (SA, NA, CIS, EU, SEA, and China). In our case, Valve ruled that CIS and NA would get an additional slot each.

joinDOTA: Thank you very much for the interview.

The Minor starts on January 9th. You can find all further information here.

Photo credit: GreenGT