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Almost two weeks ago, ppd, writing from Denver, Colorado, says that he realized how many aspiring professionals haven’t gotten the opportunity to play at a competitive level, as they do in OpTic Gaming. This realization led him to announce the North America Dota Challengers League. According to Evil Geniuses’s former CEO,

“…This will be a great opportunity for up and coming players to develop crucial teamwork and game knowledge skills. There are too many talented DOTA players in North America who either can’t or won’t create an opportunity for themselves, and I think we can help .”

Challengers League

Not much is known yet about the new league, which awfully sounds like a high-profile competition in League of Legends. It has a tentative schedule of October, right after Valve’s first Minor. According to ppd, the league will go on for the rest of the year, avoiding any conflicts in schedule with Valve’s events. The tournament will have qualifier matches, leading up to an 8-team tournament.

NADCL haas not revealed the exact figures yet, although ppd says that all of the eight teams will come home with money. The tournament will also try to solicit donations to bolster its prize pool. This goes in line with the tournament’s goal to give semi-professional players a chance to make a living out of playing, while also getting the opportunity to compete and train in a level just below professional play.

League play

NADCL will allow any players or teams not sponsored to play professionally, although there’s no restriction for players who have previously played in Valve events. Teams that register for the tournament will be locked in for the whole season, which will last for a year. The NADCL have not yet made clear the intricacies of roster changes that might be involved in the tournament.

Playing for one whole year with a single team might sound too long for many players. The scene has seen many players jump from one organization to another. It’s pretty rare to see an organization to keep its roster around for more than a year, unless they’re wildly successful. For TI8, only Newbee and Team Liquid kept their post TI7 rosters intact. How this system will work out in NADCL will be a big question on commitment for the players.

Community-driven prizes

The NADCL’s prize format looks akin to how many Dota 2 tournaments work out. The organizers offer a flat prize pool, while the rest is provided for by the fans. Fans fund a majority of The International’s prize pool through compendiums and battle passes. The same goes for the NADCL, which will have a larger prize pool if community support is strong enough.


The NADCL aims to provide an avenue for players to continue competing while being financially sustained. This brings into question on how sustainable the NADCL itself would be. Keeping the players financially afloat alone will put them on the red, notwithstanding any expenses they’ll make for the production value of the tournament.

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