What is a Region in DotA?
The annual tournament from Valve, The International, is served as a e-sports version of the Olympic Games. However, while at the Olympics there are restrictions related to the citizenship of the participants, in DotA these boundaries are much more blurred.
Teams from four regions - America, Southeast Asia, Europe and China compete for the right to take part in Major or TI. However, most of these competitions are online. Commands, in most cases, are limited to those. part - ping. Moreover, the decision on their participation in regional qualifications is taken directly by Valve.
For Valve, regional division was primarily associated with event logistics, rather than with an attempt to develop the level of play around the world, providing equal conditions for all regions. The teams may include players of different nationalities, and the organization representing them may be located on another continent. These factors make the definition of the "home" region of the team a very difficult task. For example, Complexity is a very old American organization, but there were three players from Sweden on this team at TI. The composition of the Digital Chaos on the TI6 included a Ukrainian, an American, a Syrian, a Dane, and a Macedonian. In this case, both teams are considered to be American, and took part in the American qualifications.
Regional restrictions become even more blurred when teams begin to move specifically to other regions for a period of qualifications in order to have greater chances of success.
In an interview with SingSing on Dotablast , he honestly answered why the European team Kaipi decided to play in the American Open Qualifications for the Boston Major. American teams are weaker. “The level of the game is lower. Just look: even eight teams did not have enough regional qualifications,” he added.
The low level of the game in the Americas is a well-known secret. Team ProDota announced the desire to play in the American qualifications, referring to the dishonesty of the system, a glut of teams from the European region and "an obvious difference in the level of the game between Europe and America." In the Americas, not only are fewer teams, but their level of play is noticeably lower. Team ProDota easily won the open qualification, but lost in the main roulette.
Team Secret during the qualifications for TI6 in the same way made the decision to participate in the European qualifications. Playing in America, they would have to meet with Evil Geniuses while still in the open selection stage for teams. Undoubtedly, both teams are rather an exception - such teams rarely fall into open qualifications.
Open qualifications promise that everyone has a chance to get on The International. In reality, this chance is incredibly small. The winners almost always come out famous teams, which for some reason could not receive a direct invitation. Sometimes the reason is very deserved - the team could not prove himself in the break between the major tournaments. And sometimes there is just not enough space in the tournament grid.
Because of this, many old professional teams find themselves in open qualifications, where they destroy all the hopes of young teams. Who knows how many potentially talented players were disappointed in DotA after they went through Team Secret and Evil Geniuses in Europe and America? In addition, the question arises: does it matter that these teams have lost their chance to declare themselves by losing to a team from another region?
Competitions should give rise to healthy competition. There is a reason why ping-restricted regions such as Southeast Asia and South America usually performed worse at international LAN tournaments. They can be practiced only among themselves. Even Chinese teams that historically lived apart from the outside world, began to realize the need to compete with teams from other regions. The same applies to Asia as a whole: the Korean MVP Phoenix team has become the strongest representative of Southeast Asia on international LANs in the past two years, largely due to the experience of international tournaments.
DotA is the same everywhere, regardless of the region in which it is played. And yet, each region has its own specifics. Despite the fact that the borders are currently very blurred, each region retains its uniqueness. This is obvious to any player who has played in different regions. The Chinese play one DotA, the Europeans play another, the CIS play the third. Ping creates a kind of "natural boundaries" between regions, allowing regional identity to develop further, despite the fact that all teams are learning from each other.
One of the problems solved by this system was that the regions were understood extremely broadly. The European region included both Europe and the CIS; American - South and North America. Southeast Asia is still represented by Malaysia, the Philippines, Korea, etc., but, apparently, the first steps towards preserving the identity are still being taken.
At the moment, the “home” region of the team is the region where the team has the least high ping. Low ping is vital during basic qualifications, although very strong teams may ignore small delays when playing against weak opponents. The state of open qualifications at the moment is very different from the one that was previously. Before qualifications were a chance for young teams to declare themselves. Now it is a way for more powerful teams to ignore problems with the existing system, and an imbalance in the number and quality of teams in different regions.