DreamLeague Season 13: Which teams will make their DPC debut?

Near the conclusion of DreamLeague Season 12 in Rotterdam, DreamHack announced the 13th iteration of its Dota 2 flagship LAN tournament - and revealed its status as the second Major of the 2019-2020 DPC season, and the first Major next year.

The event will take place from January 18th to January 26th 2020 in Leipzig, Germany, following up the week after the WePlay! Bukovel Minor tournament from January 9-12, where the winner of the said tournament will get to fly to Leipzig to play at the Major. The event will feature a $1,000,000 prize pool and 15,000 DPC points up for grabs, with its qualifiers in conjunction with the Bukovel Minor.

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DreamLeague Season 13 details

Organiser: DreamHack
Series: DreamLeague
Dates: January 12th to 16th, 2019
Location: Leipzig, Germany
Venue: Leipziger Messe
DPC Status: Major
Prizepool: $1,000,000 USD
DPC Points: 15,000
Participants: 16 teams
Qualifiers: February 9-14, 2020

Prize pool distribution

1st: $300,000 USD - 4,850 DPC points
2nd: $160,000 USD - 3,000 DPC points
3rd: $110,000 USD - 2,100 DPC points
4th: $80,000 USD - 1,350 DPC points
5-6th: $60,000 USD - 900 DPC points
7-8th: $40,000 USD - 450 DPC points
9-12th: $20,000 USD - 150 DPC points
13-16th: $12,500 USD - 100 DPC points

Qualifiers and tournament format

With Valve's new take on the DPC qualifiers, DreamLeague Season 13 qualifiers will be held together with the WePlay! Bukovel Minor from February 9th to 14th, 2020.

Fifteen teams that qualified through Phase 1 and 2 of the qualifiers will get to partake in the Major, with the final 16th slot reserved for the winner of the preceding Minor, Dota Summit 11. Each qualifier region is guaranteed at least two slots for the Major, with the distribution of remaining three slots to be determined by Valve.

With the Major format predetermined by the DPC rules, the tournament will consist of group stage and playoffs. The 16 teams will be split into four groups and play in a BO3 GSL format, with the top two teams from each group advancing to the Upper Bracket, while the rest enter the Lower Bracket. Playoffs will be a BO3 double elimination bracket, with exemption to the first Lower Bracket round, which is a BO1, and the BO5 Grand Finals.

Which teams will be at DreamLeague Season 13?

Since many upper-tier teams chose to skip most of the events in 2019, including DPC tournaments, in favor of an extended rehabilitation period for their players (greatly inspired by recent TI9 champions OG) and other circumstances, it begs the question - which teams will choose DreamLeague Season 13 as their first event of the new DPC season?


The first team that probably comes to mind when considering who will skip DreamLeague Season 13 is probably OG, and for good reason. They are somewhat known for their notorious approach of treating non-TI events lightly before "fluking" (as haters and memers would say) their way into a TI win.

Picture: Copyright ESL / Helena Kristiansson

Other than the team ritual of taking a vacation for the rest of the year after TI, OG's core players would likely be absent to for an event so early in the year. With carry Anathan "ana" Pham always iconicly taking an absent leave for almost the entire DPC season every year, the 100% TI winrate player Topias "Topson" Taavitsainen has decided to follow suit, taking an indefinite break which probably means there will be quite some time before we see our favorite Finn midlaner back into action.

While the rest of the OG players could opt to go back into the competitive season with the use of stand-ins (like Igor "iLTW" Filatov earlier this year), results have shown that the OG magic can't simply be recreated without having these exact five players, earning meager DPC points from their active periods with stand-ins. Plus, their experience last year has shown that, while not ideal for the most part, peaking into their strength at the final periods of the season is enough to have them qualify into TI, which is the only thing that's necessary for them. Thus, looking back from the past, there's a high chance OG could simply choose to roll out from this one too.

KuroKy's new team

The status of whether the legendary squad of Kuro "KuroKy" Takhasomi and his TI-finalist boys (minus MATUMBAMAN, sad reacts only) is based more of logistical readiness at this point, as the squad chose to leave behind Team Liquid and the brand they have built there in favor of etching out a brand new, player-founded organisation such as OG, Team Secret, and Alliance. With the caliber of its prospect players, playing and getting into the Major should be of no problem to them.

Picture: Copyright StarLadder

However, they could still be preparing for the creation of their new banner, which is no easy thing to do, as they must ensure that they have a completely fleshed-out plan in order to establish a fully operational organisation.

Even by then, it would be of their interests to forego the first Major in favor of bringing their newborn team into full throttle before making their mark back into the DPC, where they could also opt to ride the wave into TI later into the season like OG.

Team Secret

The return of the Kings of the previous season into the DPC season at this event is expected, as they will be playing at a major-size event already, the ONE Esports Dota 2 World Pro Invitational Singapore, in December before DreamLeague.

Thus, the only inquiry to be found here is whether captain Clement "Puppey" Ivanov will be heading into the event with the same lineup of Michał "Nisha" Jankowski, Yeik "MidOne" Nai Zheng, Ludwig "zai" Wåhlberg, and Yazied "YapzOr" Jaradat.

Picture: Copyright ESL / Helena Kristiansson

Although underperforming at TI9, the previous season is nothing short of dominant for Team Secret, who topped the DPC season after appearing in three of five Major grand finals and winning two of them. Thus, with such a brilliant season reminiscent of 2015 (with less player ego), Secret, which is notorious for changing players every post-TI shuffle annually, has currently opted with "no changes into its roster".

However, depending from the results that are soon to come (TI underperformances for a team of such caliber could be demoralising, e.g. Virtus.pro), there is still possibility for a change on its lineup to happen, although with DreamLeague probably being their inaugural event into the DPC season, it almost likely won't happen before that.


Breaking the mold of the grind-heavy Eastern Dota teams, PSG.LGD has also opted to adopt their number one rival OG's preference in skipping most of the events of the year post-TI, choosing to debut alongside Secret in ONE Esports Dota 2 World Pro Invitational Singapore.

However, a really high factor contributing to that decision is the absence of their legendary star player Xu "fy" Linsen, who is on due for a three-month medical leave for an eye surgery, as announced by the team in Weibo. There's possibility that fy could opt to extend his break also (give the man a break--he lost 2 TI finals and closed at 3rd recently).

Picture: StarLadder

Be that as it may, PSG.LGD will highly like to fill in that slot in with a stand-in, like with Guo "Xm" Hongcheng standing-in for Lu "Somnus'M" Yao who took a wedding break last year, which serves to develop academy players talent and satiate the ever-passionate LGD fans' thirst for action.

Even with its roster complete, PSG.LGD has unwittingly shown middling performance during the last season (unleashing its full force only at TI like their rival OG in a less-extreme degree), thus perhaps a more extended break could be in their favor. However, with their recent tendencies to not peak off until TI, saving up DPC points early on to qualify is also of importance for them.


Finally, we have the mighty that has fallen. Unlike the other teams in the list, this team didn't choose to skip the first Major due to the lack of trying. In contrast, they have played in the qualifiers for the MDL Chengdu Major, before failing to qualify and instead got relegated into playing at its adjacent Minor, DOTA Summit 11.

This is not a surprise, as VP's long-lasting Tier 1 status has crumbled and dissipated immediately in suit of Roman "RAMZES666" Kushnarev, Pavel "9pasha" Khvastunov, and Vladimir "RodjER" Nikogosyan's departure, bringing an end to the team's dynasty of dominance that spanned for almost four years.

Picture: Copyright ESL / Helena Kristiansson

Thus, VP has chose to skip the first round of the DPC by dropping out from its Minor slot, although they will be active sooner that the rest of the "skippers", choosing to play at ESL One Hamburg 2019.

This is absolutely crucial for them, due for its part of having their new (but seasoned) offlaner Roman "Resolut1on" Fominok, and most importantly, two unknown pubstars, Egor "epileptick1d" Grigorenko and Vitalie "Save-" Melnic, which are on trial status.

Handpicked by captain Alexei "Solo" Berezin, these two players have shown promise but a lot of work definitely needs to be done before this lineup could bring the Bears back to its glory and bring back fear to its opposition.

However, with long-time captain and heart of the team Solo in helm and still-one-of-the-best-midlaners-in-the-world Vladimir "No[o]ne" Minenko still on his back, and the current back to ground zero state of the CIS scene post-TI9 shuffle, there is definitely a chance that VP will mark their debut into the DPC at DreamLeague. They just have to put in the work.

DreamLeague overview

DreamLeague is the flagship Dota 2 tournament of the Swedish production company DreamHack, which is known for hosting the world's largest digital festival in Sweden every year. Also known the RoG DreamLeague (due to its association with ASUS's gaming hardware namebrand Republic of Gamers), DreamHack has been hosting these events as far as 2013, with the venues mostly switching on/off between Jönköping and the capital city Stockholm.

DreamLeague has been a staple throughout every DPC season, with 5 of its events being featured as a Minor or a Major since the inaugural DPC season in 2017. Ever since the introduction of the DPC, DreamLeague has been taking into trend of alternately hosting between a smaller-scale tournament and a large major LAN event.

While hosting most of their events at their homebase in Sweden (11 of them, to be exact), DreamHack has also experimented with other venues and formats in the past, holding its 7th iteration of DreamLeague in 2017 in Atlanta, United States, while organizing smaller-scale Online tournaments shortly before that serves as both a qualifier and a mini event with its own seperate prizepool.

But its not until this year's DPC season that DreamHack choose to venture out constantly into other countries, with the 12th iteration being held in Rotterdam, Netherlands (DreamLeague is also associated with its regular host, beloved Dutch Dota 2 talent Jorien "Sheever" van der Heijden, which probably is a factor in DreamLeague choosing the city as a stepping stone into their new venture), which is soon followed up by its upcoming next iteration in Leipzig.

Previous DreamLeague events

  • DreamLeague Kick-Off Season (2013)
  • DreamLeague Season 1 (2014)
  • DreamLeague Season 2 (2014)
  • DreamLeague Season 3 (2015)
  • DreamLeague Season 4 (2015)
  • DreamLeague Season 5 (2016)
  • DreamLeague Season 6 (2016)
  • DreamLeague Season 7 EU Division (2017)
  • DreamLeague Season 7 NA Division (2017)
  • DreamLeague Season 8 (2017)
  • DreamLeague Season 9 (2018)
  • DreamLeague Season 10 (2018)
  • DreamLeague Season 11 (2019)
  • DreamLeague Season 12 (2019)
  • DreamLeague Season 13 (2020)

Main pictures: StarLadder