The Electronic Sports League and Dotabuff have partnered up to launch a new Dota2 esports competition league called Reach, which will focus on presenting tier-two players with a platform to show off their talents in the hope of attracting interest from pro teams.
As announced on Twitter and the Dotabuff website, Reach will be strictly solo queue in order to promote fair competition. It will also implement an extensive behaviour score system, similar to the ranked matchmaking system used by Dota2.
“Our primary goal with Reach is to ensure that participants are playing their best, trying their hardest, and communicating productively,” the announcement read.
“We hope to use the tools we’ve developed to create a more friendly, and competitive environment for everyone to train and compete in. We’ll continually work to evolve this system and help curate a better Dota 2 community experience.”
Furthermore, Reach will address the issue of matchmaking by implementing an ever-evolving algorithm for its Contender division on top of introducing scheduled play sessions. With the consistent schedule, the organisers hope they can lower the amount of time players waste on waiting for matches, which should also help them better plan their training regimen.
That said, the biggest and most striking announcement came under “better opportunities” section, which talks about the prize pool offered by ESL for top-performing players at Reach.
The organisers acknowledged committing to playing Dota full-time is a risk many talented players can’t afford to take due to lack of support in the lower tiers of the competition. Reach aims to lighten that problem by offering monthly prize pools of up to US $20,000 for the top competitors, with 50% reserved for the up-and-coming amateur players.
However, the good news for amateur players who wish to go pro does not stop there.
ESL decided to further build on the idea of providing amateur players with a chance to make it big with ESL Academy program, which will address the lack of recognition as the second and most tedious problem the rising players have to face as they make their way into the professional scene.
ESL Academy will see top 40 players of each season become eligible for the draft, which will offer them a chance to appear at ESL One Dota events, where they will get unparalleled LAN experience, help from professional coaches and networking opportunities with Dota pros.
ESL Academy is, in other words, one last step for amateur players to gain the needed recognition which would help them evolve from an unknown talent to a future Dota star.