China DPC: The return of LAN Dota

By Kenneth WilliamsFebruary 22, 2021
The Chinese scene has always held a mystique to western Dota fans. The language barrier combined with the lack of international competition has made it difficult to follow the region in 2020. However, the Chinese scene sustained itself very well during the online era, arguably even better than Europe. The DPC finally provided a great point for fans of NA and EU to connect with Chinese Dota. The return from their Lunar New Year break tomorrow, February 23, provides one last chance to tune in.
CN is also the only region hosting their Dota Pro Circuit in-person. Players, coaches, and staff from both Divisions are all living in a quarantine bubble for the duration of the event. Perfect World is known for pulling strings in the name of esports, so an entire stadium and living quarters in Shanghai have been dedicated to Dota. The event marks the first Valve-sponsored LAN tournament since the StarLadder ImbaTV Minor in March of last year.
Qualifiers Team Aster and Invictus Gaming trouncing superteam Elephant and bluebloods PSG.LGD and Vici Gaming is already a good reason to tune in, but the fact that they’re playing on LAN makes the upsets even sweeter.

Perfect World, pretty good Dota

Perfect World has done an excellent job of selling the post-pandemic vibe. An intimate analyst desk transitions into team cams showing maskless players discussing strategy. Even the stream’s backdrop art harkens back to pre-2020; a busy night in a modern town populated by fashionable, maskless Dota Heroes. The twin Terrorblades are either a cute detail or oversight. I’m fine with either.
The official Douyu stream is a strange mix of online and offline-era broadcasting. The business casual analyst desk is backed by the traditional greenscreen. I love the Hellenic stages of Beyond the Summit, but there’s a certain comfort in going full professional. They’re emulating the older era of Dota incredibly well. However, the teams stay in their rooms for matches. With no live crowd until the playoffs, it's a decision made out of convenience. Still, I miss the customary shipping crate showdown.
Even the Douyu Dota 2 page has been dolled up to advertise the DPC. Their own division takes front and center, but the white links on the upper right lead directly to the official SEA and NA streams. Another link is a birthday message for Gong "ZSMJ" Jian, a very old-school player and member of Old Boys. It’s nice to see a streaming platform go to such lengths for Dota.
While a lot of the LAN ambiance is lost on the English stream, the commentators have done an excellent job providing context and info for western fans. Benjamin "Bkop" Kopilow and Dominik "Black^" Reitmeier have been particularly pleasant. With the return from Lunar New Year and a shakeup from Patch 7.28c, the final three weeks of China's LAN DPC will be the most exciting to watch.
The Chinese Dota Pro Circuit will resume February 23 with Team Aster vs. LBZS
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