For arguably the greatest and most competitive area in all of Dota 2, the 2021 Dota Pro Circuit will have a lot riding on simply how well the regional league for Europe handled by DreamHack plays out.

For what DreamHack is calling the DreamLeague Season 14 EU DPC, Team Liquid, OG, Team Trick, and Nigma have actually gotten direct invites to the upper division of the league. This leaves others like Alliance and Vikin.gg, who likely would have received welcomes in the majority of other regions, to combat for a spot in the upper division.

While the other groups haven’t been verified yet, DreamHack is hosting closed qualifiers that will be split into two phases, much like with the other regional leagues hosted by ESL, PGL, and Dota Pit. These qualifiers will start with a best-of-three bracket in between eight teams, which will end with the leading four finishers proceeding to the upper department.

The bottom four teams from that first phase of qualifiers will be signed up with by an extra eight teams that will certify through a different open qualifier, with the leading 8 groups out of that second phase making up the lower bracket. These qualifiers will run from Jan. 7 to 10 ahead of the local leagues starting completely on Jan. 18.

More information about which teams will receive direct invites to the closed qualifiers for the upper division will be exposed in the coming days, however you can likely expect to see Alliance, Vikin.gg, mudgolems, and some other familiar faces in the mix.

The leading three groups from the EU Upper Division will be invited to the very first DPC Major of the season, which will begin on Jan. 18.