While The International will always be the shining centrepiece of the competitive Dota season, Valve’s pro circuit, which surround that event, has grown considerably over the past few years.
This is largely due to the change to the system Valve announced in 2017, in which Valve declared that they would grant $500,000 USD in sponsorship to each Major tournament in Dota 2. To be considered a Major, and therefore eligible for this sponsorship, a tournament must offer at least $500,000 in prize pool off of its own steam.
In this same announcement Valve also said they would sponsor smaller events, called Minors. Somewhat similarly to the sponsorship system with Majors, Minors must offer at least $150,000 in prize pool, which Valve will also match with an equal contribution.
Both types of event offer qualifying points towards The International. Points are awarded in proportion to the total prize pool for both, although tournaments officially classified as Majors have a better points-to-prize-dollar ratio than that of Minors (1.5x).