Obviously, there are still 2 DH master event (total of 4 DH master event planned in the beginning), IEM China (not confirmed but probably have an equivalent as substitute should it be cancelled?), a king of battle (global event, according to liquidpedia), and a lot of weekly cups, there are still large room to get EPT point. However this is exactly why we need a little review to see where we at, if everything are done and dusted, there is no point reviewing, is it?
First of all, if you are not familiar with the qualification system (I guess not many of you), please read this liquidpedia page for info ESL Pro Tour/2020/21
As you can see from the page, depending on the EPT point, player can qualify directly into RO24 or RO36 with the distribution as follow :
EU 5 2
NA 2 1
CN 1 1
LA 1 1
OCE 0 1
SEA 0 1
Kor 9 8
The standing as of this post are: ESL Pro Tour/2020/21/Standings
To simplify the analysis, the below analysis is done without consideration of global event, or weekly cup, also with the assumption that the forth DH master event is the same as the other three. (I will explain the rationale behind this assumption later, just bear with me for the moment XD )
Let me discuss the RO24 situation first.
May be start with the most clear cut region: LA and CN.
After winning the region final twice, TIME (CN) and SpeCial (LA) are all but qualified. In order for the second place player to overtake them, the second place player , Cyan or Jieshi (CN); Kelazhur (LA) need to at least win the the remaining regional final twice and hope TIME or SpeCial fail to pick up any points in the remaining seasons.
For NA, it is Neeb (674pts), Astrea (658pts) and Scarlett (560 pts), in the top 3 with about 100 points differences between them. This means they are basically tied in this race, whoever doing better in the remaining regional final is going to advance to the RO24. For the rest of the pack, Future (215pts) and Nina(145pts) may have an outside chance, but they will need to at least get a win or 2 second place finish in the 2 remaining seasons to have any chance.
For EU, Serral and Reynor qualified in RO24, there is not enough points to get them below rank 5 in the ranking. Clem and Heromarine is quite safe, with point difference to 6th place player uThermal of 430 and 330 respectively, while unlikely, it is still possible for them to lose out in the RO24. The current 5th place player showtime is a bit less certain, while having about 200-250 point advantage to uThermal and Ptitdrogo, the player currently on 6th and 7th place, if showtime perform poorly in the remaining season(s), he could easily loss out, although showtime have a buffer of losing out 1-2 round(s) earlier than either of them and still retain the spot. For the 5 players (uThermal, Ptitdrogo, marinelord, elazer, and mana) below showtime, they have 200-300 point difference compared to showtime, if they are to get into RO24, they will need to do well in the remaining seasons, probably with at least one 4th place finish or twice 6th place finish.
After discussion RO24, lets take a look at the race to RO36.
While the race to RO24 for LA and CN is pretty much done, the race to RO36 is much more wide open, in both region, there is practically no point difference between the 2nd place and 3rd place player, and the 4th and 5th place player are pretty much still in the race. It will be interesting to see who actually get out, the race probably not finish until the last season.
For NA, the opposite happened, while the race to RO24 is wide open, the race to RO36 is pretty much closed. While it is still possible for the 4th and 5th place player to get to 3rd place (the only RO36 spot for the region), it will require them at least a win, or 2 second place finish to get to 3rd rank. Guess what, that is the same condition as getting to RO24. That means they are either in RO24 race or not in any race at all.
For OCE and SEA, the top 2 players (for OCE: Risky and Probe; SEA: Has and Nice) have a point difference that is negligible in the sense that the player who win the race have to win at least one, possibly both of the season in order to secure RO24.
Last but not least EU. The point difference between rank 7 (the last RO36 spot) player PtitDrogo and rank 10 player MaNa is just mere 30 points. That practically have no difference unless they fail to progress pass EU RO16 in the remaining seasons. It will be interesting to see the race unfold. It almost definitely bound to be decided until the last day of the last season.
Before I go, I would like to talk a little about the rationale about my analysis. While it is not officially confirmed the remaining season, especially season 4, is the same, and I have neglected global event and weekly cups, however, for the players that failed to win, or get deep into the run in their respective region, it is hard to see them getting much if anything from the global event, for those who get deep run, or won in the region final, they are almost secured their place already and further adding point from global tournament is not required in this analysis
The same can be said for weekly cups as one would need to face player of the calibre of Clem / Reynor / Heromarine / Parting /Solar in RO 4 in weekly cups. It would be easier to achieve the required point from doing well in the regional final than consistently winning the weekly cups. My analysis is more likely to be optimistic estimation than pessimistic estimation. Having said that, it is not over until the fat lady sing. For those who want to get to the global final, keep going. I will keep watching as many game as possible next season.