Steven R. May 6, 2019
The International 2019 Battle Pass will be arriving soon.
Valve has officially announced the release date for the TI9 Battle Pass on the official Dota 2 Twitter account. According to a short tweet, the long awaited feature will arrive “tomorrow,” May 7.
The tweet also features a GIF showing the Aegis of Champions adorned with flowers on a purple background. This seems to confirm previous leaks that suggested the theme for The International 2019 was “overgrown jungle ruins.” Previous years have included underwater and cavern themes.
Outside the release date and theme, little is known about what this year’s battle pass might include.
The battle pass has been used to inflate the prize pool of The International, with a percentage of the revenue generated going to the players at the event. Tied to this, the centerpiece of the battle pass will almost certainly remain a compendium to The International. Compendium features have previously included bracket predictions, collectible player cards, and fantasy sports. This has been reinvented several times over the years, so it is anyone’s guess what might be newly added this time.
Recent years have also seen a limited time mini-game come packaged alongside the battle pass, with 2018 having the PVP dungeon crawler Underhollow and 2017 having a PVE adventure game Siltbreaker. Both were inspired by that year’s respective environmental theme.
Additionally, the battle pass levels up and grants various rewards to the player. Prizes have included soundboard options for the chat wheel, announcer packs, and loads of cosmetic items. These have been unlocked through in-game achievements or by throwing down extra cash.
This has led to The International’s prize pool ballooning further each year, with The International 2018 having over $25 million dollars up for grabs. There has been intense discussion over whether this is the year that bubble will pop.
The big X factor this year could be the booming popularity of Dota Auto Chess. The user-made game mode arrived in January and has attracted millions of players, helping to reassert Dota 2’s place as one of the most popular games in the world. Though the team behind it has since partnered with a Chinese mobile game developer for an alternative mobile app, Auto Chess still remains heavily featured in the Dota 2 client and boasts a sizable active player base.
All questions will be answered on May 7.