Dota 2’s The International Battle Pass is one of the game’s biggest highlights each year, and it might be coming back in the near future.
While the 2020 installment of The International Battle Pass came out later than usual, the battle pass has traditionally come out in early May. That means that the 2021 The International Battle Pass could be coming out in the next few weeks.
The TI9 Battle Pass came out on May 7. One year prior, the TI8 Battle Pass dropped on May 8. The TI7 Battle Pass came out May 4, while the TI6 Battle Pass dropped May 16. No matter how players hack it, that suggests that the next battle pass may now be just be a few weeks away, at most.
Valve has not discussed the 2021 TI10 Battle Pass to this point and it’s possible that the late release of 2020’s battle pass and the repeated extensions to its end date may shove things back this year as well. The current state of the Dota Pro Circuit also may play a role in deciding Valve’s plans.
The launch date for the 2021 TI10 Battle Pass is not currently known, but there are a few likely landing spots.
The current Dota Pro Circuit cycle is set to end in late May, with games set to run until at least May 21. Tiebreakers will also likely follow, nudging this back to May 22 at the absolute earliest. It is unclear when the second major of the Dota Pro Circuit season will happen, but sneaking in the new battle pass between the end of league play and the start of the second major would be ideal.
That said, it could also come after the end of the second major which is currently set to run from June 2 to 13. Releasing it after would make for a much shorter runtime for the battle pass, but it’s also possible it could run for the same amount of time with a later start.
There’s plenty of reason to believe that Valve has little interest arranging anything around the Dota 2 esports calendar. Valve dropped the 7.28c update during the previous DPC cycle, literally hours before elimination matches were set to take place, presenting potential difficulties to players and organizers alike. It’s technically possible that Valve could drop the battle pass at any time, no matter how inopportune it may seem for competing pro players.
It’s unclear what will be in the 2021 TI Battle Pass, but the blueprint for making a lot of money with the battle pass is clear. Valve just needs to deliver a load of high-quality skins.
In The International 10 Battle Pass, Valve added two hero persona skins for Anti-Mage and Pudge as well as new arcanas for Windranger, Wraith King, and Queen of Pain. This followed the TI9 Battle Pass enjoying booming sales thanks to three premium skins for Earthshaker, Tiny, and Axe.
Valve is likely to build on the success of the TI10 Battle Pass in some way. Whether that means releasing more arcanas and hero personas or just honing in on the most popular heroes is uncertain, but Valve is most likely going to look to continue the trend of each year’s battle pass being bigger and richer than the last.