Hidden Dota 2 files show that something big is coming in the near future.
UPDATE: The next Dota 2 hero has been revealed. Find out who it is here.
In a recent update, changes were made to a file that contains the minimap icons for every Dota 2 champion, including alternative icons for arcanas and hero personas. Included in that file are three new additions that are blacked out, which were discovered by a Reddit user.
Two of them are unknown, but they are identical in shape. The other looks almost identical to Mirana’s existing minimap icon, leading to speculation that a hero persona is set to arrive for her. That one-two punch of two high-end skins strongly suggests that a new Dota 2 battle pass could be coming in the very near future.
It’s very possible that we may see a new hero arrive in Dota 2 after The International.
In May 2020, Valve discussed its plans to move away from featuring one massive The International Battle Pass each year in favor of several smaller in-game events. This was seen last year with the return of Diretide, as well as the more recent Nemestice Battle Pass. Ahead of the reveal of Nemestice, stated that another event was slated to come in the final quarter of 2021.
“With that in mind, this year’s slate will continue to look a bit different than in the past. To start, we’ll be shipping two separate events over the coming months instead of one overarching summer event. The first will arrive in mid-to-late June, and another will follow sometime after The International ends,” Valve said in May.
It’s unclear what this event might be, but these plans were revealed before The International 2021 was moved from August to October. With the TI10 Compendium currently ongoing, it’s almost certain that there won’t be any significant content updates until the event is over. TI10 is set to run from October 7 to 17.
That would put the characters or skins behind these new icons into the final quarter of 2021, which recent precedent has shown to be prime time for releasing new Dota 2 heroes.
Hoodwink launched in December 2020 and the Outlanders Update added Void Spirit and Snapfire in November 2019. Before that, Pangolier and Dark Willow were added in the Dueling Fates update that launched in October 2017.
None of this is certain. The two new identical icons could be a new hero with an Arc Warden-like ability to replicate itself. One or both of the icons could have been added in error. It’s also possible that a new battle pass might be coming that adds both a hero persona and an arcana with two different forms, similar to the upgradable arcana that have come out for heroes such as Earthshaker, Queen of Pain, and Spectre. Odds are that definite answers will come at The International 2021, with the new content directly following the event.
While anything could happen after TI10 in regards to the other two icons, what seems all but guaranteed is the fact that there’s something coming for Mirana. It’s unclear what this might be, but there are three possibilities.
The most likely possibility is a hero persona based on Mirana’s character from DOTA: Dragon’s Blood. Mirana starred in the series alongside Dragon Knight, and Dragon Knight had a hero persona added to the game as a Nemestice Battle Pass reward. Something similar for Mirana makes a lot of sense, but it’s not the only other explanation.
Once upon a time, Valve actively released new models for heroes that looked outdated. These updated models were created for Slardar, Lion, and Huskar, among others. A new model hasn’t been released since 2019 when Drow Ranger was reimagined.
Though Mirana doesn’t have the worst model in Dota 2, she’s widely regarded as one of the worst alongside Queen of Pain and Morphling. A new Mirana model is long overdue and with the hero becoming one of Dota 2’s de facto main characters after the DOTA: Dragon’s Blood animated series, the time might be right.
The final possibility is an arcana skin for Mirana. Valve endured a significant amount of fan backlash for the Spectre arcana being put behind a very expensive battle pass paywall, and a new arcana that can be bought outright from the store would help to rebuild relations with angered fans.