It’s a few weeks late, but The International 2020 Battle Pass has arrived.
Valve has officially shipped the Dota 2 update, bringing back the popular TI crowdfunding mechanism to the game. This follows prolonged fan outcry that called for an early release of the battle pass, egged on by a steadily rising player count online.
The TI10 Battle Pass contains all the standard fixings of other recent installments, but with a few surprises and shakeups.
Community functions such as tips, high-fiving, consumable items, and chat wheel sounds all return. There is also a new and yet-to-be-named game mode that will be exclusive to battle pass owners.
— WIN.gg 🎮 (@officialWINgg) May 26, 2020
Another new addition in the same vein as tipping is Bounty Killing. Players can place a BP bounty on an enemy hero, with a successful kill rewarding BP to the killer. The player that originally placed the bounty will not receive an additional reward.
Wagering also returns, but with some significant changes. Instead of getting a fixed number of points that can be earned each week, players instead get 10 tokens they can wager that give a fixed reward for victory. Players can earn extra BP points by racking up a streak of correct predictions, a system that is tailor-made to rope users into playing more games.
Another new community feature is a Community Match Prediction feature. A random pub game will be pulled, with players having the ability to predict the outcome based on the MMR, heroes, and lane assignments.
The biggest addition to the TI10 Battle Pass when it comes to community features is the return of guilds. Guilds were a part of Dota 2 from 2013 to 2015, but were never properly integrated into the game and were unceremoniously removed with the rollout of the Dota 2 Reborn update.
Guilds return in the TI10 Battle Pass, but with a much greater presence in both Dota 2 and Steam itself. Guild chat is built into Steam Chat itself, while players can easily join one another’s games and coordinate play. All members of guilds have extra incentive to take part in this, as there are numerous in-game rewards.
Challenges will be assigned to entire guilds, and contracts can be picked up by individual players. Players that don’t own a TI10 Battle Pass can join guilds, but only battle pass owners can create them.
Last year’s battle pass shattered previous revenue records thanks to strong cosmetic offerings. Valve took this two steps further this year by offering up five premium skins as level rewards.
There are three Arcana skins for Wraith King, Windranger, and Queen of Pain.
Wraith King’s The One True King skin is available now and will surely delight longtime Dota 2 players as it transforms the hero back into Skeleton King, albeit with a fresh new model. The hero heavily drew from the WarCraft 3 character King Leoric. Valve attempted to distance the two by transforming him into the Wraith King with the in-game Wraith Night event.
Windranger’s Compass of the Rising Gale and Queen of Pain’s Eminence of Ristul have not yet launched, but will be available at a later time.
Alongside the three arcana are two new Hero Personas, which give the heroes different personalities and looks.
The first is the Toy Butcher for Pudge, which turns the monstrous cannibal into a literal doll. The other is the Disciple’s Path for Anti-Mage, which sees the player instead utilize his apprentice, Wei. The female Anti-Mage is a first in Dota 2, and has garnered more early attention than most of the TI10 Battle Pass’ other offerings.
For those that don’t spend inordinate amounts of money on the battle pass to level up to such heights as those required for its greatest rewards, the Immortal Treasures also return.
Immortal Treasure 1 is available now, with the second and third expansions coming later. There are impressive new cosmetics available for heroes including Lifestealer, Medusa, and Puck, though the top prize is an ultra rare Pudge hook that turns his arm into a spring-loaded claw.
In my taunt rankings I said this would be the best taunt in the entire game if they brought it back. Lo and behold… pic.twitter.com/YAclH5fLFI
— SUNSfan (@SUNSfanTV) May 25, 2020
There is also a new crawl mini-game in the form of Nightsilver & Foulfell. It boasts two separate maps, with Nightsilver themed around the goddess Selemene that is central to the lore of Mirana and Luna, and Foulfell where Terrorblade hails from. Both maps function similar to the Cavern Crawl and Jungle Expedition of years past.
There is also a new type of game mode in the Battle Gauntlet, which tasks the player with winning three out of four games. Doing so bestows the player with a windfall of 1,500 BP.
There is also the new Sideshop feature, which introduces a new kind of currency called “Gems” that can be used to purchase in-game rewards.
Valve: releases 3 arcanas, 2 personas, a guild system, …
The coordinator: pic.twitter.com/IlAicTkAIm
— Team Secret (@teamsecret) May 25, 2020
That depends on if you just want the Battle Pass, or if you want to buy some additional levels to give yourself a boost.
The Battle Pass sells for $9.99 USD. This gives players full access to all of the pass’ potential rewards, though they must first level up before they can claim the vast majority of them.
For $23.95 USD, players can start their journey at level 50. This means more immediate rewards and a head start towards some of the loftier reward tiers availalble in the pass. At this price, players receive a 5% savings on the extra levels purchased.
If that’s not enough, particularly enterprising players can spend $44.99 USD to start at level 100. This naturally means beginning with even more rewards unlocked, and represents a further increase in savings on levels purchased, this time 15%.
The International 2020 is still in limbo following Valve’s indefinite postponement of the event. Despite that, the TI10 Battle Pass still remains closely associated with that one specific tournament, for better or worse.
As in years past, the TI10 Battle Pass will see 25% of the proceeds from all sales related to the battle pass being funneled into the event’s prize pool. The prize pool starts at $1.6 million, but grows with each purchase made by players. Last year the event’s prize pool grew to a gaudy $34,330,068, with a top prize of $15,620,181 for the event’s champions.
Valve is set to deliver big changes to the Dota 2 pro scene in the near future, with the standing major and minor system being dropped in favor of regional leagues. This could bring greater stability to the professional Dota 2 scene after years of shakiness, but pro players and staff members have expressed concerns over the low prize pools for these leagues.
Since the 2018-2019 season, majors and minors had a combined prize pool of $6.5 million. That is significantly lower than what was available in previous years, but this new shift towards regional leagues will force teams to spend more time fighting for the same amount of money. For top teams, this will actually result in a net loss as they will be forced to focus strictly on league play rather than juggling majors and other lucrative third-party tournaments.
Many were hoping that this would be offset by Valve spreading some of the money generated by the TI10 Battle Pass across these various leagues, rather than hoarding it all into one mega-event. Instead, Dota 2’s pro scene continues to face an uncertain future.