Valve Software announced this week that it is essentially abandoning the Battle Pass model, which directly fuels the overall prize pool for its Dota 2 championship, The International. In a blog post the company said that it wants to put more resources into developing content on a regular basis. It began experimenting with shifting development resources earlier this year, which was reflected in its recent releases such as New Frontiers and patch 7.33.
“We recognize this affects The International. We’re still huge fans of TI and we’re excited for this year’s event — both as organizers and as attendees ourselves — and work is well underway on a TI-themed update to ship in September. The update will still contribute directly to the prize pool, with a focus on the event, the players, and the games, but new cosmetic items won’t play a notable part. This is a significant change from the last few years, so to make it clear that we’re shifting focus towards the event and away from the giant reward line of cosmetics, we’re intentionally not calling this update a Battle Pass.”
The International 2023 (TI12) takes place at the Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, Washington, from Oct. 27 – 29. Prior to these changes, Valve would kick 25% of Battle Pass sales to the event’s total prize pool. The 2022 Battle Pass generated $18.8M USD for The International 11 (TI11) hosted in Singapore last year—the lowest prize pool in recent memory. At TI10, Battle Pass sales helped the total prize pool grow to more than $40M.
Editor’s note: we removed “breaking from the headline, as this story has been out in the wild for several days.”