We’re still more than three months out from Dota 2’s biggest esports competition, The International 2019, but that also means that there’s three months for the tournament’s prize pool to swell to even more ludicrous levels than ever before. That’s right, the Dota 2 International Battle Pass has returned.
If you’re not familiar with the Battle Pass, it’s essentially the means by which Valve crowdfunds The International’s money pot. The developer throws in $1.6 million, and then 25% of all money raised by sales of the pass and its many, many tiers is added on top. In 2018, the community contributed nearly $24 million to the pool, helping the tournament champions to a first-place prize of $11,234,158.
But what does the community get for all this, you may ask? This year, a new event – Wrath of the Mo’rokai – sends players deep into the ruins of a lost civilisation in an upcoming game mode which will see you restore power to two ancient beasts who’ll battle alongside you.
That’s far from everything that’s on offer, however. As you level up your pass, you’ll gain access to the Coach’s Challenge, which puts you in the driving seat of a team with a lower matchmaking ratio than your own. There’ll also be new party finding tools and the ability to forever remove certain players from your matchmaking pool.
As you level further, you’ll be able to double down on your ranked rewards, high-five fellow players and unlock a suite of new items. If you make it to Battle Pass level 1000, you’ll get a 1/5th scale replica of the Champion’s Aegis. Those who make it to level 2000 will get a Baby Roshan statue – which Valve suggests won’t be subject to the same problems as the memento’s last time out.
The 2019 Battle Pass is the fastest-growing yet, taking the prize pool past the $5 million mark in around 11 hours. There’s a long way to go to top last years’ efforts, but given that The International doesn’t begin until August 20, there’s plenty of time to reach a new record high.