Dota 2 TI 12 prize pool looks like it might be the lowest ever

With Dota 2 The International on the horizon Valve's crowdfunding efforts for the prize pool have begun, but the new Compendium hasn't sold as much as expected.

A black and red spectral monster holding a glaive reaches out to the camera with two tears next to her eyes

It’s fall already, and Dota 2 The International 12 is just around the corner. As always, Valve is ‘crowdfunding’ the tournament’s prize pool, but with the battle pass system gone and the divisive Compendium put in its place, the jackpot isn’t looking too healthy this time around.

The Compendium is Dota 2‘s new esports-centric ‘battle pass’ system, akin to rival MOBA League of Legends’ Worlds Pass. The base version (worth $7.49 / £6.29) gives you six different levels to play through, while the upgraded version ($29.99 / £23.99) gives you 50. They also come with ‘boosters,’ which are used to unlock other content or, in the case of the upgraded edition, the TI 2023 HUD.

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When compared to the old battle pass, though, the Compendium feels a little slim in terms of content. Notably, there’s no new Arcana, which has become a staple of TI season, and no overarching event, which has seen a spike in negative feedback.

Turns out that feeling seems to be pretty prevalent as, by comparison to previous TI prize pools, 2023 is getting off to a very slow start. According to Valve’s official tracker, the day one total was at $2,380,054, well below 2022, which started out with $7,002,913. The only year lower than it is 2013, which was the first year that TI was part-funded by the battle pass.

A graph showing the various Dota 2 prize pools on day one throughout the years

Of course, there’s still a long way to go before the end of TI, but the stats are a little troubling. At the moment, they appear to have stagnated at around $2,778,549, which isn’t much better than day one. While the other years have shown a generally consistent increase, so far 2023 is sitting at a flatline. Sure, two million isn’t something to smirk at, but given the highest figure is 2021’s $40,018,195, that’s one heck of a drop.

And it’s a shame, in all honesty. With the Dota 2 New Frontiers update effectively ushering in Dota 3, I was hoping to see an uptick this year. I don’t play a lot of Valve’s MOBA, but I love watching TI, so this really is a pity.

It might be worth checking out some other free Steam games instead if the Compendium has left you out in the cold, or, alternatively, our list of multiplayer games to find something that takes your fancy.