Dota 2: New battle pass and The International 11 prize pool

Dota 2’s battle pass was released a while ago, and as always, you as the players are able to increase The International’s prize pool by buying it. However, in 2021, The International’s prize pool was over 13 million dollars and in 2019 it was almost 13 million during a similar time frame. This year, it’s around 11 million dollars. What changed?

This year’s battle pass disappointed many players, from the ways to obtain the rewards to those rewards themselves. Valve issued a statement saying that they worked on it and fixed the battle pass, but we don’t know if it’s too late to save it. The International’s prize pool might never catch up to 2019 after the battle pass disappointment.

Dota 2 battle pass

If you are familiar with the Dota 2 esports, you know about The International and its prize pools which impresses everyone. You might not know that prize pools reach such heights, thanks to the fans buying the battle pass offered in-game. The International 2021 offered 40 million dollars of prize money, more than 38 million of that came out of the community's pockets.

Thus, keeping the community's attention and directing them to buy battle passes is essential for Dota 2. It is the main income for many teams that attend The International. When the battle pass disappoints the fans and they don’t want to buy it anymore, that is a big problem for not only Valve but also the organizations and the players.

In 2022, we have seen fans complaining about the new battle pass after the release. According to many players and Dota 2 enthusiasts, Valve’s announcements were misleading, the common content offered was far from impressive and fans felt like they were not getting something that was worth the money they spent.

This is alarming for the professional esports scene that is built upon the community's money itself. Obviously, sponsors create a good share of the money the teams and players earn, but as mentioned before, unlike LoL or CS:GO, Dota 2 has to keep the player base happy to keep the wheel running.

Valve responded with an announcement where they acknowledged their mistakes, saying that although the amount of points the players can earn is similar to the TI10 battle pass, the median amount that has been earned is lower in 2022. Additionally, Dota Plus, a service for which players pay a good amount of money in a free-to-play game, was essentially not working.

A weekly bonus feature is added to the battle pass, where you can earn additional points for playing games with a weekly cap. The points offered in weekly quests are increased, and the bonus week will offer a better battle chest now. We will see if these changes will convince the players that it is not “pay to pay” anymore.

The International prize pool

So how much they affect the prize pools of The International? Since 2014, Valve offers $1,600,000 in prize money, and the rest is added by the players themselves. In 2014, the final number was $10,923,977. In 2021, after a long period of time due to pandemic cancelling the tournament in 2020, the final prize pool was $40,018,195.

This year, we are currently at $11,127,954 and counting. The pace of the accumulation is faster than 2018 and the earlier tournaments, but it’s still behind 2019, a huge step back for the ecosystem. If the teams and players relied on the money that they will get after The International, even a small amount of change might affect their future significantly.

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