The International 2020’s postponing addressed the future of the currently largest esports prize pool event in history, and alongside this news of TI10 shifting to 2021, the primary revenue maker of this event; The DOTA 2 Battle Pass, was announced to arrive a few weeks later than the intended release date. A highly anticipated digital product whose purchase directly added funds to the TI10’s prize pool, it provides plenty of rewards to the purchasing player base that makes its purchase worthwhile for the community.

Official announcement dated 25th May as the day when it shall release to the DOTA 2 player base community. It released on time, and with it came many new additions to the previous features that made each year’s Battle Pass and TI break all previously scored records. It was no big surprise that the first 24 hours showed that the record-breaking routine shall follow this year as well, as the TI10 Battle Pass revenue of the first 24 hours was higher than the previous Battle Pass revenue which added to the currently largest esports prize pool in history. Fans and DOTA 2 players were glad to finally attain the digital product they were waiting for. The number of active players increases correspondingly as before as well.

The new BattlePass comes with an astounding reward spree that is first of its time; it features 3 Arcana items, the products that are considered to be one of, if not the most valuable cosmetic items for their specific characters. It also comes with 2 Personas, similar cosmetic items that are a keen interest of players of DOTA 2. What is more that these items account towards specific characters or ‘heroes’ of the video game that were voted to be one of the most popular characters of DOTA 2. The heroes are Queen of Pain, Wind Ranger, Anti Mage, Pudge, and Wraith King. All these heroes were previously voted as contenders for the next Arcanas, and this added to the value of the BattlePass that contained all these rewards. Any BattlePass-buying player would be able to get these items if he is able to reach a certain level of the BattlePass in the game. All these prizes added to how the TI10’s BattlePass has got the same record-breaking start as previous ones did.

Artwork of Wei, the upcoming female Anti Mage Persona.

However, it took little time for the community to realize that this reward system detracts the idea of a successful digital purchase rather than encouraging it. The community has now addressed these rewards that make the BattlePass purchase worthwhile to be too hard or even impossible to attain without spending money for extra levels to the BattlePass. The DOTA 2 Subreddit Community holds the biggest community of DOTA 2, alongside the shared communities of all social platforms, and similar complaints are arising from all places. Their complaint is this; previous Battle Passes rewarded players with more rewards than this year’s Battle Pass. And the only rewards that they get this year, in exchange for the other lesser rewards, are impossible to attain without spending extra funds. This has now turned into a controversy that is looking to affect the growth of the TI10’s prize pool and the player base community as a whole.

Eminence of Ristul, the upcoming Queen of Pain Arcana Item.

The complaints do hold firm grounds as rewards are truly locked behind a ‘paywall’ which require extra funds spendings if players want to attain them. Although the BattlePass in origin requires money to buy, the complaint is towards the controversy that the rewards should not be attainable for large sums of money. The community is addressing the fact of how this year’s BattlePass rewards require more spendings for the same amount of rewards or prizes that even them out with previous Battle pass rewards.

The First Spending:

Here is an instance; the normal Battle Pass Level 1 requires $9.99, the Level 50 Battle Pass requires $29.35, and the Level 100 Battle Pass start requires $44.99 to buy.
At average, the given levelling up system allows players to level up their Battle Pass by about 120-150 levels, this itself varies further with each player’s play-time and grinding.
The rewards being spoken off sit at Battle Pass Levels of 255 for the Pudge Persona, 305 for the Anti Mage persona, 375 for the Wraith King Arcana, 445 for the Queen of Pain Arcana, and Level 575 for the Wind Ranger Arcana.

This shows that a normal purchaser of the Battle Pass would be looking to get none of the above-given rewards. He would hardly be able to acquire the first big exclusive reward of the Special Terrain that sits at Level 160. And for a person who bought the Level 100 Battle Pass at the start, his full grinding time and hard work would suffice him to only maybe get the first reward mentioned above; the Pudge persona that sits at level 255. This concludes the summary that just the early spendings on the Battle Pass alone will not provide all the rewards to the players. They shall have to manage extra spendings.

The Second Effector:

Over here comes another circumstance, the Battle Level Bundle. Each Battle Pass comes with a release of a Battle Pass Level Up Bundle at a later date that provides a large discount of extra levels added to the Battle Pass when purchased. On average, this bundle gives about a hundred extra levels added to the Battle Pass if purchased. These come as the secondary choice of Battle Pass owners who are looking to level up the Battle Pass so they may acquire the unreachable rewards. The previous year’s Battle Pass Level Up Bundle came for $29.99 that gave extra treasures and a total of 120 levels added to the Battle Pass. In comparing this instance to the future release of the Battle Level Bundle, if it sits with the same price and with the same levels, this will allow players to afford a little more than what they acquired just by grinding in the game.
With this bundle, Level 1 BattlePass purchasers would be able to reach about level 250-300 if they played actively throughout the BattlePass duration. Level 100 Battle Pass purchasers would be able to reach about level 370-400 on their BattlePass with hard grinding, and so they would be able to acquire at least one Arcana item from the BattlePass.

The Upcoming Wind Ranger Arcana Item Artwork. Windranger also was the previous contender for the next Arcana, gaining immense popularity, other than from Slacks, by the player base.

The Given Ultimatum:

This is where the stats sit that show that players do require extra funds if they want to reach level 575 and acquire all the above-mentioned reward. This suffices to the controversy that the normal affordability of the Battle Pass and its acquirable rewards for the common purchasing mass is not how it once was; they are being drawn to spend more on the BattlePass this way. A common notion is that they are simply being told to not spend on the Battle Pass at all and not go for it, but the community that looked towards the Battle Pass as active and devoted fans are addressing the Battle Pass circumstances as a greedy turn from Valve. This is sure to affect the BattlePass sales and the TI10 this year.

It would come from Valve’s own choices of the economical funds they attain from the player base that they made these changes for this year. However, it still looks to be a difficult buy for many fans of the game that cannot spend too much on the game. The Pandemic circumstances also give reason to spend less like the BattlePass is not a necessary purchase, all these circumstances are leading the community to complain against the Battle Pass rewards this year.

The normal notion of high spenders that can afford to spend on Steam freely may only be the ones who are not affected by this. The common player base that does value the Battle Pass but does not want to spend huge sums may not be able to acquire all the rewards that sit up to Level 575 of the Battle Pass. The physical reward that is treasured by avid collectors and fans still sits at Level 1000 of the Battle Pass which rewards the player who reaches that level to get a physical small replica of the Aegis of Champions, the trophy which is awarded to the winners of TI. Level 2000 further gives collectors another physical reward of the small replica of Roshan. This only suffices for a small sect of the full player base which would not be hinging on this controversy. In general, the bigger and more common mass populous is the one addressing these changes, and they are looking to get some response from Valve for the BattlePass rewards that they may be given some leniency to be acquired more easily with less extra money spent.

The Battle Pass has been the digital product that all avid DOTA 2 fans spend on. It has been the yearly reward for players that have gained the satisfaction of their purchase as fans of the MOBA title, with the previous records set that show each year has been a major improvement than its predecessors. The primary revenue of TI has reached record-breaking prize pools this way, and although there has been a minor negative response, it was never as big as it is for this year’s Battle Pass. The same satisfaction and acquired rewards seem to be consisting of the very prizes that the whole community has been asking for for the past few years, and this time it comes behind a paywall which does not suit the average spender. There is yet to be a response from Valve but as for now, the current stats are showing another record-breaking growth, however, a growth that is looking to decline as a major part of the DOTA 2 populous is not as happy with the TI10 Battle Pass as they were with previous BattlePasses.

The International 10 Event:

“As for The International itself, we will continue to monitor the global situation and will announce new dates when we can be confident in our ability to deliver a safe and uncompromised tournament for the players and fans. As always, 25% of all Battle Pass sales will go directly to the prize pool of this event.” -Valve.

For more on DOTA 2 and the TI10 Battle Pass, check out the DOTA 2 official Blog Page.