Dota 2 datamine shows TI12 ‘battle pass’ could feature a visual novel, new Arcanas

Resurfaced speculation might lead to a coming announcement.

Screengrab via Valve

No battle pass is coming to hype fans up for The International 2023, but it looks like Valve’s replacement could feature some nice cosmetics and a Dota 2 visual novel. 

While Valve previously confirmed that it was moving on from the battle pass model it has used for years and focusing on a more diverse spread of updates, the developers did say a TI12 content drop was still in the works. Now, thanks to some data pulled from an August update for the game featured in a Sept. 9 Reddit post, we may have gotten an early hint at what will be featured in this new-look TI “event.”

According to the lines of text, there is a new file format called “NOVELDEF” that is now listed in the game’s backend, which the person pulling the info notes is very similar to the “eventdef” subclass that is used to store data for things like the battle pass and ongoing events—such as the 10th Anniversary. This, paired with the actual mention of a visual novel in the title, likely points to a new type of content coming to Dota as a part of the TI12 update, and potentially as a continued series rather than just a singular event inclusion. 

The word “crownfall” also appears which, paired with some other files, points to Skywrath Mage and Vengeful Spirit getting Arcanas of some sort in this update. 

Additional content such as quests labeled the Road to TI, Fantasy Gems, a Hoodwink Immortal set, and more have also been well documented since this leak dropped. This includes a potential Collector’s Cache containing Dragon Knight, Lone Druid, Lycan, Night Stalker, Ogre Magi, Phoenix, and more.  

This information was first discovered more than 10 days ago, but it is important to bring it back up because new files are being pushed out, TI12 is set to begin on Oct. 12, and we are still missing a lot of information about the event. 

Not only do we not know anything about the TI12 content update that Valve promised players, but we still have no idea how the prize pool will function for the event, either. As of now, we simply know that Valve will still be putting in the usual $1.6 million base, though the crowdfunding method or additional contribution without the battle pass is still up in the air. 

It is very likely that we will hear about whatever Valve is planning for its TI12 red carpet after DreamLeague Season 21 ends on Sept. 24, including what will be contained in this year’s potential Compendium. It is important to note, however, that Valve previously stated that “new cosmetic items won’t play a notable part” in the TI-themed update, so some of this leaked content might be for something else too. 


Cale Michael
Lead Staff Writer for Dota 2, the FGC, Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and more who has been writing for Dot Esports since 2018. Graduated with a degree in Journalism from Oklahoma Christian University and also previously covered the NBA. You can usually find him writing, reading, or watching an FGC tournament.

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