There are always levels to a Dota 2 battle pass, both literally and metaphorically.
Most of the time, the levels players actually care about involve how deep the content rabbit hole goes in regards to which Arcana, exclusive item sets, new features, and game modes are added as part of the battle pass. Content is king, and if it isn’t there, a portion of the playerbase might just decide to skip purchasing even the base battle pass.
Valve runs a smooth operation when it comes to Dota 2’s battle pass; it works as both a machine to deliver content to normal players and a way for fans of the competitive scene to directly contribute to the game’s biggest event of the year—The International. Typically, 25 percent of each battle pass purchase is directly fed into the TI prize pool for that year, giving players another reason to at least get the Level 1 Bundle.
However, the 2022 battle pass is a new kind of beast, with Valve splitting it into two distinct parts, releasing it almost a full four months later than usual, and setting it to run well after The International concludes at the end of October. This is all part of a restructure that the developers mentioned earlier this year, but it hasn’t left the community with best initial impression for one reason or another.
Should you get the TI11 battle pass?
When you purchase a battle pass, whether you start at level one or spring for a Level Bundle to get a head start at unlocking items, the first thing you check for is what content is offered as part of your purchase.
Valve has typically been very upfront with the content available in previous Dota 2 battle passes, saving a few surprises to drop throughout its run but ensuring there is enough there at the start to entice players. Despite that approach working well for the company in the past, the 2022 battle pass feels like it is holding things back purely because Valve wanted to split it into two parts and extend the runtime—leaving it in a “content incomplete” state that has not impressed the community.
Some of the usual content is included, like an Arcana for Faceless Void, some Immortal Treasure, other cosmetics, and plenty of additions to the game like Ranked Double Down Tokens. The longer you scroll through the 2022 battle pass offerings, however, the more you start to see “Part II” pop up.
Part I of the battle pass will run from Sept. 1 to Nov. 2, with Part II picking up on Nov. 3 and running through Jan. 12. That is the longest a battle pass has been available to date, and it should excite fans. So why isn’t it?
The simple answer is, it really does feel like the battle pass is releasing in waves instead of as a complete product that will reward players who get in early and grind levels. Instead of adding content to an already fulfilling service, it now feels like the developers slapped a “coming soon” label onto more than 50 percent of the featured content and might be looking to push it when the 25 percent TI prize pool contribution expires.
The battle pass support cutoff
Oh, that’s right. Purchases will only count to the TI battle pass during Part I. This means when Part II begins, all of that 25 percent that would have gone to the community if the entire battle pass was running like previous years is going to go right into Valve’s pocket.
Sources close to the Dota Pro Circuit also report that the 2023 season won’t benefit from any of that Part II money either, with regional leagues and Majors retaining the same prize pool structure from the 2022 season. Overall, this paints Valve as making a move to maximize profits in a sort of half-measure that might go under the radar for fans who aren’t plugged into the competitive scene.
If you want to support TI and the Dota 2 competitive scene, buy your battle pass and any Level Bundles you want during Part I so that 25 percent cut goes into the prize pool. Otherwise, Valve will pocket the difference and that will be the end of it.
There isn’t one right answer for every player who is looking into the battle pass because it really comes down to what you are looking to get out of the experience.
Are you going to be playing Dota anyways and want to unlock some extra content or take advantage of the bonuses available? Pick up the bundle you feel comfortable spending on it and get to grinding; some of the offerings are likely worth it for you.
Are you disappointed in what Valve has to offer for Part I and feel like you might spend time away from Dota? Then it is an easy pass. You can always keep an eye on what gets added for Part II and jump in later too.
If you want to support the competitive Dota 2 scene, you can still buy the battle pass, but try to maximize your purchases during Part I. You don’t need to feel guilty about enjoying the content just because the revenue split goes away after a set time—it is a game, after all.