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The Battle Pass for The International 8, Dota 2’s biggest tournament, has arrived

You can start emptying your wallets or grinding for hats now

Dota 2 | Valve

After nearly nine months of competitive Dota 2, weeks of anticipation and over 24 hours of post-teaser anxiety, the next chapter of the Battle Pass is here.

Implemented as continuation or expansion of The International Compendium, which began in 2013, the Battle Pass gives fans an opportunity to fund the biggest Dota 2 tournament in the world. In return, players get neat in-game cosmetics, incentives to improve skill and a few new ways to explore Dota 2’s strategies and universe.

More importantly, it appears that once again, it’ll fund The International 8’s prize pool. Last year, fans dished out enough to bring up the prize pool from the base of $1.6 million to a jaw-dropping $24 million. Team Liquid, last year’s victors and top performers in this year’s competitive Dota Pro Circuit, took home $10.8 million on their own, but all teams in attendance got a slice.

But for the everyday player who can’t quite make it onto the Vancouver stage, there are plenty of reasons to be interested in the Battle Pass. There are event-exclusive prizes such as couriers, skins, a ward and map terrains, and they’ve released yet another music pack.

If you’re willing to either grind for a few eternities to Level 1000 or dish out $426.60, you can get this year’s Aegis replica, and the Roshan comes 1000 levels or $419.58 later.

Hardcore fans are already probably glancing at their credit cards and pondering the future of their inventory, so we’ll cut to the chase and run down a list of a few cool new things this year:

  • The Underhollow, an MMO-esque player-versus-player battle mode
  • Cavern Crawl, a mission-like incentive to try out new Heroes
  • “Sprays” (like Team Fortress 2 or Overwatch) that appear on the map
  • Team Challenge, an MMR-boosting opportunity that lets you play against enemies much higher than you
  • New equippable lane creep skins

And, of course, the Compendium will return with time, giving fans opportunities to make predictions about who will take the Aegis of Champions — and who will perish along the way.

The Battle Pass costs $9.99 at level zero, or $36.99 if you want a boost up to level 75. From there, if you don’t have the time nor patience to grind through the Battle Pass’s tasks, you can also buy levels: 5 for $2.49, 11 for $4.99 and 24 for $9.99.