What to expect from BATTLE PASS 2021
Even though Spectre Arcana is still in the coming, many fans of Dota are anxious about another topic – Valve’s intentions for BATTLE PASS 2021. Will the event be staged and in what form?
BATTLE PASS 2021 will, in fact, happen. Officially. This was to be expected: players are used to paying for a bunch of pixels, a very nice tradition for Valve. Dispensing with it could have a negative impact on the company's revenue this year and, who knows, the years to follow. On the other hand, the pandemic has already derailed Valve’s schedule last season and may do so again any number of years. In 2020 The International was canceled for that reason, and now Stockholm may not be able to host such a big event. Valve may have to start making relocation plans. Some say that Gabe Newell might set his sights on New Zealand, where he has lived since the pandemic's start and where there are almost no new infections. In a Jaunary interview Newell did, in fact, say that he would like to hold The International there. However, assuming the tournament is held this year, one should keep in mind that players have donated a record sum, more than 40 million dollars, towards the prize fund. Can BATTLE PASS 2021 increase its own prize money? Many e-sports experts doubt this, saying that the proceeds from the new BATTLE PASS probably will not flow to the 40-million jackpot, blowing it up to 80 mils or more. That would buck the trend and Valve’s unstated promise to inflate The International’s prize fund year on year, which may undermine the audience’s interest in the event and demotivate teams. Besides, look where New Zealand is. How would such a big, cash-throwing event be held in such a remote corner of the world under the pandemic?
Another possibility, also unlikely, is that BATTLE PASS 2021 will gather money for a separate prize fund. On April 16th Valve issued a call to arms – inviting workshoppers to start sending in their concepts for a new Collector's Cache BATTLE PASS 2021. Their old calls mentioned the The International, though, and this year’s news simply reads “Summer 2021: a call to arms.” This probably means BATTLE PASS 2021 will not try to gather any prize money. And that may be for the best. Lots of opinion leaders have asked just what happened to the 40 million dollars from last year. If that cash is waiting in Valve’s bank accounts to be played away at this, anniversary, The International, that may placate the public, any other use of the money will aggravate fans, e-sports teams and all players, and Valve’s reputation is sure to suffer.