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Will there be a 2021 Dota 2 battle pass? Here's what we know

Dota 2 fans have been wondering for months whether the new year would bring a new battle pass to the popular MOBA. But at the moment, it does not seem like there will be any new Dota 2 battle pass coming in 2021.

Valve made the announcement in May and it was crushing news for Dota 2 fans. Each year, The International Battle Pass is the highlight of the year and delivers a significant amount of content for fans including premium skins, a limited-time game mode, and more.

With no The International Battle Pass coming to Dota 2 in 2021, it’s unclear what will take its place and what implications this may have for Dota 2 esports moving forward. Here is everything that’s known about Dota 2 battle passes in 2021.

Will there be a Dota 2 battle pass in 2021?

Valve suggested that there will not be any battle pass coming out in Dota 2 in 2021. This came alongside a larger update regarding what the publisher has in store for the game this year, and into the future. 

“We'll be shipping two separate events over the coming months instead of one overarching summer event. The first will arrive in mid-to-late June, and another will follow sometime after The International ends. Neither of these events will fund The International prize pool, as the The International 10 Battle Pass prize pool still remains to be claimed,” Valve said in a post on the official Dota 2 blog.

This could mean any number of things, ranging from Diretide to the seasonal battle passes seen from 2015 to 2017 ahead of Valve-sponsored majors. It is possible that those could come back or that Valve might be planning on something like the straightforward The International Compendiums seen in the game in 2012 and 2013. It could also be that Valve is planning something in the vein of the simple Lunar New Year events seen in recent years that only brought high-fives and consumables to the game.

It’s completely unclear what’s coming next, but one thing is certain. There will not be a The International Battle Pass in Dota 2 in 2021.

Why isn't there a Dota 2 battle pass in 2021?

Valve is not releasing a battle pass in Dota 2 in order to focus on other in-game events. It is unclear what these events will be or what they might include.

This is somewhat strange as The International Battle Pass is known to be an enormous revenue generator for Valve. The TI10 Battle Pass brought the prize pool of the event up to $40 million, meaning that Valve took in nearly $120 million. Valve passing up on an opportunity to take in that kind of cash again certainly raises an eyebrow.

It could be that Valve is using the global situation that has carried over from 2020 as an opportunity to take in more money. The pivot away from the Dota 2 battle pass comes after the return of Diretide last fall. It’s possible that running two similar events would end up being more profitable for Valve than running one installment of The International Battle Pass, especially without having to put any of that money into the Dota 2 esports scene.

Will there be a Dota 2 The International Championship in 2021?

The International 10 is scheduled to begin on August 5, 2021. The event will take place in Stockholm, Sweden. It is not yet known if there will be any crowd or media allowed into the event.

Plans could change depending on global travel restrictions and lockdowns, but odds are that the event will be able to take place as expected in August 2021. Expect more details to come out on crowds and in-game Dota 2 events as TI10 approaches.