Every year, the best Dota 2 wizards from all the lands gather to determine which of them can best defend an ancient rock garden - but probably not this year, you'll be surprised to hear. The tenth iteration of The International has been delayed due to the pandemic: "likely" to 2021, say Valve.
They're still going to start selling The International Battle Pass soon, with 25% of each purchase going to the prize pool. That gives them many more months of funding, which is canny. Expect big number.
Here's the most pertinent bit of Valve's statement:
"We have been exploring various date possibilities, but it is likely that the event will need to happen in 2021. Given the highly volatile landscape for local gathering restrictions, virus trajectory, and global travel policies, we don’t expect to have enough confidence to communicate firm dates in the near future. In the meantime, we are working on restructuring the DPC season for the fall, and will be providing more information as soon as we have it."
The International normally happens in August, though Valve hadn't confirmed the dates for this year.
The DPC is the Dota Pro Circuit, where teams compete in smaller, regional tournaments to earn a place at The International. The last one went ahead on March 5th, with the three further tournaments planned for March, April and May all cancelled. So, Valve are still figuring out how invites will work now that the usual system is borked.
The Battle Pass is a purchasable companion to The International, and goes a bit beyond what you'd normally associate with battle passes. Last year's Pass included a new mode, along with helpful in-game assistants that really should have been available for everyone.
Valve plan on releasing the Battle Pass "soon instead of closer to the event itself", but do mention that "with our team working from home and things taking longer to complete, the release date of the Battle Pass will be at least a couple of weeks later than usual."
To get the prettiest cosmetic rewards out of previous Battle Passes, you had to play an obscene number of games or pay extra. That meant the best rewards were only really available to people who were willing to chuck a hundred pounds or more at the damn thing. If this one is as extortionate as last year's, I'm not convinced the extra time will be enough to access the top-tier rewards.
Go on Valve, prove me wrong.