It was going to be the International’s 10th anniversary this year, Dota 2 fans expected yet another epic gathering of world’s strongest teams at the International 2020. Yet, nobody could have imagined that the historical event to be called off for the first time in Dota 2 history.
It first began with ESL One Los Angeles 2020 being cancelled due to global lockdown orders. Inevitably, the last 2 majors were eventually cancelled along with the rest of the Dota 2 Pro Circuit (DPC).
Despite the upsetting news, fans remained hopeful about the International 2020, praying that the much-anticipated tournament would go on as usual in August. Unfortunately, the DOTA 2 Twitter page announced that the International 2020 will be postponed to next year.
As if it couldn’t get any worse, the dreadful news was followed by tweets of veteran players calling it quits. The International 2015 Champions, Peter “ppd” Dager and Saahil “Universe” Arora, announced their retirement from the pro scene just days apart.
Frankly, it has been a rough journey for Esports fans heading into 2020. With the devastating pandemic laying waste around the globe, it’s undeniably difficult to get excited about anything. Nevertheless, there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
After all, if there’s one lesson we learned from Dota 2, it’s to always be optimistic about the next game.
It’s like Christmas for Dota 2 players.
As per tradition, Valve developed the Battle Pass 2020 along with various awesome perks for its Dota 2 fanbase. Whether it’s the adventurous Cavern Crawl quests or the overwhelming odds when opening Immortal Treasures. There’s definitely a feature in the Battle Pass that every player can enjoy.
This year, Valve has been rather generous with the rewards they offered throughout the Battle Pass 2020. For instance, we have a #rule63 female persona of the grumpy Anti-Mage and an adorable twist on the hero, Pudge, as a plushie. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg, we are even getting 3 Arcana skins!
Due to copyright reasons, Skeleton King was removed from the game and replaced with a wimpy old man known as Wraith King back in 2013. Astonishingly, after 7 years of Redditors’ persistent nagging, Valve finally delivered what the community missed most. It’s the menacing reincarnation of Wraith King’s skeleton model, in the form of an Arcana that is. Regardless, it brought back a sense of nostalgia for many Dota 2 and World of Warcraft veterans.
Besides the bony mess, Valve also rekindled every man’s lustful imagination of the female heroes, Windranger and Queen of Pain. The two characters received a gorgeous revamp of perfection that it’s difficult to not love the two heroes now.
Well, unless you’re SirActionSlacks who swore eternal hatred on Windranger, chances are, you are bound to fall head over heels for the Windranger Arcana.
Stepping up the game.
The DPC 2019-2020 season coming to a halt was by no means a deterrent to tournament organizers. Instead, tournament organizers took the opportunity to relive online tournaments and leagues. A great example is the WeSave! Charity Play, organized by WePlay.
Thanks to WePlay’s incredible production value, the fundraising event garnered a record-breaking 100,000 peak viewership and approximately 3,800,000 hours of watch time. The Dota 2 community owes some gratitude to the dedicated tournament organizers for keeping the pro scene packed with entertaining content. In fact, you can literally watch pro games all year long since there’s at least a tournament scheduled every week.
In contrast to previous DPC seasons, third-party tournament organizers were hesitant on hosting any tournament at all, over fears of having their tournament schedule overlap with a DPC major or minor. The ESL One Mumbai 2019 was one of the unfortunate scenarios where 5 invited teams withdrew from the event to prepare for the more important Valve-sponsored minor.
More than just an update.
On this fall, players can look forward to various unique changes in the Dota 2 game. The mysterious Dota 2 developer, Icefrog, will once again implement his wildest imaginations into the Dota 2 realm. While the change is not always welcome by the Dota 2 community, it’s still a nice change in pace.
For instance, last year’s Outlanders Update brought Capture-the-flag and Neutral Item drops into the meta. Due to the specific timings when Outposts give experience to players, players need to keep in mind when to steal or protect their Outposts. For most carry players, it’s not exactly a brilliant idea to stop farming and risk dying to enemy heroes in an attempt to capture the Outposts.
Whereas Neutral items added an excessive dose of luck into the skill-based game. Since items drop at random, certain Neutral items could become a gamechanger when the RN Jesus graces upon the lucky player. For serious gamers, however, the element of surprise and unpredictability could pave way to unexpected turnarounds by the opponents. Thus, losing such a game would definitely rub salt deeper into the wound.
Although the Outlanders Update raised much controversy among players, it didn’t take long before most players adapted their play style.
What to Look Forward to?
Well then, it’s unlike Valve to just turn a blind eye on the current matter without having something install for its passionate community. Valve confirmed that they are restructuring the DPC season for the fall (probably alongside a massive gameplay update). One thing’s for sure, the International 2020 will be grander than ever after the whole pandemic subsides.
Till then, I reckon that we can enjoy the Battle Pass 2020 or grab some popcorn to watch Team Secret in action. Speaking of Team Secret, they are certainly a reliable candidate in Dota 2 Betting odds and markets, with 4 championship titles to boast.