The Skeleton King Returns in Dota 2's The International Battle Pass 10

The time has come again and nothing can stop it. I mean, the global pandemic means that Dota 2's The International 10 (TI10) tournament has been delayed. Nevertheless - although the tournament will probably only take place in 2021 - the Battle Pass is coming. At this point, I'm pretty sure that nothing short of the actual apocalypse will prevent this annual tradition of giving Valve money for hats.

Despite my snark, I don't complain. The Battle Pass always has a lot of fun distractions and additions to Dota 2, and this year's Pass doesn't seem to be an exception. Guilds, combat gloves, bounties, two new personas and three new Arcana items are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition, the skeleton king returns and has not been removed for urgent ceremonial reasons.

Dota 2’s Battle Pass 10

So let's quickly go through many of the usual things in there. Cavern Crawl is the standard meta game "Win games as heroes to unlock new nodes and get rewards". Achievements, Battle Pass gifts, and tips are back to standard. You can double the MMR you earn from a match, vote on the collector's cache skins, and of course vote on the next hero to receive Arcana cosmetics. If you feel like spinning a roulette wheel for treasures, then Crystal Maidens Wheel of Bullshit Rylais Battle Blessing is back.

There is also the traditional trio of immortal treasures that offer shiny cosmetics. Only the first is currently available, which contains fancy Dota 2 skins for Tinker, Night Stalker, Warlock, Lifestealer, Keeper of the Light and Medusa. There is also the option to get rarer cosmetics for puck and an extremely rare weapon for pudge, as well as golden variants of the Night Stalker and Lifestealer.

There is also a new terrain, Sanctums of the Divine, which consists of white columns and butterflies on the radiant side. On the dire side, it's more of black rocks and withered trees, but it still looks surprisingly pretty. Living Towers are back and rising along with your team's Battle Pass. There is a music pack, an adorable cat game for a developing courier, an announcer pack and various improvements, effects, protective spells and river vials.

And then there are all the new things. And gosh, there are a lot of new things in this addition to Dota 2.

Guilds first. Anyone can join it, but only Battle Pass owners can create it. These offer a pool of daily contracts, and when you complete them in one game, you earn Battle Points for you and Guild Points for your guild. There are also weekly challenges and every single match earns guild points. Guilds themselves offer unique rewards: Battle Pass bonuses, guild banners, emoticons and bonus challenges are mentioned.

There's a summer event that looks a little mischievous. There aren't many details here yet, except that it's for four players and you'll have to choose your way through different doors. Anyone can try, but Battle Pass owners will be the ones who get special rewards. This is not here yet, but it will be "Coming Soon" and I am pretty sure that Valve speaks for "before the heat death of the universe".

The sideshop is also new this year. You can snatch gold from Battle Pass rewards, guild rewards, or recycled items. As with Dota Underlords, you buy heroes with this gold - three of them become a higher hero level. From there, you can sell these heroes and redeem the gems you earn for rewards such as immortal treasures and arcana items. There is also a chance to find the incredible, amazing, cosmically rare emblem of divinity, but good luck with it.

The Battle Gauntlet, a small mini-tournament, is new this year. This is a daily thing and entry costs tickets (given by the Battle Pass or available for gems in the sideshop). If you win three games before losing two, you level up and earn Battle Points and Sideshop Gold and a higher rank. The times for this are determined regionally.

Bounty and community match predictions alongside the Dota 2 Battle Pass

Bounties are also new in Dota 2. You can put a bounty on an enemy hero using one of your weekly bounty tokens, and your teammates will get the notification and a timer. If a teammate kills this target before time runs out, he will receive 200 combat points. Not a bad way to get your teammates to kill the enemy who is ruining your trail, I guess.

There is also a daily community match prediction. You'll see heroes, track assignments, and the skill group for a random community match. Guess which team is the winner and check again the next day to see if you are right. Success naturally means rewards.

Then there are pause screen mini-games, customizable animations and mockery for the Versus screen, a redesigned MVP screen, and frankly a metric shit more. Some of these can be included even if you don't have the Battle Pass. I can imagine that at least the MVP screen is visible to everyone.

We're almost up to the arkanas

The new cosmetics are both cool and pretty. First, when you reach level 375, the One True King returns to Dota 2. Yes - it is a cosmetic for Wraith King that will restore it to its Skeleton King shape. I have no idea how this is handled elsewhere. If memory serves, one of the main reasons he became Wraith King was that skeletons were not allowed in China (and also because of possible Blizzard lawsuits when it came to Diablo's Leoric). But hey, I'm not complaining. It is the only true king.

However, this is not the only big one. Level 255 brings you a toy butcher persona and turns pudge into a fluffy, stuffed toy. In the meantime, level 305 offers the path persona of the student for anti-magicians and replaces him with his student Wei. These are purely cosmetic, but if the Invoker persona has something to offer, they change everything: model, language lines, effects. The anti-magician is particularly interesting when you consider that he actually replaces him with another character. These two are coming soon, but the One True King is (I believe) now available.

By the way, we're not done with Arcanas yet. Level 445 is a queen of pain Arcana, Eminence of Ristul, who makes her look much more devilish than before. And level 575 gives you a wind ranger Arcana, compass of the rising storm.

No matter, there are many more new things

But that is not all! There are ping cosmetics! Killstreak Effects! Disco balls! Reach level 1000 and you can get a 1/5 scale replica of Aegis of Champions! Good grief, it never ends. You can take a look at the official Battle Pass page to see all of these things for yourself. Skeleton King also has its own page, as befits the One True King.

The Battle Pass itself will cost you $ 9.99 USD, with more levels earned playing matches and completing challenges or paying more cash. Alternatively, you can get a boost: a level 50 Battle Pass costs $ 29.35 and saves you 5% on the purchase price of 25 levels, while starting at level 100 costs $ 44.99 and saves 15% on the price of 100 levels.

Dota 2‘s The International Battle Pass 10 will be available until September 12. However, the servers are being blocked, so you may want to delay your purchase for at least a while. Twenty-five percent of proceeds will go to The International 2020 prize pool, which has been indefinitely delayed due to COVID-19.