It seems every year the TI (The International) reaches new heights, breaking its own records over and over again. The crowdfunding model for Dota 2 for its TI is definitely working as it took only 12 days for the event to have $10 million under its belt.
Community developer Matthew “Cyborgmatt” Bailey had developed a prize pool tracker which enabled users to determine how well the funding is going as compared to the TI for 2017. After 12 days, TI 2017 had raised only $800,000 but went on to hit the 10 million mark 4 days later.
The crowdfunding is driven by the Battle Pass which contains a host of features for the purchasing party to benefit from. Each year new features are included into the Battle Pass and can be unlocked by achieving certain milestones much like how Kickstarter does it. These unlock rewards in the form of items such as redeemable points, exclusive game modes, cosmetics and more.
Exclusive to this year, the 2018 Battle Pass allows owners to select their favorite role before matchmaking in Dota 2, similar to how League of Legends implemented it into their own matchmaking.
The Battle Pass provides 25 percent of its price to the prize pool and is the major contributor to the biggest event for competitive Dota 2.
So it is understandable for Valve to try their best to sell the Battle Pass, and of the most effective means through which they have done so is through the popular Mutation Mode. This mode adds special modifiers to a game during matchmaking, and they either range from the innocuous or the extreme. Examples of some nutty modifiers include every area of effect ability dealing friendly damage.
Players should expect more to come from Valve in regards to the Battle Pass, such as sales way down the line or something never before done. They have proven to help boost sales tremendously so it will be unsurprising for such similar things to be done this year.