Valve finally dropped this year’s battle pass for the upcoming The International 9 to be held in China. While it includes exclusive features, as expected, it also brings a whole new level of Dota 2 cosmetics designs for your favorite heroes. For years, Dota 2 has been known to showcase skins but it was only lately that they released designs which aren’t related to the lore at all.
Axe-less Axe Dota 2 Cosmetics
The new Axe skin, exclusive only in the TI9 battle pass, opens a lot of possibilities and potential for other hero skins – in a way that won’t be limited to their individual lore. Ever since the origin of the game, the tank hero Axe has been wielding his huge axe as a primary weapon of carnage. His lore specifically mentioned about decapitating an enemy, which is evident in his Ultimate Skill in the game called the “Culling Blade” where he smashes an enemy using his wielded axe.
Ironically, in the latest Dota 2 cosmetics release, he is a naked, bare-handed Axe. Using only knuckles, Axe punches and smashes his enemies instead of decapitating them with his axe. Ever since the beginning of Dota 2, Valve monetize one of their most played heroes by releasing stylish Axe cosmetics. Even one of the most expensive items in the game is an axe skin for Axe called the “Axe of Phractos.”
The release of this item is an opening for Valve to release Dota 2 cosmetics that are way unrelated to the lore of the heroes. In 2014 when Dota 2 was at the peak of its cosmetic significance, Valve removes the Alpine Stalker’s Set for hero Ursa due to some “thematic concerns”. It basically meant the skin did not fit Ursa’s background lore, in addition to being not suitable for Dota 2’s aesthetic. Up to this day, the Alpine Stalker Set is the most expensive cosmetic in the game due to its rarity.
The International 9 in China
The release of the Battle Pass is a preparation for this year’s The International. This is the second time that TI wont be held in the US and the first time to be held in China. For seven years, The International games, which brags the biggest prize pool in all history of esports, had always been held in Key Arena, Seattle. However, the recent venues of Dota 2 tournament reveals Valve is exploring the market in worldwide esports.
Asia was reported to dominate the esports industry with its primary contributors – Korea and China. So it’s no surprise that Valve in venturing towards the region to further promote Dota 2, and to host TI9.