Around 24 hours ago, the TI7 prize pool crossed with that of TI6’s, and with it rose speculations of DOTA 2 dying out.
The TI7 Prize Pool
This year’s prize pool growth initially trended below that of TI6’s. The prize pool grew at a slower rate compared to that of last year. Most people didn’t really notice, though, nor paid enough attention as the rate eventually picked up and has stayed that way. That is, until more than 24 hours ago.
Nearly 50 days since Valve released The International 2017 Battle Pass, the lines finally crossed once again. The TI7 prize pool didn’t just cross, however. It actually showed signs of going down. To try and mitigate this, Valve announced a weekend battle level and treasure bundle sale.
As of now, scores of players are buying the bundle to make use of the one-time bundle. So much so that the servers are being overloaded. Things are likely to remain that way until the sale is over.
Valve did something similar with TI6 last year. As a result, the TI7 prize pool shot up more over a single weekend than it did since its initial release. We will likely see the same thing happen to the TI7 prize pool once the weekend is over.
TI7 Prize Pool: By The Numbers
It has been 50 days since Valve made the TI7 Battle Pass available for sale. Valve released this year’s Battle Pass on May 4. That’s nearly two weeks earlier compared to last year’s, which Valve released on May 16. Also, compared to last year’s Battle Pass, Valve will sell the TI7 Battle pass for a total of 101 days. That’s 12 days longer than the TI6 Battle Pass.
Right now, the TI7 Battle Pass is seeing a slow uptick in sales. This is largely thanks to the weekend sale. While we can’t say for sure just how big of a jump we will see after the weekend, a jump in the prize pool is all but guaranteed. The TI7 prize pool? It’s not going to leave last year’s $20.7 million record prize pool in the past. But, you can be sure that it will break past the $21 million barrier. Remember, Valve still has yet to reveal the Immortal III treasures. So, it’s not like the TI7 prize pool is going to see a dip in the weeks ahead.
The TI7 Prize Pool is probably not going to be as big as most people think it will be. Anyone who predicted it to go over $25 million can likely kiss their chances of being correct goodbye. The most likely projection is that it will be over $21 million, but less than $24 million.
The TI7 prize pool, however, is a “smaller” issue compared to the much larger issue at hand. The slowing down of this year’s prize pool seems to have raised concerns.
We are rapidly approaching a breaking point for @DOTA2 where we either go stale or reboot our community. Valve's decisions dictate the road
— Toby Dawson (@TobiWanDOTA) June 16, 2017
In a Reddit post almost a week ago, Toby “TobiWan” Dawson, dubbed as the “voice of DOTA 2”, voiced his concerns about the many issues that the game is facing right now and what it will face going forward.
In the post, TobiWan talked about many things. Like, how Valve is taking control of pretty much every aspect of the game. That, Valve’s way of doing things “removes a lot of the drive you see in events in CS:GO where they [the organizers] fight to be a major.”
He also used DotaCinema’s release of their Juggernaut set as an example and how the tournament prize pool shot up just because of that one simple move to illustrate how crowd funding and compendiums previously helped provide support for tournament organizers to put together quality events.
TobiWan also talked about how the lack of structure and stability in the tournaments doesn’t create extended useful content and budding communities.
At the end of his post, TobiWan offered possible solutions that he thinks would help the game and the community.
It’s not really that long of a post and is well worth the read. So, be sure to check it out.
There’s No Need To Worry
While it was published nearly a week ago, TobiWan’s post echoes what most players are thinking about their favorite eSports game right now. Besides, it’s only fair to wonder when a known commodity such as TobiWan raises significant concerns that should definitely be looked into by Valve in the near future.
Redditor Skythor posted a response to TobiWan’s “Tobi Is Worried” thread that refuted many of the interesting points that the famous caster raised in his post.
Personally, I find myself agreeing with Skythor’s points than with TobiWan’s. Valve has found themselves in a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation where everyone will always have something negative to say about what they do. Not that I’m defending them or anything, but when you consider the fine job they’ve done as an organization since DOTA 2 went mainstream, you can see that most of their decisions were done with the best interest of the game in mind.
Of course, there’s an argument to be made for them making decisions based solely on money and you really can’t blame them for doing so. Valve needs the money to sustain itself as an organization and to help sustain the community as a whole.
Could their way of running things use some improvement? Definitely. Workshop artists could be better compensated. The professional scene might be at a point where we’ll end up seeing the same faces competing at all the big tournaments. As things stand, there’s just far too little support available to give rise to other players to have a real shot at getting seen and making it to the big leagues.
See the roster changes as we approach TI7.
DOTA 2 Is Not DEAD
Yet, while I talk about how there’s little support for lesser-known commodities to make it big, the community hasn’t exactly let that stop them from trying to compete.
Case in point, the CIS region just saw all 1024 slots for the TI7 open qualifiers filled.
It's 1024/1024 since 30 mins ago (Check the page). It's absolute record for standalone region. Never seen it in esports in general.
— Milos Nedeljkovic (@Faceit_Mikey) June 22, 2017
That’s more than 5,000 players looking to try to make it to the regional qualifiers as a team with hopes of playing in Seattle later this year.
Had Valve not put a limit at the number of teams, CIS region would have seen a lot more. Take note, we’re not talking about EUROPE + CIS, as has been in years past. This is just for the CIS region alone.
Now, is that really a sign of a game dying? I don’t think so.
The Future of DOTA 2
Yes, circling back to TobiWan’s post gives us a reason to ponder for a moment on where the game is headed into the future. But, anyone thinking that the game is dead when the entire community has spent nearly $60 million USD in 7 weeks alone is kidding themselves.
DOTA 2 is definitely at a crossroads. Right now, it’s near the point where the player base will plateau and experience an inevitable decline. With the number of quality eSports titles just waiting to take a chunk out of DOTA 2’s player base growing, that decline will happen sooner rather than later.
Yet, when you consider the CIS region breaking records, then DOTA 2 may be in a much better state than we give it credit for.
Personally, my take is that the TI7 Prize Pool dilemma and other issues may simply just be growing pains for a community that has often looked like it has grown far too quickly for its own good.