Dota 2 developer Valve Software released the highly-anticipated The International Compendium for The International (TI) 2023, this year's iteration of the game's annual world championship tournament, on Thursday (28 September).
While content around TI is usually welcomed with open arms by the Dota 2 community, this year's release was met with disappointment after the community found it to be sorely lacking in content.
The TI 2023 Compendium gave players access to challenges themed around the game's pro scene, TI 2023 predictions, a fantasy league for the tournament, and a weekly bingo card.
What rewards are there for completing the Compendium?
As a reward for completing Compendium challenges and other activities, players can get a miniature physical model of the Aegis of Champions trophy, permanent chat wheel messages, player and team stickers, TI 2023-themed loading screens and HUD, among others.
Valve priced the TI 2023 Compendium's standard edition at US$7.49 and the upgraded edition at US$29.99. In addition, 25 per cent of all Compendium sales will be going towards the prize pool of TI 2023.
The Compendium pales in comparison to the TI Battle Pass of recent years, which let players acquire tons of rewards like the exclusive Arcana and Immortal-tier hero cosmetics. Valve even gave players a free Battle Pass and Arcana last year.
And while the developer did say they were moving away from the Battle Pass system this year, many members of the Dota 2 community were still disappointed with the lack of content in the TI 2023 Compendium.
The contrast is made even more jarring when considering that the 2022 Battle Pass had a standard price of US$9.99 and gave players access to practically the same content in the TI 2023 Compendium plus the bevy of in-game cosmetics.
Many players, and even official accounts of pro teams, expressed their disappointment by replying to Valve's official announcement of the TI 2023 Compendium on X (formerly Twitter).
— GG | Gaimin Gladiators ⚔️ (@GaiminGladiator) September 27, 2023
this entire compendium feels empty? where are the chest for immortal items or any of the good hero based level up rewards? the bp was the best system you could have had and this just makes the entire thing feel low effort and empty.
— Zack Just Games (@ZackJustGames) September 27, 2023
In a discussion thread on the TI 2023 Compendium on the official Dota 2 subreddit, players also expressed how their excitement for the update disappeared upon discovering its lack of content.
User reapr56 pointed out that the Compendium "is basically a Supporter's Club masquerading as a 'Compendium'," and said they weren't spending the money for "player stickers and huds, kudos to anyone who does".
User Icardi also replied "I don't think Valve understands 90% of the playerbase is spending money for the cosmetics primarily. Like what is the point of leveling the Compendium if you don't get any rewards out of it?"
Meanwhile, user I-Preferred-Digg complained that Valve may have misunderstood the community's complaints about the Battle Pass when they decided to replace it with the current Compendium.
"When we said that the Battle Pass was bloated, expensive, grindy, and lacking in value, you weren't meant to take out ALL of the value from a Battle Pass and just leave us with [expletive] unmarketable stickers and some seasonal effects," he said.
Pro players, talent weigh in
Even pro players and talent expressed their disappointment in the TI 2023 Compendium, including Talon Esports carry player Nuengnara "23savage" Teeramahanon and caster Austin "Cap" Walsh.
In a reply to OFFBRAND Studios CRO Kelby May, retired pro player and TI5 champion Peter "PPD" Dager even agreed to the former's claim that Valve "don't give a single hoot" about Dota 2 anymore.
0 hoots indeed
— Peterpandam ⌐◨-◨ (@Peterpandam) September 27, 2023
Community Gaming's Nikki "Sajedene" Elise even joked about the stark contrast between how the Dota 2 and Counter-Strike communities are feeling after Valve released the TI 2023 Compendium and Counter-Strike 2 at around the same time.
Being a Dota fan and a CS fan feels like Christmas today where I get two presents from my divorced parents and one of them hates me.
— Nikki Elise (@Sajedene) September 27, 2023
The underwhelming reception for the TI 2023 Compendium also raised concerns about the prize pool of TI 2023, with many thinking this year's tournament would have the smallest pot in years.
In the aforementioned Reddit thread, user Flying_Birdy pointed out the issue, saying "So if there is no large, expensive Compendium, how is the TI prize pool going to be funded? I mean this is going to be absolutely devastating if 90% of the TI prize pool is removed without an appropriate replacement."
Team Liquid coach William "Blitz" Lee even joked that the teams at TI 2023 will be fighting for "a 25 dollar coupon to Target that may or may not have expired in July".
Valve asking us to throw hands at a Waffle House for a 25 dollar coupon to Target that may or may not have expired in July
— William (@Blitz_DotA) September 27, 2023
TI 2023 will be hosted across multiple weekends from 12 to 29 October in Seattle, the United States. This year's tournament also features a revamped format split into two distinct phases, called 'The Road to The International' and 'The International' itself.