If you play Dota 2 you're bound to have heard of The International, it's one of the biggest events on the MOBA's calendar, and one of the biggest events in eSports on the whole. Alongside The International 5 (TI5) this year, Dota 2 players will able to purchase that all important Compendium again, beginning next week.
The Compendium in previous years brought with it a whole bunch of rewards and bonuses to those who bought it, such as increased chances of item drops in matches, experience boosts, pro player cards to collect, and more. Whether you even follow the tournament or not, the compendium is usually worth buying.
Valve also announced that with the Compendium release there will be a "major balance update", and soon after that they will be announcing the teams that are to be invited to TI5.
The announcement spoke of improvements to the competitive landscape of Dota 2 as well, saying that currently "while the lack of roster stability and major focal points during the year had its advantages, it has eventually come at the cost of fan engagement and competitive stability for the players."
Valve said that there will be "an annual series of four marquee tournaments" called "The Dota Major Championships", with one of them being The International. The other three will be sponsored by Valve, but ran by third-party organisers and hosted in other locations around the world. Participating teams "will be required to adhere to limited roster trade periods during the year." More details will be given towards the end of the year.
These changes are coming to try and give a little more stability to the whole Dota 2 eSports gig, as right now it's a little tricky to keep track of who plays for which team because players can transfer whenever they like. Hopefully the changes will tighten the whole scene up and make it better for everyone, competitor and fan alike.