I don’t know how I feel about the Compendium for the Frankfurt Major

The Compendium for the inaugural Major tournament to be held in Frankfurt, Germany, was released today. I’ve been critical in the the past about the Compendium and it’s not going to end here, but, whereas with TI5 I liked the Compendium but regretted spending so much money on it and thought it was too expensive to boot, now I am just torn.

I will probably do a more in depth view of The Majors as a whole closer to the LAN event but I think my view of the Compendium would be incomplete without talking about the nature of the competition. I like The Majors but also feel that there are a lot of potential problems with them and only time will tell us whether they improve the scene or not. It brings Dota 2 closer to LoL, as far as the professional scene goes, because Valve run the biggest 4 tournaments of the year. LoL’s professional scene, from what I understand, is slightly stagnant, as far as tournaments go, but Dota 2’s is thriving and hopefully The Majors don’t hinder that. Roster stability is good, and giving big teams, who perform poorly at The International, another chance to prove themselves is really good but I think it takes big teams away from smaller tournaments. For example, 5 of the top 8 teams from TI5 are there and I am surprised that all 8 teams aren’t just teams from TI5. Fire is the one team that wasn’t at TI5 at all, and herein is the biggest problem, I feel. Every tournament will end up being fairly similar with the same teams hashing it out, but, then again, that is just my gut reaction. In reality it could be completely different. After all, there are many post-TI5 shuffle teams that are very strong and, even before that, teams like 4C&L and 4ASC were making waves in the pro scene.

But now we must move on. The Compendium, level 1 at least, is significantly cheaper than TI5’s and I think Valve have made the right choice here. However, they have kept in the same price for levels, which is frustrating because it appears, to me, that the only way to level up your Compendium significantly is still by spending money. People just don’t have the money to keep spending on that and getting very little in return. I am still wondering whether to get a Compendium so I may be wrong there but it feels that Compendiums should actually be called catalogues. There will be fewer sets and treasures for The Majors and, again, I feel like this is good but I can’t help shaking the feeling that, once you buy the Compendium, Valve says “well done for buying the gateway drug, now look at how much more you could get if you just give us your money.” I like Valve but they have made so many missteps recently that it hurts me as a fan.

But onto the items. Honestly, I am all item-ed out. There was so much put out during TI5 that I, personally, am not interested in getting lots more only a few months later. Moreover, a lot of the items are slightly mediocre and the fact that you can get duplicates is going to be a source of constant frustration for a lot of people. I’m just going to wait until the items are marketable and then cherry pick the ones I want. I don’t even think it’s the amount of time that is the problem, it’s the amount of tournaments. The pro-scene has seen very little action recently and there has only been one community treasure released and that was this week, so the last things people paid for was the Compendium and people don’t want to go through the same motions straight afterwards.

I like the fact that money goes to community creators though. The prize pool is fixed at $3 million and money for the Compendium goes, in part, to the people who created the items for the Compendium, but that’s not anything beneficial for the consumer. I think that this, generally, is a problem in Dota 2 as, looking at things in black and white, there’s very little reason to buy an online ticket. The matches are free to view on streaming services and, unless there’s a set sold with it that you want or you really like having control over the camera in game, it’s not worth any money. I made a promise to myself that I’d buy more tickets this year because, if they’re under £1, I think it’s nice to show you support the scene but ESL One was too expensive and, still, I am torn on the Compendium.

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