Dota 2 International Compendium 2016 artwork

As is tradition with the Dota 2 International Compendiums, the one for 2016 is filled to the brim with fancy cosmetic goodies, and naturally, plenty of ways to sink even more money to honor the almighty Lord of Hats himself.

The Battle Pass will set you back $10 for the level 1 version, or $27 if you feel like splurging a little bit extra in order to start from level 50. As an extra incentive to be as 'charitable' as possible Valve has announced an official challenge - if the community as a whole manages to get the prize pool up and over the last year's $18,429,613 goal everyone will get an even bigger pile of technically free cosmetics!

If you're interested in all of the cosmetic effects, effigies, couriers, and various other doodads you can use to pretty up your heroes I'd recommend you head over to the official website. Though be warned, you might be stuck in that rabbit hole for a very long time as the announcements never stop coming, no matter how much you scroll downwards...

What interests me the most, however, is the addition of Weekly Battle Cups that allow you to form up a team and duke it out against 7 other teams of equal strength in miniature, single-elimination tournaments. The winners will be granted Battle Points, tournament specific trophies, and most importantly, a tournament exclusive in-match item to display their prowess for all to see. The first entry ticket will come free with the Compendium, though any further ones will need to be bought through the Dota 2 Store.

It might sound unfair on first glance, but having automated tournaments with actual rewards is quite possibly the best thing Dota 2 could've done as it not only promotes people finding friends to play with, but it also gives everyone an incentive to learn and advance, rather than wallow in the perpetual misery of picking the three most popular heroes in order to eek out a few wins. Either way, consider me extremely excited for this as I just so happen to know enough equally skilled, yet incredibly lazy people to make this work.

The main event will begin in Seattle's KeyArena on August 8 and last until August 13 at which point a grand finale will be held, and the winner crowned with a brand new Aegis.

Dota 2 Aegis for the 2016 championship