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With about five months to go before the most important tournament of the year, The International, Valve has released additional info regarding the event.

The International 2019 theme will be “focused on overgrown, enchanted jungle ruins” says Valve in the call to arms post made for the Steam workshop artists. However, the Dota 2 developer will also take into consideration submissions that are not strictly related to this year’s theme.

“As a slight change this year, please keep in mind that while we’re happy to see item sets that feel at home in overgrown jungle ruins, artists should not feel constrained to working only within this year’s event theme. We’re interested to discover any high quality designs, regardless of motif,” Valve mentioned. The change was well received  by the artists, who more often than not had to postpone the whatever they were usually working on when the TI call to arms was made in the past years.

In addition to the item sets, couriers, terrain and everything that goes as in-game customization, Valve has also opened the submissions for merchandise design.

From Valve’s announcement:

“Our merchandise partners are also ready to create some new designs for this year’s Dota 2 merchandise release. If you’ve got a concept you think will resonate with fans, submit your design to the Workshop with the “Merchandise” tag and see how much community support springs up.

The TI9 submissions for the “Collector’s Cache 2019 must be made by Sunday, May 12, and as in all previous years, Valve advise the artists to avoid “the use of any concepts that involve human skulls, blood, and gore.”

What overgrown, enchanted jungle ruins theme could mean?  

This year’s theme gives signals for another green themed TI, which is rather strange if we take into consideration that the TI color pattern has never repeated the same choice of color two years in a row.

From TI1 to TI8, the colors for each event were:

  • TI1 – Red
  • TI2 – Blue
  • TI3 – Green
  • TI4 – Purple
  • TI5 – Gold
  • TI6 – Red
  • TI7 – Blue
  • TI8 – Green

Looking at how Valve themed each The International, and taking into consideration that this time around the event is going to be held in China, the fans expected this year to be a purple, red  or even yellow/golden one. Last year’s green color was linked to a subterranean concept and two new heroes were announced during TI8. Grimstroke and Mars have been both added to the game since then.

Also, a few months after TI8, Valve released Artifact, the Dota 2 inspired card game which unfortunately is far from being a successful title. However, back in November 2018 when the game was released and the first cards were revealed, Artifact came with a total of 44 heroes, some being developed especially for the card game but who were supposedly going to make their way in Dota 2. Sorla Khan, Rix and Kanna are some of the heroes never seen in Dota 2 and while Sorla Khan is a warrior type of hero, leader of the Red Mist army in the Artifact lore, Rix and Kanna could very well fit this year’s TI theme.

Sorla Khan, although not exactly a hero to fit a green/ jungle theme, she could also be on Valve’s announcements list for Dota 2, as she would be a good addition to the Legion Commander’s war lore. She would also make a good duo with the recently added Mars, God of War.

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