I’m making a note here: Huge success.
It is tradition for Dota 2 to hold an annual vote amongst players who buy a TI Battle Pass, the result of which determines the next hero to receive an Arcana. As previously reported:
An Arcana is a rare, expensive cosmetic item in Dota 2. Only a handful of heroes currently have one, and each only receives one. On top of altering a hero’s appearance, an Arcana may make various other cosmetic changes such as adding custom animations, sounds and icons. Arcana don’t have any effect upon gameplay, aside from telegraphing to your opponents that you probably have plenty of experience with this character.
Despite a heavy following on social media and much bemused enthusiasm, floating ball of light and joy Io lost out to swordman Juggernaut in Dota 2‘s Arcana vote last August. It was a close race, Juggernaut squeaking by with 52 per cent of the vote. Sixty three million players in total voted. Millions of Io fans, and those who just wanted to see how Valve would particle-effect up a levitating orb of particle-effects, were left disappointed.
And sadly, the wisp was left off this year’s Arcana ballot, so it appeared fans would be left wondering at what could have been for quite a while longer.
But Valve has smiled upon us this day, my friends. No more must we wait and wish. Io has skipped the voting process altogether, and their first Arcana — and first cosmetic — can now be unlocked by TI7 Battle Pass owners who reach Level 245 before the 2017 International ends. If you don’t want to spend your every waking hour until August levelling up, purchasing levels will run you around $US109 ($147). It will also never become purchasable or tradable in the Dota 2 marketplace, so you have some hard decisions ahead of you.
But what an Arcana it is. Io has been turned into Portal‘s Companion Cube, renamed the Benevolent Companion. Even if you don’t play Io often, it’s an awfully temping skin. It also works thematically considering Io’s support play style, in which they tether themselves to an ally hero and largely follow them around. Area and state regulations do not allow the Benevolent Companion to remain alone and companionless.