Secret Shop Could Possibly Return to Dota 2’s The International 10
The Secret Shop at Dota 2’s The International has provided Dota 2 fans with exclusive merchandise to commemorate each TI event since its introduction back in 2013. Seeing as Valve typically doesn’t do much merchandise for their games, The Secret Shop at The International is the only time of year players can pick up Dota 2 shirts, accessories, and branded gaming peripherals. When The International went to Shanghai in 2019, a lot of the merchandise that was sold at the Mercedes-Benz arena was unavailable to some fans outside of China. Now, there’s a chance that the Secret Shop returns to The International 10. But how will the global pandemic affect fans buying from the Secret Shop at the National Arena in Bucharest and will merchandise for The International 10 be available online?
Valve and We Are Nations Enter Merchandise Agreement for The International 10 – Possible Secret Shop Merch
According to a report from Esports Insider, Valve announced that We Are Nations will be handling merchandise exclusively for The International 10. Based on the agreement, We Are Nations will create “official branded apparel and accessories related to the event. The collection will be retailed both at the event and through a dedicated online store.”
Co-founder of We Are Nations Patrick Mahoney expressed his excitement over the partnership with Valve: “Working with Valve on TI10 has been on my bucket list since we started doing esports merchandise.”
We Are Nations provides users and brands the tools and means to create their own merchandise and jerseys, simplifying the process of designing, selling, and distributing merchandise for brands. Previous case studies include G2’s “Off The Server” collection and UYU’s “Hibiscus” collection, which both had pieces sell out early according to their About page.
Other notable projects include Project N2, We Are Nation’s upscale apparel collection that features a collaboration with notable Final Fantasy artist Yoshitaka Amano. We Are Nations partnered with Immortals earlier this month to create Immortals’ Zero Profit Pricing collection, providing fans with apparel that’s affordable, stylish, and accessible.
It should be interesting to see how We Are Nations will adapt to the Dota 2 fanbase. It’s likely that the apparel they design and manufacture will be sold at the Secret Shop, but the most popular apparel pieces from previous Internationals were pieces like the Tidehunter Polo and the commemorative track jackets sold at The International 3 and The International 5. If We Are Nations are able to create unique pieces such as these, they will certainly gain the appreciation of the community.
With the Secret Shop offering merchandise such as figures, plush toys, pillows, cups, coffee mugs, keychains, and nearly anything else you can imagine, it’s not certain whether We Are Nations will be undertaking all merchandising responsibilities for The International 10. They certainly have the means to do so, but chances are they will want to focus on creating unique apparel that can be appreciated by the Dota 2 community.
That being said, it’s highly likely we’ll see the return of the Secret Shop at The International 10 this year. The fact that TI10 merchandise will also be sold online will be a godsend for fans who can’t make it to the event in Romania but still want to have a piece of Dota 2 history.