So you’ve all heard my rant about eSports team merchandise, but what about game merchandise?
The TI Secret Shop
The TI Secret Shop, named after its game counterpart, is a special Merchandise booth that pops up at Valve tournaments. Usually lines for the TI Secret Shop are out the door (or wrapping around the arena) and fans have to plan which series they’re willing to miss in order to score some of the merchandise. Many of the TI Secret Shop items are available later on to the general public, but event attendees get first pick.
I remember watching TI4 – one of the people they interviewed in line for the TI Secret Shop had a huge bag of merchandise and was wearing a courier hoodie, which I thought was amusing.
Sometimes, the merchandise is confusing: I don’t really understand why Valve made little shorts with just the logo on the leg. Seems odd.
Hoodies and t shirts I can get behind, all over patterned tights make sense too.* But little shorts? This duffel bag? The price point and their relevance to Dota seem somewhat incompatible. I don’t want to pay $20 for little shorts with just a teeny leg logo. And I definitely don’t want to pay $70 for a duffel bag with just the logo and name on it. Why not artwork? Why is there not a full panel image of Faceless Void chronosphering the enemy team? C’mon Valve.
*Zyori pulls those off better than I could.
The TI Secret Shop also offers collectible plushes and pins. This is my Pudge:
He now guards the door to my room in my apartment.
Game Accessories – Overt or Subtle?
My favorite kind of “game” accessories are subtle. The kind of thing you can totally wear around as a regular piece of clothing but there’s a subtle nod to something you like. Much like the Tango necklace. Or my Pokemon hat. I’ve been wearing this around for two years now. Nobody has pegged it as a Pokemon hat. It just looks like a winter hat. The best kind of accessory. I also regret not grabbing
this Necklace of Minor Health when it was available.
I want this Tango necklace. I’ve been eyeing it for a while now…
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Anyway, I’m thinking about ordering a Jugg Mug [Muggernaut, if you please] for my desk at work, if they ever get restocked. A little more overt perhaps than the Tango necklace, but still in the gray area between GAME ACCESSORY and “abstract art.
Much like the Short Film Contest, I love the art that comes with the TI Secret Shop. There are illustrations from workshop artists available on shirts, mousepads, and more. Whether you prefer subtle nods to your favorite game or huge watercolor artwork of your favorite hero, the TI Secret Shop probably has something for you.