The Dota 2 community has, once again, broken an esports record, boasting the largest prize pool for any esports tournament ever held. The prize pool for The International 7, the massive annual Dota 2 event held by the game’s developers, has surpassed the prior record held by last year’s event at $20,770,460 USD.
While Valve hasn’t officially released a statement on the occasion, trackers in-game and on their official site allow fans to follow the monstrous prize pool in real time.
Each year, starting with The International 4 in 2014, Valve has offered players and fans a chance to “contrbute” to the prize pool by offering a variety of incentives through “Compendiums” and “Battle Passes.” These in-game options allow players to level up and earn cosmetic in-game goodies by either accomplishing tasks and making predictions about The International, or by paying for more levels. Fans that reach a certain level will also receive an option to get a real-life replica of the event’s trophy, the Aegis of Champions.
The base prize pool starts at $1.6 million, and 25% of sales through the aforementioned options and items go directly into the prize pool. This means players have dished out not just the extra $19,170,460, but $76,681,840 million total for the in-game items.
And those numbers are only growing; at the time of writing, the prize pool went up another $10,000, meaning $40,000 went into the Dota 2 machine. The final number has yet to be seen, as the prize pool cuts off at the end of the tournament, when the winner is declared.
It’s also not known what percentage of the prize pool goes to each team yet, but last year’s winners, China’s Wings Gaming, went home with $9,139,002, and the main event’s bottom teams walked away with a cool $103,852. It’s safe to say that this rigorous event and its players don’t need to worry about its money this year.