The International is DOTA 2’s annual superbowl. It’s quite simply the game’s biggest, most anticipated event every year. On August 2nd, players from 25 countries will converge at the usual place: the KeyArena in Seattle. But the real story here is its prize pool, which just passed last year’s amount…of $20,770,460.
And it’s not stopping there. The International is actually a crowdfunded event—Valve only puts in the first $1.6 million every year, with fans donating the rest in return for in-game rewards and the TI7 compendium (a booklet that updates with stats during the tournament, and lets you make predictions on the results). So we don’t even know the final amount yet. There’s still over a month left for it to climb well beyond 20 MILLION dollars, with
Which brings us to the real reason so many people who don’t follow DOTA still care about The International: it’s the single biggest payout in all of esports. The event doubles as a metric for the financial growth of the esports industry. It’s the most money anyone can make in a weekend playing a video game, period. Last year’s TI6 set that record, and this year’s has already crushed it with time to spare.
To put this into perspective, 20 million dollars is roughly the cost of a small private island. Each winning team member could buy their own fleet of yachts. Or maybe a house in Toronto. Even if you’re not into MOBAs, there’s just something special about watching 5 people become instant millionaires.