Dota 2 a very popular 5v5 role playing strategy game, played online by players and enthusiast across the world through an online platform Steam. The prize pool for Dota 2’s premier tournament, The International 2016 (TI6), has reached a whopping $18 million, the biggest in any eSport by far, and it’s bound to get even higher.
According to the Dota 2 prize pool tracker website, the tournament’s total prize pot broke the $18 million mark around midnight yesterday. As of 8:25 am GMT today, the prize pool is at $18,127,368
Unlike most competitions, whose organizers solely provide for the prize pool, TI6 owes its enormous prize pot to the thousands of dedicated Dota 2 fans around the world. When the tournament was first announced, Valve provided for a base prize pool of $1.6 million, to which tournament patrons could contribute by purchasing The International 2016 Battle Pass .
The Battle Pass includes a variety of exclusive in-game cosmetic items for its owners, and costs $9.99 or P470. With each Battle Pass purchased, Valve devotes 25% of the sales to the ever-growing prize pool.
The Battle Pass has a levelling system which unlocks more rewards for its owner, with raw levels also purchasable for $2.49, $4.99, or $9.99 (P117.59, P235.64 or P470). It also includes a series of ‘Immortal’ level cosmetic items for different heroes that Valve reveals over time. The release of each Immortal treasure coincides with the biggest spikes in growth for the prize pool. With the third treasure yet to be unveiled by Valve, it is likely that the tournament’s prize pot will grow even further.
Valve first began crowdfunding its tournaments in The International 2013 with the International compendium, which continued until The International 2015.
The biggest ever?
At the rate TI6’s prize pool is growing, it is bound exceed last year’s total of $18,429,613, dwarfing not only that of all other eSports tournaments, but even most conventional sporting events.
According to esportsearnings.com , seven out of ten of the biggest eSports tournaments in history are held by Dota 2, all of which followed Valve’s crowdfunding system. The biggest so far, The International 2015 with around $18.4 million, also exceeded most traditional sporting tournaments like the Super Bowl and the 2015 Masters Golf tournament, with approximately $8 million and $10 million respectively.
With around 18 days left before the tournament officially begins on August 8, its prize pool is sure to get higher, and might even pierce the $20 million mark. But just how big can it get? We’ll just have to wait and see.