Dota 2 International Prize Pool Gains $1.7 Mil. in One Day Following Battle Pass Sale

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. You can’t count out Dota 2. It doesn’t matter what metric you’re pushing – eSports, longevity, profitability – but, especially if you’re targeting the Dota 2 International, you better hedge your bets.

This was the case just a day ago, when the prize pool growth for the Dota 2 International tournament actually fell below the growth of last year’s tournament. These tournaments are renown for their gaudy prize pools, the first of which was a then-unheard of $1.6 million that has since ballooned to more than $20 million last year after just six tournaments. So, the fact that the growth rate was slowing down was apparently huge news that got everyone in a tizzy. It disheartened fans and embolden haters to declare the impending doom of Dota 2.

Valve more than answered this criticism. Yesterday at around 9 a.m., they announced a discount on one of the items that contributes to the prize pool for the Dota 2 International, and it started to grow rapidly. Monitoring this growth yesterday, I thought it could maybe grow by $1 million overnight. Turns out, this was a conservative estimate. Since this discount was announced not 24 hours ago, the prize pool for the Dota 2 International has grown by $1.7 million, from $16.2 million at the end of Wednesday to $17.9 million this morning.

You can see this represented on the graph below, courtesy of Dota 2 Prize Pool Tracker:


Click Image for Full Size

So the critics were right, the growth rate for the Dota 2 International 2017 did dip below 2016’s, but only for a couple days, and then this sale shot it well above where it was last year.

For those unfamiliar with how Dota 2 crowdsources its prize pool, I’ll explain it here. In the first Dota 2 International, Valve put up $1.6 million of its own money as the prize pool. In subsequent years, that became just the base prize pool, as Valve had the idea to sell what is essentially an item called the Battle Pass – essentially bundle of cosmetics that tie-in with the Dota 2 International. Immediately, the prize pool soared.

But, then Valve had an even better idea. Rather than making the Battle Pass something you simply buy and be done with, it is instead something you can level up as you play, earning you better cosmetics. Better yet, you can also skip the playing and purchase new levels for the Battle Pass, making it so it wasn’t just a one-and-done purchase. This made prize pools for the Dota 2 International skyrocket to their ridiculous numbers in the past few years of $18 and $20 million.

So, what Valve did just recently was offer a 70 percent discount on an item that increased the Battle Pass by 80 levels. This bundle cost the low price of $19.99, when it would normally cost much much more. Evidently, this was more than enough to grow the prize pool immensely, at its highest rate since the beginning days. And this sale isn’t done yet, as it doesn’t end until “the morning of Monday, June 26.” How much more will it really grow over the weekend, though? I can’t say, but the price pool as jumped by $30,000 since I started writing this article, so you tell me.

Remember, too, that only 25 percent of the revenue from Battle Pass sales goes to the Dota 2 International Prize Pool. The other 75 percent goes right into Valve’s pocket. So the PC gaming giant has already made upwards of $54 million, and the Battle Pass will be available for purchase until August, when the tournament starts. But yeah, keep saying Dota 2 is going away, I’m sure Valve is fine leaving that kind of money on the table.