The year’s biggest Dota 2 tournament is going to have the biggest prize pool to date in esports. Dota 2 The International, as it’s referred to, is going to have a total prize pool of $24.8 million. This impressive sum is largely the byproduct of everyday fans getting involved with Valve’s multiplayer breadwinner.
In fact, it’s actually direct sales from the International Battle Pass each year which contribute to the size of the prize pool. Ever since Dota 2 introduced this cash calf on the side, The International’s available winnings have grown exponentially. Players purchase the Pass, which unlocks in-more in-game goals and corresponding rewards (including rares and betting features), and The International’s prize pool skims a bit off the top of those purchases to grow big and strong.
Dota 2‘s prize pool is certainly the most impressive that we’ve seen so far, but it may not be king of the hill for long. Epic Games already has its eye on the throne, after news earlier this year that it was going to throw up to $100 million in cash money towards Fortnite tournaments.
At this point, Dota 2‘s prize pool is already much bigger than most other eSports out there. While titles like League of Legends and Overwatch might be doing the rounds in terms of mainstream coverage currently, their prize pools are still dwarfed by the money that Valve’s put up for The International 2018.
Whether or not other eSports will start feeling the heat and up the ante on their own prize pools remains to be seen. League of Legends has currently been sitting on a sweet $5 million prize pool for its World Championships, so it looks like that there’s a much longer way to go before it can get the same sort of financial clout. In either regard, Epic Games and Valve are setting a new standard when it comes to financial remuneration in competitive eSports and it’s only a matter of time before others follow suit.