International‘, an annual eSports tournament that aims to
establish the best Dota 2 team in the world, now has a prize pool
greater than $10 million (£5.9m).
The event begins on 18 July in Seattle’s KeyArena and will see
last year’s Swedish victors The
Alliance taking on 15 other challengers to their title
from around the world.
The prize pool for the event began at $1.6 million (£940,000)
but has been boosted by the sale of a $10 virtual sticker book
called “the Compendium” that lets users earn new ways to customise
their characters by collecting points. Each Compendium sold
increases the prize pool by $2.50.
That prize pool beat all eSports
records shortly after launch when it topped the previous
year’s total of $2.8 million (£1.65m) (which is coincidentally just
above the prize pool for the Tour de France). In May it hit $9
million (£5.3m), beating the prize pool for the UEFA Cup, the
Masters, the World Series of Poker and the Superbowl. Now it’s
sitting above $10 million – pretty impressive, albeit still some
way short of the FIFA World Cup’s prize money of $31 million
Tickets for the week-long celebration of Dota 2 cost $99 (£58),
but if you’d like to attend then you’ll have to wait for next year
— they sold out within an hour of becoming available.