Every year, the best DOTA 2 teams in the world gather to compete in the most prestigious tournament of their sport, The International. For the initial event, the Valve-sponsored tournament originally began with a relatively humble prize pool, with $1 million going to the winner. Beginning with the third International, however, Valve introduced a means of having fans and players of the game partially fund the prize pool, and things skyrocketed from there. Last year, The International 5 set a new record for an e-sports prize pool, bringing in $18.4 million, which was split among the 16 teams who took part. That’s a princely sum, with over $6.6 million going to the winning team, and which even surpassed the prize pools of other “real” sports tournaments.
Well, this year, with several days remaining until the sixth edition of The International, the DOTA 2 community has broken that record again, as the prize pool for the upcoming tournament has surpassed $18.5 million dollars, with some theorizing that it could surpass $20 million when all is said and done. This year has seen e-sports in general making gigantic leaps forward in reaching a mainstream audience, even having tournaments broadcast on ESPN, and with DOTA 2 showing that it will continue to reach new heights, it looks like the future of e-sports is certainly bright indeed.