When it comes to competitive esports, one of the things non-gamers around the world can understand are the massive prize pools; with over $20 million, it would be hard not to take Dota 2‘s The International tournament seriously. This year they’ve outdone themselves.
At the time of publication the prize pool stands at a life-changing $21,204,946, which is to be split among the winning team (and their organization). This amount has already managed to beat out last year’s largest esports prize pool, which was also fror Dota 2. The previous record was $20,770,460 and this year there is still a month of crowd-funding left to go.
Valve raises money for the prize pool by selling premium content to the players in much the same was as Rocket League, Smite, and League of Legends. This year The International Battle Pass includes a two-part multiplayer campaign as well as other premium features which players can buy from $9.99 to $36.99 depending on which level they want. The event has levels that players can either grind for or pay for, and upon reaching level 1000, they are gifted a glow effect on their in-game fountain aegis as well as The International 2017 Collector’s Aegis, which is an exclusive 1/5th-scale alloy replica of the champion’s prize.
25% of all Battle Pass sales go towards The International 2017 prize pool.
Esports have had some time in the limelight recently, notably Rocket League as developer Psyonix made a deal with NBC for a televised $100,000 dollar prize pool tournament. Similarly, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U has made a deal to have their EVO 2017 finals aired on Disney XD.