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'Dota 2' Tournament Kicks Off With Record $23 Million Prize Pool

Valve's annual Dota 2 championship, The International, will kick off later today. Teams from around the world will compete from August 7-12 for the record-breaking $23 million prize pool--and, you know, bragging rights for being the best at the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) title.

The tournament's prize pool is raised via sales of The International Battle Pass. Dota 2 players buy the Battle Pass in exchange for access to a multiplayer campaign, in-game items, and other goodies, and Valve puts 25% of the sales towards The International's prize pool. This year's Battle Pass went on sale in May, and assuming our math checks out, that means Valve raked in roughly $92 million within the last few months.

Chances are good that the prize pool will increase as The International goes on. You can still buy a Battle Pass, after all, especially if watching pro-level gameplay makes you want to jump back in to Dota 2 yourself. That's exactly what Valve wants--you can watch the tournament in-game, via the Dota 2 website, or on Twitch, which means two of the three streaming platforms direct you towards playing the game yourself.

Valve has also worked to help The International appeal to new viewers. A dedicated "newcomer stream" will offer play-by-play analysis with beginner-level descriptions of what's happening on-screen. That could be crucial to helping Dota 2 find a new audience. MOBAs are hard to follow, especially if you don't play them yourself, and people are unlikely to stick around if they can't follow what's happening in a tournament like this.

A total of 16 teams are competing in The International this week, with Team Liquid and Invictus kicking things off at 10am PT today. They'll be followed by Evil Geniuses vs. Newbee at 1pm PT. That's it for the upper bracket; the teams in the lower bracket will compete at 4, 5, 6, and 7pm PT. You can find the full schedule on Dota 2's website for the rest of the match times, and Valve has made a bracket to help summarize things.

The prize pool will be split up as follows:

  • 16th-13th place: $119,232
  • 12th-9th place: $357,696
  • 7th and 8th place: $596,159
  • 6th and 5th place: $1,073,087
  • 4th place: $1,669,246
  • 3rd place: $2,503,870
  • Runner-up: $3,815,420
  • Winner: $10,492,406

Note that those figures will continue to change as The International progresses and more Battle Passes are sold. (We've watched the counter creep up just this morning, with the prize pool getting closer and closer to passing $24 million total.) If you want to watch as these teams compete for the top prize, you can do so via the Dota 2 website, the main Twitch stream, the newcomer stream, and within Dota 2 itself. Valve also has a dedicated "replays" section of the Dota 2 website that will let you watch past games without having the results spoiled.

NameDota 2
TypeMultiplayer online battle arena
DeveloperValve
PublisherValve
PlatformsWindows, Mac, Linux
Where To BuySteam
Release DateJuly 9, 2013
  • blackmagnum
    Mama always said don't play too much games!
    Reply
  • AgentLozen
    I have vague memories from when I was four years old of my dad playing Zelda Twilight Princess on the Wii. I love old school consoles. Can't beat the classics! ;)
    Reply
  • bskchaos
    20033872 said:
    I have vague memories from when I was four years old of my dad playing Zelda Twilight Princess on the Wii. I love old school consoles. Can't beat the classics! ;)

    Twilight and Wii are old school... I am going to the museum, to get my age using carbon dating :/
    Reply
  • dark_lord69
    20033872 said:
    I have vague memories from when I was four years old of my dad playing Zelda Twilight Princess on the Wii. I love old school consoles. Can't beat the classics! ;)

    Wii and the Twilight Princess ... old school classic!?
    WTF

    When I was about 6 I played "Super Mario Bros." and "The Legend of Zelda" on the original Nintendo.
    Now that's a classic. You're too young to call anything new during your life a classic. The Wii is just last gen.
    Reply
  • Jester Maroc
    20033872 said:
    I have vague memories from when I was four years old of my dad playing Zelda Twilight Princess on the Wii. I love old school consoles. Can't beat the classics! ;)

    How is this relevant to Dota 2?
    Reply
  • Jester Maroc
    20033905 said:
    20033872 said:
    I have vague memories from when I was four years old of my dad playing Zelda Twilight Princess on the Wii. I love old school consoles. Can't beat the classics! ;)

    Twilight and Wii are old school... I am going to the museum, to get my age using carbon dating :/

    I didn't mean to down-vote... Was a miss-click, cannot change it :pfff:
    Reply
  • 4rtd0t4
    Update: 24 million
    Reply
  • Jester Maroc
    Its crazy, and I didn't even buy a compendium this year...imagine what could have happened! :D :D :D
    Reply
  • Maarsch
    Are we finally going to see an international where the winners won't automatically top the esportsearnings list?
    And what the hell will happen to that list if EG takes it again.

    Anyway. Go Liquid/EG! Or, you know, someone else.
    Reply
  • 4rtd0t4
    If EG place second, their players will still be the top paid.
    Reply