Dota 2: The International prize pool tops $15m

Valve‘s annual Dota 2 tournament, The International, is officially the most lucrative eSports event in history, as the prize pool racks up to more than US$15 million.

The International 2015

The International 2015

Last year’s event ended up with a prize pool of nearly $11m in total, which made it a richer event than most real-world sporting events including the Superbowl ($8.5m), World Series of Poker ($8.9m) and US Open golf (US$9m). From the looks of things, it’s only soccer (sorry, football) championships that boast a larger wallet.

The $15,000,000 mark also unlocks the event’s final two stretch goals – the Special Axe Immortal and the Longform Comic, so even if you aren’t competing, you still get a sort of prize for your efforts.

The International prize pool is an interesting one – it’s pieced together by the community, rather than an overarching benefactor. Dota 2 fans are invited to grab a copy of The International Compendium for US$10. A portion of that price (US$2.50) is then donated to the prize pool, which started at less than $1.5m.

In exchange for handing over real-world cash, gamers are rewarded with (obviously) a copy of the book itself (which contains information about the event, competitors and the game), but each additional stretch goal unlocks further freebies – in-game coins, cursors, loading screens, emoticons, taunts, treasures, terrains, music, announcers, weather effects and the aforementioned Immortal / comic pack.

While all the goals have been unlocked at this stage, you can still pick up your own copy (and get all of those goodies thrown in), before The International kicks off in Seattle from August 3-8.

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