#GamingBytes: The International has record prize-pool of $24.9 million
DOTA 2's The International is the world's biggest eSports tournament. The 2018 edition's main event started on August 20 and will end in 4 days time. The tournament is bigger than ever before. It is being organized at a hockey stadium, the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Canada. The pool is approximately $24.9 million and 18 teams from around the globe are participating in it.
DOTA 2 or Defence of the Ancients is a free online ten-player game. Players are divided into groups of 5. One group tries to guard the ancient. The other battles against it. They also have to get past computer bots and four levels of walls.
The International has a total prize pool of about $24.9 million and the winner will take 44% of the pool, which comes to a little over $10 million. This year's pool has set a new record, breaking its 2017 record. DOTA 2 has always been a lucrative tournament. Even the first two tournaments, in 2011 and 2012, had $1.6 million prize pool.
The International remains the biggest money-making tournament. In 2017, DOTA 2's total payouts, across the tourneys, were $38 million. However, this figure could be eclipsed by Epic as it is planning on keeping $100 million pool prizes for all Fortnite tournaments in the 2018-2019 season.
Valve Corporation, which owns DOTA, is extremely rich itself. Further, it makes money from 'crowdfunding'. It introduced the system of 'Compendium' in 2013 and later introduced battle-passes. Compendium allows fans to either play or pay for rewards. 25% of the proceeds go to The International. Battle Pass focuses on player benefits and rewards. The money from these goes to build these massive prize-pools.
With a big money pot, DOTA 2 attracts many players. The main event has a group and final stage. The first stage has two groups of 9 teams. They fight best of two matches. The top four teams, from each group, move to the final stage. The bottom two are eliminated. The final stage has 8 teams each in the upper and lower brackets.
The International invites 8 teams. The other 10 are selected via the regional qualifiers. The teams are from around the world but some do not wear their country's banner. Interestingly, one of the invited teams, PSG.LGD, from China is being sponsored by the football club, Paris Saint-Germain. The first prize is around $10 million, the second $4 million and the third $3 million.
Invited teams - Virtus.pro, Team Liquid, PSG.LGD, Team Secret, Mineski, Vici Gaming, Newbee, VGJ.Thunder. Qualified teams - OG, Winstrike Team, Team Serenity, Invictus Gaming, Fnatic, TNC Predator, VGJ.Storm, Evil Geniuses, OpTic Gaming, paiN Gaming.
OpenAI, a company founded by Elon Musk, will have a bot in this year's tournament. The OpenAI destroyed a team of pro DOTA players earlier this month. A less refined version of this bot won a 1v1 game in 2017. The bot will play in three exhibition games on August 22, 23 and 24. Fans can stream The International on Twitch or Steam.tv.