SAMRIDDHA SAHA (Gl1tch_mast3r)
The International is an annual esports world championship tournament for the video game Dota 2, hosted and produced by the game's developer, Valve. The International was first held at Gamescom as a promotional event for the game in 2011 and has since been held annually. The tournament consists of 18 teams; 12 earning a direct invite based on results from a tournament series known as the Dota Pro Circuit and six from winning regional qualifying playoff brackets, one each from North America, South America, Southeast Asia, China, Europe, and CIS regions. The most recent champion is OG, who are also the only team to win an International more than once.
Since 2013, the tournament's prize pool has been crowdfunded via a battle pass system within the game, with 25% of all revenue made from it adding directly to the prize pool. Internationals have the largest single-tournament prize pool of any esports event, with each iteration continually surpassing the previous year's, with the most recent one having one over US$34 million. Winners of the tournament receive the Aegis of Champions trophy.
Dota 2’s The International continues to set records in the esports world. The prize pool for The International 2020 has now soared past the $30 million mark. Valve released the Dota 2 2020 Battle Pass on May 25 and it offered quite a lot when compared to previous ones. Now, two months later, the prize pool for The International managed to surpass the $30 million mark. The success of the TI10 Battle Pass has been driven by two key factors. Following the TI9 Battle Pass’ renewed focus on unique and quality skins, Valve took this a step further in the TI10 Battle Pass by making its key offering a set of new arcanas for Windranger, Wraith King, and Queen of Pain, as well as new hero personas for Pudge and Anti-Mage. Along with this was an expansion to the battle pass level bundle, which gave players 120 levels and a bundle of Immortal Treasures for $30. While previous years only offered players the opportunity to purchase one bundle, this year allowed players the chance to purchase two.
We've been following the growth of the prize pool for quite some time, much like Valve. The company's own investment stands at "only" $1,600,000 while everything else is coming from the fans. The community is helping Valve fuel the prize pool through sales in the Battle Pass, the various treasures and levels. In fact, 25% of all sales go directly into the prize pool, which basically means that Valve has made quite the fortune already. The Battle Pass is accompanied by a level system. You will receive rewards for milestones. Prices for the Battle Pass start at $9.99 for the standard one, with a level 50 pack for $29.35, and level 100 for $44.99. You can also purchase additional level packs. In the early hours of 27th July, the prize pool for The International 10 reached $30 million and continues to grow as you read this. While the prize pool growth has slowed down a bit, it is definitely still on track to make esports history.
With the Battle Pass continuously releasing new content with several rewards still in the pipeline, Valve has once again hit a gold mine. The release of Aghanim’s Labyrinth has been met with enthusiasm from the crowd just as the release of the second treasure series. Especially the “Baby Ursa” from the treasure series has taken over the community by storm with many people spending excessive amounts of money to get a shot at the Ultra Rare.