The International 7 has comfortably eclipsed the record for biggest prize pool in esports event history — beating the record set by The International 6 last year. At the time of writing, the amount up for grabs sits at a whopping $21,478,161 (£16.42m). According to the tracker, it sits 12.62% ahead of where TI6 was at the same stage last year.
The International is the flagship event for Valve’s Dota 2 title. The most remarkable aspect of the staggering prize pool is that it’s almost entirely crowdfunded. Valve contribute just $1,500,000 (£1.14m) with the 1242.39% increase purely achieved through the community.
Those who play the game can contribute to the prize pool by purchasing a Battle Pass and treasures which merely enhanced the aesthetics of the game. There are no aspects that fundamentally change the gameplay and give players an advantage. Whether it be shiny new “Immortal” sets, “Ultra Rare” golden versions of aforementioned Immortals or quirky chat lines that bring memorable commentary moments of tournaments prior to life in game, there’s no shortage of swag for an avid Dota 2 fan.
It comes as the third Valve event in the Dota 2 calendar. OG won the prior two events, being the Boston and Kiev Majors taking home $1,000,000 (£764,700) at each event. The ultimate prize, however, remains the Aegis of Champions — The International 7 crown.
For a glance at the odds in the run-up to the event, the ESI Gambling Report covered the outright market here.
18 teams will arrive at Seattle with high hopes and the chance to likely win a prize in excess of $10,000,000. Dota 2’s competitive landscape is set to change after The International. Valve vaguely announced new format will see a Major and Minor system introduced, where the developer will contribute $100,000 or $500,000 to prize money for a Minor and Major respectively. There’s plenty of areas that pose more questions than answers, however, and clarity will need to be provided before it’s implemented.
Esports Insider says: What would you do with $10,000,000? If only countless hours of play actually translated into ability… Alas, TI7 will be one of the best esports events ever. With such a huge amount of money on the line, it’s bound to produce some epic Dota 2.