Dota 2’s The International 2018 (TI8) has just broken the highest tournament prize pool record for the seventh year in a row, with $24,787,916 and counting, exceeding that of last year’s International with some days still left for it to grow.
The International has broken its own prize pool record yet again, largely thanks to the Dota 2 community, who has so far contributed more than $23 million to the ever-growing trove by purchasing TI8-related paraphernalia such as the ‘International Battle Pass.’ This also marks the fourth consecutive year that the all-time prize pool record was breached, with the International first taking the crown in 2014 with a pot of over $10.9 million.
Following last year’s prize pool allocation, when TI7 champs Team Liquid took home over $10.8 million, the TI8 champions are set to win a whopping $11 million. The runner-ups will also receive a fair consolation of almost $4 million, with the third and fourth placers getting around $2.6 million and $1.7 million, respectively. Even the bottom teams will get a nice payday, with the 17th and 18th placers taking home over $60 thousand apiece. Not bad.
The tradition of having a ludicrous prize pool for Dota 2’s premier tournament first started with the International 2013, when Dota 2 publishers Valve Corporation introduced the ‘International Compendium’ to drive the prize pool up to $2.8 million. The Compendium was an interactive book of sorts about the tournament that also gave players the chance to earn in-game cosmetics, it has since then been replaced by the aforementioned Battle Pass.
Whether TI8 would end up surpassing its predecessor’s record or not was a question that most in the community did not have an answer for a few weeks ago however. For the first time in the history of the tournament, the growth of TI8’s prize pool was actually lagging behind that of last year’s by around three percent, according to the Dota 2 prize pool tracker. The rate even reached an all-time low when it lagged by as much as 10 percent, before Valve reinvigorated it with new rewards to drive sales on June 28. It wasn’t until the release of the Immortal Treasure III, the Battle Pass’ third in its series of loot boxes, that the rate seemed set to break last year’s record.
While there is still some time left before the end of the crowdfunding period, the prize pool would most probably just breach the 25-million mark due to there being no more Battle Pass incentives remaining.
TI8 is already underway, with the Group Stage already finished and the Main Event set to start on August 25 at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Canada. You can catch all the action on the tournament’s official Twitch or YouTube channels.
(Photo credit: Valve Corporation)