The International, Dota 2’s most prestigious tournament, continues to break records, and the TI7 prize pool will be the largest in the history of esports.
According to the Dota 2 prize pool tracker, the tournament’s prize pool has reached $20,779,053 as of publication time, surpassing the previous record of $20,770,460, which was set last year at The International 6. There are still 32 days remaining to contribute to the crowdsourced prize pool, meaning it should blow out last year’s mark. It seemed safe to assume there would be a new record after the prize pool eclipsed $20 million last week with 40 days remaining.
The TI prize pool has been supplemented with in-game purchases by players since 2013, with increased success each year. This year includes purchases of The International Battle Pass, which gives players access to a large amount of in-game cosmetic items, a fantasy game mode comprised of the players who will attend The International, and a unique campaign mode for a single player experience. Players can then level up their Battle Pass by buying experience or playing games of Dota 2, which gives them more access to more content.
The total prize pool has increased by a whopping 1,198.68 percent of the original size of the prize pool, which was $1.6 million. That means the additional $19 million has been added through in-game purchases by the players, which makes up 92 percent of the total prize pool. This year’s TI field will include 18 teams, up from 16 last year.
The crowd-funded prize pool format has been picked up by League of Legends, as player purchases of themed in-game cosmetics been added to the total prize pool of 2016’s League of Legends World Championship and this year’s Mid-Season Invitational.