The International remains the most lucrative e-sports tournament for at least another year, with a prize pool that grew to more than $30 million over the weekend.
Valve’s massive Dota 2 tournament, which is heading into its ninth annual iteration, features a prize pool that’s largely crowdfunded, a tradition dating back to 2013. Back in May, Valve released a “battle pass” for the game, which is available at different tiers and earns players special features like rare in-game cosmetics and special limited events. A quarter of that money is used to fill out the prize pool for Dota 2’s biggest tournament of the year. Last year’s event, which took place in Vancouver, featured a then-record $25.5 million purse.
The $30 million milestone is particularly notable because it helps The International remain the biggest e-sports event on the planet — at least in terms of prize money, despite a very aggressive new competitor. Last year, Epic earmarked $100 million to help turn Fortnite into a viable competitive game, and that included a $30 million prize pool for the upcoming Fortnite World Cup, which takes place in New York from July 26th–28th.
The International 2019, meanwhile, kicks off on August 20th in Shanghai.