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An eSports Team Will Win $6.5 Million for Playing 'Dota 2' This Week

An eSports Team Will Win 6 5 Million for Playing Dota 2 This Week Motherboard


Today marks the beginning of the 2015 International Dota 2 Championships, which will have the biggest cash prize in eSports history.

By the time this week is over, one out of 16 teams, which earned their place in this tournament with many qualifying matches, will make it through the brackets to the grand finals, where it will compete for the top honor and almost $6.5 million.

That first place prize comes out of the event's total prize pool of $18 million, so coming in second with $2.7 million or even sixth with $1.1 million isn't too shabby either.

Developer Valve's event is breaking its own record here, set by the prize pool for the 2014 International Dota 2 Championships, which was almost $11 million. The company is able to secure such large prize pools with a deviously clever scheme that leverages the game's more than 10 million monthly active players.

Every year leading up to the event, Valve starts selling the Compendium, a digital, interactive program for the competition, where players can keep track of the different teams and make predictions. Players who buy the Compendium can also compete inDota 2 challenges and buy additional items to get special in-game trinkets that modify the appearance of their Dota 2 characters. Twenty-five percent of all Compendium and Compendium-related sales go toward The International prize pool, and the bigger it gets, the more rewards unlock for all Compendium owners, kind of like Kickstarter stretch goals.

Needless to say, these incentives work very well for Dota 2 fans, and the record-breaking prizes are great publicity for Valve.

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Geez, they're playing for REAL MONEY.

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