Coming this July, The International 4 will be the biggest and most lucrative e-sports tournament the world’s ever witnessed. The annual Dota 2 championship already surpassed all previous records when its prize pool crossed the $6 million mark in May, but fans have kept adding to the chest of treasure, which has now grown to over $10 million. That number is more than three times the last high water mark for e-sports — the previous year’s International fell just shy of $3 million — and compares favorably to the more established professional sports leagues like the NFL.
The International, Valve’s worldwide Dota 2 championship tournament, now sits on a prize pool totaling more than $10 million thanks to 2014 Compendium sales. Valve opened sales of the official digital program for the International 2014 championships in May for $10, where $2.50 of every sale contributes to the prize pool. Funds from its sale grew the tournament’s pot of $600,000 set by Valve to $4 million within a week. In contrast, compendium contributions helped raise last year’s The International’s prize pool to a total of $2.8 million. In-game rewards unlock for Compendium owners and Dota 2 players as the rapidly accruing funds hit stretch goals. For instance, the $4 million and $5 million stretch goals unlocked the Mini-Pudge Courier and new matchmaking, respectively. New goals were added when it surpassed the $6 million and mark exhausted milestones. The latest fundraising achievement will introduce the Victory Prediction Taunt.