This July, gamers from all over the world will fly into Seattle to partake in and watch one of the biggest e-sports events on the globe. The International, developer Valve’s championship for its free-to-play online action-strategy game Dota 2, begins July 18 in Seattle’s Key Arena, and this year’s event is the biggest one yet. That’s not just in terms of the people watching in person and online but also in terms of the amount of money at stake. Dota 2 fans have pushed the overall prize pool of The International over $6 million, and that number will only get bigger between now and the start of the tournament.
For the most lucrative esports tournament on the planet, $6 million clearly wasn’t enough. Valve’s Dota 2 championship, The International 4, has set new stretch goals after blowing past the $6 million dollar milestone earlier today. The final goal is now $10 million. The International’s prize pool is funded by sales of the Compendium, an interactive tournament guide that offers many features and perks to the event’s spectators. Valve has set stretch goals for reaching prize pool milestones, similar to a Kickstarter, and each $10 sale of the Compendium adds $2.50 to the The International prize pool. Hitting $6 million unlocked what was thought to be the final goal, a base customization item for Compendium owners. Now, a whole new set of rewards promises to push the prize purse ever higher. The rewards range from major game systems to cosmetic perks and even a concert with Dota’s most popular electronic artist.