Since the inaugural tournament back in 2011, The International has become the defining Dota 2 event on the eSports calendar. Now, there’s word that the prize pool for 2016 has already eclipsed the amounts raised in previous years.
As of the time of this writing, $18,661,259 is up for grabs, and that number could grow further as the competition nears. The 2016 edition of The International will run from August 3 to 11, and will be held at the KeyArena in Seattle.
Tournament host Valve has offered up $1.6 million annually to fund the prize pool for the event since its inception in 2011. Once the contest began to gain traction, the company started to offer the community a way to add to the pool via a number of crowdfunding programs.
The Battle Pass is one such method, giving players access to an exclusive array of features and rewards. It’s available for $9.99, and can be leveled up to provide better content for a further investment — a quarter of all proceeds is added to the prize pool.
As a result of this year’s prize pool beating last year’s record of $18,429,613, Battle Pass owners will be given bonus content, according to a report from PC Gamer. Three “Trust of the Benefactor” treasure rewards will randomly give a player either a 2016 Immortal Treasure, a Random Hero Set, an Arcana Set, or even one of a host of limited-run prizes.
Based on the current prize pool, The International 2016 is set to be the most lucrative eSports competition ever held. As the scene continues to flourish, this should ensure that Dota 2 remains one of the most competitive titles out there.
For more information on the Battle Pack, and The International 2016 as whole, head to the event page on the official Dota 2 website.