If you haven’t been on Steam in the last 4 years or so, then let me introduce you to a little game called Dota 2. Yes, the Warcraft 3 mod has quickly turned itself into an international e-sport raking in millions of dollars in prize pools from events and The International Dota 2 Championship is no exception to this. As of June 30th the prize pool is sitting at a cool 14.9 million dollars, which is 1490% more than the first international which was a measly one million. Jokes aside, this is likely to be one of the largest e-sports events in history and it certainly has earned its place as one of the highest grossing e-sport titles in competitive gaming. While I’ll keep to myself as to whether or not I think a game like DotA deserves this much money in prize pools to begin with, I just want us all to take a moment to realize that a game that started as a small mod has now become one of the largest scaled competitive gaming titles next to Starcraft which is no easy feat.
With the compendium allowing players to earn in game rewards and support the event while adding into the prize pool, its been a steady climb to nearly 15 million dollars which even this salty games journalist would argue is a very big milestone. Players who purchase the Dota 2 Compendium help contribute a portion directly to the International Prize Pool along with the in-game awards such as cursor packs, announcers, items for heroes and even new in-game weather effects for players to utilize. While you add to the heap of money that is the international prize pool and Gabe Newell’s wallet, you also benefit by getting new features to the game which is a nice way of implementing purchases into a fundamentally free-to-play game.
If you haven’t done so already, I would strongly recommend loading up Steam and installing Dota 2 to get involved with the internation championships coming up late this summer. To give some personal opinions, not only have I logged nearly 1400 hours into this game after playing for 3 years collectively, the game is worthy of the hype it gets surrounding its events and the players who work very hard to even have a chance at that insane prize pool. Its no Street Fighter or Super Smash Bros. Melee, but you’d be hard pressed to find a better entry in competitive gaming, so find a few friends, sit down into a public match and get yelled at until the game gets fun, and watch this years international championships if you want to witness true, large scale, e-sports at its finest.