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Dota 2’s TI8 has the biggest esports prize pool ever

Dota 2's TI8 begins today in Vancouver, with teams competing for the biggest-ever esports prize pool

Dota 2 Battle pass

Dota 2’s biggest esports competition, The International, returns this week, as TI8 kicks off in Vancouver. But even though the tournament itself has barely begun, records are already being broken, as this year’s competition offers the largest prize pool for a single event in esports history.

At the time of writing, the prize pool sits at $24.82 million, TI8 has beaten the record set by last year’s competition – TI7 offered a (still enormous) prize pool of $24.78 million. Since the competition began in 2011, Valve has put forward $1.6 million of that prize money, with the rest crowdfunded by the community.

Previously, that crowdfunding came through something called the Compendium, with each successive year increasing the total prize pool as players bought in. This year, however, Valve replaced the Compendium with a $10 Battle Pass, with 25% of the profits from that system being added to the prize pool. That does of course mean that while around $23 million is being given to the pro players, Valve will have pocketed a healthy $70 million or so for themselves.

This year, the winners of the Grand Finals will take home nearly $11 million, while the runners up will go home with a little less than $4 million. Even if you come dead last, however, there’ll be a pretty decent consolation prize – 17th and 18th place will both take home more than $60,000 each.

The International 2018 begins later today with Team Liquid taking on OpTic Gaming at 18:00 BST, and will run all week, culminating in a best of five Grand Final on Saturday, August 25.