Earlier this year I speculated that the prize pool for Dota 2 TI 2023 (or TI 12, whichever you prefer) would be the lowest ever – at least since the jackpot has been crowdfunded. As an esports fan who loves watching TI, my fears have become a reality – a Halloween trick, instead of a treat.
The lowest ever Dota 2 TI prize pool was the MOBA‘s 2013 iteration of the tournament. Sitting at $2,874,380, the pot was nothing to smirk at, but given it reached a high of $40,018,195 for TI 10 (2021), two million doesn’t feel like much in Dota terms.
Three million doesn’t feel like much, either, but sadly TI 2023 concludes with only $3,149,655 in the pool. Sure, there’s quite a bit to go (we’re on day 32 of 112), but given the day one total kicked off at $2,380,054, we’ve only seen an increase of just $766,601 in 32 days.
While most years see dramatic increases following the conclusion of TI, according to the Dota 2 prize pool tracker, we haven’t seen anything like that this year. TI 2023’s bottom-place rival, 2015, pulled $10,449,914 by the 32-day mark, meaning players would have to contribute $7,300,259 to get this year anywhere close.
I’ve waxed lyrical about why the Dota 2 TI 2023 prize pool is so low – the Compendium, and general esports fatigue being my two suspects – but I don’t like being all doom and gloom about it all. I’m not a huge Dota 2 player, but I love watching TI. There’s an excitement and a real feeling of community – but it feels like that ember is being snuffed out.
The world of esports is characterized by upsets, sure, but it certainly feels like this will be the lowest prize pool of all time. Is it a case of GG go next and hope for better in 2024, or does Dota 2 need a Counter-Strike 2 style glow-up despite the huge New Frontiers update? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
In the meantime, we have a list of other free Steam games that are worth a shot while we wait for the latest hero to join the roster, The Ringmaster. If you’re looking for some other multiplayer games, though, we’ve got you covered.