The International 8 has the biggest prize pool in esports

21 August 2018


The International is an annual Dota 2 tournament and is considered the most prestigious event in the professional circuit. This is down to two main reasons: the entire Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) leads up to the tournament, and it’s known for having record-breaking prize pools.

The International 8

This year is no different. The International 8 has finished its group stage – with 18 teams being whittled down to 16 – and the first stages of bracket play are underway. On the off-day between the two stages, the crowd-funded prize pool hit an astronomical height by topping the total that was reached last year.

The total sum hasn’t been decided as of yet, but it has already surpassed 2017’s $24,687,919 (£19,222,013.73). As of writing, the total winnings for TI8 is standing at $24,920,540 (£19,403,007.84). There’s a very good chance that this number will eclipse $25 million (£19,464,875).

The top five tournament prize pools are as follows:

  1. The International 8
  2. The International 7
  3. The International 6
  4. The International 5
  5. The International 4

Yes, that looks incorrect – but it’s true. Dota 2 has one of the most engaged fan bases in both casual gaming and esports, and allowing players to contribute towards the biggest tournament of the year is how Valve keeps breaking its own record.

Each year, Valve introduces a Battle Pass into Dota 2 that allows players to purchase in-game items. 25% of the sales accrued from this temporary inclusion goes towards awarding the best teams in the entire game.

The International 8 has helped a number of Dota 2 teams acquire sponsorships, with the tournament giving teams the potential to expose brands to a lot of eyes. For example, OpTic Gaming has been sponsored by VKGame, PSG.LGD has found sponsors in Lynx, Monster Energy, and Douyu, and Betway has sponsored Invictus Gaming.

Esports Insider says: It shows that incredible things can be achieved when the community is encouraged to get involved with esports. The fact that Valve breaks it own record every year with each edition of The International suggests that Dota 2 esports is finding itself in an increasingly-better position.