Valve’s The International 2019 (TI9) officially has the largest prize pool of any single event in esports history, with over a month to go before crowdfunding concludes.
Epic Games’ Fortnite World Cup may not have began yet but it previously held the record for the biggest announced prize pool for an event at $30 million (£24 million).
Crowdfunding for TI9 officially kicked off in May when Valve unveiled its Jungle Expedition-inspired Battle Pass, which, as always, sees 25% of all sales go towards the tournament’s prize pool.
At the time of writing, the prize pool for the upcoming event is sitting at $30,192,119 (£24,166,979.73). This figure is $8,375,019 (29.29%) more than the total raised for The International 2018. There are still 34 days to go before crowdfuding is over. The Steam Summer Sale and Volume II of the Collector’s Cache have been named as big contributors to the latest prize pool push.
Since it was established for TI3, crowdfunding has resulted in a rapid increase of the total prize pool year-on-year. For 2019, The International heads to China for the first time with the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai playing host from August 15th to 25th. The tournament will see 18 teams go head-to-head, including past winners OG and Team Liquid.
Esports Insider says: It’s really incredible to see the TI prize pool continue to rise and rise. With players already breaking the 2018 record by a fair margin, all predictions are officially out the window. We are looking forward to seeing the final total next month and if Epic Games has the nerve to one-up Valve once again.