The prize pool for the Dota 2 International 4 tournament finally broke its second stretch goal of $10 million dollars Friday morning. This shattered its own record for largest prize pool for a video game tournament set during The International 3 by more than $7 million.
Having started at $1.6 million, this unprecedented increase in prize money was aided by sales of The Dota 2 Compendium, which offers a variety of cosmetic bonuses. Compendia cost $9.99 each in the Steam Store, $2.50 of which goes to the prize pool. Valve set an original stretch goal of $6 million which was met in a matter of weeks.
This dwarfs the now-third-place record held by Riot’s League of Legends season three tournament, which offered $2.05 million to be split among 14 winners, according to esportsearnings.com. The International Tournament splits its prize pool between 8 teams.
Both games are similar in style, being a MOBA, but with a few distinct differences.
The International 4 prize pool grew by more than $2 million in its first week. This is unprecedented even for Dota. The first two international tournaments had only a base $1.6 million prize pool. The International 3 was the first time The Compendium was available to increase the prize money, which it did my more than $1 million.
The International 4 has already increased by $7.2 million and compendium sales don’t close until August, although the growth of the prize pool has been at a crawl since shortly after reaching $8 million.
As the debate between Dota 2 and League of Legends rages, one is clearly more profitable.