The International is the annual global eSports event hosted by Valve. They are the creators and developers of the popular eSports title, Dota 2. Dota 2 is a popular MOBA game and the sequel to Dota, which is an acronym that means “Defense of the Ancients.”
A New Venue
This year’s International or TI9 will take place for the first time in China. It is a country where Dota 2 is extremely popular as both a game and as an eSport. In fact, of the eight Internationals that have occurred, three were won by a Chinese team. Also, five more Chinese teams have placed second in the tournament.
TI9 will be at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, a stadium that can hold over 13,000 adoring fans. In addition to that, like the six Internationals before it, the prize pool of TI9 will be crowdfunded in part by the Dota 2 players. Fans will be able to purchase battle passes for anywhere between $10 to $45 which will provide benefits and features, as well as help fund the prize pool.
The Prize Pool
Also, 25 percent of all battle pass sales will go towards TI9’s prize pool. With less than two weeks to go, fans have already raised the prize pool for TI9 to $17.8 million. The International begins on August 20 and ends on August 25, 2019.
The final prize-pool for the previous Internationals have been steadily increasing as well. It went from $10.9 million in 2014 to $25.5 million in 2018. This year, 18 teams from around the world will compete against each other. They’ll get the chance to win the most prestigious tournament in Dota 2, as well as millions of dollars. Last year, the European team, OG, won TI8 and came home with over $11 million.
Until this year, the prize-pools of The International tournaments have been the largest prize-pools in eSports. However, in July, Epic Games hosted the first-ever Fortnite World Cup with a total prize pool of $100 million. Despite losing that distinction, The International remains a popular tournament to watch, with last year’s International getting over 15 million viewers.