Last year’s The International Dota 2 Championships raised a record-breaking $10.9 million prize pool, the most ever for a single eSports event. Valve set a goal of $15 million for this year’s pool and based on current projections, that goal may very well be attainable.
As of writing, the total prize pool sits at $11,571,366 meaning it has already eclipsed last year’s record with well over a month remaining in the fundraising period.
Valve chipped in $1.6 million to get the ball rolling but all other funds have come from purchases of in-game items. A quarter of the proceeds of each sale goes directly to the tournament prize pool. The full breakdown of each stretch goal and its reward can be found on the Dota 2 website.
The International Dota 2 Championships made plenty of noise last year as portions of it aired live on ESPN. To see The Worldwide Leader in Sports set aside valuable airtime for a gaming competition speaks volumes to the rising popularity of eSports.
Still, many dismiss professional gaming as not being a true sport. While gaming may not require the same types of strenuous activities as football or basketball, it’s still serious enough that injuries can and do happen (not to mention the mental aspect).
Earlier this year, the captain for one of the top League of Legends teams announced his retirement at the age of 22 due to a wrist injury. Just like any other sport, years of intense physical activity will take its toll on the body.