Steven R. July 21, 2019
The International 2019 will boast the largest prize pool in esports history.
Since the launch of the TI9 battle pass on May 7, the prize pool for the year’s largest Dota 2 tournament has climbed at a rapid pace. That has seen the event reach a major milestone, with the prize pool clearing the $30 million mark to reestablish The International as the richest esports event in the world. What's more, there is still plenty of time left for fans to heap on more.
The TI9 battle pass has been a booming success by any measure.
Though The International has long put other esports titles to shame with its eye-popping prize pool numbers driven by sales of the battle pass, growth has slowed considerably in recent years. The event has broken its own record on an annual basis since 2013 but while the game enjoyed multi-million dollar leaps from 2014 to 2017, 2018 saw the prize pool climb just $700,000 from its previous mark. This had many wondering if the years of explosive growth in Dota 2 were coming to an end.
Valve didn’t wildly change its approach to the battle pass for TI9, but did add a few key pieces of extra content including four prestige skins and new in-game consumable items that offered new ways for players to interact with each other. That seemed to be enough to further inspire Dota 2’s player base, which saw the battle pass enjoy booming sales.
That’s great news for Valve as the developer has banked tens of millions off battle pass sales alone, but it’s even greater news for Dota 2 fans.
Dota 2 has long been the most lucrative esports title for pro players, with all of esports’ highest earners coming from the game. That title was threatened earlier this year with the announcement of the $30 million Fortnite World Cup. The number was set to break the previous $25.5 million prize pool record set by The International 2018 by a considerable margin.
With TI9 now sitting over $30 million, the tournament is set to remain the biggest show in esports. That said, with Epic Games still set to pump $100 million into Fortnite’s esports scene in 2019, there should be some wealthy battle royale stars popping up over the coming years.