On the 20th August, The International 2019, perhaps the biggest tournament on the Dota 2 calendar, will be set to kick-off its ninth consecutive year, and with the tournament enjoying huge success in recent years, the prize fund is reaching record-breaking numbers. Despite the competition still being several months away, the total amount in regard to prize money is slowing edging closer to the record sum of $25.5 million which was reached by The International’s 2018 tournament.

The International 2019

With The International 2019 being hosted on Chinese soil for the very first time in the event’s history, the numbers are on course to be bigger than ever before. The event itself is the conclusion to the Dota Pro Circuit, and the climax of the competition could be played out in front of a potentially sold-out capacity of 18,000 people in the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai.

At present, the prize money for the tournament’s finale lies at approximately $23 million, which represents an increase of around 1339 percent. Compared with the record highs of 2018’s tournament, the upcoming event’s prize fund is just under £5 million higher than it was at this stage last year. Through such a rate of progression, and with plenty of time left before the start of the event, The International 2019 is on course to break the existing record.

It is no surprise that the event is continuing to set new mind-blowing heights year-on-year given that, at its all-time peak, Dota 2 has recorded just under 1.3 million gamers immersing themselves in the title. Moreover, as a result of Steam’s annual summer sales, Dota’s Battle Level and Treasure Bundle only increased the level of anticipation surrounding August’s tournament and its total prize fund.

Broadcasting and Popularity

While The International looks to break more records this year, the event’s success demonstrates the overarching development of the esports industry as a whole. Over the course of the last few years, the sector in general has enjoyed a growth in popularity which is down to numerous different factors, but few more important than the breakthrough in broadcasting.

Several years ago, BT Sport gave esports the platform to become commonplace in many households, and in 2017, cemented esports broadcasting by agreeing further television deals to show the Gfinity Elite Series. Furthermore, along with television production, Twitch, which is widely known as the world’s leading streaming platform among gamers, dedicates various aspects of their site to broadcasting various esports events. As a result of this growth, it comes as no surprise that the demand for esports has risen alongside the amount of prize money on offer.

Additionally, with the heightened popularity that is being centred around esports games such as Dota 2, the title itself draws a large audience, with fans now being eager to stay on top of all the latest esports news relating to Valve releases and other games online.

The Future of Esports

As the International 2019 looks set to break the esports prize fund record, there can be no questions surrounding the future of the esports industry. While prize money is on the rise at a record-breaking rate, the sector is likely to continue flourishing over the coming years as a result of its ever-growing popularity and broadcasting possibilities.  

Featured Image: “IMG_7677” (CC BY 2.0) by ybbuc