The International 2019 has already gained the biggest prize pool in Dota 2 history with eight weeks remaining before the event kicks off.

The crowd-funded prize pool for the tournament, which begins its main event on August 20th, is sitting at $25.6 million (£20.3 million) with over 50 days still to go at the time of writing.

The Aegis of Champions, the ultimate aim for any Dota 2 player. Credit: Valve

The International 2019 is on course to break the $30M (£24M) offered by Epic Games’ Fortnite World Cup and become the biggest prize pool in esports history for a single event.

How does it compare to previous events?

  • TI8 – $25.5M (£20.3M)
  • TI7 – $24.6M (£19.5M)
  • TI6 – $20.7M (£15.8M)
  • TI5 – $18.4M (£14.6M)
  • TI4 – $10.4M (£8.2M)
  • TI3 – $2.8M (£2.2M)
  • TI2 – $1.6M (£1.2M)
  • TI1 – $1.6M (£1.2M)

Note: Fan contributions began with TI4

The five most recent TI events make up the top five prize pools for esports events so far (of those that have been completed). The closest event to the prize pool of TI4 comes from the 2018 LoL World Championship which offered up $6.4M (£5M). This was the second year that Riot Games has offered fan contribution to the prize pool, however, Riot Only offered up a skin, emotes, and icons – as opposed to Dota 2, which offers up an entire Battle Pass.

Why is The International 2019 pulling so far ahead?

While a lot of factors will contribute to this major boost in funding, there’s an obvious culprit in this instance. A weekend bundle was offered during the Steam Summer Sale which made around $120 (£95.24) worth of items available for $29.99 (£23.80). Not only that, but Valve allowed people to purchase the bundle twice rather than the intended once. As a result of this misstep, Valve allowed people to buy the bundle a second time for 24 hours after the fix was enabled and resulted in a huge jump in the prize pool.

It’s clear that this sale, in conjunction with the store error, has allowed TI9 to reach to this remarkable sum in such a quick fashion. With TI9 not starting until August, the event will likely surpass the $30M (£24M) total and claim the title as the biggest prize pool in esports history.

Esports Insider says: It’s impossible to doubt how big of a deal Dota 2 esports is. With Majors throughout the year that dwarf most other esports in terms of the prize pool – as well as a dedicated fan base that continues to support the game – Dota 2’s reign as the holder of the biggest prize pool in esports is probably safe for a quite some time yet.

ESI London 2019 – Find out more