Valve’s annual Dota 2 tournament The International (TI8) has once again set a record for esports' largest single-event prize pool with a whopping $24.8 million raised.
The event, which kicks off today, beats out the previous prize pool record which was set by same Dota 2 tournament back in 2017 with $20.7 million. What’s particularly interesting about TI8's rising yearly spoils, however, is how Valve funds the prize pools to begin with.
For the past few years, Valve starts off by setting a base prize amount, $1.6 million this year, and then contributes additional cash to the pool depending on sales of Dota 2 Battle Passes during a set season. Those items are purchased by the general Dota 2-playing public for a fee and in return provide those players with in-game bonuses for completing various missions and tasks.
Those passes start at $9.99, though player cans pay $36.99 to start off at a higher level or purchase additional levels for varying sums. All in all, 25 percent of all Battle Pass sales are fed into TI8’s prize pool which means Valve has raked in close to $100 million from the Passes this season overall.