An ESPN broadcast is just the most recent accomplishment for the championship series, which kicked off yesterday and runs through Monday; thanks to crowdfunding, The International 2014 now holds the record for largest eSports prize pool, with more than $10 million to split between the winners. The line between eSports and traditional sports is becoming blurry, indeed.
Welp, you know what this means: everyone, head to your favorite sports bar and request they turn on ESPN2 on Sunday night. This weekend, Valve is giving us an excuse to go out and still get our video game fix.
Dota 2 Championships to be Carried Live on ESPN3,
Exclusive Final Match Preview Show on ESPN2
July 17, 2014 - Valve today announced that coverage of The International Dota 2 Championships will be presented in collaboration with ESPN on its live multi-screen sports network, ESPN3. In addition, an exclusive show previewing the final match will be presented on ESPN2 on Sunday at 8:30 pm Pacific. Live access to ESPN2 is also available on digital platforms via WatchESPN.
This year's International, happening at a sold out KeyArena in Seattle, WA this Friday thru Monday (July 18-22), features a record-breaking prize pool of over $10 mil - the largest ever for a competitive gaming tournament. And for the first time, viewers can watch all the matches, interviews, and analysis happening over the course of the four-day event on ESPN3, accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app, and streamed on televisions through Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.
On Sunday, viewers can tune in to ESPN2 for an exclusive preview of the tournament's final match, featuring highlights from the games, expert analysis, plus interviews with the players and Valve's Gabe Newell.
"From the success of the Compendium to the collaboration with ESPN, this year's International really demonstrates how much competitive gaming has grown to rival traditional sports," said Erik Johnson of Valve. "We believe the teams have also pushed to a new level of play this year and will further demonstrate the incredible advances made across this tournament since it first began three short years ago."
The International was first held in Cologne, Germany during the 2011 Gamescom with 16 of the best Dota 2 teams in the world competing for a grand prize of $1 million.
In 2013 the prize pool was bolstered beyond Valve's contribution by Dota 2 player participation in the Interactive Compendium, driving the total prize pool to over $2.8 million, up from $1.6 million.
This year the Compendium has driven the prize pool over $10 million.
Dota 2 is a free-to-play, online action strategy game created by Valve (Bellevue, WA based makers of multiple game franchises and the leading online distribution platform, Steam).