Dota 2's flagship tournament, The International 2016, is now the most lucrative eSports competition in history with a record-breaking $18.6 million prize pot. The total purse of last year's tournament was under $18.5 million, and under $11 million in 2014. The prize pool will continue to grow for another two weeks as it's funded by fans buying Battle Passes, Dota 2's new in-game digital program that will last until August 13th.
When purchased, Battle Passes grant players access to different rewards and features, like exclusive quest lines, treasures, and cosmetic items. Twenty-five percent of all sales go to the prize pool, with Valve contributing an additional $1.6 million. For helping to beat last year's $18.5 million record, all Battle Pass owners will receive three treasure chests that include different in-game items, like the rare Monarch Bow and Rainmaker.
The International 2016 main event will start on August 8th in Seattle's Key Arena.