Last night, Valve president Gabe Newell revealed more details about Artifact, the upcoming online collectible card game developed by the Dota 2 publisher. The game is now in closed beta, with industry insiders and pro gamers alike trying it out for the first time.
After the press conference, Valve dropped something else about the game: it’ll be hosting a tournament next year with a total prize pool of $1 million. The news was broken about an hour after the press event by Valve’s social media and community manager Wykrhm Reddy, via his Twitter account.
If this sounds familiar, the Artifact tournament shouldn’t be shocking. After all, Valve did the very same thing with Dota 2, announcing the first iteration of the International (albeit with a larger prize pool of $1.6 million) to start off the MOBA’s closed beta period.
Unfortunately, the announcement is completely bare; details other than “there will be a tournament” do not exist as of yet. Where the event will be held, how many players will be invited (or given the chance to qualify, if ever), and prize pool distribution were not included in the reveal. In addition, whether Valve will allow third-party tournament organizers to hold their own Artifact events throughout the year is unknown.
If anything else, however, this certainly gives Hearthstone, Gwent, and even Magic: the Gathering Online players some serious incentive to try their hand at Artifact. Even pros from other games like Counter-Strike and League of Legends could be enticed by the payout, especially if they’re struggling to find success in those titles.
After all, a million dollars is only mildly special for team-based games (see the Dota Pro Circuit, for example)—but it’s a massive pool for individual players.