Three days after its release, the Battle Pass for The International 7 has raised over $5 million for the tournament’s famously large prize pool. It’s the fastest growth rate for the prize pool in Dota 2 history.
The record-breaking weekend kicks off the months-long leadup to The International 7 in August, where 16 top Dota 2 teams will compete for the title of best team in the world and a cash prize that is all but guaranteed to be one of the largest in the history of esports.
The yearly rush to see how much fans can contribute to the prize pool has become something of a tradition in the Dota 2 community.
As in previous years, fans of Dota 2 can contribute directly to the prize pool by purchasing an upgradable Battle Pass, which contains various rewards ranging from new in-game voice lines to hero sets and even a re-skinned map. One fourth of the cost of the Battle Pass, as well as any subsequent in-game purchases, is added directly to The International 7’s prize pool.
The International 7’s Battle Pass was announced and made available on Thursday evening, and fans were quick to take advantage of its debut. From Thursday to Sunday, Dota 2 fans added $5,226,337 to The International 7’s prize pool, which, when combined with the $1.6 million base provided by Valve, brings the total prize pool of TI7 to just under $7 million dollars.
According to the Dota 2 Prize Tracker, which follows and provides historic data about The International’s prize pools, this is fastest The International’s prize pool has ever grown over the weekend of its announcement.
Still, this year’s opening haul represent only a modest increase over previous years. In 2016, for example, The International 6’s Battle Pass raised $4,565,823, roughly 12 percent less. Still, given that Dota 2’s player base has shrunk by around 20 percent since its all-time high in February 2016, this year’s meteoric rate of growth is an impressive feat indeed.
So far, The International’s prize pool has increased every year. Whether The International 7 will manage to break the high bars set by its predecessors remains an open question. But if this weekend is any indication, The International 7 is set to be the biggest tournament ever (again).