A combination of Collector’s Cache II, Immortal Treasure drops, and the new player and team-centric items that were released have pushed The International 2019’s prize pool over the $30 million mark.
July has been a crazy month for Valve. TI9 surpassed the record-setting $25,532,177 prize pool from last year’s TI8 competition at the start of the month and broke $30 million before August even begins.
The push to break the TI8 record was largely due to the Steam Summer Sale offering a bundle for Battle Pass levels and extra Immortal Treasure drops. This gave players extra chances to get the new Immortal Treasure II collection that dropped shortly after the sale began.
Just weeks later, Collector’s Cache II dropped and opened up an entirely new revenue stream as players tried to collect the new item sets, like the Mythical Jagged Honor set for Juggernaut. Since the new collection is only available for 30 days, it pushed sales for hardcore players who want the most opportunities to collect every item.
At $2.49 per opening, there are 16 unique item sets to collect. When a player opens 13 items from the collection, they’ll earn 32 Battle Levels. And with every opening, players get increased odds of receiving a bonus rare item.
Any item from Collector’s Cache II that a player doesn’t want can be recycled for an additional two Battle Pass levels. And every item in the collection will only be obtainable during this 30-day period, except for that Juggernaut set, which will be marketable following next year’s TI.
Along with the item collection, player cards and special effects, items, and other custom drops based on specific teams were added through The International Compendium Update. Since the entire 18-team roster is out, players can collect cards from each squad to use in prediction events for TI9.
The fact that it took less than a week for the prize pool to jump another $2 million is remarkable, especially since there’s still nearly a month until TI9 officially begins. Early estimates for the prize pool had it breaking $30 million, but with content still rolling out, it looks like TI9 will be competing with the $30 million Fortnite World Cup Finals for the highest esports prize pool of all time.