May 21 2014 - 3:11 am

New prize goal for Valve's 'Dota 2' championships: $10 million

For the most lucrative esports tournament on the planet, $6 million clearly wasn't enough
Samuel Lingle
Dot Esports

For the most lucrative esports tournament on the planet, $6 million clearly wasn't enough.

Valve's Dota 2 championship, The International 4, has set new stretch goals after blowing past the $6 million dollar milestone earlier today. The final goal is now $10 million.

The International’s prize pool is funded by sales of the Compendium, an interactive tournament guide that offers many features and perks to the event’s spectators. Valve has set stretch goals for reaching prize pool milestones, similar to a Kickstarter, and each $10 sale of the Compendium adds $2.50 to the The International prize pool.

Hitting $6 million unlocked what was thought to be the final goal, a base customization item for Compendium owners. Now, a whole new set of rewards promises to push the prize purse ever higher.

The rewards range from major game systems to cosmetic perks and even a concert with Dota’s most popular electronic artist.

At $7.2 million, for example, Compendium owners will get to vote on a champion to receive an alternate voice. All Dota players will receive new, upgraded creep models after their team knocks off an enemy barracks at $9.2 million. $400,00 on top of that will add a new quest system to the game.

The $8.8 million milestone unlocks the most Dota thing ever—a live broadcast of the The International afterparty featuring Finnish trance DJ Darude, of Sandstorm fame.

And the final reward allows you to taunt your opponents with victory chant at the beginning of each match, then records how many times you make good on the promises.

The tournament is set for July 18-21 in Seattle, so there’s still two months for fans to throw their money Valve’s way. Considering how fast the pool has grown since the Compendium’s release twelve days ago—$4.4 million over the $1.6 million contributed by Valve—the $10 million stretch goal seems quite realistic. At the rate of growth sustained so far, it’ll be just eleven days before Valve announces new rewards for a $20 million purse.

The International already holds the record for prize money at an esports event, and the $6 million pool already ranks it ahead of some of the world’s richest sporting competitions. The $10 million mark would push Dota past golf’s prestigious The Masters and its $9 million in prizes.

Largely unmentioned in all the hype surrounding the prize purses is Valve’s own take. With only 25 percent of every $10 Compendium sale going to the prize pool, Valve is raking in the cash, making the development costs associated with each stretch reward seem cheap by comparison.

With $4.4 million added to the prize pool so far, Compendium sales total around $17.6 million. That’s $13.2 million headed Valve’s way, before subtracting their $1.6 million prize pool contribution. To push the prize pool to the $10 million stretch goal, it’ll take $33.6 million in Compendium sales. That’s a large wad of cash for Valve, $25.2 million. Not bad for a free-to-play game.

Of course, that’s still a far cry from the $957 million free-to-play shooter CrossFire, a Counter-Strike clone popular in Asia, pulled in last year, or the $624 million earned by League of Legends. Last year, Valve’s own Team Fortress 2 topped Dota’s revenue with $139 million. But that’s most likely going to change in 2014.

And maybe sooner than we think. When someone—Na’Vi? Alliance?—take home whatever gargantuan prize awaits them, we’ll all know who the real winners are: Valve, and Dota’s esports fans.

Image via Valve

Jan 20 2017 - 5:28 pm

Combo Breaker announcement may imply the end of auto-qualifiers for Capcom Pro Tour

Capcom may be trying to simplify its 2017 Pro Tour.
Steve Jurek
Dot Esports
Image via Capcom

A big change is coming to the 2017 Capcom Pro Tour, but yesterday's announcement may have hinted at an even larger change—a possible end to players winning automatic qualification into the Capcom Cup through Premier events.

The Street Fighter V tournament at Combo Breaker is being upgraded to a Premier event for the 2017 Pro Tour, Capcom announced via Twitter. The event, which will take place in the Chicago area over Memorial Day weekend, served as a Ranking event in 2015 and 2016. Its spiritual predecessor, the Ultimate Fighting Game Tournament, filled the same role in 2014.

Premier events award more Capcom Pro Tour points to top performers compared to Ranking events. A yet-to-be-announced number of the season's top points earners will earn a spot in the Capcom Cup, the season's championship event. Premier events also offer a Capcom-provided pot bonus. The figure has not yet been confirmed by Capcom, but it is believed to be $15,000.

In previous years, a player who won a Premier event received an automatic berth in that season's Capcom Cup. Thursday's announcement, however, may have implied that this is no longer the case.

An update on Combo Breaker's website stated that placing well at the event "will earn you valuable ranking points that put you well on your way to qualifying for the Capcom Cup!"

Notably, the statement makes no mention of an automatic berth into the Capcom Cup, something that every Premier event winner has been awarded since the Pro Tour's founding in 2014.

The statement does not necessarily confirm that auto-qualification into the Capcom Cup has been eliminated. It does, however, fall in line with statements made by Capcom esports director Neidel Crisan. In conversations with both Yahoo! Esports and EventHubs late last year, Crisan mentioned the possibility of eliminating auto-qualification berths in order to simplify the qualifying process.

A player had three ways to qualify for the Capcom Cup in 2016; winning a Premier event, placing high in the global Pro Tour points standings, or placing high in each region's Pro Tour points standings. The system confused fans, commentators, and players alike.

We may not know how qualification for the Capcom Cup will work in 2017, but we do know that the tour itself will look a bit different than it has in previous years.

Combo Breaker will presumably fill a gap left by Stunfest, a French gaming convention that that served as a Premier event on the Pro Tour in each of the last two years. Organizers of that event announced a "pause" for the convention late last year with plans to return in 2018.

The tour will also be without Cannes Winter Clash, the other French event that was part of the 2016 tour. Organizers of that event, which will take place during the last weekend in February, announced the change last week in a Reddit post. The event had served as the Pro Tour's season opener in both 2015 and 2016.

"Obviously with Cannes and Stunfest out there will need to be at least one French replacement event," Samad "Damascus" Abdessadki, a competitor and commentator who is involved in the organization of the Cannes Winter Clash, told Dot Esports. "[Capcom] can't leave France out of [the Capcom Pro Tour] when it's arguably the biggest community in Europe - and maybe [the] strongest."

France is the only European country that has sent two players to the Capcom Cup in each of the last two years. It is also home to Olivier "Luffy" Hay, the only player from outside of Asia to win a Street Fighter IV Evo title.

One event that will return is Final Round. On Wednesday, Capcom announced that Final Round will serve as the first Premier event of the season for the fourth straight year. That event, now in its 20th year, will take place in Atlanta during the second weekend of March.

Capcom will announce full details of the 2017 Pro Tour in late February.

Disclaimer: The author of this article has worked as part of the volunteer staff at Combo Breaker/Ultimate Fighting Game Tournament since 2014.

Jan 20 2017 - 9:49 pm

IEM Katowice’s CS:GO tournament is going to be awesome

The final two invites went out today, and the tournament's guaranteed to be exciting.
Sam Nordmark
Writer at @dotesports
Photo via Fragbite

The final two teams to be invited to one of the year's biggest events have been announced.

FaZe Clan and Danish soccer club FC Copenhagen's esports venture, North, will be attending IEM Katowice's Counter-Strike: Global Offensive finals from Mar. 1-5, ESL announced today. The teams, which showed impressive form towards the end of 2016 at multiple international LAN events, will be competing against some of the best teams in the world.

The two teams are also the last to receive invitations to the event, as four teams will be added after a series of online qualifiers. In total, three more European teams will be attending IEM Katowice, as well as one North American team. With an already-stacked ensemble of teams ready to attend, such as Brazil's SK Gaming, Polish hometown heroes Virtus Pro, and Denmark's top team Astralis, the four teams that will be advancing through the online qualifiers will be making an already-competitive event all the more fierce.

In October 2016, the current North roster, which was signed to Dignitas at the time, took home the $500,000 EPICENTER event in Moscow. Aside from being one of the biggest events of the year, it had all the top teams in the world in attendance. Since then, however, North has struggled to live up to the expectations placed upon them, and have recently fallen short at nearly all events they have attended since.

The opposite can be said about FaZe, since the team picked up former Astralis in-game leader Finn "Karrigan" Andersen. Since Karrigan's arrival, FaZe have had their best results since the team's inception, and have looked stronger at each event they have attended.

Taking place roughly one month after the ELEAGUE Major, which begins on Jan. 22, IEM Katowice will likely be the debut tournament of several new rosters—so make sure to keep an eye on what could be one of the biggest CS:GO events of the year.