Dota 2, known for creating both the richest and poorest players in esports, is about to receive an important injection of prize money.
ESL, the organization that put Dota in Frankfurt’s Commerzbank Arena, is quadrupling its investment in the scene over the next 12 months, according to a release published earlier today. Starting with a return to Frankfurt in June, ESL One events will see minimum prize pools of $250,000 with additional events to be announced at a later date.
For both fans and players of competitive Dota 2, the investment is an important development in the construction of a stable, long-term competitive ecosystem.
While the game has made copious headlines for handing out the largest prize pools in esports history, aspiring players outside of major organizations struggle to make a respectable living. This is due largely to limited qualifier spots in major tournaments and a financially top-heavy tournament structure.
ESL One’s tournament structure, however, offers a unique opportunity for lesser sides in host nations to take a swing at significant experience and prize money. ESL One Frankfurt, for example, allocated two more qualifier spots to European teams than it did for other regions, while ESL One New York afforded the same luxury to North American sides.
Suffice it to say, the additional prize money is important for teams that rarely see the podium. But to an even greater degree, the potential for bottom-up development of Dota‘s competitive pool should excite players and competitors alike.