10,000 tickets sold out within an hour on Ticketmaster to DOTA2’s biggest tournament every year, The International. The event will be held at Key Arena in Seattle from July 18-21. This year, the fourth installment of this event is rumored to have a prize pool for over 3 million USD. Last year, 16 teams battled it out in Benaroya Hall, home of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, for a total prize pool of 2.4 million USD. Alliance, a team of 5 Swedish players ended up taking the grand prize of 1.4 million.
Key Arena in Seattle
DOTA2 is a game similar to League of Legends and both of these games evolved from the predecessor DOTA, a player-created mod of the popular game Warcraft III. In DOTA2, ten players each choose a hero with unique abilities and are separated in to two teams of five, The Radiant and The Dire. The two teams battle it out in an arena and have the goal of trying to destroy the enemy ancient. However, the ancient is protected by many outer towers and creeps. Players try to kill enemy heroes to gain an edge in the race to destroy the enemy’s ancient to win the game.
Just like League of Legends, DOTA2 has an enormous player-base of over 7 million unique players every month. Although playing the game is fun, many of these players like to watch professional players play in tournaments. The most recent tournament, Star Ladder Season 9, had over 110,000 viewers watching the grand finals. In turn, the supports from the fans allow professional players to invest their time and energy into a career in e-sports.
There are many perks of being a professional player. Not only is the prize money huge, your name becomes well-known almost like a household name. This is because the player fan-base and community are so big. However, these professionals don’t play DOTA2 for the entertainment. They work extremely hard to train their reaction speed and techniques required from the game. As a reward, tournaments like The International, give the players a chance to win millions of dollars. All players who make it to the top 16 teams will receive an all-expenses paid trip to Seattle to play in the tournament.
Valve, the company who created DOTA2, is currently deciding on which teams will be invited to the tournament. It is likely we will see last year’s champions, team “Alliance”, as well as the runner-up, team “Navi”, getting the first invites to the tournament. Most DOTA2 fans are very excited to see which teams will be invited and playing in the qualifiers which will be happening Mid-May. More information will be updated as Valve releases more information on the tournament.
The International 3, last year at Benaroya Hall