The biggest event in esports history went down on Monday (at least, if you’re judging by the prize pool). The international championships for Dota 2, a popular video game, were held in Seattle on Monday. Fourteen teams took home a combined total of very nearly $11 million, a huge leap from the prize pool of previous years. The money for the pool came from sales of a package for the game and tournament called the “Compendium”. This Compendium granted players loads of bonus content for their own games, as well as opening ways for them to interact with the tournament. The makers of Dota 2, Valve Corporation, contributed $1.6 million to the prize pool with the rest of the money (an impressive $9.3 million) coming from sales of the Compendium. With $2.50 of each sale going towards the pool, that means they sold over 3.7 million units worldwide. If we were talking about books, this thing would be well on its way to being one of the top-selling books ever.
The winning team, called Newbee, took home more than $5 million ($5,028,121 by last count). The team is based in China and includes members Chen “Hao” Zhihao, Zhang “Mu” Pan, Zhang “xiao8” Ning, Wang “Banana” Jiao, and Wang “Sansheng” Zhaohui. If that top prize was spread among the five players on the team, that would be about a million for each of them. But the players don’t get all the cash. Esports, like other pro sports, come with expenses and support staff.
Still, a prize like this is not bad for a day’s work! Even the two lowest ranking teams, which earned only 0.2% of the pot, took home more than $20,000 each. Don’t be surprised if the all-stars in your house decide they want in on the action. Just keep in mind that pro gaming, impressive jackpots aside, is not all it’s cracked up to be.