The Dota TI prize pool has reached the $10 million mark in record time, approximately four days ahead of the previous record, set by last year’s The International.
The prize pool for The International 2018 is generated by crowdfunding, with money spend on items in Dota 2 contributing to the fund.
It has taken 12 days for the Dota TI prize pool to reach the $10 million mark. That is according to the Dota 2 Prize Pool Tracker, a tool created by community developer Matthew “Cyborgmatt” Bailey.
If this is correct, the pool is approximately 9.5%, or $800,000 larger than it was at this stage of funding for last year’s tournament.
The International 2017 broke the record for the largest prize pool in the history of esports. Players at the tournament had the chance to win a share of $24.7 million. If crowdfunding continues to produce at this rate, The International 2018 would break that record, with an estimated prize pool of $27 million.
This seems likely. The tournament has broken the record every year since 2014. The Dota TI prize pool has more than doubled since 2014.
Why has the Dota TI prize pool funding slowed?
Crowdfunding for The International 2018 prize pool has slowed down in recent days. It took just 24 hours for the pool to hit $5 million.
However, this is to be expected. The pool is funded by sales of the Dota 2 Battle Pass, a bundle of features and rewards. The early spike in sales was undoubtedly caused by the video game’s core fans getting their hands on this additional content as early as possible.
Mutation Mode, a new queue only available to Battle Pass holders, has been particularly well received. This mode places a variety of modifiers on the game, resulting in something different each time.
Regarding the dip in sales, there’s little to worry about. Last year Valve offered a discount on Battle Passes 50 days after the crowdfunding campaign started. This saw sales spike in the days that followed. It would come as little surprise if the publisher pulls the same move again this year.