Valve's third annual Dota 2 eSports tournament The International has accrued a total prize pot of 2 million dollars due to contributions from the community.
At the time of writing, the total amount of prize money available in the tournament is $2,001,670. Each Dota 2 player who purchases the in-game Interactive Compendium adds $2.50 to the total prize pool, and Valve will now unlock a new HUD skin for all Compendium owners after crossing the $2M threshold.
Valve has also added more stretch goals to the Compendium, which will unlock for all players once the goals have been met. At $2.2M all players will be given "a taunt item with a brand new animation for all Compendium owners," while $2.4M will allow owners to "vote on participants in an 8 player Solo Championship (1vs1) at The International."
The final stretch goal, which stands at $3.2M, will allow the community to choose the next hero released for the game.
Speaking to GameSpot, Dota 2 analyst Matthew "Cyborgmatt" Bailey said, "The International Compendium is a great example of how effective crowd-funding is becoming."
Bailey also says that Valve has the option of allowing for crowd-funded third-party tournaments in the future. "In terms of the backend there is already an API in place now which allows for a custom prize pool supported by these passports to be tracked live," said Bailey, adding that the partial crowd funding with The International "is something Valve will want to test the water with, to see how the community reacts with being given another possible way of supporting these tournaments and teams."
"Moving forward I can only see this being the beginning, the way Valve have set up the Compendium provides plenty of room for this to be expanded into third party tournaments," concluded Bailey.
The original prize pool for The International 3 stood at $1.6 million, meaning the Interactive Compendium has been purchased over 160,000 times. Valve has not said how the money will be distributed among the winning teams.
The previous largest eSports prize pool was $1.97M in League of Legends' Season 2 World Championship, which took place in Los Angeles in October 2012.
The International 3 will run from August 7 through 11 at Seattle's Benaroya Hall. Thirteen of the tournament's 16 teams have already been invited, with the remaining three spots up for grabs in the currently running Western and Eastern qualifiers.