Valve's Dota 2 International Championship begins

World's best teams descend on Valve's headquarters in Seattle to compete for over $2.8 million.

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Valve’s yearly Dota 2 Championships, The International, which is now in its third year, have begun with nearly 400,000 concurrent live viewers within hours of going live.

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The world’s best Dota 2 teams have descended onto Valve’s headquarters in Seattle to compete for what is now over $2.8 million in prize money. Teams have flown in from around the world, including 2011 International Champions Na’Vi from Ukraine, 2012 International Champions Invictus Gaming from China, and 2013 favorites Alliance from Sweden.

In addition to the main tournament, Valve will also be hosting a 1v1 Solo Championship, and an All-Star match with players voted on by the fans. Star players competing in both include Danil "Dendi" Ishutin from Na’Vi, Luo "Ferrari" Feichi from Invictus Gaming, Jonathan "Loda" Berg from Alliance, and Chai "Mushi" Yee Fung from Orange Esports. A full list of teams and competitors can be found on the official International site.

“Despite the importance of the tournament itself, I think players will remember the All Stars and 1v1 matches with great fondness,” Dota 2 analyst Bruno Carlucci told GameSpot. “One can only imagine how much some of these legends dreamt of playing with each other on a LAN environment, or even, for some of the youngest competitors, face their idols in a 1v1 and prove themselves to the world as the best individually skilled player.”

The prize pool, which continues to increase by $2.50 with every purchase of the $10 Interactive Compendium, is the largest amount ever given out for a single-event in competitive gaming/eSports history.

“TI3 is already the tournament with the biggest prize pool in eSports,” Carlucci said. “With such an amazing start in stream numbers, I'm betting it will soon become the biggest tournament in stream viewer numbers as well.”

Last year Riot’s Season 2 World Championships peaked at 1.1 million concurrent viewers watching online only, making it the most watched competitive gaming event of all time.

The International 3 Main Event will begin on August 7 at Benaroya Hall in Seattle, Washington. The entire event will be streamed on the in-game spectator client Dota TV, and on TwitchTV. GameSpot eSports will be at the event to sit down with Valve regarding the release of Dota 2 and The International, and provide live coverage all week long.

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