Biggest Prize Pool in Gaming History for Valve's Tournament This Year

The International's crowd-supported prize pool is closing in on $12 million; that's bigger than The Masters.

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Valve's Dota 2 tournament this year will offer up the biggest prize pool in the history of competitive gaming. The tournament, called The International, has a current prize pool of $11.6 million.

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This exceeds last year's then-record of $10.9 million, and the number is likely to grow further still.

The International exceeds some high-profile, traditional sports when it comes to prize pools. Professional golf's most prestigious tournament, The Masters, this year had a $10 million prize pool.

One big difference between The International and The Masters is that Dota 2 matches are played as a team, meaning prize money is divided, while golf is a solo game (with some money going to the caddie).

Funds for The International's prize pool come from sales of the virtual Compendium, which contains in-game items that unlock as the pool increases in amount. Should the tally reach $12 million, a new "music pack" will be released. You can see the other stretch goals at Valve's website.

Each Compendium costs $10, and 25 percent of the proceeds go to the prize pool. This means that total revenue derived from Compendium sales is actually somewhere in the area of $45 million.

The International 2015 takes place in Seattle August 3-8.

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