Every year, Valve funds The International Dota 2 Championship 2015 (TI5) through sales of a digital compendium that promises players some extra in-game cosmetic items. This year, the total amount of funds gathered has exceeded US$12.5 million; and there is still two months to go before the actual tournament.
Sales of The International Compendium contribute to the total prize pool of each Championship, turning the event into a kind of crowdsourced deal. Players buy the compendium and then participate in community activities to gain levels which unlock additional prizes and items. However, Valve is not one to pass up an opportunity to monetise this wonderful idea and allows players to simply buy Compendium levels if they don’t have the time to grind for levels.
Last year’s TI4 saw a prize pool of over US$10 million (about RM37 million), with the winning team taking home about half of that pool. This year looks to surpass that amount by a mile, which makes this the most lucrative e-sports tournament in the world. To be fair, the prize pool makes it a better deal than a lot of other sports like badminton and golf.
The TI5 Compendium sells for the same amount as all the other Compendiums at US$9.99 (about RM37), and 25-percent of that sale goes directly into the prize pool. Valve hasn’t said what it does with the other 75-percent, but the stretch goals like funding a Dota 2 short film competition and new courier skins should at least show that the company isn’t just keeping it all for Gabe Newell to swim in.
[Source: Dota 2 The International Compendium]