The biggest eSports prize pool is up for grabs starting today


Potentially $25M up for grabs

It was basically only a matter of time, but this year’s Dota 2 main tournament, The International, has surpassed last year’s total of $24,787,916 and has officially become the biggest prize pool ever for an eSports event. For those unaware, this prize pool is funded by the viewers, with a mere $1,600,000 contributed by Valve. Fans of Dota 2 can buy the in-game Compendium and related items to add to the prize pool. Each year the prize pool grows, though it did take this one longer than usual to get to this point.

Speaking of The International, the main event starts today! At 1:30 PM EDT, Team Liquid (aka future back-to-back champs) and USA’s own OpTic Gaming will kick off on the main stage in Vancouver, Canada for a chance at the over 11 million dollar grand prize. Tune into Twitch to catch all the excitement, culminating on in the grand finals this weekend!

As someone who tangentially pays attention to Dota year round, and then goes hardcore during The International, here’s a quick breakdown of what I’ve been able to glean about the current meta (apologies if anything is wrong):

The King has returned

Man, Skeleton, err, Wraith King is everywhere. Sometimes he’s the carry, sometimes he’s the support — such a versatile hero! Picking him is basically having Uno’s wild card in your hand. Showing him during the draft means virtually nothing, which is a huge advantage.

So many supports!

The 2-1-2 lanes are back, which seems to open up basically any support you want. Of the 115 Heroes available, only 10 have not been picked at all. As someone who always plays position 4 or 5, it exciting to see the heroes that I play always in games. If I was an Anti Mage player, for example, I would be really sad since that dude is nowhere to be seen (which is weird to me). Which reminds me…

Damn, you all are aggressive

Dota 2 has a reputation for being this 50 minutes slog of a MOBA. It’s not without merit, as games will stretch that far from time to time even today. But today’s Dota is way faster than it was when I was playing a few years ago. Early aggression is important (hence the lack of carries like Anti Mage) which keeps supports busy and favors Heroes that can apply early pressure.

Valve’s new Heroes have made their mark

The Heroes Monkey King, Pangolier, and Dark Willow are seen time and time again in these games. These three are brand new to Dota 2, and I was curious how they would fare alongside all of the veterans from the original mod and its many incarnations. Their unique mechanics are exciting to watch and their designs are top-notch!

I want to see Techies in a game so bad

Sorry not sorry — I love Techies and how they change the entire game once they’re picked.

Via Upcomer Esports