Dota 2: The International Prizes, Newcomer Show

No, I still can't draw dollar bills, shush now

Valve has announced the prize distribution for its annual Dota 2 [official site] championship, The International. Given money is still coming in thanks to the related crowdfunding drive these figures are likely to go up a little more before the event takes place in August. But it means that none of the qualifying teams will be leaving with less than $51,000 in prize money and the winners of the whole thing will snag more than $6 million.

I have been critical of how Valve divvied up previous International prize pools because some teams ended up leaving empty-handed despite the time and effort you need to put in to play at the standard needed to qualify. For the first three Internationals only the top eight of the sixteen teams earned any prize money. Last year was an improvement as only the bottom two teams were left with zero and this year everyone gets a slice of the money pie.

Here’s the full breakdown as it stands right now:

1st – $6,133,262
2nd – $2,640,710
3rd – $2,044,421
4th – $1,448,131
5th-6th – $1,107,394
7th-8th – $766,658
9th-12th – $204,442
13th-16th – $51,111

The full list of competitors won’t be finalised until the four runner-up teams from the regional qualifiers have competed for two remaining wildcard spaces. That’ll be on 26 July and the victors go on to join:

compLexity Gaming
Evil Geniuses
Invictus Gaming
LGD Gaming
Natus Vincere
Team Empire
Team Secret
Vici Gaming
Virtus Pro

Also of interest is the smidgen of information about the Newcomer Show. Last year, one of the best things about The International was the attempt to make the game accessible to new viewers or fledgling players. Valve had a whole separate streamed broadcast aimed at furnishing these new spectators with a broad understanding of what was going on. Casters would explain how heroes worked, what wards were, why runes are important, and what you were seeing onscreen.

From what I watched it wasn’t the sort of thing that would make sense to someone who wasn’t literate in general gaming terminology, but it felt like you could plonk a player of other games in front of the stream and they would generally understand what was going on. It was still a lot of information to cover and, I’d suspect, rather repetitive for casters, although they did get to swap in and out.

What’s happening this year is it looks like there will be a Newcomer Show (I’m reading this as being instead of the stream for each game although they haven’t said that specifically).

“Once a day during the main event, we’re putting together a special broadcast featuring a live match with special commentary aimed at easing people into understanding the exciting world of Dota.”

That’s all the detail on offer at the moment but I’m hoping it could allow the casters to offer a more structured commentary with pauses and close ups of action rather than reactive info-overload where the game starts and it’s a cascade of “DID WE EXPLAIN ABOUT JUNGLE INVASIONS WHAT ABOUT THE RUNES OH GOD IS THAT A LEVEL ONE ROSHAN ATTEMPT”.


  1. yabonn says:

    Last night, yet another mainop was trying an early lanecrush. So standard procedure : fletch / ambush, no chance for gains.


    I new last patch buffed Trundling – I just didn’t know how ridiculous it was. Op came waltzing Right. Between. Pills. The snatched, and just went on his merry way! Couldn’t even degate him. So yeah, I FoGed – playing deps – but this just _shouldn’t_ happen.

    Nerf Trundle!

    (Never played it, but I’m all set for the Dota Turing Test)

    • jrodman says:

      Four stars.

    • Phasma Felis says:

      That’s amazing.

  2. TheAngriestHobo says:

    They crowdfund the prize pool? I guess it’s a matter of necessity… you can’t expect a little indie studio like Valve to foot the bill all by itself.

    Seriously though, maybe I’m missing something here (MOBAs really aren’t my thing), but when you’re an industry giant, relying on fans to supply their own prizes seems pretty sleazy.

    • EhexT says:

      They’ve been doing it for a while. It’s a great deal for them – they don’t have to front the money but get to claim “our game has a huge prize pool!”.

      • nearly says:

        While I definitely agree that it didn’t start out sleazy, I think when you cross the “we have a 10M$ prize pool because we added 25% of the profit each time we sold a $10 digital card binder and fans thus paid us a total of around 30M$ that we’re not putting toward that prize (not counting the million dollars in ticket sales for the in-person event and various other money-making schemes),” it becomes a little sleazy. Also when the seed money doesn’t really increase each year despite Valve, again, having in all likelihood made tens of millions of dollars last year.

  3. jrodman says:

    I’m disappointed that the wildcard teams get nothing. The competition to get in at all continues to be more difficult, and just earning a wildcard slot is something to be proud of. I want those teams to stay together instead of explode due to no income (expected).

  4. Solanaceae says:

    What % of these prizes would the players themselves take home?

    • Scytale says:

      That depends on the player and their contract with the team. They will not receive 1/5 as a portion will go to the team’s management etc. Also not all players are equal in the team, some may receive different percentages.