Tracking the TI7 prize pool – Rundown
The International 2017 prize pool is soon approaching $20,000,000 USD
As many know, Valve has consistently hosted tournaments possessing the biggest prize pools over the past few years through it’s “The International” tournaments. This year is surely no different, where it is currently topping last year’s record by an astounding $2,000,000 USD (at the same time). Last year’s The International 2016 tournament set the world record for the highest prize pool set by any tournament organiser or game developer, EVER, at a humungous $20,765,624 USD. Looking at the current The International 2017 prize pool, it currently sits at just over $19,600,000, only about a million off last year’s record.
The reason Valve is able to dish out such large prize pools that almost no other game / tournament can ever match is because their “The International” tournaments have included a crowd funding structure since 2013. In addition, Valve also owns another major game, cs-go, which allows tournament organisers to sacrifice some profits in favour of a more intense competitive scene for its Dota 2 area. While Riot games did start to crowd fund it’s tournaments in last year’s 2016 League of Legends World Championships, Riot is still fairly greedy and fails to profit share as much compared to Valve. This is evident when you compare Riot and Valve, since Valve actually puts proper effort into encouraging their players to support the competitive scene by creating a whole range of specially created items, not simple re-skins. It also reflect in the community, as competitive LoL teams / players complain MUCH more compared to Dota 2 organisations.
Valve primarily funds the “The International” series through the sales of battle passes, but also do occasionally sell additional bundles and / or items. Regarding the TI7 battle pass, a quarter of all proceeds will contribute to the total prize pool. If you love playing the game and watching the competitive scene, buying the Battle passes is the best thing you can do to support both Valve and the players. In addition, playing the game is much more rewarding with the battle pass, as the reward you are able to earn will indefinitely be rare and never appear again after the event ends.
Looking back, the TI7 total prize pool has been affected most heavily by the introduction of various items / deals, namely the “TI7 Collector’s Cache” and the “TI7 Battle level bundle”. The collector’s cache was an item only available to players whom owned the 2017 Battle pass, this prompted players to rush and buy the pass resulting in an additional $1,000,000 USD being added in a mere 2 days. However, most recently, the “Battle Level and Treasure Bundle” sale across the 23rd-26th of June, which included 80 Battle levels, 4 Immortal Treasures (1) and 4 Immortal Treasures (2) spiked the prize pool up by over $2,500,000 USD from additional Battle passes being sold along with the bundle sale.
Overall, there are a total of 100 days that Valve has allocated to allow for crowdfunding. Currently, it is expected to hit $20,000,000 before day 66. While many predicted that TI7’s prize pool won’t reach much higher, I expect the prize pool to consistently rise and likely hit $23,500,000 USD with the assistance of additional last minute sales and bundles nearing the end.