At The International this weekend, some of the world's best Dota 2 players will compete for a prize pool of $24.8 million. This pool, breaking The International's own record from last year, is the largest prize pool offered in esports history.
The International's prize pool has managed to grow every year for the last seven years, according to ESPN's report, largely due to the unique way in which Valve funds it. Ahead of each year's competition, Valve offers a Battle Pass to Dota 2 players for $9.99 or a level-boosted pass for $36.99, with 25% of the sales going toward the prize pool.
Valve contributes $1.6 million to the pool itself, but since the company began offering the Battle Pass in 2013, the crowd-funded portion of the pool has outstripped Valve's offering by a growing amount each year. Last year, the pool reached $24 million by the day of the competition. At the time of this post, the pool for the 2018 competition sits at $24,846,365.
The pool will be split among all 18 participating teams, with the smallest share of $61,868 going to 18th place and 1st place receiving $10,881,831 with the current pool size.