When the first Dota 2 International tournament was announced, no one believed the prize pool was for real; one million dollars sounded too good to be true. This was something unique within eSports, and even more unique in a competitive game that was still on a beta phase. Since then, Dota 2 tournaments have kept growing in both prize pool and audience.
Dota 2 has turned into the most profitable eSport. We are now looking at a total of $55,522,240.02 prize money for this game. This doubles the total prize pool of the second most profitable eSport: League of Legends.
There’s no doubt that, with the Majors announced, this game’s competitive scene will keep growing. As for now, let’s take a look at the top 10 tournaments with the largest prize pools in Dota 2.
The top 10 Dota 2 tournaments with the highest prize money
The International 2015 – $18.429.613.05
TI5 was proof of what crowd funded tournaments were capable of. Thanks to Valve’s release of Dota 2’s compendium, where a portion of the sales contributed to the prize pool, previously unimaginable heights were reached. TI5 had an all-time high competition and a number of success and failure stories. The favorites to win, Team Secret, dropped down in the lower bracket and lost to Virtus.Pro, leaving the tournament early to the surprise of fans worldwide.
Wildcard team CDEC from China quickly became a fan-favorite to neutrals, as they battled their way to the finals, eventually losing to the NA squad of Evil Geniuses. Read more about The International 2015.
The International 2014 – $10.931.103.00
The International of 2014 will be remember for many things, but mostly because of the disappointment of fans due to the unexciting final match where Newbee beat down Vici Gaming 3-1. TI4 was also when Valve moved the competition from Benaroya Hall to a much larger audience in the Seattle Key arena, which remains the location of choice to this today.
The tournament had a number of promising favorite coming in, such as EG which then consisted of Arteezy, Zai, ppd, UNiVeRsE and Mason. The ultimate favorites, the Chinese dream team DK (Black^, iceiceice, Mushi, laNm and MMY!) failed to achieve victory and had to satisfy with 4th place, despite coming in as the strongest favorites.
Newbee were the team that amazed everyone despite a poor early start, and fought their way to the finals, ultimately winning the tournament and over $5 million.
Read more about The International 2014.
Dota Asia Championships – 2015 – $3.057.521.00
Dota Asia Championships (DAC) was dubbed the Chinese International, because of its magnitude. The finest Dota 2 teams in the world gathered in China, January of 2015.
EG were the winners of the tournament and over $1 million, albeit unexpectedly. The team’s strength was in a status quo, thanks to their acquisition of 16 year old mid player SumaiL prior to the tournament. Vici Gaming finished 2nd, whereas Team Secret and Big God took the 3rd and 4th place, respectively.
We are likely to see DAC again next year, in the form of this winter’s Dota 2 major.
Read more about the Dota Asia Championships.
Frankfurt Major 2015 – $3,000,000.00
We didn’t expect the Dota 2 pro scene to grow much more tournament-wise until the Majors were announced by Valve. The Frankfurt Major was the first of the four big tournaments we’re going to see each year for each season. This first Fall Major was a success at bringing to viewers another exciting competition. Its large prize pool made the competing teams work their best and play fiercely to earn a good amount of that money, which is something we were used to see almost exclusively in an International.
The winner was a team that had only a few months of being created: OG. This team was a mix of new talents in Dota 2 (Miracle, MoonMeander and Cr1t-) and some veterans (Fly and N0Tai). They even managed to win the tournament by starting from the Lower Bracket. It was an amazing run and it earned this squad a lot of money and followers. Read more about the Frankfurt Major 2015.
The International 2013 – $2.874.407.00
2013 was the era of the Swedish giants Alliance (Loda, Akke, EGM, AdmiralBulldog and S4). Alliance was formerly known as No Tidehunter; they proved to be a promising team since their formation alongside EternalEnvy, who was later removed from the team prior to the formation of Alliance and acquisition by NA organization Evil Geniuses. Alliance showed major success prior to TI3, and came in as favorites to win. They dismantled every opposition, dropping only one game to DK all the way to the finals, where they faced Na’Vi and beat them 3-2 in one of the most exciting series in Dota history.
TongFu and Orange assumed the 3rd and 4th position at TI3. Read more about the The International 2013.
The International 2012 – $1.600.000.00
The International of 2012 was mostly a tournament dominated by Chinese teams and one western team – none other than Na’Vi. This was the first International in the USA, and it will be remember for many things. The Play is one of them, if you don’t know what that is; feel free to look it up.
The tournament was initially dominated by LGD, who went undefeated through the group stage and were later stopped by Na’Vi and IG, finishing 3rd placed. IG fought their way through the winner’s bracket, the lower bracket and ultimately won in the finals against Na’Vi.
World Cyber Arena 2015 (Dota 2)- $677,284.40
The WCA 2015 came just after the 6.86 patch. This made a lot of the successful teams crumble. We even saw Alliance and LGD in the finals, which were teams that weren’t doing good previously. Alliance ended up taking this tournament after a couple of years without reclaiming any significant victory.
The WCA 2015 had some production troubles, like the booths not being soundproof. Combined with taking place before teams could figure out the new Meta, it made this tournament feel less serious for some people. Still, it had one of the largest prize pools in the entire Dota 2 competitive history. It was the last tournament of 2015. Read more about the World Cyber Arena 2015.
World Cyber Arena 2014 (Dota 2) – $472,410.00
This was one of the last tournaments Newbee won before their downfall. It wasn’t a surprise that a Chinese team would win this one, as it was a strong year for China, and it took place in that country. The finals were against the old Cloud9 Roster with Aui_2000 and EternalEnvy before they parted ways.
It was an easy series for Newbee as they managed to win 3-0. This was also short time before Cloud9 changed its roster, which ended up with Aui_2000 joining EG and later winning TI5.
i-league Season 3 – $420,251.38
It was no surprise that this tournament was dominated by Chinese teams; it had four spots for China while only allowing one team from each of the other regions. It was 100% crowdfunded, and most donors were Chinese. It was the first crowdfunded tournament to take place in China.
LGD Gaming managed to take the finals against Vici Gaming and won 50% of the total prize pool money.
The Summit 2 $313,589.00
The first Summit tournament was a major success since it was so out of the ordinary; having all the personalities from the competitive scene staying at a small house in Los Angeles called for a lot of attention. This edition took place in 2014 and managed to get a lot of crowdfunded money thanks to its uniqueness.
The victory was claimed by Vici Gaming after winning 3-1 against Cloud9. Read more about The Summit 2.
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