Think E-Sports Are Dead? Fifth DOTA 2 Prize Pool Says Otherwise

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Steve Anderson
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Think E-Sports Are Dead? Fifth DOTA 2 Prize Pool Says Otherwise

We haven't heard a lot out of e-sports lately, and that's kind of surprising. But a new report suggests that maybe e-sports was building up its news for an impressive release, as word about the fifth annual DOTA 2 prize pool has emerged. And the word of the day is "huge."

The newest reports suggest that the pool began with an impressive-enough $1.6 million purse, but with the TI5 Compendium sales thrown in, the amount quickly swelled to $5.5 million.

For those who don't remember from last year's analysis of the Compendium and its impact on the DOTA 2 purse, the Compendium is a kind of virtual program that offers challenges for DOTA 2 players, predictions in the style of fantasy sports leagues, and even some rewards in the game, though mostly of the cosmetic style. Points earned in the various activities can be applied to leveling, and make characters gain levels faster for more effective play down the line. There have been some complaints that reaching the higher levels is all but impossible without outright buying advancement points, but there are others who have done quite well so far, so these complaints may be a bit subjective.

Meanwhile, Valve also gets a cut of the action from Compendium sales, as well as point sales, with 25 percent of the sales going to the DOTA 2 International's prize pool. That means Valve may well have made better than $10 million in just a few days on the strength of its Compendium sales, and reports suggest it's hoping to hit a $15 million prize pool for this year's round of the International, as it's called.

While some might balk at the sheer amount of Valve's take here, that's really neither here nor there. The point here is that we're looking at some major rewards here, and this is proof that e-sports is still a field with growth in it. This is the fifth year of the International, according to reports, and interest does not at all appear to be waning. With a new console generation out and mobile games skyrocketing in quantity, it wouldn't be out of line to think e-sports had been forgotten in the shuffle. This, meanwhile, proves that's not the case by any stretch.

It'll be interesting to see if e-sports can keep up the momentum, but given the nature of the field so far, it's rather exciting to see how far it's gone. It's gratifying to see this particular field continuing to move, and hopefully, it'll keep up the advancement and give us all yet another new video game field to watch.

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