Dota 2's main event of the year, The International 2019 has officially become the tournament with the biggest prize pool history, once again. Unlike before where Valve beat their own records, now they beat that of Fortnite World Cup.
Epic Games are trying to shake things up both on the storefront market and esports scene. The latter manifested in the staggering $30 million prize pool for Fortnite World Cup which became the single esports event with the biggest prize pool for a while.
As of 21 July 2019, Valve have beaten that record with Dota 2 The International 2019 (TI9). The prize pool was $30,021,352 at noon, 12:00 CEST and it keeps growing rather quickly. This number also gives some interesting insights into the workings of different companies and their comparisons with Valve.
Epic Games are simply throwing big bucks in, hoping enough players will latch onto Fortnite esports but the declining trends suggest that this did not work that well.
Meanwhile, Valve's interactive prize pool mechanics proved successful once again since the $30 million figure means the company earned $113.2 million in total with Battle Pass sales. A quarter of that ($28.4 million) went to the prize pool, which became a total of $30 million when added on top of the base $1.6 million Valve initially invested.
Riot Games offer bigger base prize pools on their League of Legends World Championship, which amounted to $6.5 in 2018 but they don't have any mechanic to amplify the number. There is no Battle Pass and not even a skin that would contribute to the World Championship prizes.
This is extremely odd as fans have been mentioning this over the years - Dota 2 has a lower player base but still trumps League of Legends each year with the main event prize pools. It is also not like Riot would have trouble selling prize-contributing skins either. Dark Star Cho'Gath sales that amounted to $6.1 million donated to charities over the world proved that.
Technically, Epic Games threw $100 million on esports in 2019 but that was distributed over many tournaments, with World Cup still being the biggest one with $30 million prize pool.
Whatever the case for Dota 2's main competitors may be in the future, Valve's MOBA is still the biggest tournament when it comes to prizes, in large part thanks to brilliant Battle Pass strategy. The International 2019's green paper allure will just grow though as there is about one month left until the tournament begins, meaning there is still a lot of time to beef the prizes up.