Is The International the best eSports tournament?

The International is the premier Dota 2 tournament and arguably the most notable event in history with hundreds of participants, millions of dollars in prize money, and tremendous public interest. But does TI deserve to be called the best? Let’s break it down.

The International is actually the Dota 2 World Championship. The tournament has been held regularly since 2011, while constantly being on the front pages of the world media. Tournament amaze by the size of the prize fund: this year at TI 11 more than $12 million will be given away. Learn more about the upcoming competitions here: By winning at The International, a player can exist comfortably for several years. However, this has not been the case at all times.

The first TI was held in August 2011 in Cologne. According to the organizers’ plans, the tournament was to be both a presentation of the game, a large-scale competitive event and the start of a new era in the history of eSports. The impressive prize fund helped in this: the participants of the first tournament drew $1,6 million between themselves.

Record crowdfunding

In 2013, Valve, the developer of Dota 2, added an interactive book to the game – the compendium. You could buy an item and pump it for real money. At the same time 25% of the profits went to the formation of the tournament prize fund. As a result, about $3 million was raffled off in 2013 and almost $11 million in 2014. This gold mine continues to be profitable.

In terms of size of the prize fund, The International can compete only with the World Championship on Fortnite with its drawing of $30 million.

Lots of stories

The International is always surrounded by interesting events. Unknown newcomers reach the finals, a 16-year-old genius lifts the coveted trophy over his head.

Valve has noticed how effectively The International delivers information to the audience, so the company began launching content itself.

So, the head of Valve Gabe Newell was brought in to record the voice of the commentator, who by all means avoided saying the number three. It was a memorable and hilarious move.

Valve also released a documentary about the first tournament. Fans learned that Clinton Loomis (Fear) played to be able to buy himself a new table, and Chinese gamers are under constant pressure because of competition from their compatriots.

The tournament has a rich history. And for more than a decade of existence, it remains the most exciting eSports championship, surpassing even Counter-Strike contests in popularity.

The big finale of the long season

All professional Dota 2 players literally live from one The International to the next. The gaming season runs almost year-round, from mid-September to mid-July, and TI takes two months off, even though it lasts only 10-15 days. A few weeks before the start of the competition, any tournament activity stops, and gamers have an unofficial month-long vacation after the finals.

The fame of The International can be called the main thing and the terrible curse of eSports Dota 2. Compared to this tournament, the rest of the season doesn’t seem so bright, and all the promising competitions are perceived as a warm-up before the main show and can be painlessly excluded from the calendar.

Bright Future

After more than 10 years of existence, The International remains the flagship among cybersports tournaments, and there’s no reason for the status of the competition to change. Valve has found new ways to scale up the event every year.

In 2011 The International was just a tournament with a huge prize pool, and now TI is 10-15 days of celebration. Top team matches, new product announcements, memes, memorable stories and discoveries, cosplay contests, and more enable TI to capture the essence of Dota 2 and make it the best eSports event ever.