The $18 million prize pool for Dota 2 (PC/MAC 2013, Des. IceFrog) was split between the 16 teams with the smallest pool of $55,133 going to the bottom four teams and the highest, $6,616,014, going to the first place winners, team Evil Geniuses. 1
Not only does this make each of the Evil Geniuses a millionaire, it’s also the largest payout of any competitive video gaming competition in history, beating out its own record for the third year in a row. In fact, the top ten highest paying video game competitions have been Dota 2, Smite (PC 2014, Des. HirezScott), and League of Legends (PC/MAC 2009, Dir. Tom “Zileas” Cadwell), all of which are derivative of Defense of the Ancients (DotA), a user-created mod for Warcraft III: Frozen Throne (PC/MAC 2002, Des. Rob Pardo). 2
The reason for such large payouts for Dota 2, a free game, are because of the game’s publisher, Valve Corporation, who owns Steam, one of the world’s largest marketplaces for PC games. Valve directly donated $1.6 million. The rest of the money came from the purchase of in-game items. Like its competitors (such as League of Legends), Dota 2 sells items that can be worn or held by its in-game characters. To date, Valve has made about $400 million from the three games they’ve developed that take micro-transactions, Dota 2, Team Fortress 2, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. 3
Team Evil Geniuses is composed of Saahil “UNiVeRsE” Arora (26, USA), Kurtis “Aui_2000” Ling (23, Canada), Clinton “Fear” Loomis (27, USA), Peter “ppd” Dager (23, USA), and Syed “Suma1L” Hassan (16, Pakistan).
Valve also broadcast The International 2015 on YouTube, and the final match can be viewed below.
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