We already know that football, basketball, tennis, golf, auto racing, boxing, baseball and even cricket are sports that pay big bucks if you manage to get to the top- not only because of the salary but also because of so many endorsement deals that bring in the money. Maria Sharapova for instance earns a staggering $23 million per year from endorsements, and Tiger Woods? Well he earns almost 3 times that much. So we should be encouraging our youth towards such sports if they desire fame and fortune, right? Wrong. Chinese for instance are welcoming a new contender and its name is Dota2. Yes, indeed, the Chinese have turned this game into a national e-sports tournament and they have thus recognized this game as being a sport.
But What is Dota2 Exactly?
Dota2 is basically a multiplayer game originating from Blizzards’ “Defense of the Ancients” (DotA) that became free to play on Valve’s platform, Steam, in July of 2013. Each game is independent from each other and involves two teams comprised of five players battling against one and other. The aim of the game is to destroy a building called “The Ancient” located in the opposing’s team stronghold. Each player receives a hero character that levels up, collects gold and can fight other enemy units. These heroes can perform spells (generally 4 spells per hero, although there are some heroes who may use additional spells) and can use different items that grant them other special powers.
Can One Earn Money by Playing Dota2?
The answer is a massive YES! As ridiculous as it may sound, Valve accomplished a lot more than just ensure the transition of DotA players into Dota2 by hosting a global championship called The International back in 2011. What they did is not only create the first ever pro-gaming championship with real prize money (a grand prize of one million dollars) but also create the opportunity for actual gamer-jobs where professional players could receive endorsements, fixed salaries and a steady…well gaming job.
Valve continued to host The International as a yearly event after that, first in Cologne, Germany in 2011, then in Seattle, Washington in 2012 and in Seattle again in 2013. The International 3 (2013) had a total prize pool of over $2.8 million USD (a remarkable figure by anyone’s standards) but this figure pales in comparison to the actual prize pool (not yet a completed figure). On June 4th 2014, the 2014 International championship had a prize pool of $8,565,627 million, due to the interactive Compendium sales (this beats the record for largest tournament in strange sports history).
The International- Winners and Expectations
Back in 2011, the first ever championship was won by the Ukrainian based e-sports team Na’Vi (Natus Vincere) who also qualified for the finals both in 2012 and in 2013 (they were defeated by Invictus Gaming, a Chinese team in 2012 and by team Alliance, a Swedish team in 2013). But apart from these teams, there are several other excellent teams in the running.
For The International 2014, tickets were sold out in one hour after being put out for sale on the 4th of April 2014. These are the invited teams for this year’s International (apart from the 11 invited teams, there are 4 more teams determined by regional qualifiers and one extra team qualified between the runner-ups from qualifiers).
Battling it out for a prize pool of over $8.5 million USD, check in to see who wins this major tournament taking place between the 18th and 21st of July 2014.