Valve Corporation’s The International 9 (TI9) see its highest prize pool total reached in just four days. The previous record was a staggering $25,532,177, a total which has now been surpassed by 2019’s competition, with the amount at the time of writing sitting at $25,649,466.
Not only does this break the record for the highest total for Valve’s TI competition, but it also breaks the record for the biggest prize pool in esports history. It’s no secret that Valve’s Steam Summer Sale has contributed to the record, as the launch of the sale has coincided with the new Battle Pass, an in-game Dota 2 item that contributes a portion of the money spent towards the prize pool.
The launch of this bundle with the Steam Summer Sale catapulted the prize pool to a massive $22 million within just two days. Having a look at Dota 2 Prize Tracker, the prize pool is likely going to start tapering off as the days roll on, but if Valve finds new ways to entice players, this prize pool is likely to be well ahead of last year’s one.
The Battle Pass is available for $9.99, but if players spend more, they can instantly get up to level 50 or 100, with the inclusion of extra levels at a discounted price. For $29.35, players can get the standard Battle Pass including 50 extra levels as a starting point. This means that a player entering the Battle Pass at this level, gets an extra 5 Treasure I containers, effects, skins, animations and much more. The Battle Pass also includes new game features such as announcer packs, taunts, prestige items, terrains and assistant features.
Some of the newer features include a Party Finder, allowing players to create a pool of teammates without expanding their Steam Friends list. An Avoid Player feature guarantees you won’t be matched with a player again, and finally, the MVP Vote, where at the end of the game, players will vote for an MVP from the winning team who gets featured in the post-game screen, receives a mention on friend feeds and also gets recognized during the pre-game of the next match.