Dota 2 developer Valve Software announced on Wednesday (12 May) that The International 10 (TI10) will make its return in August with a prize pool of over US$40 million after it was cancelled by the coronavirus pandemic last year.
TI10 will be held from 5 to 15 August in Stockholm, Sweden. The tournament will start with a Group Stage from 5 to 8 August followed by a two-day break before the Main Event kicks off from 10 to 15 August.
TI10 holds the record for the biggest prize pool in esports history with a pot of US$40,018,195, surpassing the record previously set by TI9, which had a prize pool of US$34.3 million.
TI10's massive prize pool was crowdfunded by the Dota 2 community through the TI10 Battle Pass, which added 25 per cent of all its sales to the tournament's initial prize pool of US$1.6 million.
If TI10 will follow the prize pool distribution for TI9, which awarded 45.5 per cent of its prize pool (over US$15.6 million) to champions OG, then the winners can walk away with a whopping US$18.2 million.
Here’s a breakdown of how the TI10 prize pool would be distributed if its distribution followed that of TI9:
% of prize pool
Estimated amount won
Valve has not yet released any additional information regarding the tournament, including the possibility of having a live audience in attendance, for the time being. The developer added that they are expecting to share more with the community in June.
"As we continue to plan the event around the shifting landscape presented by the ongoing global pandemic, our focus remains on finding ways to hold a high quality tournament in the safest way possible. This means we're waiting to release additional details on attendance options as we gather more information on developments heading into summer," Valve said in its latest blog post.
Supporters Clubs and more in-game events
In addition to announcing the return of TI10, Valve also introduced a new way for the Dota 2 community to support their favourite teams in the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) with the new 'Supporters Clubs' system. The Supporters Clubs will allow fans to purchase "bundles of badges and seasonal equippables" to support their favourite teams as 50 per cent of all sales go to the teams of their choosing.
Content for the Supporters Clubs is provided by the teams themselves and will last until TI10 commences for this season, though it will last through each respective Major in future seasons. Each team has three levels of bundles to choose from, namely Bronze, Silver, and Gold, with an increasing amount of content in each level.
Valve also added that they will be shipping two separate in-game events over the coming months instead of one overarching summer event as in previous years. The first event will arrive in mid-to-late June while the second will be released after TI10 concludes.
Valve clarified that neither of these events will fund TI10's prize pool, as the prize pool from the TI10 Battle Pass prize pool still remains to be claimed.
The developer added that fans looking to support players and organisations can do so through the new Supporters Club instead, which they said "provides a more flexible and direct way to contribute to your favourite teams."
More ways for fans to engage with the TI10 will also be released closer to the tournament itself.
The International is Dota 2’s annual marquee tournament, which gathers the best teams from around the world to compete for millions of dollars, the highly sought-after Aegis of Champions, and the right to be called the best Dota 2 team in the world.