An insider claims that Valve wants to raise at least $15 million for the TI12 prize pool
Valve aims to raise at least $15 million for the TI12 prize pool, according to an insder. The prize pool for the 2023 Riyadh Masters tournament was reportedly on track to exceed the initial $15 million commitment from Saudi organizers. Zhanna “Рыжая” Batkovna, the former PuckChamp manager, has revealed a noteworthy detail about this situation. She claims that Valve, the company responsible for the popular Dota 2 game, stepped in to halt any additional increases in prize money to protect the prominence of The International 2023, Valve's premier event.
VALVE NO DEJÓ QUE LA RIYADH MASTERS TUVIERA UN PREMIO MÁS GRANDE
A través de su cuenta de Telegram Zhanna Batkovna, conocida por ser manager de varios equipos de CIS, reveló que el Prize Pool de la Riyadh Masters debió ser mayor:
"Por cierto, el Prize Pool de la Riyadh Masters… pic.twitter.com/FZtIQ1Q5us
— Pancho Justo 🖊 (@justopancho) October 3, 2023
Valve did not Want Riyadh Masters 2023 to have a Bigger Prize Pool Than TI12
Valve's rationale, as outlined by Zhanna “Рыжая” Batkovna, seems to center on maintaining The International's status as the crown jewel of Dota 2 competitions. Given that The International consistently boasts record-breaking purses Valve may have been concerned that the Riyadh Masters' potential financial offerings could eclipse their own event, stealing some of the spotlight and attention that The International typically commands.
Riyadh Masters 2022 currently has a larger prize pool than TI11. pic.twitter.com/t08o2ioNEl
— Out of Context Dota 2 (@NoContextDota2) July 14, 2022
Рыжая (Red) took to Telegram to share the information. She writes:
“To put it in context, the prize pool for Riyadh Masters 2023 was supposed to be significantly higher. However, the organizers didn't receive approval from Valve to prevent it from exceeding The International 2023's prize pool. So, are we looking at ~$15,000,000 for TI?”
Photo Credit: Escorenews
The Riyadh Masters 2023 took place in Saudi Arabian capital in the latter half of July. The pinnacle of this prestigious event came in the form of an electrifying grand final, where Team Spirit emerged as victors over Team Liquid, sealing their championship win with an impressive 3:1 score.
— Gamers8 Esports (@Gamers8GG) July 30, 2023
Team Spirit's triumph in the grand final wasn't just a moment of glory; it was also incredibly lucrative. As the champions of the event, they secured a dazzling $5 million in prize money, a remarkable 33.33% share of the tournament's total cash pool. This substantial purse not only solidified their position as the top team in the tournament but also underscored the staggering financial incentives that competitive Dota 2 now offers to its participants.
Leading up to the Riyadh Masters 2023, there were two intense qualifying seasons of DreamLeague, each featuring a staggering million-dollar purse.
Can The TI12 Prize Pool Reach $15m?
The initial funding for The International 2023 kicked off with a base cash pool of $1.6 million. This starting figure was intended to grow as a result of sales generated by the event's associated Compendium. As of the moment of writing, the TI12 prize pool has reached $2.78 million.
After a hiatus of six years, The International 2023 is set to make its triumphant return to Seattle on October 12th, marking a significant moment for Dota 2 enthusiasts worldwide. This comeback brings not only the excitement of top-tier competition but also introduces a novel format and approach to Dota 2 content for the global player base.
In a break from tradition, Valve has decided to veer away from the customary Battle Pass model. Instead, they are introducing a substantially different Compendium, poised to revolutionize the landscape of The International's prize pool for its 12th edition (TI12). This strategic shift will have a profound impact on the financial rewards that participating teams and players can anticipate.
Each year, The International (TI) begins its prize pool with an initial injection of $1.6 million from Valve. This amount symbolically mirrors the prize pool of the very first TI event in 2011, paying homage to the tournament's modest origins while highlighting its impressive growth throughout the years.
The heart of The International's financial prowess, however,lies in its unique crowdfunding model. Rather than relying solely on corporate sponsorship, TI leverages the passionate Dota 2 player base to drive its prize pool to unprecedented heights. In the lead-up to the tournament, Valve introduces a captivating array of TI-centric content within the Dota 2 client. This content includes Compendiums, Battle Passes, and various in-game items and cosmetic treasures, all of which are available for purchase.
What sets this system apart is that a substantial portion of the proceeds generated from the sale of this exclusive TI-related content directly contributes to the tournament's prize pool. This approach transforms The International into a collective effort, involving the global Dota 2 community in the financial success of the event. Fans eagerly buy into this content not only to enhance their in-game experience but also to support their favorite teams and players, thereby transforming themselves into stakeholders in the championship's fortunes.
This unique funding mechanism has not only made The International one of the most lucrative esports event in the world but has also created an unprecedented level of excitement and engagement within the Dota 2 community. It has turned the tournament into a spectacle where players, fans, and the industry at large come together to celebrate their shared passion for the game.
Leading up to The International 11 (TI11) in 2022, there was an undeniable trend in the world of Dota 2 esports. Each successive tournament had consistently raised the bar for total purse size, often surpassing Valve's own record for the largest reward pool in the history of esports.
— Out of Context Dota 2 (@NoContextDota2) October 14, 2022
This remarkable streak of record-breaking purses came to an unexpected halt in 2022. TI11, despite being a highly anticipated event, did not manage to surpass the colossal $40 million prize pool achieved by TI10 in 2021.
The prize pool for The International 12 (TI12) is currently off to a rather lackluster start, with only a modest sum of $2.39 million amassed within the initial 24 hours of its crowdfunding campaign. This opening day collection represents the lowest figure we've seen for The International events since 2015.
One significant factor contributing to this slower rate of accumulation is the absence of incentives for additional level purchases in this year's TI Battle Pass. In previous iterations, the Battle Pass offered various appealing rewards and stretch goals that encouraged players to invest more, driving the prize pool to remarkable heights. The absence of these incentives in the current Battle Pass has impacted sales negatively, resulting in a less impressive early showing for the International 2023 purse. The Compendium failed to generate a considerable buzz in the community.
So apparently the Arab prince who always buys 100,000+ levels of the Battle Pass has only bought 306 levels of the Compendium in what might be the biggest individual blow to the TI12 prize pool.
— Michael Hassall 🎃 (@hoffasaurusx) October 2, 2023
This subdued start raises the possibility that, unless a notable change occurs, TI12 could be the first International event in recent memory to be outpaced by another Dota 2 events in terms of prize pool size. As of now, surpassing the Riyadh Masters 2023 prize pool seem to be a lofty ambition with the TI12 scheduled to start on October 12.