The International 5’s Main Event!

As of just a few mere hours ago, The International 5 (TI5)’s main event got underway, one of the biggest annual events in ESports. This week-long Dota 2 extravaganza is the culmination of months of qualifiers and last weeks group stage games, and takes place in the key arena in Seattle. By the end of the week, the winners of the Aegis will be crowned and not only will they be able to hold their trophy aloft on the arena’s main stage in front of an enormous crowd, but will immortalise their name amongst the legends of previous years, and walk away with the lions share of a massive prize pot.

Of course TI5 actually started way back in May, with the open qualifiers taking place soon after a handful of invited teams were announced. The best from each continent then took part in the regional qualifiers, with each region having their own stream hub with casters and personalities from that region for anyone to tune in and watch as they please.

Following this the teams who didnt make it through the qualifiers played in the wildcard games, giving them a final chance to join the rest of the big names at the main event. Then, last week, the group stage matches played out. These games game the seeding for the main event and also who would get the easiest route to the grand final on Saturday. Of course, no big ESports event would be complete without a miniature scandal, and TI5’s big matter is that of the prize pool.

The frankly ridiculous prize pool stands at over $18 million. As in previous years, the first $1.6 million of the prize pool has been funded by Valve, and the rest by sales of the compendium, an event item that dota players can buy and level up by either completing in game challenges or purchasing levels. Levelling up your compendium gives you access to various cosmetic items, and to a lucky (or rich, as most of these items can be purchased on the steam market) few, there are some much-wanted rare items you can get. In addition, you can buy further sets, many of them with digital signatures, direct from the Dota2 in game store.

Much has been made of the growth of the prize fund this year especially as valve still receives the lions share of the money : only 25% of the purchase is given to the compendium prize pool and a similar cut to the item creators, valve still pockets the rest. Expect the steam market to go a little crazy when the items become marketable in September.

Regardless of any issues with how the prize fund has been made, TI5 looks to be a hell of an event. You can find all the info, live broadcasts and schedule on the main page right here :

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