The winning play for last year's International was termed the "Six Million Slam" — because that's how much money the winners walked away with. This year, it'll be just over $11.5 million — because the total prize pool has soared past $26 million.
The Main Stage for The International, Valve's annual crowdfunded tournament for Dota 2, doesn't kick off until 3:00 AM tomorrow. But that doesn't mean teams haven't already collected a massive payday, with every team in the top 16 walking home with at least more than $130,000.
It's all thanks to crowdfunding, of course. And it's worth remembering that nobody is taking home more money than Valve themselves. The developer-publisher has now booked more than $78.8 million from sales of the Compendium. Those sales are still going too, and there's also the money from spectator tickets and merchandise to consider.
If you're looking for ways to enjoy The International that don't involve spending money on virtual signatures, physical merchandise or betting, the co-founder of Altitude Games has something you might enjoy. It's a script that takes match data from Dota 2 and applies the principles of machine learning to estimate the winners.
Paul Gadi's script reckons that OG will eventually knock off EHOME in the finals, but what's more interesting are the games predicted to be the closest: Newbee vs DC, Newbee vs Wings and Alliance vs Na'Vi. All of which are expected to take place in the lower bracket, unfortunately. Still, it'll be cool to see whether analysing basics like gold earned per minute, damage, denies and so forth is enough to accurately gauge the outcome of professional Dota.