Fans and players of team action game Dota 2 are on course to send the prize pool at their game’s 2019 world championship over the US$30mil (RM124mil) mark.

Every year since its 2011 inception, the worldwide championship for computer game Dota 2 has maintained or set a new esports prize pool record.

Developer and publisher Valve Corporation, which also runs online game store Steam, sources the bulk of The International’s pot from its playing community, who receive a package of in-game extras and tournament perks in return for their purchases of a Battle Pass.

In 2018, the pool reached a best-ever US$25.5mil (RM105.6mil) total; 2019’s equivalent has now cleared US$25mil (RM104mil) just halfway through its three-month fundraising period. Projections based on previous year’s trends (per dota2.prizetrac.kr) would now put the final prize pool above US$30mil.

Outpacing its predecessors since first going on sale in May, the 2019 Dota 2 prize fund received a significant boost when this year’s Steam sale began, accumulating US$6mil (RM25mil) in the five days since.

The sale, which is almost store-wide on a catalog of over 30,000 entries, lasts until July 9 and includes a limited edition Dota 2 Battle Level Bundle.

The standard US$9.99 (RM41.35) Battle Pass can already be purchased multiple times over in order to accumulate level-based bonuses – members of enthusiast community reddit.com/r/DotA2 identify Level 450 as offering optimum value, but something that requires roughly US$100 (RM414) in spending and several hours play each day.

Included in that spend is the purchase of a Battle Level Bundle, which confers a proportionally greater level boost, while being limited to one per Steam member account.

Should the Dota 2 prize pool increase at the same rate it did in 2017 and 2018 after 2019’s sale finishes, participating teams at The International 2019 would be looking at a share of at least US$30mil.

The International 2019 takes place Aug 15-25 at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, China.

Twelve teams have been invited to participate thanks to their performance on the Dota Pro Circuit, with another six determined by the results of regional qualifiers that take place July 7-14.

Epic Games, publisher and developer of Fortnite, announced a world championship of its own.

The Fortnite World Cup takes place July 26-28 in Flushing Meadows, New York City, and Epic is providing US$30mil spread among its participants.

More than that, and swell with cash from the success of Fortnite across console, computer, and mobile formats, Epic has been distributing US$1mil (RM4.14mil) among the winners of 10 weekly online qualifiers that began on April 13. – AFP Relaxnews