The International is a DOTA 2 tournament hosted by Valve Corporation. The first tournament was held in 2011 in Cologne, Germany, shortly after DOTA 2’s release. Since then the tournament has switched venues to Seattle, Washington.
Sixteen teams from all around the world participate in the competition and advance through brackets. It receives media coverage primarily through Twitch.tv, where millions of viewers come to see the best DOTA 2 players face head-to-head.
The International is famous for its enormous prize pools given to players. Back during the first tournament in 2011, the prize pool had already reached $1.6 million, already exceeding ELEAGUE’s highest prize pool of $1.4 million. At the third tournament in 2013, Valve added the feature for fans to contribute even more to the prize pool through the “virtual compendium”.
The International 2016 has the highest e-sports tournament prize pool ever with a total of $20.7 million, and a grand prize of $9.1 million awarded to the winning team.