The International 2019 (TI9) seems set to break the record for the biggest prize pool in esports yet again, having already breached the US$10 million mark in just three days after crowdfunding started with the release of the TI9 Battle Pass.
At the time of writing, US$8.4 million has been added to the base prize pool of US$1.6 million, with 25% of the sales of the TI9 Battle Pass contributing to the pool.
This year’s iteration of Dota 2‘s marquee tournament reached that milestone in just three days and 15 hours, the fastest by far in the history of the event. For comparison, The International 2018 (TI8) — which had a prize pool of over US$25 million — took 12 days and four hours to reach the US$10 million mark.
The TI9 prize pool quickly grew from the start, already reaching over US$3 million in the first three hours after the release of the battle pass and ending its first day at over US$7.41 million. In comparison, TI8’s prize pool was only at around US$5.6 million after the first 24 hours.
To put things into perspective, TI9’s prize pool is already 26%, or US$2,196,545 to be exact, ahead of TI8’s in their first three days and 15 hours.
The blistering speed with which TI9’s prize pool grew can be attributed to the sheer abundance of features and rewards that came with the battle pass, which range from cosmetic items for various heroes to party finder and avoid player functionalities.
There are still a number of battle pass rewards that are set to be released soon, namely two more Immortal treasures, new skins for Tiny and Invoker, the Earthshaker Arcana, and the Wrath of the Mo’Rokai game mode. Those upcoming releases should let the TI9 prize pool sustain its growth and surpass the record set by TI8 last year.
It’s also not outside the realm of possibility that TI9 would eventually have a prize pool that is bigger than US$30 million — the amount that the Fortnite World Cup Finals is set to give away on July to take the record of the biggest prize pool for a single esports event from TI.
The main event of TI9 will be held from August 20 to 25 at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, China.