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Team Spirit won the Dota 2 International Championship tournament, taking home $ 18.2 million from the record jackpot of more than $ 40 million.
Held in Bucharest, Romania, the Dota 2 International Championship concluded this weekend with Team Spirit taking the top honor in the biggest esports jackpot ever.
The prize is provided by both Valve and community purchases of special interactive events such as Compendium and Battlepass. Based in Moscow, Team Spirit is the first Eastern European team to win since Ukraine’s Natus Vincere (Na’Vi) won the first Dota 2 International in 2011.
The International originally launched in Cologne, Germany during Gamescom 2011. It featured 16 of the world’s most elite Dota 2 teams competing in a group stage, double-elimination playoff format for a grand prize of over $ 1 million. Since 2013, the overall prize pool has increased beyond Valve’s $ 1.6 million contribution, as well as participation from the Dota 2 community through a percentage of its microtransactions.
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Dota 2 is a free online action strategy game created by Valve, the creator of multiple game franchises such as Half-Life and the operator of the Steam distribution platform.
This year’s tournament was rebroadcast around the world, free of charge, with play-by-play commentary in multiple languages. This year I followed Team Undying through interviews with manager Peter Anders. Sadly, they were eliminated early in the Bucharest event.
Leading Team Undying this year was Anders’ first opportunity to lead an esports organization, after years of playing and studying esports in both high school and college.
“It’s been great to see the prize pool grow every year, with better production values for the tournaments,” said Anders.
In the final tournament, the last two teams get 0.25% of the prize pool, or approximately $ 100,000. The team in first place gets approximately 45% of the prize pool.
“It’s a ridiculous amount of money,” Anders said. “But all the players are there because they love the game and they really care about it.”
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