Today marks the beginning of The International 3 qualifiers, with 8 Western teams fighting to compete in one of the biggest e-sport tournaments ever held. To those unfamiliar with the Dota 2 pro scene, The International is a yearly tournament hosted by Valve, the makers of Dota 2. The first and second Internationals had a total prize pot of $1.6 million; this isn’t just your local LAN party. Best of all, the entire tournament is available to watch for free.
The teams competing to qualify this week are:
- Absolute Legends
- Team Empire
- Evil Geniuses
- QPAD Red Pandas
This year, Valve have released an International 3 ‘Interactive Compendium’, available for £5.99 from the in-game store. This digital book updates to show the latest scores, brackets, trivia and other fun Dota 2 stuff. It also includes a courier that upgrades as you watch more games and a 90-day battle points boost, with more rewards promised in the future. Most significantly, in the context of e-sports, $2.50 is taken from every compendium purchase, and placed directly into the prize pool. This means that for the first time in a major tournament, fans are directly funding the player prizes. The prize pot currently stands at just over $1.9 million, but could reach well over $2.6 million before the main tournament begins.