The International prize pool for this year broke last year’s record, reaching $6 million within its first 24 hours of funding, as shared by Wykrhm Reddy via Twitter.
Funding for the prize pool comes from sales of Battle Passes, which give in-game rewards fro players who level the passes up. Battle passes start at $9.99, and 25% of sales go “directly to The International 2019 prize pool,” according to the official website.
The International is the culmination of the 2018-2019 competitive season for the MOBA game, called the Dota Pro Circuit. The International 2019 will take place in Shanghai.
Last year’s Battle Pass included the introduction of a battle royale mode, called the Underhollow. This year, the Battle Pass includes some new developments, including the “Guardians of the Lost Path” custom towers, which are unlockable by leveling up one’s Battle Pass. This particular item is not tradeable or purchasable, so it needs to be unlocked before the end of The International.
Features, such as the ability to avoid certain players in matchmaking and a Party Finder tool to find new teammates, have also been added.
The International 2019 is coming to the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai from August 20 to 25.