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Dota 2 International's prize pool is an astonishing £7.17m

Valve's upcoming Dota 2 tournament has a prize pool of more than $11m (£7.17m), which is the biggest prize pool of any e-sports tournament ever.

The company, with its The International 2015 tournament, has broken its own record set last year during The International 2014.

Last year, the prize pool was $10.93 million (£7.13m). The winners, team NewBee walked away $5 million richer, while the runners-up, ViCi Gaming, earned a “measly” $1.46 million.

Valve said the tournament recorded 20 million unique visitors with a peak of two million concurrent viewers.

However, this would not be such a big deal if Valve’s MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) was the world’s most popular game in the genre. In reality, it’s far from being the biggest game. Its main rival is Riot’s League of Legends (LoL), a game which boasts a whopping 7.5 million concurrent players at peak.

However, in contrast, LoL's big ticket World Championship 2014 tournament only scratched together a meagre $2.1m for its prize pool.

Dota 2 in February 2015 surpassed one million concurrent players during its daily peak.

IBTimes writes in a report that Valve’s game has drawn the attention of ESPN, who will be expanding its eSport coverage. Along with the viewer numbers comes the spread betting, and betting company Unikrn, which recently got its eSport bookie licence in the UK, reckons video game tournaments will soon surpass NFL in magnitude.

Whether e-sport are actual sports or not is a debate finished long ago, now it’s just a question of how far a game can go.