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Five pro gamers just won £4.2 million in DoTA 2 world competition

Esports organisation Evil Geniuses won The International 5 on Saturday, the first North American team to win the DoTA 2 competition. The five man squad beat Chinese team CDEC, the dark horse of the tournament.

Evil Geniuses take home $6.6 million (£4.2 million) in prize money for winning the tournament. That should give each player around $1 million (£640,000) in prize money.

CDEC take home a not too shabby $2.8 million (£1.8 million), with the rest of the crowdfunded $18 million (£11.6 million) going to the other 14 teams that attended the event.

The International is Valve’s annual event for DoTA 2, a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA). Two teams battle inside the arena with the end goal of destroying the other team’s Ancient; the base. To do that, teams need to build advantages through gold generation (from destroying AI cannon fodder), taking towers and killing the enemy—who will respawn shortly after death.

Valve funds The International by selling the compendium, an interactive booklet that shows all the matches and allows viewers to predict the winners. Valve provides the compendium winners with in-game cosmetic items in DoTA 2. It managed to make over $65 million (£42 million) this year with compendium sales, with Valve taking three quarters of the earnings.

The International 5 was held in the KeyArena in Seattle, Washington. This is where the 2014 International 4 took place, when Chinese team Newbee won the tournament. Even with the North American upset, China still had three teams in the top four, showing its global dominance in DoTA 2.


The Evil Geniuses team that won this year consists of four veterans and a new star mid laner, SumaiL. The 16-year old joined the team in late-2014 after a reshuffle, and is now a millionaire.

Even though in terms of players DoTA 2 comes second to League of Legends, another MOBA, Valve manages to provide a larger prize pool through crowdfunding. Riot Games—the owners of LoL—host their own esports championship called Worlds, which is being held at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin later this year.

Riot pays $2.2 million (£1.4 million) in prize money, with $1 million (£640,000) going to the winners of Worlds. If that sounds low, it's because Riot funds player and coach salaries in North America and Europe for teams in the League Championship Series.

The focus differs between the two companies, with Riot trying to create infrastructure for leagues, while Valve allows an open circuit format where teams can play in tournaments every few months.

Valve hasn't released numbers for the final, but considering a Chinese team was playing we are expecting record breaking numbers. We will update the post once Valve announces the numbers.