The prize pool for yearly Dota 2 championship The International has topped $18 million, making it the richest event in eSports by far. This also handily eclipses its 2014 total, which was slightly over $10 million.
The event kicks off today at Seattle's Key Arena, and the winning team will ultimately bag a payday of almost $6.5 million. The prize is funded by sales of The Compendium, which includes in-game and out-of-game enticements for the Dota 2 community.
By comparison, last year's Smite championship pool hit $2.6 million, while the League of Legends pool hit $2 million. Though it's hardly directly comparable, it's interesting to note that the U.S. biggest sporting event, The Super Bowl, pays out a bounty of $15.5 million to the victors. A more comparable event, the Masters Tournament in golf, has a total prize pool of $10 million, with the winner taking home $1.8 million.