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$18m for Dota 2's The International makes for the richest prize in eSports

The biggest prize in eSports gets bigger than ever, as the finals kick off at Seattle's Key Arena. The winning team will take home more than $6 million.

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.

SBNation has an excellent guide to The International if you want to know more about how it works or are interested in watching it. There's also the official schedule.

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