Dota 2 is a MOBA game, which is also referred to as multiplayer online battle arena of strategy and action, which was created by Valve and is enjoyed by millions of fans all over the world. Since the open beta in 2011, this amazing game of battling champions has developed into a massive eSport, with professional players and teams playing in huge Dota tournaments and leagues for millions in prize money, which by the way is the highest in all of the eSports.
Dota 2 has paid a total of $99,111,120 in prizes. This is the largest eSport, and it will only become bigger and better.
Dota 2’s largest event, the biggest of all of the eSports is The International. It is held every August in Seattle. Valve sponsors other events through the year as well, called the Majors. They are much smaller in comparison.
In addition to these events by Valve, other sponsors have created premier tournaments for the top teams in the world that also offer huge prizes. Moreover, there is a tonne of smaller tournaments, featuring newer teams.
Dota 2 leagues and tournaments are streamed live across the world through Twitch as well as other streaming sites. Moreover, the largest Dota 2 premier tournaments are covered by massive TV broadcasters like ESPN.
The International, Seattle
The International in 2011 was Valve’s intent statement for their newer game Dota2. The prize pool was $1.6million, and 16 teams took part. They managed to make The International the most amazing spectacle in eSports and made sure that the beta release of Dota 2 became the world’s premier Esport.
Since then, the International has managed to maintain its position as one of the premier eSports tournaments and the end of the Dota2 season, it becomes even bigger and better. Since 2013, Dota2 has seen the prize pot get ever larger, reaching the incredible $20 million in 2016.
The tickets for this year’s International are currently available, the midweek tickets cost $100, and the final weekend cost $200.
Since the incredible success of both Dota 2 and the International, Valve introduced a series of smaller tournaments referred to as The Majors.
The Dota 2 Major Championships have a prize pool of $3 million, take place in various cities around the world.
The Frankfurt Fall Major
This is the very first Valve-sponsored Dota Championship, and it was hosted by ESL. 6,500 fans attended the venue viewing the incredible gameplay of the sixteen Dota 2 teams that were batting out to win. Of those teams, 8 received direct invitations and the 8 regional qualifiers, 2 each from Europe, America, China, and Asia.
Shanhgai Winter Major
The 2nd Dota 2 Major offered all of the gameplay action of Frankfurt, yet on a much larger scale. It took place in the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai and had a huge 18,000 capacity crowd that followed the brilliance of the top teams, this was something truly special.
It is also sponsored by Valve but organized and produced by the Chinese gaming company called Perfect World. There was both bad and good in the site.
The good was about the 16 teams that were playing out of their skins. The bad was everything else. It was really bad organized. Saying that it was a bit of shambles is just an understatement.
Production was also a complete disaster. Moreover, absolutely everything that could go wrong seemed to do so. There were huge technical difficulties, as well as ridiculous delays, and not to mention that the conditions for players and broadcasters were way below sub-standard. By the second day, Gabe Newell, Valve’s president publically fired Perfect World as well as the host James “2G” Harding through a Reddit post. However, the problems inevitably continued, all through and even after it ended.
The Shanghai Major 2016 was a complete and utter mess, but fortunately, the gameplay made up for everything else. Valve and Dota 2 took a hit, but they learned their lessons.
The Manila Summer Major
The 3rd Major in Manila, which is located in Singapore, was a much smoother experience for everyone involved in the chaos that happened in Shanghai. Fortunately, PGL, the new producer, and host delivered the Major everyone wanted to see. The Arena saw 15,000+ Dota 2 fans experience all the excitement and action up close with 16 teams competing for the $3m prize pool.
Moreover, Manila 2016 saw a difference in qualifying for the Major, with 12 teams directly invited to the Major, and 4 teams from the four regions getting there through qualifiers.
Following an amazing series of matches, the Dota 2 history was made, when OG was the first team to take 2 Dota 2 championships.
The Boston Winter Major
This initial Major of the 2016/17 season showed that the action had moved to America for the very first time outside The International. Moreover, Boston put on quite the show, with the organizers being PGL, they welcomed fans to the luxury of the 3,600 seat Wang Theatre to watch more of the Dota 2 history unfold.
Another Major was another change of format; this time it removed the double-elimination bracket of the previous Majors and instead it had the 16 teams seeded into a single bracket that was based on their performance during the group stage. The team breakdown went back to Shanghai and Frankfurt, with 8 invited teams and 8 from qualifiers, 2 from each region.
The Kiev Spring Major
Another Major, another win for team OG, which was their 4th Major title. Are they unstoppable? Pretty much.
Again, the cherry on top of Dota 2 teams took part in the latest Major, competing once again for their share of the $3million prize pot in Ukraine, at the National Palace of Arts.
16 teams in the Major once more, with 8 with direct invitations and 8 fighting to the Major through qualifiers by region. Similar to the Boston event, the teams got through the group stage to battle in the exciting and seeded single elimination bracket.
Another thing that it has in common with the Boston event is that it was team OG who claimed the Major title once again. Their 4th, another $1 million in their bank. Five Majors, 4 wins, over $4 million. Incredible cannot even sum it up, can it? However, this time, things were not as one-sided as in Boston since OG had to fight hard against Random, Faceless and EG before battling it out with Virtus.pro, which was certainly the crowd’s favorite.
Other Premier Tournaments
Since Dota 2 rose across the world quite fast, and since there was a huge success for both the Majors and the International, other sponsors also came on board to introduce new Dota 2 events.
This tournament began in 2013, it was sponsored by the Electronic Sports League and since then, they have organized 11 total tournaments across the world, attracting millions of viewers as well as the top teams in the world of Dota 2. It was initially called EMS One, and for Europe’s top teams with a prize pot of $156k, it is changed to ESL One, and each tournament becomes progressively larger and richer.
ESL One is more an eSports festival that features 8 teams competing in huge sports stadiums in front of adoring and massive crowds.
This event started out as a Dota 2 tournament developed by the Beyond the Summit broadcasters that started in 2014. The idea at first was to have something of a tournament to let fans stream footage of their favorite players outside a normal routine, as they show behind the scenes footage. The Summit is held at the LA Beyond The Summit house once per year.
The 8th competing teams enter with a BTS invitation, regional qualifiers as well as a team being voted in through Compendium players who add to the prize pool. Teams fight through an elimination bracket playing top of 3 matches until the best of 5 finals. The Summit 7 took place in June 2017.
This is a quite the new tournament which is organized by Epic eSports, and it held its debut in 2016 in Moscow, Russia, at the Crocus City Hall.
In 2016, 8 of the top Dota 2 teams worldwide compete for the massive $500k prize fund. This year’s event took place in June 2017, again at Moscow at the VTB Ice Palace. Moreover, it featured 10 teams, 6 of which had invites and the rest had to qualify. The regions were CIS-Europe, China, America, and South East Asia. Of the six direct invitees, we know that Evil Geniuses and OG and will be there.
The 2016 final featured Newbee and Team Liquid, and TL ended the final as winners and earned themselves $250,000.
StarLadder i-League Invitational
Another debutant event in 2016, it first occurred in the Kiev Cybersport Arena and was organised by StarLadder as well as ImbaTV. The event offers an impressive $100,000 prize pool. The first finals saw Vici Gaming Reborn beat Natus Vincere to win the first prize of $45,000. The 2nd annual event takes place in Shanghai, China.