The DOTA 2 International competition has already begun in the regional competitions and the final will be in July from the 18th and 21st in Seattle’s KeyArena. However, in order to fund the competition, Valve has decided to encourage the community to purchase compendiums for $9.99 which will allow them to increase the prize pool by $2.50. The International Compendium is a digital booklet that allows gamers to interact with the DOTA 2 tournament. DOTA 2 players will also earn more rewards as they are able to level up their Compendium by watching games, collecting player cards and making tournament predictions

The awesome thing about Valve’s model is that with the Compendium, they are encouraging DOTA 2 players to buy the Compendium because of the vast amount of additional rewards that they are enabling with each mark they hit trying to raise the prize value of the International competition going down in July. The stretch goals started at $1.8 million and has reached $5 million, meaning that at least a million gamers (out of 8 million active gamers) have bought the DOTA 2 International Compendium. So far, gamers have gained 11 new bonus items in addition to what the Compendium had originally offered and there are only two more stretch goals left, at which point they will have raised $6 million for the DOTA 2 Internationl competition.

By buying this Compendium and encouraging gamers to participate more with the Compendium Valve may actually be able to show the world how powerful their community (and game) really can be. And they may be able to get 1 million concurrent viewers to watch a single event which may show the world how serious eSports has gotten, if League of Legends hasn’t already done that with their competitions. However, based on the current $5 million purse, there is already going to be a LOT of attention bring drawn towards DOTA 2. After all, how many people are going to want to play a technically free game where you can compete for a share of a $5 million prize.

Keep in mind that last year the prize pool for the 2013 DOTA 2 International competition was $2,874,380, which is already quite sizable. But this year the DOTA 2 community have outdone themselves and are on pace to double it this year.

Last year’s split went like this according to PC Gamer:

1st – $1,363,988
2nd – $600,155
3rd – $272,798
4th – $190,958
5th – $109,119
6th – $109,119
7th – $40,920
8th – $40,920

Based on these numbers, and the fact that the current prize pool is nearly double the previous one from last year we can expect that 1st place will likely walk away with something like $2.5 million while second will walk away with something around $1.2 million and 3rd place with around $500,000. This is going to be a pretty big competition with incredibly high stakes and it will be very interesting to see how much attention it gets outside of the core DOTA 2 community, which currently is about 8 million strong.