The prize pot for The International 5 has passed the $18 million mark just hours before teams are due to meet in the final week of competition. The pool is powered by sales of the TI5 Compendium, a virtual book that grants you in-game cosmetics as you level it up. 25% of Compendium profits go to the TI5 pool, while the rest—some $54m—is poured into a Scrooge McDuck style money ocean beneath Valve HQ.
The International kicks off in a few hours shortly after 10am PDT / 6pm GMT. You can watch it here, the Dota 2 client, or using Valve's very fancy new streaming beta, which includes built in stat-tracking, chat and a live minimap of the action. It's also streaming on Twitch and YouTube.
The size of the pool guarantees $6,480,556 for the winning team, so it'll be an intense competition Get yourself up to speed with our guide to the tournament, which includes a round-up of the group stages, notes on all of the teams involved and an overview of the current state of the game, which explains why the Dota 2 scene is currently being terrorised by a glowing blue centaur.