It's an exciting month for fans of DIGITAL SPORT. We're only a few days away from the start of The International's play-offs and exactly two weeks from the main event. Valve are preparing for the Dota 2 tournament's kick... er, creep-off with the launch of the official International mini-site . With it, they've announced the competition's prize-pool distribution, and the multitude of ways for fans—and newcomers—to watch.
Of the ginormous ~$10 million prize-pool, 46% has been earmarked for the 1st place victor. As of writing, that puts the winning teams winnings at a staggering $4,753,981—although that number is climbing all the time. Importantly, this year, more teams will benefit from the pool. The top 14 of the 16 phase-two teams have a stake in the pot, with the 13th and 14th place finishers each earning 0.2% of the total. That may not sound like much, but it's currently a respectable $20,669.
Also announced are Valve's plans for streaming the tournament. In addition to being to watch the games through the Dota 2 client, this year, there are also some new features. There's a DVR system, designed to let people catch-up on the day's matches in spoiler-free environment. Also, for Phase Two, viewers will have a Multicast option—presenting the pick of the action from four simultaneous games.
From my perspective, the most important feature is the 'Newcomers Broadcast'. Happening alongside the main stream, it'll feature commentary designed to help newbies understand what the hell is even happening. It's a much needed feature, and one that could secure the game's current e-sports popularity by broadening its appeal beyond its dedicated player-base.
Head over to The International site for the full round-up of features, and see below for the full distribution percentages. Phase one of the play-offs begin next Tuesday, 8th July.