What was initially a $1.6 million prize pool for Dota 2's premier annual tournament, The International III, has since morphed into a total prize pool of over $2.0 million - $1.6 million coming directly from Valve and the rest from the Dota 2 community. The current total stands at $2,002,035 and counting, making it the largest prize pool in eSports history, closely followed by rival League of Legends' own world championship.
Thanks to the introduction of a purchasable interactive compendium, crowd-funding has been introduced to e-Sports in a big way. Each compendium costs $10 and $2.50 from each one purchased goes towards increasing the total prize pool for the tournament.
The compendium launched just over a week ago and in that time has managed to raise $400,000 for the tournament. Additional stretch goals were added on Tuesday, further increasing potential sales, so who knows what the total prize pool will end up being - well over $2.5 million would be my guess given that The International III is still almost 3 months away.
Incidentally, Western Qualifiers for the tournament are currently taking place, so if you're looking to see what all the fuss is about you can head on over to the official Dota 2 blog to get a free invite to the beta, which includes Dota TV (all of The International III's games are free to view live), or you can watch the games live on Twitch as well. The International III's main event takes place in early August.