Valve Corp.’s International “Dota 2” Championships kicked off Friday as teams began duking it out for a piece of a record-breaking $10.8 million prize pool at the Key Arena in Seattle, Washington.
“Dota 2” is a multiplayer online battle arena, or MOBA, game where two five-player teams compete against each other to destroy the opposing team’s base. Those looking to watch championships can do so through a live stream below. Each live stream broadcast starts promptly at 12 p.m. EDT.
Or if you’re in the mood for watching the 2014 International “Dota 2” championships elsewhere, you can do so on ESPN. On Thursday, Valve announced that ESPN would provide coverage of the “Dota 2” championship via its online streaming service ESPN3.
An exclusive preview show for the final “Dota 2” championship match is also expected to be presented on ESPN2 on Sunday at 8:30 p.m. EDT.
"Dota 2" is a sequel to the “Defense of the Ancients” mods originally developed for Activision Blizzard’s (NASDAQ:ATVI) real-time strategy game, “Warcraft 3.”
The popular MOBA game was publicly unveiled by Valve in 2011 at the Gamescom trade show, where 16 teams participated in the first edition of the International “Dota 2” tournament for a shot at a portion of a prize pool valued at $1.6 million.
Since the public release of “Dota 2” by Valve, the player community around the game has exponentially grown to a peak of over 800,000 concurrent players a day in 2014.
This rapid growth has also had the side effect of causing the prize pool of the International Dota 2 to swell through the sales of Compendium, a virtual booklet that allows “Dota 2” players to reap various in-game virtual awards, while funding the International prize pool.
That pool has grown to a massive $10.8 million, setting the record for the largest e-sports prize pool in history.
The previous record holder was last year’s International “Dota 2” championship, which gave away $2.8 million in prize money.
The International “Dota 2” competitions continue through Monday.