The International Dota 2 Championships puts $18 million up for grabs

Ever since the dawn of video gaming, video game tournaments have helped to determine who's the best around. A tournament the size of The International Dota 2 Championships is a rare sight to behold, however. Twenty teams from all over the world are competing for $18 million this week in Seattle's Key Arena.

You can watch the whole thing on the Dota 2 website, Twitch, or ESPN 3. Let's all take a moment to marvel at ESPN putting even a tiny amount of weight behind a PC game tournament. You can even go to a theater event and watch Dota 2 at the movies. As of this moment, nearly 200,000 people are watching The International on Twitch, and almost 20,000 more have tuned in on Valve's site—and it's not even prime time TV hours yet.

E-sports has become big business in recent years, as an $18 million prize pool might attest, but The International isn't the first tournament to grab the spotlight. ESPN has previously carried big video game tournaments, such as Blizzard's StarCraft II WCS Finals last fall. None have been as big as The International, though. According to E-Sports Earnings, last year's The International prize pool of $10 million stands as the largest to date, so however big The International 2015's pool gets, it'll be the next record holder.

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