The first day of The International 9 came with a massive surprise: the total prize pool for the event has cracked the $33 million threshold. A massive landmark for the event and the industry as a whole, as the amount sets the record for the largest prize pool ever in any e-Sports competition. 

The number cements TI9, a DotA-centered event, as the largest single event in history. It also pushes the 1st place purse to an astounding $15 million – as winners are guaranteed 45.5% of the total pool. 

The International serves as the crowning moment of the annual DotA Pro Circuit (DPC), which ran from October 2018 to June 2019. The top 12 teams qualified to the final round, and an additional were able to join the select group by going through a playoffs tournament. 

The finals will take place in the Mercedes-Benz arena, in Shanghai, China from Aug. 20th to Aug. 25th. This gives the already impressive prize pool a good two weeks to break its next big threshold – a $35 million. While almost an impossible goal to reach, the crowdfunded pool continues to grow as this is article is written and the event’s date nears.

The record was previously held by the Fortnite World Cup, which amassed a $30 million prize pool.  The winner of that solo event took home $3 million – roughly what each team member of the winning DotA team will cash in.