Sales of The Compendium, a digital booklet covering The International 2014, the upcoming DotA 2 tournament, have raised over $8 million for the event’s prize pool. In addition to the booklet, which has been released in prior years, this year’s compendium promises to deliver purchasers additional content as they level it up by watching matches and participating in other International-related events.
Purchases of The Compendium, which costs $10, each contribute one quarter of their sale price towards the crowdfunded tournament’s prizes. Valve, The International organizer and developer of DotA 2, has promised to add a collection of content to the game due to the quantity of stretch funding goals reached. Amongst these upgrades are new in-game music, environmental graphics, and customizable buildings for a team’s base, most of which are available exclusively to those who level up a Compendium themselves.
A total of nineteen professional teams will be in attendance at the event, which will take place at the Seattle Key Arena and runs from July 18 to 21. This will be the fourth year of the annual tournament. In 2013 its winnings totaled $2.8 million, which retains the title of the largest total prize pool in eSports pending the 2014 International, surpassing the prizes of primary competitor League of Legend’s international end-of-season tournament.
Valve’s stretch goals for The International 2014 funding extend up to $10 million. Given that it seems likely that sales will exceed that level by the date of the tournament, many DotA 2 players expect even more content being added to the game as a result of further sales, though what such content might entail is as of yet undecided. Rewards in the remaining tiers include the addition of large-scale cosmetic features to the game for the entire playerbase, not just compendium owners, so many players suspect this trend might continue if higher levels of funding are reached.
With tickets to The International having been sold out since April, sales of the Compendium are likely to continue at their present pace as DotA fans look for other ways to get involved in the event beyond just watching it online. Valve’s experiment in crowdfunded tournaments, which barely took home the title of highest prize pool in esports last year, has no doubt been proven a success with this year’s shattering of that record. The remarkable success of The Compendium is almost certain to attract the attention of other major game publishers. It seems that crowdfunded tournaments may be the new norm.