Dota 2's The International 10 (TI10) prize pool has reached another threshold. On September 3, the total prize pool for TI10 passed the $35M mark — already 700K more than that of TI9 with about 10 more days to go. TI10's prize pool has been growing steadily and surpassed TI9's record of $34.33M on day 92, or about ten days ahead of schedule, and with many of the Battle Pass features yet to be released.
Meanwhile, there is still no information when TI10 will even happen. The COVID-19 pandemic has essentially destroyed the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) and the majority of events were outright cancelled and never transitioned to an online format. Now, the originally planned date for the TI 10 finals, August 23, has come and gone, but Valve hasn't been able to "yet commit to new dates for TI10 and the DPC."
While the growing prize pool of TI10 is good news for Dota 2 fans, who will retain bragging rights for the richest event in esports for yet another year, Valve's lack of involvement, clarity, or communication with the community has caused some higher-ups involved in the scene to worry. Last month, VPEsports reported on Team Aster's CEO Guo “Zhili” Zhil's public frustration about the lackluster handling of the Dota 2 scene, particularly in China. Dota 2 was supposed to transition to a regional leagues model, but since the COVID-19 pandemic has put a hold to these plans, Valve has not come out with a solution.
"The new season is supposed to start on October 5, but Valve went back to their habit of not communicating, and although we are about six weeks before the new season should start, nobody really knows what is going to happen," writes Dota 2 journalist Andreea "div" Esanu in her critique to Valve. "During the whole six-month period since the DPC season was halted, Valve has done nothing to help the competitive scene survive."
Community figures like caster and analyst Kyle Freedman has also joined the frustration, arguing that not having any news on TI10 or the DPC, especially after the millions invested by the community, is unacceptable.
"We don't have a DPC league, how don't we have DPC, it's been six months. Are you telling me it's just pushed back? [...] We've directly funded our competitive scene, Sheev, and we're the only game that doesn't have one," Kyle exclaimed during Omega League's broadcast on August 30.
Whenever TI10 happens to take place, the winners will at least go home as millionaires. If Valve awards the same 45.5% of the prize pool to the champions as they did at TI9, the TI10 winners will pocket $15.925M total or $3.185M per player.
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