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The International Dota 2 tournament watched by more than 20M viewers, Valve says

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

More than 20 million people tuned in to watch this year's annual Dota 2 championship tournament, The International 4, according to a release from Valve.

Valve said that this year's International Dota 2 Championships had "well over 2 million" peak concurrent viewers, more than double last year's peak. This year's International tournament was streamed through online service Twitch in multiple languages, with channels tailored for newcomers and those who preferred to watch "spoiler-free" and at their own pace.

The International matches were also viewable in-game and through ESPN.

While this year's International Dota 2 Championships saw impressive growth, it lagged behind the most recent League of Legends season finals. One of Dota 2's chief rivals in the genre drew 32 million viewers total in 2013, with 8.5 million peak concurrent viewers, according to numbers released by Riot Games.

For a comparison point with more traditional, more established sports, this year's Super Bowl drew in more that 111 million television viewers, with an estimated 2.3 million streaming the American football game online.

Chinese team Newbee emerged victorious at this year's Dota 2 championships, defeating fellow countrymen ViCi Gaming to win a $5 million purse. The International 2014's total prize pool exceeded $10 million.