Valve Software's prize pool for the fifth International Dota 2 Championship began its crowd-funding campaign last Thursday night with a $1.6 million purse to start, but that number has skyrocketed in the several days since. Sales of the TI5 Compendium, a sort of virtual "program" offering in-game challenges, fantasy league-style predictions, and in-game cosmetic rewards have since contributed an additional $3.9 million to the tournament's potential winnings.
Completing activities in the Compendium increases its level and increases the speed at which rewards are unlocked. However, the points earned through these activities can also be purchased and applied to further speed up the leveling process. While the Compendium's base price is $9.99, Valve is selling an additional version for $27.99 that begins at level 50. Reaching new levels in the Compendium provides additional rewards, and Valve has included a number of stretch goals for higher funding levels of TI5's prize pool, incentivizing additional point purchases.
Some Dota 2 players have complained that reaching higher levels in this year's Compendium is all but impossible without purchasing points. The Compendium currently lists several challenges and point rewards as "coming soon."
This writer currently has a level 99 Compendium.
While Compendium and point sales contribute to TI5's prize pool, only 25 percent of its proceeds go directly to The International's purse — suggesting Valve has made more than $10 million in just a few days from Compendium sales. Last year's International prize pool ended at over $10 million as TI4 concluded. Valve's stated goal for the TI5 prize pool is $15 million.