Professional Dota 2 squad OG instantly became the highest earning esports players in the world with a second International victory at TI9, taking home over $15 million for their victory. The International is Dota 2's biggest and most prestigious tournament of the year, one which has a small base prize pool set by developer Valve that is then added to with crowdfunding from the game's passionate fanbase.
The International 2019 surpassed the Fortnite World Cup to have the highest prize purse in esports history when it was announced the tournament would have over $33 million in prizes when it began in Shanghai earlier this month. While the chance to become instant millionaires was always a great selling point, however, many Dota 2 fans also believed TI9 to be the tournament that had the best chance in the game's history of crowning a repeat International winner. Up until today, no single player had ever repeated as an International champion, let alone an entire team. Coming into the event, OG were discussed as threats but often favored less than more in-form squads like Team Secret and LGD.PSG.
OG quickly reminded everyone of the team's championship pedigree by dominating the group stages before entering a winner's bracket that it would never fall out of. OG's run culminated in a 3-1 Grand Finals win over Team Liquid, a clash that would guarantee at least four players would finally go to Dota 2's promised land twice in their career. In the end, OG's victory netted the team roughly $3.1 million each in prizes and, perhaps more importantly to them, instant legend status thanks to the win making them the first repeat victors and the first team to ever go back-to-back following the squad's TI8 win last year. The win also instantly rocketed the OG roster to the top five positions in esports earnings according to a website that tracks player prizing.
For what it's worth, opponents Team Liquid occupy the next four spots, with the top 10 being rounded out by Evil Geniuses' SumaiL - a list that is now dominated by Dota 2 professionals. The International has become a tournament where dreams are made, and OG doubled-down on its fairy tale ending from last year by establishing itself as arguably Dota 2's first-ever dynasty, too. The International 2019 victory also sets the Dota 2 scene up for a great narrative to chase for the next year, with OG now firmly established as the greatest team to ever play the game and a lot of hungry, young squads looking to surpass them ahead of what should be a scintillating International 2020.
For now, though, it's history made for Dota 2. OG becomes the most successful esports organization of all-time while captain N0tail makes a strong case for being the greatest to ever play the game, and fans finally get to watch the Aegis lifted by the same captain twice. Valve may have its issues - and there are many of them - but it seems to keep getting Dota 2 right.
Source: Esports Earnings