The International 4: DOTA 2 winners Team Newbee crowned
All-star video gamers play for $10.8M US in front of rapt global audience
Champions have been declared at The International 4 in Seattle, Wash., with a team of gaming wizards from China besting a rival squad from their homeland to claim more than $5 million.
Team Newbee was crowned the victor over their competitors with Vici Gaming in the video game championship, known simply as TI4 by the initiated. The hugely popular four-day "eSports" event boasts a rapt audience of millions and a prize pool approaching $11 million US.
The $5-million grand prize and total prize pool of $10 million represented the richest purse yet for a video game tournament, but we're not talking some old-school arcade rivalry.
TI4 is a competitive event so huge it's beginning to blur the lines between online gaming and traditional sport.
Defense of the Ancients 2 — or Dota 2 as it's more commonly called — is a multiple player battle arena game. While the game play is virtual, the money involved was very real.
The runners up earned nearly $1.5 million.
More Internet traffic than Facebook
Watch: Eli Glasner's story Watching the Gamers tonight on The National on CBC Television 10 p.m./10:30 NT*
Or on CBC News Network at 9 p.m. & 11 p.m. ET/PT
If you're not a gamer, or if you're over 30, you're probably not familiar with Twitch. It's a three-year-old network consisting of gamers, or streamers, and spectators logged on to watch them play.
During its peak hours the online broadcast site creates more Internet traffic than Facebook, and industry reports say Google is in talks to acquire Twitch for more than a billion dollars.
For the past four days, devoted Dota 2 fans have been absolutely buzzing about TI4 on sites like Twitch.
When the tournament's victors are declared on Monday night, not only will they have seized a record-breaking multimillion-dollar pot, but the winners and their fans will have helped prove that competitive gaming is a powerful new a force in entertainment.
Be sure to tune into The National tonight for the full story with Eli Glasner.