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Why Dota 2 becomes most popular online video game with its highest prize pool in history

Since Dota 2 comes out as beta testing phase in 2011, it attracts millions of players in a short amount of time. The game is mostly played by 10 players in 5 vs 5 position where players need to have both skills and strategies to win. In steam, dota 2 has been ranked the most played game for several months. As more and more players involve in Dota 2, there are many types of tournaments every month that players can become professional gamers and can show their skills to win the prize. The international Dota 2 Championships was held on July, 2014 at Seattle, Washington for the fourth time, and the prize pool was over 10 million dollars. The prize pool has been the highest ever in any video game tournament, with the first prize of over 5 million dollars. Since Dota 2 is played by a team of 5 players, each player of team Newbee who won first place got about a million dollars each just by winning in a single tournament. It is a new chapter for gamers as they can actually earn money by playing games that they enjoy to play. Because of the very high prize pool and many tournaments happening every month, Dota 2 players can become professional gamers who can even earn more than other professional careers such as engineers and doctors.

Why is such a case? Who is actually supporting all these money? Dota 2 is free for every player while gamers need to pay most of other competitive games, so anyone can experience it for free. It is also one of the factors that friends and friends of current Dota 2 players start playing it. At the same time, players of other games can try to play Dota 2 for free. Information cascade occurs at this stage, and as a result, Dota 2 becomes more and more popular each day. But, how can the prize pool that high? The organization of Dota 2 only invested about a million dollars for the tournament. Dota 2 player can support professional dota 2 teams by buying the tournament ticket to watch online, and it is said that every $2.5 dollars out of each ticket will be contributed to the prize pool while ticket buyers can get special features in the game. As players can get special cool features, some players start to buy tickets. When more and more players buy the tickets, if someone does not buy it, he would feel that he is left out from other players by not experiencing cool features. As a result, information cascade occurs and players feel that they should buy it. Many thousands of players buy tickets again and again to get extra items and features. There is clearly a network effect and players have direct benefit effects from other players. The information cascade is so powerful by resulting the highest prize pool ever. I am excited to see what would be the prize pool in the international Dota 2 Championships in 2015, and I am sure it will be the highest prize pool again because of the network effect.




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