More than 600,000 people watched fascinated online, and thousands packed a downtown Shanghai arena to see team OG take home a life-changing hunk of an eSports-record $34.3 million prize pool on Sunday.
The holders defeated fellow European Aspect Team Liquid 3-1 within the grand last of The International – a world championship in the multiplayer battle game — Dota 2, to roars of “OG! OG!” from an energized crowd at Mercedes-Benz Arena.
The victorious OG staff will pocket at least $15.6 million, and the freshly coined multimillionaires frantically embraced on stage after getting the ultimate kills of the match.
Eighteen teams from all over the world, every with five gamers, took half within the annual competition of professional players specializing in the hugely popular online game.
They could have lost. However, there would be the consolation of a cheque of $4.5 million for Team Liquid for taking second place.
Liquid defeated PSG.LGD—the China-based mostly staff affiliated to French football giants Paris Saint-Germain—to reach the decider. PSG.LGD won merely over $3 million.
The enormous viewership and financial sums are proof of the developing interest in eSports, which has launched itself from the rooms of teenagers to worldwide influence in the past decade.
The biggest stars in eSports—most of whom are of their 20s—are already multimillionaires. However, professional gaming could be cut-throat with most players ushered into retirement by the age of 30.