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The International is an annual Dota 2 tournament where 18 of the best teams in the world battle for one of the biggest prize pools in esports, and the honor of lifting the Aegis of Champions.
It is widely considered to be one of the biggest events in all of esports, and this year’s prize pool managed to eclipse even the famous Fortnite World Cup $30 million prize pool.
Several records were broken at TI9, the biggest of which was becoming the highest paying esports tournament in history, with a grand prize of $34.3 million. Other Dota 2-specific records were also broken, such as a first-ever repeat and back to back champions in TI history, and the Dota 2 viewership record.
Champions OG shocked fans around the world with a dominant TI9 victory, dropping only three games at the main event, and displaying some of the most creative Dota ever seen with things like their carry Io leaving teams scrambling for answers.
The champions' creative gameplay drew in the biggest crowd in Dota history, with Esports charts confirming that 1.96 million people tuned in for the grand final, crushing the previous record of 1.21 million which was set at TI8. Of those viewers, over 1 million watched on Twitch, smashing Dota 2's previous record of 735,000.
This number only includes viewers from outside of China, as accurate stats from the Asian country are difficult to obtain. However, with Dota 2 being one of the biggest games in the country, and the event having been hosted in Shanghai, there’s no doubt it was incredibly popular there as well.
Although TI9 was the most popular Dota 2 event yet, it falls short of the viewership record for esports events, with the Fortnite World Cup finals setting a record of 2.33 million viewers, meanwhile the League of Legends World Championships also have TI9 beat, with a peak of 2.05 million viewers at the event in 2018.
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