It feels like this is becoming an annual tradition any time the latest iteration of Dota 2's The International rolls around. Once again, the eSports juggernaut has surpassed all records for the biggest prize pool. Yes, it has even already surpassed last year's record setting prize pool. The pot sits at $18.7 million as of this posting and there is still a week to go before the event even kicks off.

The biggest contributor to this prize pool comes from sales of the Dota 2 Battle Pass which has replaced the Compendium that used to be sold in previous years. Similar to the Compendium, the Battle Pass allows you to level it up through playing the game, watching games, completing quests, or by handing over even more cash. They even allowed users to place their bets and earn some fantastic rewards, sort of like a free bingo for newbies, on who they thought would advance and how they would perform in the tournament. A portion of all proceeds goes towards the International prize pool, with the rest going to Valve.

Just yesterday, Valve released the Immortal Treasure III to Battle Pass owners that earned it. This goes hand in hand with a small title update for the game.

How does the The International 2016 compare with other eSports events? Well, the 2016 Halo Championship Series only hit $3 million for its prize pool. ESL One: Cologne for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, another one of Valve's largest properties, only had a $1 million prize pool. Perhaps one day CS:GO will see the same TLC that they extend to Dota 2 with the International and its new Battle Pass.