Smashing its own record from last year, the International 2016 global Dota 2 championship, which took place in Seattle, Washington, USA, raised an epic $20,770,460 (£16 m) in prize money – the Largest eSports prize pool of any tournament.
The winners of the contest, Chinese eSports team Wings Gaming, took home the lion’s share with $9,139,002 (£7,055,020) – the Largest single first prize in an eSports tournament ever.
Wings Gaming only formed in 2014, with their previous biggest winnings being a comparatively modest $100,000, which they won at the ESL One Manila 2016 in April.
The team's victory at the annual Dota 2 showpiece literally transformed the five-man team into millionaires overnight.
They beat Digital Chaos 3–1 in the final, having previously defeated the 2015 champions Evil Geniuses in the semi-final.
The five champions were thrilled to receive their Guinness World Records certificate: “It was our dream. The recognition of Guinness World Records is an extraordinary encouragement to us as it could introduce us to more people, and introduce eSports to more people.”
Stephen Daultrey, Editor of Guinness World Records 2017 Gamer’s Edition commented: “Wings Gaming’s achievements are nothing short of extraordinary. They are a relatively new team, yet have won one of the most prestigious tournaments in the eSports calendar in style."
“As for the International itself the tournament’s huge prize pool illustrates how huge eSports has become, and highlights the innovative ways in which some of these incredible competitions are funded. For both gamers and fans alike, it’s extremely exciting,” he added.