A record prize pool for Dota 2’s International; Luckbox expands, GTA V casino


Three stories from the world of video gaming and esports including a world-record Dota 2: The International prize pool, eight new games for fans of Luckbox, and Rockstar build a casino for Grand Theft Auto V. 

During the height of its power, the sun generates an average of 100,000 lux. When the sun is feeling ‘average,’ it spouts out 10,000 lux. Most artificial light sources range between 100 – 500 lux. If you’re ever in my nephew’s bedroom, you’re lucky if you get 50 lux.

a-record-prize-pool-for-dota-2s-international-luckbox-expands-gta-v-casinoMy nephew is a vampire; more of an ice creamer sucker than a bloodsucker. You’ll find bottles of Iron Bru all over his room, but none of them contains Iron Bru.

He’s an esports junkie who’s not getting enough serotonin because he lux-deprived.

His parents think he’s got a problem.

Wouldn’t it be ironic if, in the next five years, he joins a top esports organisation, and wins the Valve Corporation’s International?

I would give anything to see his 100,000 lux smile.

The International 2019 doesn’t take place until August 20, when 18,000 vampires will squeeze into the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai. The Valve Corporation acts as the sheepdog, and already the prize pool is a record-breaker.

If you don’t know how the International prize pool works, let me fill you in. Valve stump up $1.6m, and then a percentage of Dota 2 Battle Packs takes up the slack. Dota 2 fans like to buy Battle Packs. The last time I looked at the prize pool, it read $30,428,457, a 29% increase on the world-record $25,532,177 generated in 2018 when OG beat PSG.LGD to win the $11,234,158 first prize.

It’s going to continue to grow like a nose on the face of a little wooden boy called Pinocchio.

Previous Dota 2 prize pools

2018; $25,532,177
2017: $24,787,916
2016: $20,770,460
2015: $18,429,613
2014: $10,931,105

It’s a big fat kick in the teeth for Fortnite’s developer, Epic Games, who guaranteed a $30m prize pool for the Fortnite World Cup at the end of the month hoping to be the new record-holder.

The odds

Team Secret 5/2
Vici Gaming 10/3
Team Liquid 5/1
Virtus Pro 5/1
Evil Geniuses 13/2

LuckBox adds eight games to the roster

If you want to place a bet on The International, then why not try Luckbox. The esports betting service is nearing the end of its beta phase and offers real money wagering to more than 100 countries.

Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), and League of Legends (LOL) have been the go-to games for Luckbox customer’s, but that’s about to change with the addition of eight more titles.

1. Overwatch
2. Hearthstone
3. StarCraft
4. StarCraft II
5. Smash
6. Call of Duty
7. King of Glory
8. Heroes of the Storm

Luckbox’s director of esports, Sujoy Roy, said their mission is to have the most ‘comprehensive betting options for fans both in terms of depth in each game but also breadth across a wide selection of esports’.

Grand Theft Auto launch online casino

If you like a flutter and have a copy of Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V), then you’ll be delighted to know that on July 23, developers, Rockstar, opened the Diamond Casino and Resort.

The virtual casino allows GTA players to use real money to purchase casino chips for blackjack, poker, roulette, virtual horse racing and slot machines.

The idea circumvents most gambling laws because you can’t turn the virtual currency back into fiat currency. Also, in jurisdictions where nanny states have banned online gambling, the software won’t allow you to play.

The casino currently offers a two-tiered membership system. You need an in-game membership to play at a basic level, but for a few pennies more you can purchase a GTA Online Casino VIP pass.

It’s not the first time Rockstar has created in-game gambling. Their recent blockbuster, Red Dead Redemption 2, allows players to play poker for real money.

GTA V launched in Sep 2013 and earned $800 million in sales on the first day, rising to $1 billion after only three days.

The game is rated 18+, although most teenage vampires have got a copy, thanks to Santa. You can’t blame Saint Nick — where he lives he rarely gets above 20 lux a day.