Valve is partnering with ESPN to air the championship rounds of this year's Dota 2 e-sports tournament. Dubbed The International, the tournament kicked off on July 8th and features a record-breaking prize pool of more than $10 million — most of which came from the game's dedicated fanbase. The final rounds of the tournament start tomorrow, and will be featured on the sports network's digital channel, ESPN3, in addition to Valve's own streams.
The coverage also includes an ESPN-exclusive preview of Monday's final, which will air on ESPN2 at 8:30 PM PST on Sunday. Valve has made great efforts to turn the Dota 2 tournament into a more mainstream event, going so far as to introduce new streams designed to ease newcomers into the experience. The collaboration with ESPN should help the tournament continue to reach a broader audience. "This year's International really demonstrates how much competitive gaming has grown to rival traditional sports," says Valve's Erik Johnson.