Video tournament draws gamers to Seattle from all over world
SEATTLE - The biggest video game tournament of its kind is back in Seattle this week.
The global event, DOTA 2 International, is one of the biggest money-making events for the city - and draws people here from all over the world.
Every day this week, thousands of people will be packing into KeyArena. For months the venue has been working with Bellevue-based company Valve to host this event.
Organizers say the event brings in millions of dollars for Seattle.
Vitor Martins flew here all the way from Portugal to take part. He isn't a professional gamer, but he loves playing DOTA 2.
"I play every day. Probably two to five hours a day," he says. "It's amazing to see all the players I see every day playing."
Gage Saliki just arrived from Connecticut for the same reason.
"I came last year to see the finals," he says. "This year, I wanted the full experience."
It's like the Super Bowl for video gaming. All the players are like athletes. The teams of five are playing for big money and the stakes are high.
The prize pool for the DOTA 2 International in Seattle is more than $20 million. The winning five-person team will walk away with at least $10 million.
The amount of money that the event brings to Seattle is also mind-boggling.
"I've had several friends spend $2,000 to $3,000 at the event," said one gamer.
The hostels and hotels are especially packed, and people are here from China, Europe, Pakistan and from all over North America.
GameWorks in Seattle, which will host a viewing event, says they will see a big impact from the crowds.
"We were just jam packed full of people," says Aaron Server, GameWorks e-sports manager. "GameWorks saw great business because of the international."
ESPN televises the DOTA international globally as an e-sports event.
But like a sporting event, so many people say they want to be where all the action is - and to see it with their own eyes.