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The International Dota 2 Championships is now underway in Seattle, with teams competing for a record-setting $24 million in prize money.

Last year, The International prize pool reached $20.7 million, so this year's total represents a minimum 16% increase year-on-year.

Although the tournament started yesterday, viewers can still purchase a Battle Pass to push the total higher, but previous years suggest it won't go much further than its current level of $24,014,551.

The International's first year, in 2011, had a prize-pool of $1 million, but that changed when Valve started to sell virtual items to boost the total.

The last four years of The International, including this year, are the four largest prize-pools in esports history, and Dota 2 tournaments occupy nine of the top ten spots - per Esports Earnings.

League of Legends 2016 World Championship is the fifth largest, with just over $5 million up for grabs, but the amount of money available to players of Riot's game hasn't grown as quickly as Dota 2.

Earlier this year, Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok became the first professional Lo L player to reach $1 million in career earnings.

To put that in context, every member of the winning team at The International this year will come close to doubling that amount with a single tournament.

The International 2017 takes place this week at Seattle's Key Arena, finishing on August 12.

By Joey Butler/ staff When most people think of professional pool players, an image somewhat akin to Paul Newman's character in "The Color of Money" is conjured up.

While it is very common for most billiard players to make a career out of smoke-filled rooms and hustled money, Scott Lee prefers to do it on college campuses.

Lee, a renowned billiards player and trick shot artist, had his fill of the gambling life long ago and is spending all his time promoting the sport he loves.