As has become tradition, the prize pool for this year's Dota 2 International competition has beaten the previous year's record to become the largest prize pot in the history of professional gaming.

The total is derived from sales of a Battle Pass offering players of Valve's multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game Dota 2 in-game items and rewards and has, at the time of writing, hit $20,814,000.

That's $44,000 more than last year's total of $20,770,000, and the figure will only continue to grow as the competition itself nears.

The International 2017 (TI7) main event begins on Monday 7 August, running through until the grand final on 12 August. The event will see the game's sixteen top-ranking sides duking it out for the biggest prize in esports.

By comparison, the 2016 League of Legends World Championship had a prize pool of "just" $5m, while the 2016 Halo World Championship had a pot of $2.5 million.

As The International continues to amass more prize money the day is fast approaching when the competition's winning team alone will receive in excess of $10 million.

When the 2016 International's prize pool was broken down, it meant prizes of $2.1 million and $3.4 million for third place team Evil Geniuses and runners-up Digital Chaos respectively. Winners Wings Gaming received $9.1 million.

The prize pot is built up through sales of this year's Dota 2 battle pass, which ranges in price from $9.99 to $36.99. Only a percentage of this goes toward the pot, with the rest going to Valve.

The 2017 Battle Pass includes a new multiplayer campaign, new team quests, a digital companion guide for the tournament itself and many other items.