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Originally published August 8, 2013 at 8:41 PM | Page modified August 9, 2013 at 9:42 AM

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16 teams vie for $2.8 million in Dota 2 Championship

About 1,800 people sat in Benaroya Hall Thursday to watch the second day of “The International,” a video-game tournament with 16 teams from 12 countries. The prize for first place: $2.8 million.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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The biggest sporting event in Seattle on Thursday wasn’t at Safeco Field or CenturyLink Field. It was at Benaroya Hall.

The sport: Dota 2, a multiplayer, action-strategy video game.

The teams: groups of five players from across the world.

The prize: $2.8 million, one of the largest amounts in gaming history.

Thursday’s second day of “The International,” a video-game tournament with 16 teams from 12 countries, drew about 1,800 spectators. The players are the best of the best out of the estimated 20 million Dota 2 players around the world. Most of them practice eight to 12 hours a day, according to Jonathan Berg, a member of crowd-favorite Alliance, from Sweden.

Don’t say it’s not a sport, said Erik Johnson, who works at gamemaker Valve, which organized the event. “It’s a sport, and these teams want to be the best teams in the world.”

The tournament didn’t have balls, goals or umpires, but it did have a roaring crowd, game commentators and at least one guy with his face painted his team’s colors.

Paige Cornwell, Seattle Times staff reporter

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