Ten days from now, the lives of a handful of gamers are going to change forever. They will be millions of dollars richer - not from winning the lottery; not from receiving an inheritance from a wealthy family member; not from finding a mint condition Action Comics No. 1 in a pawn shop and selling it for a few million dollars. Although someone did recently find this comic, the most expensive comic ever sold, in wall of their home...apparently being used as insulation. It wasn't in the greatest shape and only fetched $175,000 - far less than the $2,890,000 price tag placed on those in mint condition.

Nope, these gamers are going to increase their net worth simply by playing a video game.

Not just playing a video game. Heck, if that's all it took, we'd all be rich. No, these gamers earned it by competing in The International 2014...and winning. Nearly every one of the sixteen teams that competes wins something. More on that in a bit though. You might not be familiar with The International, so first things first.

The International is an annual electronic sports Dota 2 championship tournament hosted by Valve Corporation, in which sixteen teams are personally invited to compete.

Defense of the Ancients (Dota) 2 is a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) video game similar to League of Legends. And while it may not be as big in terms of number of players, it is doing quite well for itself. Dota 2 features two five-player teams, each with a stronghold at a corner of the map. Each stronghold contains a building called the "Ancient", which the opposite team must destroy to win the match. Each player controls a "Hero" character and focuses on leveling up, collecting gold, acquiring items and fighting against the other team to achieve victory. See, I told you...a lot like League of Legends.

By now, you might be adding this all up in your head. Gamers competing in this Dota 2 tournament are going to win millions of dollars.

Yes, that's exactly right.

The prize pool for this year's event is record breaking. No seriously - it broke the record for being the biggest prize pool in an eSports event. So, how big is the prize pool? Well, it's over $10.5M dollars. Yes, you read that right. Over 10 and a half million dollars. The real kicker is, most of that is crowd-funded. By offering gamers special rewards for contributing and/or purchasing the compendium, AND by offering stretch goal rewards if the prize pool reached a certain mark, Valve was able to generate enough interest in the event to offer these amazing prizes. To put it in perspective - the previous events offered about a million bucks for the first place team. Well, this year's winners will score nearly 5 times that, and the fourth place team will bring home nearly that much.

Just take a look at these prizes...

Hah, and mom said you would never make money playing video games.

Of course I don't know how the teams divide the money up. There are five players on a team, so you would assume it would at least be five ways. But some teams have a coach or coaches, so that could be another share to consider. Let's assume it's five ways and the prize money for first right now is $4,901,564. That's $980,312 per player. After taxes (we'll assume the government will take nearly half of that, at least for the American players...I'm not sure how it works for players from other countries) EACH player will get nearly $500,000. Is that right? Sheesh.

I'm in the wrong business. I think I'm going to go play some Dota 2 now.

When is The International 2015?

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.