Dota 2 just had its worst three months since 2014 | PCGamesN

Dota 2 just had its worst three months since 2014

Dota 2 fps drops

Dota 2 recently had its lowest-performing month since 2014. According to Steamcharts the average number of players in July was the lowest since October 2014, and the last 30 days have also seen another significant low.

If you fancy bucking the Dota 2 trend, check out our list of the best Dota 2 heroes for beginners.

It’s not like this is some complete disaster for Valve or the Dota 2 community - there are still nearly half a million people playing the game at any one time, and the peak player count over the last 30 days is still over 820,000 people. PUBG might have overtaken Valve’s MOBA on the Steam charts, but it’s worth remembering that it's still the second most-played game on the biggest gaming platform in the world.

Taking a closer look at player numbers, it’s pretty clear that Dota 2 reached a high point in terms of both peak and average player counts in early 2016. February of that year saw the highest number of average players, while its peak player count reached an all-time high of just under 1.3 million in March 2016. Since then, player counts have been in gradual decline.

It’s also important to note that the while numbers dipped in July, they surged by 50,000 in August. And with PUBG continually on the rise and Destiny 2’s recent console release and Divinity: Original Sin 2 also out recently, it’s very possible that people are temporarily looking elsewhere for their gaming fix.

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panbient avatarShadowized avatarHidden Pool Hero avatarVan ♂ Darkholme avatar
panbient Avatar
5 Months ago

As far as my personal experience goes the biggest issue with DOTA is the matchmaking (still), and it's a two factor issue.

First as a casual player I only play with a friend who's an old school veteran - so we join as a duo. His player level is somewhere around 90 now and mine was nearing 30 last time I played.

We've had matches where the entire opposing side are all level 60+ and we get crushed. We've also had matches where the entire opposing side are all single digit player levels and the two of us alone can dominate the entire match.

Neither instance is fun.

And that doesn't even touch on the toxicity, verbal diarrhea, and straight up anti-Peruvian racism that permeates just about every match I've had in the last year (though admittedly a substantial amount of that is due to my friend's own frustrated mouth - you can't force maturity). The Peruvian issue (and it is an issue) is the other big factor.

For whatever reason there's a very substantial Peruvian population ignoring the South American server Valve has setup and instead choosing to play on the US East server. So you end up in matches with a direct language barrier, and even if you're polite about it "Sorry, I only speak English or French" you get insulted. It's entirely possibly to end up in matches where the only way to communicate with your teammates is by pinging the map. All while either needing to mute the entire server or just ignoring the incessant crap that flows in the chat area.

Again, not fun.

And given the multitude of options on Steam why would I tolerate those hassles and keep returning for way more frustration than fun?

Shadowized Avatar
5 Months ago

I've played Dota since the TFT days and only this year has it truly become something that I've grown to despise and it has nothing to do with the game or even the community, It's entirely the fault of matchmaking and you're right about the language issue.

Valve did try to "fix" the language issue in Jan/Feb of this year IIRC, I forget what the exact update was called but basically they were testing pings on-top of all the other matching parameters (hidden mmr, visible mmr, language preference, and behavior score) to try and give you teammates who were in a similar ping proximity to you+server. For me it was fantastic as I was getting English speaking teammates and high quality games for the entirety of that initial implementation of the feature.

Unfortunately a couple weeks later Valve "tuned" the feature a bit, and eventually disabling it entirely due to quite a few Eastern-Euro players who live very close to Russians not wanting to be teamed up with them... Which is exactly how every other player feels when they get paired up with a team of players who don't speak their language. I mean... Communication in a team based game? You're asking for too much! /s

of course I realize Matchmaking isn't the only contributing factor to the decline in playerbase, performance problems with Reborn are still largely unsolved for players on lower end PC's as well, but I think Valve's are their own biggest enemy when it comes to DOTA. Their company hierarchy, and IMO their communication policy sucks because it allows Issues like this to remain under the radar for years until enough people complain that it hurts their bottom line.

Hidden Pool Hero Avatar
5 Months ago

"eventually disabling it entirely due to quite a few Eastern-Euro players who live very close to Russians not wanting to be teamed up with them..."

Did you just called Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark - EU East? I heard Geography is not a popular discipline in the US, but never imagined it's that unpopular.

It was EU North that was hurt by that update, not EU East.

EU East is already the region that had it the worse. Way worse than US East, on all counts.

At least you can decipher what US east is saying, being Latin and all that, unlike the Cyrillic-only cyka-blyat.

US East also don't have a culture for cheating, unlike the estimated 150k ensage, hake, d2js users in CIS.

The grouping of US East together also works better since the ping is a very revealing factor, unlike CIS, EU West, EU East where we all have pretty much the same ping since we actually have top of the line internet infrastructure, unlike US and SEA.

And you can always queue.. EU West or East from US, CIS, Middle East, India, Africa, whatever - there is no soft region lock in our favour... but there is one against, since you can't queue realistically US East any more despite low ping (

I won't even start on how EU East has been used as cannon fodder to protect the wealthier EU West from all the shit, or how servers are of lower quality (bandwidth and cpu quota wise), just because Steam sales were higher in the West. Now, it's only CIS everywhere...

Shadowized Avatar
5 Months ago

>Did you just called Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark - EU East

I'm sorry, I was only explaining from personal experience in the matter and from what I had read from a few of my friends. I still believe if Valve had dedicated staff working on the feature it would have been more of a success as opposed to it being a side-project over the weekend by most likely a single person.

I truly cannot imagine it being very difficult to detect the language of the OS, combined with IP Geo-Location to provide some extra params to provide a solid basis to work with in regard to finding 4 other teammates.

>US East also don't have a culture for cheating

All regions have a culture for cheating if they feel they can get away with it. Those scripts have been around for years and Valve just haven't dedicated much towards solving it. ( )

as a US player I've spent much more time playing on EU-West(5700 games vs 1000 on US-East in 5-6k MMR, my ping is lower on EU-West than US-West) just to avoid South-Americans, but at the end of the day the issue is the same for all of us, you're getting teammates that don't speak your language and you can't do anything about it.

Van ♂ Darkholme Avatar
4 Months ago

Because earlier this year the developers wanted to join the high level players with low level players in matchmaking to make those low levels learn from high levels. Screw-up if you ask me. I mean in the past gamers learn gradually as their level goes on even if they played at almost or exactly same levels in a team.

Those devs also said that they had to do that to be more welcoming to players new to the game. The result is many vets ended up losing in matches because of having newbies in their team. Maybe it's part of the devs' ploy to attract more new players and thus more money for Gaben.