The Dota 2 player count has finally soared above one million for the first time since 2019, indicating that Valve’s MOBA is undergoing a resurgence of some sort. Given the timeframe, TI11 looks to be the main reason players are flocking back to the game, but the free International-themed swag bag and battle pass are probably a factor, too.
After three years of between 600,000 and 800,000 peak players, Dota 2 has finally accrued over one million peak players. As noted on Steam Charts, Valve’s MOBA hit a peak of 1,038,949 players for October 2022, bringing an end to a vicious cycle of hovering just below the big one mil.
The last time Dota 2 had a peak player count of higher than one million was in March 2019, where the game recorded an influx of 1,033,925 – less than its current peak. From then on in it has hovered around the 600/700k mark.
The peak was recorded on Sunday October 30 at 3PM, which coincides with the conclusion of the premier Dota 2 esports tournament, The International. With underdog squad Tundra taking the Aegis home (and apparently losing it), their insane 14 win streak and 3 – 0 against seasoned veterans Team Secret perhaps inspired players to dive back into the lanes and cause chaos.
As someone who has constantly teetered on the verge of getting back into Dota 2, this TI certainly inspired me to download the MOBA again, and I’ve dragged my partner in this time, too. Whether or not it will replace League of Legends for me remains unseen, but either way TI11 is the main reason I redownloaded the game.
Another factor is probably the free TI11 swag bag Valve put out ahead of the finals. While there were initially problems claiming it due to ‘unknown error 7,’ players were eventually gifted a free Arcana, a TI battle pass, and one month of free Dota Plus, the game’s premium subscription service. The rewards alone are worth a fair chunk of cash (as well as grind time), so for those avid collectors who needed a reason to dive back in, this was it.
Either way, given the issues with TI11’s viewership and ongoing content droughts, it’s exciting to see the classic MOBA back in the limelight. You can check out the player stats here and, if you’re looking to immerse yourself in the wonderful world of Dota, be sure to check out our list of the best Dota 2 heroes, as well as our interview with OG legend N0tail about all things competitive.