Dota 2 gets biggest player count increase since 2016 off TI10

Fresh off The International 10 and an exciting new update, Dota 2 is riding higher than it has in years.


Dota 2 is coming off of the biggest esports event of the year. The International 10 just wrapped up, awarding over $18 million USD in prize money to the champions. As one might imagine, this has drummed up some interest in Valve's MOBA. However, the player count has risen more than some might have anticipated. In fact, the rise in players is the highest that Dota's seen since 2016.

Sarah Zulkiflee of crunched the numbers. Dota 2's player numbers jumped from 666,838 in September 2021 to 752,482 in October 2021. This is a sharp increase that hasn't been seen since February 2016 with the lone exception of a February 2019 instance, in which Dota Auto Chess was added as an in-game mod. It's also the highest player count that Dota 2 has had, period, since May 2020, when the player count peaked at 793,135.

A few factors contribute to this leap in player numbers. The International 10 drew in millions of viewers to the live broadcast. The difference in time zones meant that most Western audiences had to catch it on demand, but catch it they did, as the Main Event on YouTube currently sits with over 4.4 million views. The Main Event ultimately saw Team Spirit defeat PSG.LGD in five games, in what some followers of the competitive scene are touting as one of the greatest series in The International's history.

On top of that, the latest Dota 2 update proved to be a special one. The 7.30e gameplay update introduced Marci, one of the breakout characters from Netflix's DOTA: Dragon's Blood animated series.

It remains to be seen whether Dota 2 can maintain this momentum. But, between an outstanding TI10 competition and the newfound interest in Dota's lore through the new Netflix series, it looks like there's a lot for Valve to hang its hat on following an eventful October month.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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