Popularity of Esports in DOTA 2
Dota 2 is the most successful and best-selling computer discipline. The authors get a lot of money, and the largest DOTA 2 tournaments with big prizes gather the best professionals. What are the prospects for Dota 2, is there any reason for optimism or pessimism?
The ups and downs of Dota 2
Obviously, every game has its peaks of popularity. Moreover, there is a persistent trend when the popularity of almost any shooter is slowly but surely declining, despite new versions.
But in the case of Dota 2, this does not happen. This unique game has several clear peaks with over a million players online. This number was achieved during the largest online tournaments. For example, Dota 2 Asia Championships was held in 2015. And then an absolute record was reached - over 1.25 million participants.
Interestingly, after this landmark event, the number of players gradually decreased. This trend continued for several years, until 2019. It seemed that popularity would continue to fall. However, in 2019, the Auto Chess mod was released, which created a separate genre, and the game received a new impetus. Again, the number of simultaneously playing online exceeded 1 million.
A classic case when one successful decision or update stirred up a slowly fading project and brought it to a new peak of popularity. But then there was a nuance.
There were independent versions of similar Auto Chess games. Once again, the number of online Dota 2 players has decreased.
A significant decline in players has been observed since mid-2019. Every month, the drop in online was 4-5%. The minimum was reached at the beginning of 2020, when 379 thousand people were counted. And this is the worst result since the beginning of 2013.
Now the situation has improved significantly. It's far from the peak, of course. But 500-600 thousand online is gaining steadily.
Is esports progressing in Dota 2?
In recent years, the creator of Dota 2 Valve has made every effort to open up new perspectives and breathe new life into the project. Lots of investment has paid off. So far, profits are growing and efforts have not been in vain. At least for casual players, so far so good.
The situation with esports is a little more complicated. Recently, there have been several obvious failures that have negatively affected the reputation of Dota 2 as an esports project. Either major tournaments were canceled, or a match-fixing scandal, or problems with a player’s ban. These factors reduce the prospects of the game in its competitive format.
Now in Dota 2 there are still many great teams with a worldwide reputation, but large sponsors have left them. Perhaps this is a temporary phenomenon. Obviously, Dota 2 as a game for fans will exist for a long time. But it is difficult to say how long the professional project will last. Now there is no firm confidence in such a prospect.