Dota 2 is one of the few MOBA games that have managed to cement their feet in the world of esports. Despite the game's incredible popularity for much of the past several years, the game's player base is going through a major fluctuation in 2020.
The average player count for the game has continued to drop for five consecutive months, resulting in average player and peak player declines of around 100,000. This major decline began soon after the release of The International 10 Battle pass, which was expected to boost the game’s popularity. Instead, the opposite effect has been seen.
The player base of Dota 2 has rarely ever been stable in the past. The numbers are always shifting, but the game tends to rebound after dipping. The game peaked at a whopping 1.29 million in March 2016, affirming its superiority. The numbers dropped back to the average count after just six months.
However, the recent decline could drag the game to the brink of downfall, as there has been no bounce back yet. Considering that the game's major battle pass is now ending, it's hard to see Dota 2 bouncing back any time soon.
According to Dota 2 steam charts, the player count for Dota 2 dropped below 400,000 this month, the game's lowest since 2014.
After a drop in January 2020, the game was starting to recoup its the lost player base. But soon after the release of the battle pass on May 25, a major decline was observed. This decline continued to get worse through June, July, August, and September. The previous Steam charts confirm that no decline in Dota 2 history has lasted for five consecutive months, which leaves little hope for a near-term recovery.
Inactivity in Dota 2 esports contributes to player count drop
The drop could be attributed to the cancellation of multiple tournaments and the visibility they bring to the game. The biggest Dota 2 tournament, The International 10, has been postponed indefinitely despite its battle pass having been launched earlier in the year.
Conversely, games such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and League of Legends have experienced spikes in their player counts during the online era, which makes the reason behind Dota 2's decline even harder to comprehend. The lack of Dota 2 online events could be one of the reasons why CSGO and LoL are seeing an influx even as Dota 2 struggles.
The Dota 2 professional scene is also looking to be on the verge of collapse. Multiple esports organizations, including CR4ZY, Chaos Esports Club, and Team Singularity have left the Dota 2 scene due to lack of events and an unstable infrastructure.
The International 10 seems like the last hope for Dota 2, but it's not going to happen in 2020. The event is expected to take place in 2021. The annual hype of the massive event might help the game recover its lost popularity, and Dota 2 fans will have to hope that it's not too late for the game then.