The Dota 2 player count is rocketing up in late 2021, but why?

By Steven Rondina


Nov 5, 2021

Reading time: 2 min

Dota 2 suffered a brutal player count drop in September, but it has rebounded brilliantly in October.

Dota 2 posted one of its strongest month-over-month gains in the game’s long history in October, with enormous jumps in terms of both average and peak player counts according to Steam Charts. This comes following an action-packed month for the game at both the professional and casual levels.

Throughout the month, Dota 2 had an average player count of 450,761. This was the highest such tally since June 2020 when the game enjoyed a significant player count spike brought on by global lockdowns.

October also saw a peak player count of 752,482, the highest since May 2020.

The average player count jump marks a 15.3% gain for Dota 2, undoing the disastrous dip in September that undid five months of gains. The 15.3% gain is the largest in Dota 2 since February 2019 at the very start of the Dota Auto Chess boom. It stands as the third-largest month-over-month gain for the game since 2014.

Arrival of Marci, TI10 boost Dota 2 player counts

Though Dota 2’s player count ebbs and flows for inexplicable reasons, there’s no mystery about why the game had such a great boost in player count in October. The International 2021 took place in the first half of October, which was followed by the arrival of the new hero, Marci.

The final two days of The International 2021 both saw peaks well over 700,000 players. There was a lull from there, but things climbed steadily in the following weeks. Notably, the peak for the month came on October 23, the Saturday following the conclusion of TI10. This also came several days before the arrival of Marci. Marci arrived on October 28, helping to close out a very strong month for the game with three straight days that peaked over 700,000.

It’s unclear whether this will be a temporary boost for Dota 2 or a new standard for the game’s player count. Valve had previously teased an event in the fourth quarter of 2021, but it’s uncertain whether it meant something in the vein of Diretide, or simply the release of new hero Marci.

Either way, Valve would be well-served by seizing on the moment and building momentum for Dota 2.