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The Chongqing MajorJan 20, 2019 - Community Announcements The Chongqing Major Main Event bracket has been set, and sixteen of the top Dota teams in the world now wage battle over the winner's share of the $1,000,000 USD and 15,000 DPC points that hang in the balance. Fans can tune in each day now through January 27 on SteamTV to catch all of the playoff action. With 4,950 DPC points awaiting the winners less than halfway through the competitive season, it's anyone's guess what the Dota Pro Circuit standings might look like in one week's time. Will an established contender strengthen their grip on the leaderboard, or can a surprising upstart upset the status quo?True Sight — The International 2018Jan 14, 2019 - Community Announcements Join world champions OG and a sold-out crowd as they broadcast live from the Nordisk Film Cinema Palads in Copenhagen, Denmark for the world premiere of True Sight — The International 2018. Tune in live on Tuesday, January 15 from 11:00am PST, with hosts Kaci and PyrionFlax, to journey behind the scenes of OG's epic five-game clash against PSG.LGD, to be followed by a live Q&A session with the audience and the champs themselves. Last year, Dota fans around the world watched as history took place in Vancouver. Now it's time to look back and see exactly how the story unfolded.Dota Auto Chess is like Football Manager with wizardsJan 14, 2019 - Rock, Paper, ShotgunPeople have been making weird and wonderful custom Dota 2 games for years. With so much good stuff coming from outside the dota-sphere, that’s easy to forget – but not when a possible bug convinces the internet you’ve got more players than Grand Theft Auto V. That seems have happened with Dota Auto Chess, a custom game where you pit teams of increasingly powerful wizards against seven opponents. Even with that bug in mind, it’s still throbbing with players – popularity made me notice it, but quality kept me playing. For half a game, at least, until I got crushed by the people who knew what they were doing. (more…) A Dota 2 custom mode may be 2019 s most popular new gameJan 13, 2019 - PC GamerA Dota 2 custom game mode designed by China-based Drodo Studio is taking the Dota 2 world by storm, reaching 100,000 concurrent players earlier today and racking up over 670,000 subscribed users. Dota Auto Chess is a strategic, tactically complex mix of board game and Dota custom map. Play is based around drafting hands of heroes, combining them to upgrade them, and then deploying them correctly to win victories over eight other players in a series of one-on-one matches. The game has become wildly popular, with more concurrent players today than, say, Grand Theft Auto 5 or Football Manager 2019. Like Dota 2, Dota Auto Chess is completely free. Dota Auto Chess is a weird name for it, I’ll grant. That makes sense since it’s cross-cultural, but the game doesn’t really have that much to do with a match of chess other than an 8x8 board. In truth, it inherits more from tactical board games like Neuroshima Hex or Warcraft 3 mods like Legion TD and Hero Line Wars. Each round of the game you’re drafted a random hand of heroes you can buy using gold you’ve accumulated. Those heroes are then deployed to the grid and fight automated battles against each other. If you buy three of a specific hero, like Axe the Orc Warrior, you can combine them into a more powerful version of that hero. If you own three of a hero type, you get a bonus to that hero type—three warriors nets you +8 armor, for example. Each hero also has a race, with three of a race getting a bonus—so three Orcs nets you +250 health for all Orcs. Did I mention that the draft is timed? It’s timed. You have 30 seconds to buy and combine, and you need to watch what enemies are drafting because there are only 20 of each hero available in the whole game. If others pull and buy the pieces of your combo from the pool before you then you're out of luck. See where this gets complex?  You’re simultaneously trying to beat enemies as cheaply as possible to save gold for later rounds while you build up combos and counter-combo what your enemies are doing. Got enemies with lots of stuns? Well, maybe you should aim for some Nagas and get stun resistance. It’s a fascinating game, and rounds play so quickly that you can’t help but keep playing more of the game’s mini-tournaments. You don’t have to be great at Dota 2 to win, because the game automatically fights for you using the heroes you’ve deployed. Lose once from a bad hand? Well, just jump into another match and go for it again. Fights against neutral creeps break up the fights with players and net you bonus gold, so the pressure isn’t always completely on. Here’s a bit of an explainer from Team Secret Operations Director Matthew Bailey:  You can find Dota Auto Chess here on Steam, or in-game in Dota 2's workshop. Dota 2 Update - January 10th, 2019Jan 10, 2019 - Product Update* Fixed a bug that caused Quickbuy items to disappear when multiple identical items were queued and the first item was completed. * Fixed a bug that caused player profile information (such as Ranked Medals) to not update in some cases. * The highlighted items at the Secret and Side shop now include items that can be completed with what's available in your inventory, and what's available at the shop you are near.Dota 2 Update - January 8th, 2019Jan 8, 2019 - Product Update* Added missing skirt to the Mistress of the Long Night set. Players who have already unbundled the set and own a Belt of the Long Night will be granted a corresponding Skirt of the Long Night.Dota 2 Update - January 7th, 2019Jan 7, 2019 - Product Update* Frosthaven has now ended. * The Frostivus consumables bundle no longer contains Frosthaven consumables. Its price has been lowered to 750 to reflect this.True Sight World PremiereDec 22, 2018 - Community Announcements Team OG stunned the world in August when they held strong against PSG.LGD to claim the Aegis of Champions in a thrilling five-game conclusion to The International. Now, it's time to journey behind the scenes of this epic clash to see the real story of how one of the most exciting comebacks in esports history unfolded for the players involved. Join OG and a theatre audience on January 15, 2019 to catch the world premiere of True Sight — The International 2018, coming to you live from the Nordisk Film Cinema Palads in Copenhagen, Denmark. The broadcast will begin at 8:00pm CET, to be followed by a Q&A session with attendees and the champions themselves—hosted by Kaci and PyrionFlax. Tickets to join OG at the live premiere in Copenhagen will be available starting on December 25, with more information on how to tune in at home coming soon. In the meantime, check out the teaser available on YouTube.Dota s Christmas event turns Rubick into the GrinchDec 20, 2018 - Rock, Paper, ShotgunIt’s Christmas Frostivus in Dota-land, but Rubick doesn’t care. “Swept up in the zeal of unraveling and reshaping arcane energies” – we’ve all been there – “Grand Magus Rubick marches a mob into Frosthaven, intent on uprooting the original Frostivus tree to explore the mysterious font of power beneath it.” Which means, of course, that five heroes have to defend a Christmas tree in co-op wave survival. I’ve had a go! It’s better than usual. Mostly because of the bonus round where you get to ride penguins. (more…) Rubick Arcana Frosthaven EventDec 19, 2018 - Community Announcements In today's update, Rubick steals the show, unveiling his own Arcana item before kicking off the events of Frosthaven, a new special game mode available through January 3rd. Featuring all-new custom animations and effects—including 115 custom stolen spell effects, dynamic cape colors, and more animations than any other hero in the game—the Magus Cypher Arcana has helped Rubick unlock a deeper mastery in manipulating the arcane arts. No longer content just to mimic the spells of his enemies, Rubick can now alter the very core of the magic used against him, changing it to his liking and casting it back with his own signature style. But the new influx of arcane knowledge has left Rubick in want of even more, and his sudden ardor has turned arboreal. In the secluded hamlet of Frosthaven, atop the heart of an ancient power, grows the original Frostivus tree, from which all the world's holiday presents flow. Rubick, swept up in the zeal of unraveling and reshaping arcane energies, intends to uproot the tree to explore the mysterious font of power beneath it. And only five heroes stand between him and the end of Frostivus forever. Head over to the Frosthaven Update page for more information on this chilling special event and a complete rundown of Rubick's new Magus Cypher Arcana. As you take to the lanes looking for a spell to steal, we also hope you'll enjoy this Arcana's remastered take on the original voice performance of the late Barry Dennen, who imbued Rubick with a magic that helped the Grand Magus steal our hearts in the first place.Here's what happened when we tried to bet on esports at our local bookiesDec 13, 2018 - EurogamerWe have an odd relationship with gambling in the UK. You'd be hard-pressed to find a high street or city centre that doesn't have at least a couple of bookmakers' shops mixed into it, offering bets on everything from horse racing and football to whether or not Kate Winslet will cry if she wins an Oscar (yes that was a real thing). But how does esports fit in? According to a recent study by the UK's Gambling Commission, the percentage of British adults who have at some point in their lives placed a bet on esports is 8.5 per cent, with three per cent having placed those bets in the month the study was conducted. That's a surprising statistic for a sport many consider to be still quite niche. And it makes sense most of those bets will be online, given the nature of esports and the audience for it. But it also got me wondering: just how easy it is to walk into a betting shop and wager some cash on an esports event? To find out, I picked three (at the time of betting) upcoming and current events to bet on, with the intention of gambling on three specific teams to win either the tournament or a particular match. These were Team Liquid to win the ESL One Dota 2 tournament, Ninjas in Pyjamas to win that day's ECS CS:GO season six game, and for the Overwatch World Cup, I had to back the home nation and bet on the UK. Secondly, I decided I had to be able to place the bet in store. We all know you can bet on esports online, so that didn't count. Read more… Dota 2 Update - December 9th, 2018Dec 9, 2018 - Product Update7.20e: == * Wraith Band: Bonus agility reduced from +8 to +6 (cost reduced by 25) * Bracer: Bonus strength reduced from +8 to +6 (cost reduced by 25) * Null Talisman: Bonus intelligence reduced from +8 to +6 (cost reduced by 25) * Power Treads: Bonus damage reduced from 16 to 12 * Anti-Mage: Counterspell duration reduced from 1.4 to 1.2 * Anti-Mage: Counterspell manacost increased from 40 to 45/50/55/60 * Beastmaster: Level 25 Talent reduced from +40 Inner Beast Attack Speed to +30 * Brewmaster: Drunken Brawler critical damage reduced from 200/220/240/260% to 170/200/230/260% * Brewmaster: Drunken Brawler cooldown increased from 20/19/18/17 to 23/21/19/17 * Bristleback: Strength gain increased from 2.2 to 2.5 * Bristleback: Bristleback now considers damage from towers as valid * Chaos Knight: Chaos Strike lifesteal increased from 35/45/55/65% to 50/55/60/65% * Dark Seer: Surge speed reduced from 36/54/72/90% to 30/45/60/75% * Dazzle: Poison Touch cast range reduced from 600/700/800/900 to 500/600/700/800 * Dazzle: Poison Touch manacost increased from 80/100/120/140 to 95/110/125/140 * Dazzle: Shallow Grave cooldown increased from 60/45/30/15 to 60/46/32/18 * Death Prophet: Spirit Siphon charge replenish time reduced from 60/55/50/45 to 60/52/44/36 * Death Prophet: Exorcism damage increased from 56-61 to 59-64 * Ember Spirit: Strength increased from 20 + 2.4 to 21 + 2.6 * Grimstroke: Ink Swell max stun duration reduced from 1.7/2.4/3.1/3.8 to 1.4/2.2/3/3.8 * Grimstroke: Soulbind cooldown increased from 90/70/50 to 100/75/50 * Gyrocopter: Agility gain increased from 2.8 to 3.1 * Huskar: Level 10 Talent reduced from +20 Damage to +15 * Juggernaut: Omnislash bonus damage from 30/45/60 to 30/40/50 * Keeper of the Light: Will-O-Wisp off period increased from 1.75 to 1.85 * Keeper of the Light: Will-O-Wisp AoE increased from 650 to 675 * Lifestealer: Agility gain increased from 1.9 to 2.4 * Lina: Base armor increased by 1 * Lone Druid: Base movement speed reduced from 340 to 330 * Lone Druid: Spirit Bear movement speed increased from 340/350/360/370 to 340/355/370/385 * Lone Druid: Level 10 Talent reduced from +150 Attack Range to +125 * Lone Druid: Level 20 Talent improved from -0.2 Spirit Bear Base Attack Time to -0.3 * Magnus: Empower bonus damage reduced from 20/30/40/50 to 10/20/30/40% * Magnus: Empower cleave reduced from 20/38/56/74% to 14/34/54/74% * Magnus: Reverse Polarity cooldown increased from 120 to 130 * Night Stalker: Dark Ascension cooldown reduced from 160/140/120 to 140/130/120 * Outworld Devourer: Equilibrium mana restore from 80/100/120/140% to 65/90/115/140% * Phantom Assassin: Phantom Strike duration reduced from 2.25 to 2 * Phantom Assassin: Stifling Dagger manacost increased from 30/25/20/15 to 30 * Phantom Assassin: Coup de Grace critical damage reduced from 210/330/450% to 200/325/450% * Phantom Assassin: Blur manacost increased from 30 to 50 * Puck: Base armor increased by 1 * Puck: Illusory Orb cooldown reduced from 14/13/12...Dota 2 Update - December 7th, 2018Dec 7, 2018 - Product Update* Minor CPU performance improvements with certain types of art content * Reworked the Global Item Loadout page to make shuffling items easier to work with. * Fixed Last Hit Trainer bugs * Various SFM improvements (material overrides, health bars, etc) * Fountain damage now cancels effects similar to hero damage (e.g. salve, heart, blink), and now has 25% Accuracy (Note: This change was added in an update last week)Wot I Think: ArtifactDec 5, 2018 - Rock, Paper, ShotgunDeveloper: Valve Publisher: Valve Release: November 28th, 2018 On: Windows From: Steam Price: 16, $20, 18. Before you start buying more cards. There s part of me that wants to champion Artifact as a step forward for digital card games. I want to celebrate how it bottles the essence of Dota 2 into turn-based take that-ing , to enthuse, misty-eyed, about the new avenues of thought that it has me gallivanting down. I will do all that. But with some pretty big reservations. (more…) Valve ban Dota 2 player from tourney over racist remark cover-upDec 4, 2018 - Rock, Paper, Shotgun Valve have banned Dota 2 player Carlo “Kuku” Palad from their upcoming ‘Major’ tournament in China over a racist comment he made mocking Chinese players in a non-tournament game earlier this year. Kuku’s team, TNC Predator, initially tried to pass a cover-up story and have further muddied waters with unsupported claims that Major host city Chongqing’s government threatened to cancel the tournament if he attended. Now Valve have stepped in and accused the Filipino team of behaving unprofessionally and “making the situation much worse than it needed to be.” straight-up banning Kuku from the tournament and docking TNC points on this year’s Dota Pro Circuit. (more…) Chinese city s government might cancel Dota 2 Major over player s racist commentsDec 3, 2018 - Rock, Paper, ShotgunLast month, Dota 2 pro player Carlo Kuku Palad caused outrage over racist taunts he made in a non-tournament game. This month, Chongqing’s government – the city where Dota 2’s next big tournament is due to be held in January – have claimed they might cancel the Major if Palad attends. (more…) Chinese city's government might cancel Dota 2 major over player's racist tauntsDec 2, 2018 - PC GamerThe next Dota 2 major in Chonqing, China might be cancelled by the city's government if Carlo “Kuku” Palad—one of the pro players that Valve condemned last month for using racist insults against Chinese teams—tries to attend, according to Kuku's team TNC Predator. The Filipino player made the racist taunt in a pub game last month, and TNC Predator announced they would dock half of his winnings from the recent Kuala Lumpur Major, where the team won $60,000 by placing joint 5th, as well as half of his winnings from the upcoming Chongqing Major. The money will be donated to an anti-racism charity (h/t Fox Sports Asia). However, rumours swirled last week that both Kuku and Andrei "skem" Ong, the other player who used racist taunts, would be banned from competing in the Chongqing Major, which will take place in January. According to TNC Predator, that is not true—in a series of tweets today, the team said Kuku was not banned, but that they had been told the city's government might cancel the tournament if Kuku attends.  As you can see in the tweets below, TNC Predator claimed tournament organisers also said they could not "guarantee safety" should he attend. The team said they were "yet to decide whether we will continue playing in the event", and were "exploring all of our options". Kuku issued an apology last week, in which he said there was "no excuse" for his actions, and that he hoped for a "second chance to show that I can become a better example" (translation via Fox Sports Asia). As for skem, he's been removed from compLexity Gaming's active Dota 2 roster, so is unlikely to attend the tournament. The team previously issued him a "formal reprimand, as well as a maximum fine". Neither Valve nor the tournament organisers have issued an official statement on the matter. Dota 2 Update - November 30th, 2018Nov 30, 2018 - Product Update7.20d: == * Melee heroes below 300 base movement speed increased by 5 * Tranquil Boots: Movement speed reduced from +28% to +24% * Power Treads: Attribute bonus increased from 12 to 14 * Phase Boots: Now has the active again instead of the passive * Mask of Madness: Movement speed changed from +12% to +25 constant * Yasha: Movement speed changed from +8% to +25 constant * Manta Style: Movement speed changed from +8% to +25 constant * Sange and Yasha: Movement speed changed from +12% to +35 constant * Yasha and Kaya: Movement speed changed from +12% to +35 constant * Wraith Band: Recipe cost increased from 220 to 240 * Bracer: Recipe cost increased from 220 to 240 * Null Talisman: Recipe cost increased from 220 to 240 * Axe: Counter Helix damage reduced from 75/110/145/180 to 60/100/140/180 * Axe: Level 15 Talent reduced from +4 Mana Regen to +3 * Brewmaster: Primal Split cooldown increased from 140/120/100 to 140/130/120 * Brewmaster: Level 10 talent reduced from +30 Damage to +20 * Clinkz: Burning Army damage type changed from Pierce to Hero type (50% vs heroes to 100%) * Clinkz: Burning Army base attack time increased from 1.5/1.35/1.2 to 1.75/1.6/1.45 * Dazzle: Intelligence gain reduced from 3.4 to 3.2 * Dazzle: Bad Juju cooldown reduction reduced from 30/40/50% to 20/35/50% * Elder Titan: Level 25 Talent changed from Astral Spirit Grants Spell Immunity to +600 Echo Stomp Wake Damage * Ember Spirit: Base armor increased by 1 * Faceless Void: Time Lock chance reduced from 10/15/20/25% to 10/14/18/22% * Faceless Void: Level 10 Talent reduced from +20 Damage to +15 * Grimstroke: Ink Swell max damage reduced from 160/240/320/400 to 100/200/300/400 * Grimstroke: Ink Swell max stun duration reduced from 2/2.6/3.2/3.8 to 1.7/2.4/3.1/3.8 * Grimstroke: Soul Bind cooldown increased from 80/65/50 to 90/70/50 * Io: Tether heal/mp transfer rate from 1.2/1.3/1.4/1.5 to 1.05/1.2/1.35/1.5 * Juggernaut: Omnislash now removes debuffs on cast * Juggernaut: Level 15 Talent reduced from +25 Attack Speed to +20 * Keeper of the Light: Will-o-Wisp now has a 100/125/150 gold bounty * Keeper of the Light: Will-o-wisp manacost increased from 200/300/400 to 250/350/450 * Lich: Base movement speed reduced from 315 to 310 * Magnus: Empower cleave damage reduced from 30/45/60/75% to 20/38/56/74% * Magnus: Level 15 Talent reduced from +15 Strength to +12 * Magnus: Level 20 Talent reduced from +12 Armor to +10 * Monkey King: Mischief invulnerability duration reduced from 0.3 to 0.2 * Nature's Prophet: Agility gain increased from 2.8 to 3.3 * Nature's Prophet: Wrath of Nature's max targets increased from 16 to 18 * Phantom Assassin: Phantom Strike attack speed duration reduced from 2.5 to 2.25 * Phantom Assassin: Blur now has a 0.4 second cast point * Phantom Assassin: Coup de Grace damage reduced from 230/340/450% to 210/330/450% * Puck: Dream Coil stun duration from 1.5/2.25/3 to 1.8/2.4/3 * Rubick: Telekinesis cooldown increased from 28/26/24/22 to 34/30/26/22 * Rubick: Tel...ESA defend loot boxes again, while IGDA call for industry self-regulationNov 29, 2018 - Rock, Paper, Shotgun Several video games industry associations have reacted to the news that the USA’s Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are planning to investigate loot boxes over concerns about potential impact on children. America’s Entertainment Software Association (ESA), whose duties include running the E3 games show, have repeated their stance that loot boxes “can enhance the experience” and aren’t gambling and they’re fine okay just leave it. The International Game Developers Association (IGDA), on the other hand, have said it’s time for the industry to step up and self-regulate before more governments follow Belgium and restrict loot boxes by law. (more…) Cards on the table: Artifact is outNov 28, 2018 - Rock, Paper, ShotgunI’ve already played a little, but I’m not yet sure whether Valve and Richard Garfield’s ‘Dota but cards’ game Artifact is going to consume my every waking thought, or if I’ll bounce off it like hard cheese. One of those two. I’m about to find out, because it just launched on Steam. (more…) Dota 2’s The International 2018 Finale was Down Over 100k Viewers Compared to Last Year on TwitchAug 27, 2018 - GitHypEven with a better first day, bigger prize pool, and an epic storybook ending, this year’s biggest Dota 2 event couldn’t manage to top last year's viewers on Twitch. The International 8’s grand finals brought in a peak of 730k concurrent viewers as Europe’s OG took China’s PSG.LGD all the way to the very last game of a best-of-five heart-pounding finale. But while OG’s Cinderella story had Dota 2’s analysts, commentators, and viewers all on the edge of their seats in what many consider TI’s greatest grand finals, it fell short of last year’s peak of 845k viewers. TI7’s far less exciting finale featuring EU’s Team Liquid taking home the victory over Newbee in just 3 quick games. And resulted in an impressive 44% increase in viewership compared to TI6 on Twitch which is still Dota 2’s most watched stream ever. Known for having the biggest single event prize pool in all of esports, The International once again set a new peak of $25 million this year with OG taking home $11 million for first place. However, the $23.9 million contributed by players just barely topped last year’s player contribution of $23.2 million. And surprisingly, it was Day 1 of TI8 that had 100k more viewers than last year’s event. But with player counts down 35% since Dota 2’s peak two years ago and other games like Fortnite taking over Twitch, we predicted that TI8 wouldn’t be able to top TI7’s finale. One thing we didn’t see coming, however, was Valve’s unexpected and accidental reveal of their own streaming service,, which contributed to the decline in viewers on Twitch. Their new site pulled away over 80k viewers from Twitch during TI8’s final matches – but even with the numbers combined, TI7’s viewership still fell short of last year's record-setting peak.Dota 2’s Viewer Base and Prize Pool is Bigger Than Ever at The International 2018Aug 21, 2018 - GitHypWith a peak of 1.3 million players back in March 2016, the decline of Dota 2’s player base and the rise of PUBG on Steam has led to many claiming that Valve’s popular MOBA is a "dead game." But even with the player base at half of what it once was, Dota 2 is far from dead when looking at the game’s stats and popularity as a competitive esport. Last year's biggest Dota 2 event, The International 7, saw its peak viewers on Twitch increase by 44% compared to TI6's grand finals going from a peak of 588k viewers to 845k viewers. This year, TI8 on Twitch is already off to a better start with a peak of 645k viewers on its first day. An increase of 100k viewers when compared to 2017’s first day peak of 546k viewers. Dota 2’s remaining player base have also proven their loyalty and demand for more in-game content by contributing $23 million towards the free-to-play game's Battle Pass system and increasing TI8’s total prize pool to $25 million – the largest it's ever been and an increase of over $200k compared to last year. The International 8’s grand finals are set for this Saturday, August 25th, and while it might not see another 44% increase in viewers, the event should be able to continue its growth and top last year’s peak concurrent viewers on Twitch.Dota 2 Hits New Viewer Peak with The International Up 44% Compared to Last Year on TwitchAug 15, 2017 - GitHypMore Dota 2 viewers than ever tuned in over the weekend to watch The International 7 on Twitch. And with good reason. The Valve-sponsored event for their multiplayer online battle arena game had its highest prize pool ever with a shocking $24 million on the line and the champs taking home over $10 million. Getting into the Twitch numbers, Dota 2 brought in a peak of 845k viewers as Team Liquid defeated Newbee in Saturday's Grand Final. This was an impressive 44% increase in viewers compared to last year when TI6 brought in 588k viewers at its peak. [caption id="attachment_284426" align="aligncenter" width="770"] Dota 2's Peak Viewer Counts on Twitch via GitHyp[/caption] The increase in popularity has also brought Dota 2 closer than ever to topping its biggest competition, League of Legends. Riot’s MOBA hit its own all-time peak of 988k viewers back in 2015, but compared to 2016, LoL’s viewership for its own World Championship event was actually down 5% last October on Twitch. TI7 also helped put Dota 2 over 1 billion total views on Twitch. An impressive number, however, LoL still more than doubles that with 2.1 billion as Twitch's most watched game. But in terms of big eSports competitions, both MOBAs still have a way to go before dethroning Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s record-setting 1.1 million peak viewers that the Valve shooter brought in earlier this year.Steam's Most Played Games of 2016Jan 7, 2017 - GitHyp2016 was another great year for games, but it was also a year filled with the the rise and fall of many new games that over-promised and under-delivered. As a result, Steam's list of most played games in 2016 ended up looking almost the exact same as it did in 2015. Last year's top titles held their spots as newcomers who started off strong quickly lost their player bases by the end of the year. Looking at new releases on Steam in 2016 tracked hourly by GitHyp, the highly hyped and highly controversial, No Man's Sky, had the highest peak player count with 212k concurrent players in a single hour.
  1. Dota 2 / 1,286,617 peak players (#1 in 2015)
  2. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive / 845,806 peak players (#2 in 2015)
  3. No Man's Sky / 212,321 peak players (new)
  4. XCOM 2 / 132,834 peak players (new)
  5. Dark Souls III / 129,922 peak players (new)
Other newcomers such as XCOM 2 (132k players) and Dark Souls III (129k players) also had great launches, but only peaked at half of NMS' record-setting number to round out the top 5. While No Man's Sky, XCOM 2, Dark Souls III, and others such as Tom Clancy's The Division and Total War: Warhammer all had strong launches, none were able to hold their ground and each had huge drops in players that made headlines. Other previous heavy-hitters also made headlines due to under-performing launches such as Call of Duty which was down 76% from last year and Watch Dogs 2 which dropped 61% since the last entry in the series. When looking at the more stable average players per hour metric, 2016 ended the same as 2015 with the exception of Fallout 4 -- which didn't just fall out of the top 5, but also the top 10 at #12.
  1. Dota 2 / 636,607 avg. players per hour (#1 in 2015)
  2. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive / 360,600 avg. players per hour (#2 in 2015)
  3. Team Fortress 2 / 50,802 avg. players per hour (#4 in 2015)
  4. Grand Theft Auto V / 40,258 avg. players per hour (#5 in 2015)
  5. Sid Meier's Civilization V / 37,885 avg players per hour (#9 in 2015)
Dark Souls III dropped to #21 on Steam with an average of 14,186 players per hour. No Man's Sky dropped all the way down to #41 on Steam with an average of 8,393 players per hour. And XCOM 2 barely made the top 50 coming it at #44 with an average of 7,815 players per hour. When looking at the average players per hour, it was actually the free-to-play team-based shooter, Paladins, that ended as 2016's strongest new release ranking in at #15 on Steam with an average of 22,809 players per hour.