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Valve's Dota Pro Circuit app lets you place wagers on matchesMar 19, 2019 - PC GamerValve has released a companion app for subscribers to Dota 2's premium monthly subscription service, Dota Plus. The app lets you keep track of match and tournament results, as well as keeping you informed about your favourite players and teams. And then it lets you place wagers on them.  The Dota Pro Circuit app, available for iOS and Android, will let you make 'predictions' on upcoming matches in the pro circuit, wagering your own shards—the Dota Plus exclusive in-game currency—in the hopes of adding to your pile. All the information you get about teams and players, then, can be used to make your predictions.  No cash changes hands, unlike in the third party gambling that surrounds the game, though technically those shards are linked to financial investment because the currency (and thus what you can spend it on) is only available if you pay for the Dota Plus subscription. That's $4 a month. That technicality isn't enough to make it gambling, however; at least not to rating organisations like PEGI, which has given it a 3 rating, essentially meaning it's appropriate for all ages.  The Dota Pro Circuit app feels like the latest in a years-long stream of game systems which have been pushing the debate around gaming systems and how close they come to gambling to the fore, though.  Probably the most well-known facet of the debate involves loot box systems which encourage players to open in-game Macguffins to obtain digital presents of variable rarity or desirability. Often these are boxes or chests you can earn over time in the game or choose to circumvent that grind using real money.  Another facet is the third-party gambling and trading scene around games like Valve's CS: GO where players circumvent Valve's systems in order to use in-game cosmetics as a gambling currency. The real money comes in when players make payments via third party sites and then use the steam trade function to hand over their digital goodies.  Despite the PEGI classification (and I should stress that PEGI do not set the legal definition of gambling, they're merely an enforcer), I'd argue the mechanics of the Dota Pro Circuit app's predictions are a lot closer to real-world gambling than, say, Overwatch's loot boxes.  You can study the teams, check the odds, place a bet with a cash stand-in, get that thrill when you get a shard windfall—the most significant difference is that it's all taking place within Dota 2. You can't head to the bank with your pile of shards and make a nest egg. It's a new grey area in a debate filled with grey areas.   The app's available now, and you can check out the full feature list here. New Dota Plus FeatureMar 15, 2019 - Community Announcementshttp://cdn.dota2.com/apps/dota2/images/blogfiles/dpcmca_blog_im_zqyib.png Today marks the release of a new Dota Plus feature designed to enhance your experience for every Dota Pro Circuit event. Available now in the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store, the Dota Pro Circuit companion app lets you earn Shards by predicting the winners of DPC matches, compete for even more Shards in the Fantasy Challenge, and follow all of this season's DPC action in real time, all from the comfort and convenience of your mobile device. You'll be able to wager your personal stash of Plus Shards to predict the winners of DPC matches, with winnings added to your in-game total. The Fantasy Challenge offers the chance for more Shards, as you compete against your friends and the entire world to put together the best roster of pro players at each event. In addition, you'll have access to a dynamic News Feed that features your personalized favorite teams and players, helping you stay on top of every DPC development along the road to The International. Check out a full list of the app's features here. Android customers who are unable to access the Google Play Store can find a direct download here.Epic responds to accusations its launcher accesses Steam data without permissionMar 15, 2019 - EurogamerEpic has responded to growing concern its launcher accesses users' Steam data without permission. The company responded to a post on the subreddit for Phoenix Point, itself the focus of a controversy after signing a deal to go exclusive with the Epic Games store for a year, in which a user revealed the Epic Games store client pokes around your computer when it shouldn't. In the post, titled Epic Game Store, Spyware, Tracking, and You!, redditor notte_m_portent accused Epic of running processes and making attempts to access DLLs and root certificates without letting the user know. According to the post, the data obtained was found to be sent to Epic, and the Epic Games store app was found to store hardware information in the registry. Read more The International 2019 Collector's Cache Call to ArmsMar 14, 2019 - Community AnnouncementsThe International 2019 is still over the horizon, but it's never too early to start exploring new treasure ideas for this year's event—which will have a theme focused on overgrown, enchanted jungle ruins. With that in mind, we invite all Dota 2 Workshop creators to venture into their flourishing imaginations on the hunt for new designs to include in this year's Collector's Cache to see what concepts bear fruit. As a slight change this year, please keep in mind that while we're happy to see item sets that feel at home in overgrown jungle ruins, artists should not feel constrained to working only within this year’s event theme. We're interested to discover any high quality designs, regardless of motif. However, as in the past, we would still like to ask artists to avoid the use of any concepts that involve human skulls, blood, and gore. Make sure to mark your submissions with the "Collector’s Cache 2019" tag when tendering items to the Workshop. All submissions must be on the Dota 2 Workshop by Sunday, May 12th. We encourage all Dota fans to regularly visit the Workshop and vote through the Queue to ensure your voices are heard in the selection process. In the meantime, our merchandise partners are also ready to create some new designs for this year's Dota 2 merchandise release. If you've got a concept you think will resonate with fans, submit your design to the Workshop with the "Merchandise" tag and see how much community support springs up.Steam Link now lets you play games from any PCMar 14, 2019 - EurogamerValve has announced a couple of new Steam features ahead of this year's GDC - although neither are to do with sorting its abject mess of a store curation policy. Steam Link Anywhere extends the ability to connect to your PC and play games remotely via the Steam Link hardware or app on a supported phone, tablet or TV. Now, you'll be able to connect to any other computer running Steam and play games remotely via the internet, too. The feature is described as being in early beta still - only those with beta firmware will see it at present. Valve warns you'll need a good connection. Read more Dota 2 Update - March 11, 2019Mar 11, 2019 - Product UpdateCustom Games API: - Added GetDedicatedServerKeyV2 which utilizes a new approach for securing/generating the keys. Any custom game that relies on GetDedicatedServerKey to communicate with its backend will want to switch to the V2 version as soon as possible. - To give custom game authors time to switch to the new system, GetDedicatedServerKey will remain unchanged until 3/31/2019, after which will be automatically switched to V2. - When playing on local/unofficial servers, GetDedicatedServerV2 will return special values to make the state more clear for developers (e.g. “Invalid_NotOnDedicatedServer”).Mars attacks: Dota 2 s new hero is the god of warMar 6, 2019 - Rock, Paper, Shotgun Mars! What is he good for? Absolutely loads of wars. Another hero has joined the ranks of Dota 2. He’s a spear-chucking, shield-wielding melee carry who is big into war, because he is literally the god of it. I bet you Legion Commander fancies him. (more…) New Hero: Mars — Available NowMar 5, 2019 - Community Announcementshttp://cdn.dota2.com/apps/dota2/images/blogfiles/ylmfjmarsrevgg_blog.png Mars, god of war and first son of heaven, has now joined the battle of the Ancients. Abandoning the callous ways of his past and embracing a new identity unburdened by the legacies of his father's archaic pantheon, Mars has turned over a new spear. Vowing to tear down the remnants of the savage old world to build a new empire, Mars is at last ready to assume the true mantle of leadership over gods and men, a position he now realizes has been wasted for eons by the petty whims of Zeus. Learn more about Mars and his abilities here. Or, better yet, launch Dota 2 yourself and get ready to impale your enemies for the glory of the god of war. Drow Ranger Remodel http://cdn.dota2.com/apps/dota2/images/blogfiles/ysnjremodrowbg_blog.png Never one to seek the spotlight, Drow Ranger thought to sneak into the lanes without announcing her redesigned model, but the glory of Mars' arrival has shone a light across the battlefield that not even Traxex can escape.Mars and his undead army arrive in Dota 2Mar 5, 2019 - PC GamerWe first got a heads up that Mars, god of war, would be joining Dota 2 back in August of last year. The day has come at last, and Big Red is here and playable right now. "The warrior deity Mars thrives in the heart of strife, guarded by the bulk of a deadly shield as he skewers enemies with his legendary spear," reads his page on the Dota 2 site. "He revels in facing opponents in an arena ringed with loyal spearmen—who guarantee that no one escapes and that whatever odds he's facing, the god of war can dictate the terms of battle knowing the crowd is forever on his side." Here's a look at his abilities and ultimate: Spear of Mars Mars can hurl his spear, impaling the first enemy it strikes and even nailing them to any trees or walls they happen to be standing in front of. God's Rebuke This is a nifty and wide-ranging shield bash, which knocks back and damages foes. Bulwark Mars can block some damage from physical attacks when struck from the front or the sides. Arena of Blood His ultimate basically builds a scary stoneghenge around himself, which will block attacks and movement from enemies outside it. Enemies trapped inside will get jabbed by spears from Mars' undead warriors, who spawn around the edge of the arena. Dota 2 Update - March 5th, 2019Mar 5, 2019 - Product UpdateAdded some previously unavailable heroes to Ability Draft * Beastmaster (Hawk is not draftable) * Lone Druid * Io * Monkey King (Primal Spring is not draftable) * Shadowfiend (Shadowraze Medium and Presence of the Darklord are not draftable) * Techies (Minefield Sign is not draftable) * Meepo (Divided We Stand is not draftable) * Rubick (Spellsteal is not draftable) Will-o-wisp and Tag Team are now draftable in Ability DraftThis animated chart of the most played Steam games is unreasonably absorbingMar 4, 2019 - Rock, Paper, Shotgun I’m not big into numberwang. Vast numbers of people playing a game might indicate that it’s fun, or it might indicate that it’s Ark: Survival Evolved. (I haven’t played Ark and it could be amazing, this is irresponsible journalism and I will hand in my badge and gun shortly.) Point being, it’s more interesting to write about what has made a game popular than the fact that it is so. Right. Now I have to convince you this animated graph of the most played Steam games from the past four years is fascinating. (more…) Dota 2 Update - February 22nd, 2019Feb 22, 2019 - Product Update* The Rubick Arcana Bundle now includes a Voice of the Magus Cypher item that lets Arcana owners choose whether to use the Arcana voice or the original Rubick voice. This item will appear in Arcana owners’ inventories shortly.Dota 2 Update - February 15th, 2019Feb 15, 2019 - Product UpdateRemoved Flowing Entropy from the Treasure of the Amaranth and instead included Enduring Solitude. Including the Flowing Entropy set was an oversight - Collector's Cache sets are intended to remain exclusive.Dota 2 Update - February 11th, 2019Feb 11, 2019 - Product Update* New Bloom ended a few hours earlier than intended, the event has now been extended to be active through Feb 12th. * Fixed an issue that caused the New Bloom Nian Courier to drop at lower than expected rates. This has been corrected, and items have been granted to reflect the proper drop rate. * Fixed a bug that allowed pressing quickbuy in rapid succession to purchase the same item twice. * Several Ranked Emoticons have been increased in size, and all emoticons used during in-game chat are now larger and closer to center on the chat line.Dota 2’s Player Base is the Highest it's Been in 2 YearsFeb 11, 2019 - GitHypOnce Steam’s most popular game (before PUBG took over), Dota 2’s player base has been on a steady decline since peaking with over a million concurrent players back in 2016. But a new user-created custom game mode and less competition from Blizzard have resulted in Steam's second most popular game making a comeback with Dota 2's player counts now the highest they’ve been in two years. Similar to Dota’s own origin story, a custom map created by Chinese developer, Drodo Games, called “Auto Chess” has captured the attention of Dota 2’s player base in a way that Valve once dreamed only Artifact could. In Auto Chess, players fight across an 8x8 field that mimics a chessboard using Dota’s own heroes for game pieces. Auto Chess' gameplay has been able to create its own little niche of MOBA players who want a greater focus on strategy and less emphasis on fast-paced APM. Dota 2’s in-game counter for Auto Chess has at times shown over 200k concurrent players, which helps explain Dota 2’s own 17% increase in players from January’s 491k average to an average of 573k over the past 30 days. And while Auto Chess can account for most of Dota 2’s new/returning players, another factor has been Blizzard’s announcement that they’ll be shifting focus away from Heroes of the Storm. Considered the third most popular MOBA in the world behind League of Legends and Dota 2, news of Blizzard moving developers to other projects and canceling HotS’ major esports events has made Dota’s community look even more appealing to HotS players looking to abandon ship. Auto Chess isn’t likely to become the next Dota or PUBG creating a new genre overnight, but with its popularity increasing among players, streamers, and catching on even more in China, Valve shouldn’t take any chances letting this developer get away – especially not with Artifact dropping outside of Steam’s top 100 most played games.Dota Auto Chess: The joyful deck-based Dota 2 game that Artifact isn tFeb 8, 2019 - PC GamerBelieve it or not, learning Dota 2 is easy nowadays. I don’t mean easy in the sense that it is straightforward or comprehensible or painless. I mean easy in the sense that it is slightly less angry at you for wanting to know what’s going on. I mean easy in the sense that people like me will tell you that you’ve never had it so good. We had to walk two miles in the Frostivus snow to find a match, and whittle our own Force Staff by hand and no-one had even heard of Purge and his useful video tutorials.  Dota Auto Chess—a spectacularly popular custom game mode by Drodo Studio—is a return to that initial bafflement. “You can pick dota heros as your chesses,” says the blurb, “and they will automatically fight for you on a 8*8 chessboard.”  Now, I have 2000+ hours of Dota on my account. I beat my mum at chess when I was in a hospital bed, stuffed with morphine after a life-saving operation. Neither of these skillsets has proven particularly useful in Dota Auto Chess.  The broad idea behind Dota Auto Chess is closer to deck-building games than to either chess or Dota. The basic pattern of each round is: earn money, choose whether to spend that money on heroes, position those heroes on the board, then let a fight against the heroes of a randomly chosen opponent (from the seven others you’re grouped with) auto-resolve. If you win, you get a bit more gold and maintain your health bar. If you lose, you’ll take a bit of damage. A match lasts as many rounds as it takes for only one player to be left standing. You can keep an eye on how everyone’s doing via a leaderboard on the right hand side of the screen. Because nothing related to Dota is ever simple, there are a lot of other variables to keep track of along the way. Managing your gold is vital—you want to balance investing in heroes and getting gold through fighting, with keeping some in your pocket to earn interest, spending to level up your donkey (and thus increase the number of heroes (referred to as “chesses”) which you can have on the board), and re-rolling the hero selection. Each hero is listed with a species and class. If you have multiple heroes from that species or class on the board you can get boosts. The orc species combo gets you a higher maximum HP for each orc, the mage class combo reduces enemy magic resistance. Plonking down three identical heroes of the same level (with one or two class exceptions) will merge them into a single, more powerful hero. As well as that interplay there’s a spatial element. Do you bunch your heroes up or spread them out? Do you try to protect a vulnerable unit or shove them to the front as a meat shield? How can you keep important combos in play by keeping the relevant units alive? That’s one part which felt like it was drawing on my actual Dota knowledge.  Another part which taps into that knowledge is the item system. So...Dota Auto Chess guide: how to play, and how to winFeb 7, 2019 - PC GamerHere’s a story you’ve heard before: A mod for a popular strategy game takes the existing ideas of the game and turns them sideways, forming a new kind of game in a new, weird genre without adhering to the usual game design conventions. That’s the story of Dota 2, and that’s also the story of Dota Auto Chess, a recent Dota 2 Custom Game that’s attracting a lot of attention. Auto Chess is worth trying out if you’re interested in strategy games or digital card games, and not just because it’s free. It features mechanics from set collection card games, real time strategies, tower defense, and even from mobile gambling.  Here’s how to get started while you read this guide: Download Dota 2, then download Auto Chess. How do I play Dota Auto Chess? In Dota Auto Chess, you control the composition and placement of a team of heroes on a chess-like board. Each round of Auto Chess sees you buying new heroes and placing them on the board to try to win a fight against either neutral Creeps or one of your seven opponents' teams of heroes. Buy and place is all you do, though: The real-time fights between the heroes are outside your control. That’s the Auto part of Auto Chess. If you win, you move on to the next round and get some gold. If you lose, your courier—your controlling avatar—loses hit points based on how many enemy units are left alive and how strong they are. Then you have 30 seconds to buy new heroes and manage your army before the next round starts in an ever-revolving round robin tournament. The last player standing wins. When you place heroes on the board, placing more than one of the same kind will upgrade that hero to the next level. The number of total heroes you can have on the board is equal to the level of your courier, and leveling up your courier takes precious gold, so upgrading your heroes lets you get the most out of limited space. Heroes also get bonuses based on how many of that type are on the board.  Upgrading or getting those type bonuses means you have to collect sets of heroes, and each round you draft heroes from a selection drawn randomly from a common pool with a fixed number of pieces shared among all the players. In effect, this means not every player can share the same strategies, and you have to watch what others are buying so that you know if you’re competing for the same pieces. You might also get items from fighting creeps that help you form a strategy.  I’ll use the terms early-, mid-, and late-game a lot in this guide. The early game is generally considered to be the first four levels, the mid to be levels five to seven, and the late to be levels eight to ten. If this all sounds random and surprising and hard to keep up with, that’s because it is—at least at first. So you have to focus on aspects of the game that you can control.  The Auto Chess economy Economics are king in Auto Chess, bu...Dota 2 Update - February 1st, 2019Feb 1, 2019 - Product Update* Fixed an issue that caused players completing calibration games using Ranked Roles to not have the correct resulting calibrated MMR. Players who have already played calibration games with this behavior have have their MMR updated to reflect the correct values.New Bloom RewardsFeb 1, 2019 - Community Announcementshttp://cdn.dota2.com/apps/dota2/images/blogfiles/nbnybhr_newbloom_blog.png In celebration of the Lunar New Year, each victory you earn in normal Dota Matchmaking from February 1 - 11 will grant you progress along the New Bloom rewards line, where you'll find a host of seasonal delights including gifts, celebrations, and chat wheel sounds. Start off by claiming your New Bloom consumables bundle at level one, and bring some festive flair into the lanes with New Bloom Celebrations. Use celebrations in your games safe in the knowledge that you can earn more on the rewards line or by purchasing a fresh bundle with shards. As you advance along the line, you can even help your friends get into the spirit of the season by gifting them free spins on the New Bloom rewards wheel. Every spin you and your friends make offers the chance to win an indescribably-rare Nian Courier. You'll receive 200 points for a Normal victory, 100 points for Turbo, and the first win of each day will grant a bonus of 1250 points. You'll be able to use your consumables and chat wheel sounds in your games until March 1, so prepare yourself for battle and start the New Year in style.Dota 2 Update - January 29th, 2019Jan 29, 2019 - Product Update7.21: === GENERAL * Melee creeps average gold bounty reduced by 3 * Range creeps upgrade cycle gold bounty increased from +3 to +6 * Replaced the primary jungles' ancient camps with big camps * Heroes no longer gain 25% more benefit from their primary attributes (affects attributes from both items and the hero) * All heroes' primary attribute growth values increased by 15% * Health per strength increased from 18 to 20 * XP required to reach level 7->12 changed from 640/660/680/800/820/840 to 720/750/780/810/840/870 (the difference is +80/90/100/10/20/30 XP) * The following melee heroes now have +5 movement speed: Naga Siren, Underlord, Monkey King, Nyx Assassin, Bloodseeker, Riki * The following melee heroes now have +10 movement speed: Alchemist, Dragon Knight, Meepo * The following melee heroes now have +15 movement speed: Legion Commander, Lifestealer, Lycan, Sven, Ursa, Wraith King * Ranged heroes with 295 movement speed and above now have 5 less movement speed * Tier 2 tower armor increased from 14 to 15 * Tier 3 tower armor increased from 14 to 16 * Melee Barracks armor increased from 13 to 15 * Tower Protection armor bonus for Tier 2/3/4 increased from 3 to 4 ITEMS * Animal Courier: Flying movement speed increased from 460 to 470 * Aeon Disk: Active status resistance increased from 50% to 75% * Aeon Disk: Recipe cost reduced from 1350 to 1250 * Battle Fury: Percentage damage bonus against non-hero units changed to be a fixed amount matching Quelling Blade * Bloodstone: Bloodpact changed from 60% of current mana to 30% of max mana * Bloodthorn: Cooldown reduced from 18 to 15 * Boots of Travel: Level 2 movement speed increased from +32% to +35% * Buckler: Activated armor bonus duration on heroes reduced from 25 to 15 (carries through to Mek) * Crimson Guard: Recipe cost increased from 600 to 750 * Drum of Endurance: Passive changed from a 6% movement speed aura to +20 movement speed to yourself only * Ethereal Blade: Enemy debuff duration increased from 3 to 4 (matching duration when cast on allies) * Eul's Scepter of Divinity: Movement speed bonus changed from +6% percentage to +20 flat * Holy Locket: Now uses Energy Booster instead of a Void Stone (provides +325 Mana) * Iron Branch: Cast range increased from 200 to 400 * Manta Style: Movement speed bonus reduced from +25 to +20 * Mask of Madness: Lifesteal increased from 15% to 20% * Mekansm: Stack limit is now tied to cooldown on cast (like Greaves and Crimson stack mechanics) * Meteor Hammer: Radius increased from 300 to 315 * Necronomicon: Last Will damage increased from 550/675/800 to 600/700/800 * Nullifier: Duration increased from 5 to 6 * Phase Boots: Recipe changed from Gloves of Haste to Blades of Attack * Phase Boots: Armor bonus increased from 5 to 6 * Phase Boots: Now gives +18 damage on melee (and +12 on range) instead of +20 attack speed * Phase Boots: Melee active speed increased from 20% to 22% * Power Treads: Recipe changed from Blades of Attack to Gloves of Haste * Power ...Dota 2 Update - January 29th, 2019Jan 29, 2019 - Product Update7.21: === GENERAL * Melee creeps average gold bounty reduced by 3 * Range creeps upgrade cycle gold bounty increased from +3 to +6 * Replaced the primary jungles' ancient camps with big camps * Heroes no longer gain 25% more benefit from their primary attributes (affects attributes from both items and the hero) * All heroes' primary attribute growth values increased by 15% * Health per strength increased from 18 to 20 * XP required to reach level 7->12 changed from 640/660/680/800/820/840 to 720/750/780/810/840/870 (the difference is +80/90/100/10/20/30 XP) * The following melee heroes now have +5 movement speed: Naga Siren, Underlord, Monkey King, Nyx Assassin, Bloodseeker, Riki * The following melee heroes now have +10 movement speed: Alchemist, Dragon Knight, Meepo * The following melee heroes now have +15 movement speed: Legion Commander, Lifestealer, Lycan, Sven, Ursa, Wraith King * Ranged heroes with 295 movement speed and above now have 5 less movement speed * Tier 2 tower armor increased from 14 to 15 * Tier 3 tower armor increased from 14 to 16 * Melee Barracks armor increased from 13 to 15 * Tower Protection armor bonus for Tier 2/3/4 increased from 3 to 4 ITEMS * Animal Courier: Flying movement speed increased from 460 to 470 * Aeon Disk: Active status resistance increased from 50% to 75% * Aeon Disk: Recipe cost reduced from 1350 to 1250 * Battle Fury: Percentage damage bonus against non-hero units changed to be a fixed amount matching Quelling Blade * Bloodstone: Bloodpact changed from 60% of current mana to 30% of max mana * Bloodthorn: Cooldown reduced from 18 to 15 * Boots of Travel: Level 2 movement speed increased from +32% to +35% * Buckler: Activated armor bonus duration on heroes reduced from 25 to 15 (carries through to Mek) * Crimson Guard: Recipe cost increased from 600 to 750 * Drum of Endurance: Passive changed from a 6% movement speed aura to +20 movement speed to yourself only * Ethereal Blade: Enemy debuff duration increased from 3 to 4 (matching duration when cast on allies) * Eul's Scepter of Divinity: Movement speed bonus changed from +6% percentage to +20 flat * Holy Locket: Now uses Energy Booster instead of a Void Stone (provides +325 Mana) * Iron Branch: Cast range increased from 200 to 400 * Manta Style: Movement speed bonus reduced from +25 to +20 * Mask of Madness: Lifesteal increased from 15% to 20% * Mekansm: Stack limit is now tied to cooldown on cast (like Greaves and Crimson stack mechanics) * Meteor Hammer: Radius increased from 300 to 315 * Necronomicon: Last Will damage increased from 550/675/800 to 600/700/800 * Nullifier: Duration increased from 5 to 6 * Phase Boots: Recipe changed from Gloves of Haste to Blades of Attack * Phase Boots: Armor bonus increased from 5 to 6 * Phase Boots: Now gives +18 damage on melee (and +12 on range) instead of +20 attack speed * Phase Boots: Melee active speed increased from 20% to 22% * Power Treads: Recipe changed from Blades of Attack to Gloves of Haste * Power ...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, Steam.tv, 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.