Since its release in 2013, Valve’s flagship Dota has grown massively. Right from the start, Dota had 300,000 players a day. In 2017, there are frequently 1 million players online. However, despite this impressive number, the game has stagnated for a time, and is consistently 200,000 players short of its all-time high.
Dota 2 is still far off from its greatest rival, League of Legends. The biggest MOBA on the game boasts of 6 to 7 million users a day. This enourmous success is also the result of League of Legend’s age, as it was released four years earlier in 2009. In addition, the games share very similar target groups. Despite its mighty competitor, however, Dota’s growth is still very astounding.
A game needs powerful sponsors to become a successful esports discipline. Dota 2 has more than enough support in this regard. The tournaments of 2017 feature more than $5 million in their prize pools. And the year is still young, and other big tournaments, such as “The Invitational 2017” have yet to be announced. “The International” alone held more than $20 million on the line. The tournament has been the event with the biggest prize pool in esports for the last three years, and 2017’s International is not going to be an exception to the rule. $25 million may sound ridiculous, but this amount is very likely considering the current trend.
And there is still more. The prize pools which have been announced are only those for the Majors. Additionally, many smaller tournaments will be contributing to this sum, even though on a much smaller scale.
With all these funds in the back, Dota’s rise seems only a matter of time. If it keeps growing like this, it might even overtake its nemesis LoL in a few years. At least for professionals, Dota 2 is already more lucrative. It will be interesting to see how viewer and player numbers will develop by 2020. Then, Dota 2 will be as old as League of Legends is now.