DOTA 2’s not having a good time. It may have seen its largest viewership at The International 7 earlier in August, but with the post-tournament high gone and competition rising, it seems to have hit a slump of sorts.
PUBG Knocks DOTA 2 Off Its Throne
The fast-rising PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds overtook DOTA 2 for the highest number of concurrent players on the night of August 26, with more than 800,000 players online at the same time – it was brief, but still something that doesn’t happen everyday. DOTA 2 has consistently stayed at the top of the charts, with the number of concurrent players quickly falling off into the tens of thousands after CS:GO.
We checked out Steam’s statistics today. While DOTA 2 has climbed back to its prestigious top spot, PUBG isn’t lagging far behind and has a higher peak to boast of:
Where Are They Coming From?
Such a peak raises the question: where did PUBG get these hundreds and thousands of players from? According to Steam Spy, PUBG is pulling players from other shooters, including CS:GO, H1Z1 and Payday 2.
PUBG is pulling the most engaged players of CS:GO and H1Z1. It also pulls the least engaged of Payday 2 and Left 4 Dead 2.
— Steam Spy (@Steam_Spy) August 28, 2017
Why the immense popularity? It could be due to PUBG’s simple mechanics: a hundred players simply need to drop in, grab a weapon and survive. The incredibly fast pace of each game – made faster if you die early – and lack of item builds or ‘bases’ allow players to focus on the true essence of this shooter: kill, or be killed. There’s nothing to defend, no gold to earn, optional teamwork (only if you make a team), and no roles to play.
The lack of clear-cut strategies and sense of urgency also bring out players’ shooting skills, making for a refreshing change in the strategy-saturated competitive scene. This also means PUBG’s community is comparatively less toxic. Each man is on his own in the rapidly-shrinking map, and that not only makes solo queue viable and fun – it also minimizes tilting.
The Great Review War
In other news, DOTA 2 has been taking a beating over in their Steam store page. Former Half-Life writer Marc Laidlaw’s fanfiction on Half-Life 3 – titled Epistle 3 – sparked off an unexpected wave of fury in Half-Life fans, some of whom also play DOTA 2. They took to the DOTA 2 Steam page, of all places, and began leaving negative reviews claiming DOTA 2 “killed Half-Life” in recent days – enough that the game’s recent rating went from Mostly Positive to Mixed (68%). Wow.
Here are some of the recent ones:
Luckily for Valve, some DOTA 2 fans have hit back with positive reviews, a rare thumbs up in the sea of red thumbs down.
The war doesn’t look likely to ebb for another few days. It remains to be seen whether a Mixed rating on Steam will really affect such a stable MOBA like DOTA 2 – but we do know it can be pretty damning for other game titles.
What Does This Mean For DOTA 2?
Redditors seem to be mostly unconcerned with the game’s slump, with some citing it as a typical “post-TI situation”. Others blamed the lull on DOTA 2’s new Artifact card game. We previously reported on how PUBG has grown, and whether it can be sustained for the long term. All of these are potential factors, but with DOTA 2’s established esports scene and player base, we doubt this will affect the game much, if at all.
Top image credit: Valve
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