The Popularity of Valve’s MOBA: Dota 2 Topping the Charts in China

by in Dota 2 | Apr, 1st 2021

Dota 2 is a relatively old game. Its first closed beta invitations were rolled out in the third quarter of 2011 but the game got released nearly two years later. In July 2013, to be more precise. Still, Dota 2 popularity is not going anywhere, and it’s nothing surprising considering it’s one of the founding fathers of modern-day esports. Almost eight years after its release, Valve’s internationally acclaimed multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA from now on) is one of the most successful video game titles out there.

Dota 2 Tops the Charts

Chinese pros are winning the most money in Dota over other esports by a long shot

Judging by the latest reports on Statista, Dota 2 is by far the biggest game in China according to the amount of prize money won by professional esports players. Yep, Dota 2 popularity in China is through the roof! The total prize money awarded to Chinese Dota 2 players amounts to $62.3 million USD. To put things into perspective, the second-best game in this department, League of Legends, has “just” $7.67 million USD.

And this is not the only chart Dota 2 is at the top of! Valve’s almighty MOBA is pushing the envelope with a strong presence across the board. Whether we’re talking about the number of teams, most paid teams, or most paid players, Dota 2 is always at the top.

The only category Dota 2 is not at the top of is “Players in China”. Overwatch is still holding its ground with a whopping 276 professional players, 32 more than second-place Dota 2. It’s safe to conclude that Dota 2 popularity in China is through the roof!

The marvelous stats don’t end there! 8 of the top 10 highest-earning pro teams in China are Dota 2 players. Additionally, China has 110 professional Dota 2 teams, 32 more than second-place Overwatch. As we continue to watch the esports world explode, one thing is for certain – Dota 2 popularity in China is not going away anytime soon!

Excellent Numbers Despite The International Cancelation

The inevitable cancelation of last year’s Dota 2 TI has had a slight impact on the charts. The numbers would’ve been even better for Valve’s MOBA masterpiece if it wasn’t for the cancelation.

What’s Valve’s secret? Do they have some sort of a magical recipe for making evergreen esports because both CSGO and Dota 2 are still enjoying plenty of popularity?

Well, it’s not so much a magic recipe, but a well-executed product life cycle, nicely poised with healthy communities and constant competitive mayhem. Add hardcore betting community to the mixture too, and you’ll begin to understand what keeps Dota 2 (and many other top esports) afloat.

Dota 2 popularity in China is the direct reflection of Valve’s efforts in making the game more beginner-friendly, both gameplay and viewership-wise.


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