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The International 11 came with a lot of changes this year. Most importantly, Valve has made an active effort to bring back old players and invite new players into the fold. Thanks to The International Swag Bag, new casual game modes and a two part Battle Pass, Dota 2 has broken 1 million concurrent players for the first time in seven years.

Dota 2 reaches highest concurrent player peak in seven years after International 11

Dota is at the highest point it has been for the last seven years in terms of player count. Valve has made a concerted effort to increase the number of players into the game. Starting from a few months before the International began, player count had already started rising in preparation. With a promise from Valve to re-invest into Dota going into the next year, player counts started growing two months before the International festivities started.

Steam Chart numbers for August and Sepetember
The Steam Chart numbers show a rise in players two months before the International. | Provided by SteamCharts

Starting in August, Dota started gaining players compared to the drops seen in the last few months. In the middle of the International 11 playoffs, Dota gained another large surge in players after Valve released the International 2022 Swag Bag, which included a free Battle Pass, one month access to Dota Plus and most importantly, a free Arcana to every player who has played 10 or more games in the last two months.

The Arcana is the highest tier of cosmetic in the game and includes custom effects, voice lines and hero portraits. Valve has never given this tier of item out before and are usually locked behind a $35 paywall. But this release pushed the player number to over 1 million.

Along with the release of the Swag Bag, Valve have also released a two-part Battle Pass this year as opposed to it ending after the International like every other year. Players will get access to the Diretide game mode once the International concludes and two new items that can be unlocked with levels on the Battle Pass, a Crystal Maiden Persona, and a Razor Arcana.

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