Free to Play, the highly anticipated esports documentary starring some of the top Dota 2 players in the world, was viewed by 5.5 million people in its opening weekend, quickly making it one of the most successful feature film documentaries of all time.
In addition to 1.1 million views on YouTube, the movie has been heavily promoted on Steam and was played in theaters as well.
It’s not hard to see why the film has done so well. Free to Play’s strengths are numerous: Excellent visual effects and a powerful story combine to tell one of esports’ great tales. The film followed star players like Danil “Dendi” Ishutin, Benedict “HyHy” Lim, and Clinton “Fear” Loomis during the Dota 2 world finals in 2011, called The International, which boasted the largest esports prize ever up to that point.
Dota 2 is the second most popular esport on the planet with over 600,000 players online at any given moment. The game has more than doubled its player base in the last year.