TI11 slumps to 3 year low for Dota 2 viewership but there’s a bright silver lining

It depends on how you frame it.

TI11-dota2
Image via Valve on Flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/dota2ti/52464753203/)

The International 11 was a spectacle from start to finish—all the way until it ended with Tundra Esports lifting the Aegis after a dominant 3-0 victory over Team Secret in the grand final.

But how did the iconic Dota 2 event fare in terms of viewership?

According to EsportsCharts, it drew 67,692,105 hours watched across the board and peaked at 1,748,392 concurrent viewers—both of which seem like impressive numbers on paper. However, it can be interpreted in either a negative or positive way depending on how its framed.

Image via Valve (https://www.flickr.com/photos/dota2ti/52462558234/)

From a glass-half-empty perspective, the viewership has slumped to the lowest it’s been in three years.

TI10 was the most-watched iteration of the event in Dota 2 history. People tuned in for more than 107,239,277 hours. That’s almost double TI11’s, and it peaked at 2,741,514 concurrent viewers.

TI9 also performed better. It was watched for around 88,202,849 hours and peaked at 1,965,328 concurrent viewers. The difference between TI9 and TI11 wasn’t as much as TI10, but it was there.

Considering it also had the lowest prize pool since TI5, it’s reasonable for a pessimist to conclude the event has regressed in several ways. After all, it’s written in the data.

Image via EsportsCharts

But, that doesn’t tell the full story. There’s a silver lining—one that pierces through the darkness like Luna’s Lucent Beam does on the battlefield. TI11 was also the third-most viewed event in its long history as an esport.

It had more hours watched and a higher peak viewership number than every other iteration except for TI9 and TI10. So, although it failed to beat them, it was far from a failure.

And considering the player base has passed one million for the first time since 2019, Dota 2 is in a good place, both as a game and esports, in the eyes of optimists.