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Dota 2 hits highest player count in years with Crownfall event

splash art of crownfall event for dota 2

Dota 2’s Crownfall event bolstered the game’s player count in years and it could mean big things for the future.

The Crownfall event has begun, attracting old and new players to the classic MOBA. The event is the biggest since the controversial removal of the TI Battle Pass in 2023. This decision resulted in the lowest prize pool for the TI since 2013, with Valve removing all crowdfunding from Dota 2 esports and pocketing 100% of the cash from seasonal events. Valve cited a desire to move away from bundled content and focus on more content throughout the year, but didn’t acknowledge the tens of millions of dollars it pulled from the pro scene.

This made the Crownfall event a big one for Valve and so far, it’s panning out well. The event has seen Dota 2 peak at over 900,000 concurrent players, the highest number since 2022. So what exactly is Crownfall, and why has it attracted so many players?

What is Dota 2 Crownfall?

Dota 2’s Crownfall is a story event split into four acts with new lore, Arcana skins, and single-player quests.

Crownfall’s story focuses on Shendelzare and Dragonus, who players better know as Vengeful Spirit and Skywrath Mage. It explores the two characters and their backgrounds as the recently deposed queen of the Skywrath and a member of the reigning queen’s guard, respectively. The event is broken into four parts, with the first dropping in April 2024 with the title of “The Markets of Midgate.” 

As with most Dota 2 events, the value proposition stems from a cavern crawl. This time, players can earn tokens by playing through quests on the Overworld Map, revealing bits and pieces about the ongoing story. Act 1 adds 24 new skin sets to acquire, many of which players can attain through normal gameplay though a number are gated behind the pricy Pathfinder Pack and other treasures. Players can earn special currencies such as Candy Sacks and Crownfall Coins around the map, tradeable for cosmetics in their respective stores. 

Will Dota 2 Crownfall debut a new hero?

Valve has not confirmed if Crownfall will debut a new playable hero for Dota 2, though it did introduce two new characters who could wind up becoming playable.

Although the story event has undoubtedly attracted players, the first act disappointed some due to a lack of gameplay changes and the event revolving around a cavern crawl and webcomic. Most notably, fans expected a new playable Dota 2 hero after the hype built around Crownfall.

Of course, since this is the first act of a four-part event, the upcoming hero may come in the event’s finale. The event put a face to Vengeful Spirit’s evil sister and Scree’auk, a figure who has been teased in Vengeful Spirit and Skywrath Mage’s lore.

Dota 2’s second Crownfall chapter, “The Deserts of Druud,” will launch in mid-May 2024. It’s unknown what this might bring and if it will add anything more than a cavern crawl and microtransactions. Regardless, Valve is hoping that the momentum continues.

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Written by Gab Hernandez

Gab Hernandez has a particular love for video games that give players control over the narrative direction, such as Divinity: Original Sin 2 and Disco Elysium. Gab spends just as much time playing games as they do gushing about them online to anyone who will listen. Their work has also been seen on TheGamer, Gfinity, and Wargamer, and you can follow them on Twitter / X at @HardlyWorkinGab.

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