According to a recent study published by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Dota 2 players experience the most in-game harassment amongst all online games with over 79% of the players reportedly experiencing things like physical threats, stalking, and other forms of abuse while playing the game.
CS:GO, Overwatch, PUBG, and League of Legends follow in joint-second position with 75% of the players claiming that they’ve been on the receiving end of such harassment.
This study also alludes that 37% of the Dota 2 players who were surveyed had quit the game or approached it more carefully as a result.
Potential problems with this study
However, it should be noted that this study had a sample size of just 1045, amongst which 294 only played single-player games. The remaining 751 were distributed across all games. This makes it likely that only a very small amount of the people surveyed has actually played Dota 2, which in turn makes it have a significantly higher margin of error.
The study also oversamples individuals who identify as LGBTQ+, Jewish, Muslim, African American and Hispanic/Latin. Hence it is not an accurate representation of the overall gamer population.
It also doesn’t take time into account. Dota 2, League of Legends, CS:GO and WOW have all been in the market for around 10 years. Statistically, during this time frame, one is increasingly likely to encounter harassment when compared to newer games like Overwatch, PUBG and Fortnite.
Dota 2 is definitely a game where emotions run high, and people are likely to have negative experiences. So it is not surprising to see it top the charts in this survey. However, it is also one of the most challenging and rewarding games out there. You can't really replicate the feeling of a hard-earned win in Dota 2 with any other game.
The community, while being incredibly toxic often, can also be quite positive. The ADL study also suggests this. According to it, 42% of the Dota 2 players have also had positive social experiences in the game.