Valve’s Spending in Dota 2 Esports Has Heavily Declined

Rakshak Kathuria
Published On: 
  • Dota 2 statsman, Noxville, has presented a graph showing the total income of Valve over the years and the expenditure incurred by them on Dota 2 tournaments, excluding TIs.
  • While the monetary gains have rapidly risen for Valve, the spending has gradually reduced or stayed stagnant over the past five years.
  • Noxville also puts forward his opinion that despite the regional leagues that are happening, a lot is still concerned with TI which makes it difficult for lower tier teams to survive in the scene.

Dota 2 statsman, Ben "Noxville" Steenhuisen, has tended to come up with intriguing figures and statistics that provide important insights into various topics related to the game. In a recent series of tweets, he, through graphical representations and his own views highlighted the gradual decline in Valve’s expenditure on Dota 2 tournaments. 

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Valve’s Expenditure Continues To Fall Despite Escalating Revenues

Dota 2 has emerged as one of the major esports titles in the past decade, with prize pools of major tournaments being at record highs. The International continues to beat itself every single year as it registers the highest prize pool for any esports tournament. The International 10, scheduled to be held this year and now stands indefinitely postponed, created a world record as it had a total prize pool of $40 million.

Valve’s Spending in Dota 2 Esports Has Heavily Declined
With the DPC getting halted, Valve has not independently organized and sponsored a single online tournament.
Image Via Liquipedia 
Despite all the love and money poured in by the game’s fans, Valve’s inability to hold enough tournaments this year has been subject to a lot of criticism. Players have publicly expressed their dissatisfaction with the ongoing lacklustre state of Valve-sponsored tournaments. In contrast, many teams have disbanded due to financial struggles and the burden from the ongoing pandemic. 

Dota 2 statistician, Noxville, showed the revenue earned by Valve over the decade and the concurrent expenditure on Dota 2 tournaments, excluding TI.

If we were to talk about Valve’s outlay on the tournaments, including prize pools and production costs in the past five years, it has gradually decreased. The highest spending was in the 2015-16 season, spending around $20 million when their total income from TI alone, was around $60 million. In the next season from 2016-17, while the income went up to $70 million, the expenditure took a fall of about half the previous amount, to $10 million. In 2017-18, Valve’s earnings took a small hop to $75 million while the expenditure went down to $8 million. The season of 2018-19 saw Valve’s gains skyrocketing as they registered a total income of nearly $100 million while the expenses fell down further to $5million. In the previous season of 2019-20, the income took a big leap to around $115 million while the spending was on a record low of $3.5 million. The income for the current season of 2020-21 has not been shown but the expenditure has taken a baby jump from $3.5 to $5 million.

RELATED:  Dota 2’s Player Count Falls For 5 Consecutive Months

Noxville further states that the period from 2019-21 has been impacted the most because of a lack of TI this year which also highlights the fact that the TI prize money is extremely valuable to the teams. The figures of hosting a TI have not been shown because Noxville doesn’t know the exact numbers.

In a series of notes further, Noxville puts forward his opinion of the overall Dota 2 ecosystem. According to him, the number of regional leagues that have been continuously happening is not enough and everything is still about the “TI lottery” which is not good for the stability of the scene. Further, he says that everything below Tier 1 is like an “aphotic layer” in which teams struggle to make themselves recognised. He concludes by saying that the regional league system is the right initiative. However, it has not been implemented well enough to have the required effect or correct the damages already done. Valve has continued to “minimize/optimize” their spending year after year even though revenues have risen. 

The DPC 2021 is set to begin from January 18 in the form of regional leagues. 

Rakshak is an undergrad, an inquisitive person who likes to acquire information and knowledge of varied sectors in esports. However, his current focus is specifically on Dota 2.

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