Is a League of Legends Exodus In the Making: Are Players Really Considering Moving to Dota 2?
The League of Legends vs. Dota 2 debate is never-ending, and the two fanbases are usually extremely passionate about their favorite game. However, recently, the League of Legends community has dropped the act as more and more players have been vocal about either quitting the game or calling out its blatant toxicity. While the League of Legends subreddit has posts about how rude and unwelcoming the players are, the Dota 2 subreddit has posts about League players “on the verge of quitting” and potentially migrating to Dota 2.
While players usually move to a different game when they are bored of a stale meta or if they want to play a different game, the social media outpour about League of Legends players considering moving to Dota 2 seems to be motivated by many strong reasons.
According to Steam Charts, Dota 2, in the last 30 days, has gained while League of Legends, as per data from activeplayer.io, has lost players. While we cannot say that all of them migrated to Dota 2, there is a clear incline in the number of active monthly players for Valve’s MOBA.
So what has Dota 2 gotten right in recent days that League of Legends has failed to do?
Dota 2 Curbs Down on Toxicity While the Issue is Rampant in LoL
MOBA games generally bring out the worst in players since they are dependent on the team and one could totally lose a winnable game because of factors outside one’s control. Games like League of Legends and Dota 2 are no exception when it comes to this and players are well aware of this as they kickstart their MOBA journey.
While both games have their negatives, the number of instances where players have called out the rampant toxicity in League of Legends has been increasing steadily, despite Riot Games taking measures to mitigate such behavior. In LoL Patch 13.9, Riot introduced a feature where one could report bad behavior as it unfolded during a game. The feature also allows players to consistently add and build evidence for their reports.
Likewise, sending offensive messages in chat while in-game automatically gets censored and players are prevented from chatting further. This was introduced in 2022, and Riot Games said, “Zero-tolerance language will now be detected live and in-game. When detected, these messages will not be sent to other players, the offending player will be system muted, and all players will be notified.”
One might wonder how the game is toxic if players are subjected to reports and chat restrictions and that is because League of Legends players get extremely creative when it comes to flaming. The in-game ‘ping’ system is predominantly used to spam and flame teammates rather than effective communication.
The overtly toxic community does not even spare new players. On 9th September, a new League of Legends player after experiencing a toxic environment in their first few games of blind pick. On Reddit, they noted that they ended up killing a buff and faced the wrath of the jungler. The Redditor wrote, “I don't think League is for me, which makes me so sad but I'm just too sensitive and I'm terrified of making mistakes.”
While League has been suffering in this regard, Valve released an important update to Dota 2’s ‘Player Behavior.’ Valve noted, “Playing Dota with malicious or toxic people can ruin what would have been a great match. So we’re introducing some new player behavior features to make sure you have more of the good experiences and fewer of the bad. With that in mind, let's break down the improvements below.”
In the new Summer Client update, Valve made it clear that a player’s behavior score (capped at 12,000) will not only affect matchmaking but also affect the features they have access to including post-game item drops, game pausing, and ranked play. Likewise, one’s communication score (also capped at 12K) will affect pinging ally abilities, coaching, tipping, text, and voice chat. If a player’s communication score tanks below a certain number, they will be subjected to text and voice mute with all other communication on a thirty-second cooldown.
With such drastic effects on the way the game is played, players are extremely vigilant about what is being said in-game, both via chat and pings.
One of the major reasons that is commonly cited for the migration of players to Dota 2 from League of Legends includes the way Riot Games has handled its “flagship” title this year. With every update it rolled out, players had a slew of complaints to make, starting from the lack of a cinematic for the 2023 Season to not getting different game modes within the game.
While the lack of a proper cinematic does not have a major bearing on the gameplay, it killed the season-start hype that players usually bank on to climb the ranked ladders. Likewise, Riot Games failed to deliver on the promise of making different limited-time modes and it acknowledged its mistake and tried to make it up to the community with Arena mode for the Summer Event. Notably, the Arena mode was the biggest success the game has seen in a long time, with many people hinting at Arena .
One Redditor mirrored these sentiments and , “Greetings. If you are not aware, League of Legends is in a very unsatisfactory spot right now. We have gotten the worst season start cinematic to date, we have been lied to, we have been cheated and we have been spit in the face numerous times by Riot Games.” The user added that they are unaware of what lies for them in Dota 2 but noted that it “sure looks magnificent compared to the one of League of Legends.”
Another Redditor, , commented, “League used to be fun, but it's gotten so bad over the years that all the recent news from Dota is enticing.”
A lack of proper communication from the developers, turning a deaf ear to players’ suggestions when it comes to cosmetics and events, reworking the ranked system with multiple splits, and making changes to items, specifically Mythics, can all be pinned as potential reasons for players losing faith in League of Legends.
But the real question is whether their love for Riot’s MOBA will allow them to jump ship onto Dota 2.