Dota 2: Number of players is the highest it has been for 2 years
Dota 2 has 846,000 players playing concurrently, with a peak of more than 930,000 in the last 24 hours. This is the highest it has ever been, exceeding the 600k+ players in 2017. Dota 2 was the most played game on Steam before PUBG took over in 2016 and the number of players has gradually reduced. But Dota 2's number of players today has made it the most played game again!
Thanks to Auto Chess, a custom game mode made by Chinese developers Drodo Games, the number of players have risen up. There were also some balance changes that were released, which shook up the game a little. The popularity and reception of Auto Chess are exactly what Valve wanted with Artifact. Unfortunately, Artifact has seen a steady decline since launch.
Auto Chess is a simpler game, takes a shorter time and does not require players to rely on APM. Auto Chess is a small 8x8 board where you can purchase units and mix up the way you battle, such as building synergies by buying similar or other units. So it relies on a lot more strategy. Also, it's free to play!
It won't be long before Valve sees the potential of Auto Chess and works on making it an independent game. Valve has made a mod of Arma III into what we know now as PUBG and took the Warcraft 3 Mod DOTA into the Dota 2 today.
Chinese gaming Tencent has already expressed interest in the Auto Chess mods. It also helps that the developers of Auto Chess are Chinese as well, so they may release a new game based around the concept together with Valve. For now, we don't know what Dota 2's popularity might be if that does happen. It is still a large esport and the game won't go away anytime soon.