Is DotA Really Bigger than League of Legends? A Comparative Analysis


DotA and League of Legends are two of the most popular multiplayer online games in the world, with millions of players worldwide. However, there is a long-standing debate about which game is bigger and more successful. In this article, we will examine the data and case studies to determine whether DotA or League of Legends is truly larger and more successful.

DotA vs. League of Legends: Key Differences

Before we dive into the comparative analysis, it’s important to understand the key differences between DotA and League of Legends. DotA, also known as Defense of the Ancients, is a real-time strategy game that features multiple heroes battling against each other in an arena-style setting. On the other hand, League of Legends is a team-based battle arena game that focuses on fast-paced gameplay and strategic decision-making.

DotA has been around since 1998, while League of Legends was released in 2009. DotA has a smaller player base but has maintained a dedicated following over the years, while League of Legends has grown rapidly and has become one of the most popular games in the world.

DotA vs. League of Legends: Player Numbers

According to Statista, as of 2021, League of Legends had an estimated monthly active user base of 34 million, while DotA had an estimated monthly active user base of 1.5 million. These numbers suggest that League of Legends is much more popular than DotA.

However, it’s important to note that these numbers do not account for the fact that DotA has been around for much longer and has a smaller player base but with more loyal fans. Additionally, DotA has a much larger esports scene than League of Legends, which may attract a different type of audience.

DotA vs. League of Legends: Esports Revenue

According to Newzoo, the global esports industry generated $9.7 billion in revenue in 2019, with DotA being one of the top-grossing games. In comparison, League of Legends had a much smaller share of the market, generating $4.5 billion in revenue in 2019.

DotA’s esports scene is well established, with major tournaments and leagues taking place around the world. The International, DotA’s biggest event, has a prize pool of millions of dollars and attracts top players from around the world.

League of Legends, on the other hand, has been quickly growing its esports scene in recent years, with major tournaments such as the World Championship Series (WCS) and the LoL Esports World Championship attracting millions of viewers and generating significant revenue.


In conclusion, while League of Legends may have a larger player base and generate more revenue, DotA has a much smaller but more loyal fanbase and a well-established esports scene. The debate about which game is bigger and more successful will likely continue, but it’s clear that both games have their own unique strengths and appeal to different audiences.

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