News + Features
 I’ve got something I need to get off my chest. I’ve never played a single second of DOTA 2. It’s always looked too daunting for me to dare try. I missed the original boat and soon people had racked up thousands of hours. I didn’t want to be the newbie heading in and trying to figure what the heck it was all about.
To the casual observer, it can feel as if the Fortnite phenomenon has already picked. Well, think again. Epic Games Korea CEO Sung Chul Park has just confirmed Fortnite is peaking with 8.3 million concurrent players. That’s 8.3m people playing Fortnite around the world at the exact same time.
Valve has been forced to suspend the trading of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and DOTA 2 loot boxes, and the items contained within, in the Netherlands.
Always seemingly impervious to change, the DOTA 2 player base is finally showing its first signs of dwindling. This week DOTA 2 hit its lowest number of active players since 2014, dropping as low as 214,155. Still, a hugely impressive figure, no doubt, and DOTA 2 remains the second most popular game on Steam behind PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.
While the rise of PUBG has been unprecedented (it recently eclipsed DOTA 2’s highest ever peak player count with 1.38 million concurrent players), it’s also undoubtedly helped give rise to PC gaming in general. The latest stats from Valve show that Steam has broken its own concurrent user record as well, jumping past the 15 million concurrent player milestone up to 15,053, 189 Steam users online at the same time.
Over the weekend during the International Dota 2 championships one of the world’s top players, Danil ‘Dendi’ Ishutin head up to the main stage to take on a highly trained OpenAI bot. They squared off in a 1-vs-1, with the OpenAI bot coming out on top twice in a best of three. Bow down to our robot overlords.
eSports are in a strange position right now. One the one hands there’s multi-million dollar prize pools, huge sponsorships and TV deals, while on the other it’s still trying to establish itself as a serious sporting event, capable of rubbing shoulders with the already established sports. One aspect which probably won’t help eSports in its quest to be taken seriously are on-stage raging competitions, which is exactly what took place at the Manila Masters DOTA 2 tournament over in the Philippines. 
In a major case of sticking two fingers up to legitimate users, Valve is making major changes to DOTA 2. From May 4th, all players hoping to play in Ranked will have to register a unique phone number with their account. It’s being rolled into a matchmaking update which is designed to prevent cheaters and banned players from creating limitless additional accounts.
It’s not often we get a major update to DOTA 2 from Valve, but after a token batch of teasing it has unveiled DOTA 2 Patch 7.00. This is a mammoth update in the context of DOTA 2, adding in Sun Wukong, the Monkey King. You know, I’m sure I’ve seen him somewhere before.
I, like any person hoping to retain their sanity, have come to terms with the knowledge that Half-Life 3 will ever see the light of day. Because let’s face it, it won’t. But the flicker of hope has once more been reignited with a new update pushed to DOTA 2 which mentions HLVR, the oft-rumoured Half-Life virtual reality game.
When it comes to PC gaming, it’s all too easy to forget just what the biggest names out there. I’m not talking about CS:GO, DOTA 2 or Overwatch. I’m talking about the humble Solitaire, a game integrated with Windows 3.0 in order to help people learn how to use a mouse. Thanks to Microsoft giving away a new free version with all Windows 10 upgrades, the number of active Solitaire players on Windows has smashed through the 100 million mark.