Popularity of Game Mode by Bracket


Minor update, but I went through the sample and tallied up the mode usage.  Not terribly exciting.  Single Draft falls in popularity in the upper brackets.  Random Draft gains popularity.  All Random is rather healthy at all skill levels.  Least Played not so much.  Captain’s Mode is quite a bit lower than I expected.  Perhaps TMM’s release early in the sample collection drew away a lot of the CM playerbase?  Surely there should still be some Normal results, but unless it’s a quirk of the sample collection in some way I’m just not seeing any.

10 Responses to Popularity of Game Mode by Bracket

  1. jimmydorry says:

    Surprising results. *_* I expected AP to decrease as the tier increased.

    I was also expecting the “fun times” modes to decrease, and for the most part, now feel vindicated.

  2. Johnny says:

    That is rather interesting. I think this is great for people wondering about the other modes and which one will get them into a game quickly. I expected that AP would be popular, but I also honestly had no idea that it would be THAT popular. It explains why when I’ve tried queuing only for Least Played why I gave up waiting before a game was found. On a side note I’ve played with the API a little bit myself, but lack the programming knowledge to do anything like what you are doing. Please, keep it coming! You may think stuff like this isn’t very interesting, but I think it is great to see what kind of game mode is being played the most and the least at different skill levels.

  3. Ewig Custos says:

    I can tell you why there are no results for captain’s mode in normal bracket. Answer is actually quite simple: people don’t play solo cm, and stacks of 4-5 “solo normal” players usually goes to high brackets. And cm is usually stack vs. sack games, so no surprise here. High bracket just “ate” normal results. Perhaps the same goes for high stacks going into very high games, but I’m not sure, I’ve been in very high only twice. ;)
    Oh, and 8% won’t stop me from playing -ar, I would wait 2 more minutes for it anytime.
    Nonetheless, keep up the good work, it’s really awesome.

  4. noxvilleza says:

    Hey, another interesting article.

    I was wondering (as my 15 gig torrent gets downloaded :<) if you'd do me a favour in the interim, I'm looking for just the CM matches in Very High Skill bracket. I just need the hero matchups and the result.

    It’s only 203 matches and would be incredibly helpful as the database finishes downloading :)

    Any google drive link for this would be a big <3

    • phantasmal says:


      I feel that Least Played is at a point where it satisfies no one. If you want a quick, convenient match you go with AP. If you want a more structured match you go to CM, or RD if you aren’t in a group and want CM-lite.

      If you merely want to force yourself to play outside of your comfort zone, you could always just select Random in AP. The advantage that AR and SD have over this is that everyone else is forced to select a relatively random hero as well, so that you can mess around with unfamiliar heroes without feeling like you’re at a distinct disadvantage.

      Least Played is no more convenient than AP and leaves you feeling more restricted than your opponents every time you see someone on the other team manage to grab Nyx, Drow, Warlock, Wisp + whoever, KotL + Phantom Lancer, Pudge, etc.

      As a game mode, I feel it would have more of a draw if it just locked the 40 most popular heroes that month overall.


      A uniquely high amount of pre-mades dragging up the average rating of a CM match would make sense



  5. Nyx Assassin says:

    I’m very surprised that zero normal bracket CM games were observed. I have played at least a dozen normal bracket CM games in the past few months. Are you sure your API is reporting these correctly? I can provide match IDs if necessary.

    • phantasmal says:

      I’m surprised by it too. The CM games I have in the other brackets do check out with Dotabuff’s records, so that much appears to be correct. It could be that Normal CM games are such a small percentage of total Normal games (because the Normal bracket is absolutely huge) that it’s possible to have a sample error that takes it to zero. It also could be related to this particular sample being collected largely during the period surrounding the release of Team Match Making. The last possibility is that it could be a regional issue. It’s unfortunately impossible to me to vary the time of day I collect matches, and from what I’ve seen mode popularity does vary a bit on different server clusters.

  6. GrowTrees says:

    Least Played is indeed the least played mode, derp

    I’m hoping stuff like deathmatch (and -omg) will be developed, even if they’re so-called fun modes. It’s like having inhouse same-hero-only-mid games which are fun every now and then.

  7. kangstag says:

    The decrease in popularity of single draft at higher levels makes sense to me.

    In higher games where team composition becomes more important, it’s likely to get a couple of players with terrible drafts.

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