Valve's multiplayer online battle arena Dota 2 passed the 180,000 concurrent players mark this past Saturday, just over a year after opening its servers to players in November 2011, according to a Steamgraph charting the game's users.
Dota 2 has continued to steadily attract players after a spike earlier this fall brought on by the title's September international eSports tournament, held in Seattle during PAX Prime 2012.
The game has been successful on the in-game tournament front as well, and event organizers can now charge for tickets. The recent Defense 3 tourney, a competitive online event for players, "earned several times more in its first week than The Defense 1 did in its lifetime" from ticket sales, according to a post on the official Dota 2 blog.
Valve writes that indirect funding through sponsors and ad revenue have been helpful, but for the long-term the company hopes to fund tournaments through self-sustainable revenue from viewers and participants.