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New research from OLBG has examined the popularity of some of the top-charting esports games to see how the numbers stack up during and after national lockdowns. 

Findings showed that GTA V’s average monthly players and peak monthly players have remained remarkably strong, even with restrictions being completely lifted. 

The popular Rockstar game averaged over 92,000 players in February this year, a figure which isn’t too far away from March 2020 (when lockdowns were put in place) which was just over 116,000.

Considering the impact of removing restrictions was inevitably going to have on gaming, it’s quite remarkable that GTA’s popularity has remained this strong.  

In May 2020, the average number of players rose to just under 142,000 which is the second-highest since its release. 

The figures were going down in late 2021, averaging around 73,000 in October and November, but the release of new DLC in December has seen growth back to over 90,000 in the months that followed. 

Dota 2 was also analysed as part of the research and much like GTA, it also showed very strong figures, reaching 485,000 average players in January 2022 – a number only bettered in the last few years back in April 2020 when it reached 493,300. 

Elsewhere, Football Managers’ stats were found to have significantly decreased compared to those recorded during the pandemic. 

April 2020 saw the popular simulation game reach an all-time high of 110,344, while in February this year, the number of average players was only 71,686 – nearly 40,000 less. 

To view the full finding from OLBG’s popularity of esports research, click here.

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