Dota 2 is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) video game developed and published by Valve. The game is a sequel to Defense of the Ancients (DotA), which was a community-created mod for Blizzard Entertainment’s Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. A team wins by being the first to destroy the other team’s “Ancient”, a large structure located within their base. Dota 2 is played in matches between two teams of five players, with each team occupying and defending their own separate base on the map. Each of the ten players independently controls a powerful character, known as a “hero”, who all have unique abilities and differing styles of play. During a match players collect experience points and items for their heroes to successfully defeat the opposing team’s heroes in player versus player combat.
Every day, millions of players worldwide enter battle as one of over a hundred Dota heroes. And no matter if it’s their 10th hour of play or 1,000th, there’s always something new to discover. With regular updates that ensure a constant evolution of gameplay, features, and heroes, Dota 2 has taken on a life of its own. When it comes to diversity of heroes, abilities, and powerful items, Dota boasts an endless array—no two games are the same. Any hero can fill multiple roles, and there’s an abundance of items to help meet the needs of each game. Dota doesn’t provide limitations on how to play, it empowers you to express your own style. Competitive balance is Dota’s crown jewel, and to ensure everyone is playing on an even field, the core content of the game—like the vast pool of heroes—is available to all players. Fans can collect cosmetics for heroes and fun add-ons for the world they inhabit, but everything you need to play is already included before you join your first match.
Despite some criticism going towards its steep learning curve and overall complexity, Dota 2 was praised for its rewarding gameplay, production quality, and faithfulness to its predecessor, with many considering it to be one of the greatest video games of all time.The popularity of the game has led to official merchandise and media adaptations for it being produced, including comic books and an anime series, as well as promotional tie-ins to other games and media. The game also allows for the community to create their own gamemodes, maps, and cosmetics, which are uploaded to the Steam Workshop. It has been one of the most played games on Steam since its release, with over a million concurrent players at its peak. Two spinoff games, Artifact and Dota Underlords, were also released by Valve. Dota 2 has also been used in machine learning experiments, with a team of bots known as the OpenAI Five showing the capability to defeat professional players.
Dota 2 has a large esports scene, with teams from around the world playing in various professional leagues and tournaments. Valve manages an event format known as the Dota Pro Circuit, which are a series of tournaments that award qualification points for earning direct invitations to The International, the game’s premier annual tournament.In addition to playing live to audiences in arenas and stadiums, broadcasts of them are also streamed over the internet, and sometimes simulcast on television networks, with peak viewership numbers in the millions. Internationals feature a crowdfunded prize money system that has seen amounts in upwards of US$30 million, making Dota 2 the most lucrative esports game. Media coverage of most tournaments is done by a selection of on-site staff who provide commentary and analysis for the ongoing matches, similar to traditional sporting events.