Dota 2

The official free-to-play sequel to the Warcraft III custom scenario that originally popularized the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena sub-genre.


Dota 2 is a free-to-play high fantasy action real-time strategy game developed and released digitally by Valve for the PC, Mac and Linux on July 9, 2013.

Built on the studio's Source engine, Dota 2 is the official sequel to Defense of the Ancients, a series of custom scenarios for the 2002 game Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos that originally popularized the "Multiplayer Online Battle Arena" sub-genre. Development of the game is led by the original mod's final lead designer, IceFrog.

Similar to the original mod, the main gameplay pits two five-player teams (the Radiant and the Dire) against each-other as they work to escort their three endless waves of AI-controlled monsters (or "creeps") to the fortified enemy base in order to destroy the enemy "Ancient". Each player controls an individual Hero character and, throughout the match, earn experience (to level up their stats and abilities) and gold (for purchasing items and equipment) by eliminating enemies.

Rather than using a weekly free-to-play character rotation system (similar to other MOBA games at the time, namely League of Legends), the game makes all characters playable from the start and features cosmetic microtransactions (such as alternate appearances for each Hero's armor and weapons, alternate announcers, and custom UI enhancements) using the Steam Inventory and Steam Market systems.

The game received numerous updates since its original release, adding new Heroes, game modes (including support for custom modes), and features while revising certain gameplay mechanics. New features include better support for both new players (with integrated community-made guide support, coaching, and improved training modes) and competitive players (with improved replay and spectator support), as well as VR headset support (for spectating and viewing cosmetics). It also received a reworked client update in June 2015 (named "Dota 2 Reborn" for a short time), porting the game to Valve's Source 2 engine (the first game released with it), and received a complete map revamp on April 2023.

Dota 2 originally received an invite-only beta in November 2011, during Gamescom 2011. It was formally launched July 9, 2013, but access was gated via a queue system until December 16, 2013. It was also distributed as a standalone game in some regions, with Perfect World publishing the game in China, and Nexon publishing the game in both Japan and South Korea. The game also received spin-offs, including the 2018 digital card game Artifact, the 2020 "auto-battler" game Dota Underlords, and the 2021 animated series Dota: Dragon's Blood.


Dota 2 plays similar to its mod predecessor DotA: Allstars, where five players control individual hero characters and defend their base against waves of computer-controlled monsters, or creeps, and five opposing player-controlled heroes. The objective is to destroy the opposing team's towers and ultimately, their Ancient. Players earn gold and experience by killing creeps and other heroes, and can buy items and equipment to boost their heroes and aid their team within each match.

Game Modes

There are many different game modes available in Dota 2, each affecting how a player chooses (or not) their hero. Players also have the ability to randomly pick a hero in most modes, which gives them extra gold to start off with.

  • All Pick: Each player can choose any hero. The most common mode in matchmaking.
  • Ranked All Pick: First each player may vote to ban one hero. After bans have been made, each team takes turns choosing heroes. This is the most popular mode for ranked matchmaking.
  • Captain's Mode: Each team has a captain who take turns in banning heroes from the game and choosing heroes for their team. The standard mode of all major tournaments.
  • Single Draft: Each player is given one Strength, Agility and Intelligence hero to choose from.
  • Random Draft: Each player takes turns to choose a hero from a pool of 20 random heroes.
  • All Random: Every player gets a random hero, and receives extra gold to start off with.
  • Reverse Captain's Mode: Captain's Mode where the opposing team picks and bans heroes for the other team. (only available on private games)
  • All Mid: Optional mode limiting all heroes to the center lane. (only available on private games)
  • Least Played: Players are banned from picking their top 40 most played heroes.
  • Diretide: A special Halloween only mode, where players battle over candy and then try to kill Roshan in the fastest time possible.
  • The Greeviling: A special Christmas only mode where teams race to be the first to kill 11 camps of Greevils, with the ability to change to their own Greevils at any time.
  • Captain's Draft: Assemble a squad from a randomized pool of 24 heroes. Captain take alternating turns banning heroes until they have each banned 3, then they take alternating turns picking their team's five heroes to play.
  • Wraith Night: A special wave-based Survival mode, where 5 players team up to protect the Wraith King's Throne against hordes of AI-controlled creeps and heroes.
  • New Bloom Festival: A special mode where 5 players team up to fight the "Year Beast" to inflict as much damage as possible.

In all official game modes, picking a hero removes it from the pool of available heroes, so that it is never possible for more than one player to play any hero.

Chat Wheel

The Chat Wheel
The Chat Wheel

In an effort to encourage communication between players, Valve implemented a feature called the "chat wheel". Based on a similar interface first seen in Left 4 Dead, players can hold down a key and move the mouse cursor in one of 8 directions. This command puts a corresponding line of text into the normal chat box field. Some commands have corresponding voice lines from the champions, particularly the missing command. The "Missing" chat option is also context sensitive and will change based on where the player's hero currently is.

The Map

The Map
The Map

Although many MOBAs, like League of Legends, feature multiple maps, Dota 2 (for now) only has one map, and all games take place on it. The map of Dota 2 follows the same non-symmetrical structure as the original DotA Allstars map. Both factions occupy opposing sides of the map: the Radiant, in the bottom left most corner, and the Dire, in the upper right most corner. Their Ancients lie at the corners of their respective territories, and the opposing team must destroy it to win the game. A river separates these two territories, and holds two "Rune Spots", where special power-ups spawn every 2 minutes.

Central to the game are three lanes which computer-controlled creeps will continuously follow, usually called the "top lane", "middle lane", and "bottom lane". These creeps will spawn from the Dire or Radiant Barracks every 30 seconds after the game starts, and will continue on their path until they hit an enemy. Heroes will intercept these creep waves, fight over killing these creeps, and try to push the creeps towards the enemy base. Killing an enemy creep will give heroes gold and experience, and enemy heroes can try to "deny" their creeps by killing their creeps themselves.

Spread around the map are neutral creep camps, used by heroes to supplement their income. Neutral creeps are stationary and spawn every minute unless something is blocking that camp, be it other neutral creeps, heroes, or wards. Near the center of the map is a giant creep camp, holding the game's "boss", Roshan. Heroes can kill Roshan to obtain an item, Aegis of the Immortal, which will revive its when carrier upon death. Roshan also drops a powerful healing item (Cheese) after being killed thrice.

Dota 2 also features differing levels of terrain elevation, something carried over from its roots as a Warcraft III mod. Units on a lower level will not have vision of higher levels unless a friendly ground unit or an Observer Ward is on the higher level, or a friendly flying unit is nearby. Additionally, when attacking from a lower level, ranged attacks have a 25% chance to miss.



Three towers defend each lane, and an additional two defend a team's Ancient. Towers are invulnerable until the previous tower in the lane has been destroyed, and the Ancient is also invulnerable until both its towers are destroyed. Towers will target the nearest unit attacking them and are a formidable source of damage. The third tier of tower also sits on the base's high ground, making it more difficult to siege.


A Dire Barracks
A Dire Barracks

Similar to other MOBAs, Dota 2 also has special buildings that affect creeps in each lane. Barracks (commonly referred to as "Rax") are behind the third and final tower of their own individual lanes. There are two different types, a Ranged Barracks and a Melee Barracks. Both have 1500 HP and will award gold to whoever last hits them. When a barracks is destroyed, all future creeps of the type that it represents will become Super Creeps, which are far more formidable then regular creeps (doing double the damage and having an increase in armor - regular creeps have 0). When all six barracks are taken by a team, all lanes will begin to spawn Mega Creeps for that team, which have over 1000 hp and do 100+ damage.


A Dire Outpost
A Dire Outpost

These building serve as a control point for each team. Outposts grant ground vision to the controlling team, and can be targeted by items like Boots of Travel or Teleport Scrolls (this teleport takes longer than other buildings). Originally replacing the Side Shop, in Patch 7.24 they were moved to the Jungle of each team. At ten minutes, the Outposts become available for capture, the first team to capture them gets a experience bonus. Every five minutes the Outposts doll out additional bonus experience to the team that controls them.

Generic Building

Inside of the base of each team are several buildings that award gold to whoever last hits them. They serve no significant purpose other than to distract the creeps on the way to the Ancient. These buildings can be customized with Effigy items.

The Fountain

Heroes spawn at the top-right (for the Dire) and bottom-left (for the Radiant) of the map, at special areas called Fountains. These areas are protected by an invulnerable super tower, the Fountain, and allows players to recover their health and mana, and to buy items. They serve as an area for heroes to shelter from the enemy, but they can still be killed if they are not careful.


Runes are special power-ups found in 2 specific spots onthe map. Two runes will spawn at the start of the game - a bounty rune and random non-bounty rune, and at every 2 minutes existing runes will be replaced. Both runes will spawn at the same time for players to bottle or use. Any hero can pick up the rune and use it immediately, or store it in a Bottle for use later. Bottling a rune will also recharge all charges on a Bottle, and runes in a Bottle will be automatically activated 2 minutes after storing it. There are 6 types of runes, each giving a powerful bonus for a short period of time.

Double DamageGives the hero and any controlled illusions +100% base attack damage bonus for 45 seconds.
HasteGives the hero maximum (522) movement speed and immunity to slow for 20 seconds.
IllusionCreates 2 illusions of the hero, which lasts for 75 seconds. Illusions deal 35% damage and take 300% damage.
InvisibliltyMakes the hero invisible for 45 seconds. Invisibility is broken upon performing actions, and the hero can be spotted by units with true-sight.

Gives the hero 100 hp/sec and 67 mana/sec regeneration for 30 seconds. It ends if the hero takes damage or their health and mana are full.


Rewards the hero with gold and experience depending on the length of the match (Gives 50 experience + (5 * minute), and 50 gold + (2 * minute).


Early Beta Screenshot
Early Beta Screenshot

In Dota 2, players generally control only one unit: their chosen Hero unit. The base game included 101 Heroes to choose from, all of which are from the original Defense of the Ancients. Additional Heroes (both from the original mod and brand new) have been added post-release, with 124 Heroes total (as of the release of Muerta).

Like in the original Defense of the Ancients (as well as in the game its based from) each Hero has their own six-item inventory, their own series of special abilities (including three active/passive ability slots and one "ultimate" active ability slot), their own statistics (including their weapon stats and their three base attributes), and their own experience level. Outside of special and custom game modes, players can not choose the same Hero as another.

Each player starts the match with their Hero at level 1 (with 0 XP), and gain experience points either by killing enemy Heroes or by being nearby as an enemy unit is killed. As they level up, each of their base attributes are increased (with each Hero having their own per-level "growth" value for each attribute) and they gain points which can be used to unlock and improve special abilities and to unlock parts of the Hero's unique talent tree. In older versions of the game, an "attribute bonus" was used instead of the talent tree and further improved each Hero's attributes.

The game includes three base attributes for each Hero:

  • Strength, highlighted in red. Measuring a Hero's resilience, each point in Strength improves their health pool, increasing both maximum health and health regeneration. In some older versions of the game, it also granted resistance to magical attacks.
  • Agility, highlighted in green. Measuring a Hero's swiftness, each point in Agility improves their overall speed, increasing both attack speed and resistance to physical attacks. In some older versions of the game, it also granted movement speed.
  • Intelligence, highlighted in blue. Measuring a Hero's wisdom, each point in Intelligence improves their mana pool, increasing both maximum mana and mana regeneration. In some older versions of the game, it also granted increased damage on their magical attacks.

While each Hero has their own base and growth values of all three attributes, they also have a "primary attribute" which not only hints at how they are supposed to be played, but also controls how much damage they inflict on basic attacks (with each point in their chosen attribute granting increased damage).

Unlike most MOBAs, where Heroes are classified by roles, Dota 2 separates each Hero based on their chosen primary attribute. Each Hero has multiple roles they can play based on their attributes, abilities, and item combinations, with the game suggesting roles for each Hero:

  • Carry - Can gain the most offensive power as the game progresses.
  • Support - Can use their abilities, instead of items, to aid in teamfights.
  • Nuker - Can kill enemies quickly using high-damage/sustainable spells.
  • Disabler - Can use their abilities to incapacitate enemies.
  • Jungler - Can efficiently farm neutral creeps between lanes.
  • Durable - Can absorb a large amount of incoming damage in teamfights.
  • Escape - Can use their abilities to retreat or reposition safely.
  • Pusher - Can efficiently reinforce lanes and/or siege enemy buildings.
  • Initiator - Can safely and advantageously start teamfights.

Strength Heroes


These heroes usually rely on their tankiness due to their strong health pools, despite not being prominent in neither their attacking power nor their magical abilities. Most Strength Heroes are melee-oriented, with their basic attack damage based on their Strength attribute.

Because of how abilities and attributes scale, Strength Heroes are usually balanced in both early-game and late-game phases.

Agility Heroes


These heroes usually rely on their dueling capabilities due to their quick attacks and resistance to basic attacks, despite not being prominent in neither their vitality nor their magical abilities. Agility Heroes are balanced between melee-oriented and range-oriented, with their basic attack damage based on their Agility attribute.

Because of how abilities and attributes scale, Agility Heroes are usually more powerful in the late-game phase.

Intelligence Heroes

Keeper of the Light
Keeper of the Light

These heroes usually rely on their magical abilities due to their strong mana pools, despite not being prominent in neither their vitality nor their attacking power. Most Intelligence Heroes are range-oriented, with their basic attack damage based on their Intelligence attribute.

Because of how abilities and attributes scale, Intelligence Heroes are usually more powerful in the early-game phase.

Universal Heroes


These heroes are usually not reliant on a single attribute and can adapt easier to different situations based on their item choice. Rather than their basic attack damage being determined by one attribute, Universal Heroes have their damage based on all three attributes (at 60% each).

This classification was added on April 20, 2023.


A Basic Ability
A Basic Ability

Abilities are special skills that each hero and some neutral creeps can learn. A hero normally has four abilities, although some heroes, like Invoker, have up to 14 different abilities. Abilities are separated into basic abilities, which are the first three abilities, and ultimate abilities, which take up the rightmost spot on the skill bar. Basic abilities are available to be learned from the start, and can be upgraded three times. The ability to upgrade to higher ranks of basic abilities unlock levels 3, 5, and 7. Ultimate abilities, however, are only available from level 6, and can only be upgraded twice. They can only be upgraded to their higher ranks from levels 11 and 16.

An Ultimate Ability
An Ultimate Ability

There are two types of abilities: active and passive. Active abilities must be activated by the player to be used, and normally cost mana, have cooldowns, and have to be targeted at a unit or a spot (area or point). Passive abilities, on the other hand, are active as soon as they are learned, and do not usually cost mana or have cooldowns. Some active abilities can be autocasted, and can be toggled on or off by right-clicking the ability in the skill bar.

Unique Attack Modifiers

A Unique Attack Modifier
A Unique Attack Modifier

Unique Attack Modifiers, previously known as Orb Effects, are special effects that can modify a hero's basic attack to provide an additional effect. Unique Attack Modifiers can be found on items, or be part of a hero ability. All items found in the "Artifacts" column of the shop have Unique Attack Modifiers. A hero can have only one Unique Attack Modifier active at a time, and additional Unique Attack Modifiers will not stack with each other. Not all attack modifiers count as Unique Attack Modifiers, and can be checked by looking at the tool-tip to the ability or item in game.

If a hero has more than one Unique Attack Modifier active, the priority of which modifier will activate on the hero's next strike will depend on this order:

  1. Conditional Modifier: Chance- or cooldown-based modifiers.
  2. Ability Modifier: A hero ability modifier.
  3. Standard Modifier: An item modifier, based on purchase priority, oldest first.

An activated Ability Modifier will be only overwritten by a Conditional Modifier if the Ability Modifier was set to autocast. If manually cast, it will not be overwritten. There are also two exceptions: Eye of Skadi will stack with both lifesteal granted by Unique Attack Modifiers, and Clinkz's Searing Arrows.

Items and Shops

The Shop In-Game
The Shop In-Game

Like a role-playing game, items and equipment can be bought for all heroes, and often come with active abilities to supplement a hero's skill pool. These items can be bought using gold in shops, found both in the faction bases and spread around the map. A hero can carry up to six items in its inventory. Many items can be combined with other items and recipes to form more powerful items. Items cannot be shared between heroes, with few exceptions: all items in the Consumables category, health and mana regeneration boosters, the Gem of True Sight, and the Divine Rapier.

These items have no relation to the in-game item store, and will affect gameplay greatly. They will also not carry over between matches.

Basic Items

These items can be bought in base.

Clarity (50g)Iron Branch (50g)Ring of Protection (175g)Magic Stick (200g)
Tango (125g)Gauntlets of Strength (150g)Quelling Blade (200g)Sage's Mask (325g)
Healing Salve (110g)Slippers of Agility (150g)Stout Shield (200g)Ring of Regen (325g)
Smoke of Deceit (50g)Mantle of Intelligence (150g)Blades of Attack (420g)Boots of Speed (400g)
Town Portal Scroll (50g)Circlet (165g)Chainmail (550g)Gloves of Haste (500g)
Dust of Appearance (180g)Belt of Strength (450g)Helm of Iron Will (950g)Cloak (550g)
Animal Courier (100g)Band of Elvenskin (450g)Broadsword (1200g)Gem of True Sight (900g)
Flying Courier (150g)Robe of the Magi (450g)Quarterstaff (875g)Morbid Mask (900g)
Observer Ward (65g)Ogre Club (1000g)Claymore (1400g)Ghost Scepter (1500g)
Sentry Ward (200g)Blade of Alacrity (1000g)Javelin (1500g)Shadow Amulet (1400g)
Bottle (660g)Staff of Wizardry (1000g)Platemail (1400g)Talisman of Evasion (1800g)
Ultimate Orb (2100g)Mithril Hammer (1600g)Blink Dagger (2250g)

Neutral Items

These items are dropped in five tiers starting at seven minutes, and tier increasing by one around every fifteen minutes. Hero can only hold one neutral item a time in their neutral item slot.

Tier 1Tier 2Tier 3Tier 4Tier 5
Arcane RingClumsy NetCraggy CoatFlickerApex
Faded BroachDragon ScaleEnchanted QuiverHavocBallista
Ironwood TreeEssence RingGreater Faerie FireIllusionist's CapeBook of the Dead
Mango TreeGrove BowMind BreakerMagic LampEx Machina
Poor Man's ShieldImp ClawOrb of DestructionMinotaur HornFallen Sky
Trusty ShovelNether ShawlPaladin SwordNinja GearForce Boots
Broom HandlePhilosopher's StoneQuickening CharmPrince's KnifeFusion Rune
Iron TalonPupil's GiftRepair KitSpell PrismMirror Shield
Keen OpticRing of AquilaSpider LegsThe LevellerPhoenix Ash
Ocean HeartVambraceTelescopeTimeless RelicPirate Hat
Royal JellyVampire FangsTitan SliverWitless ShakoSeer Stone
Stygian Desolator
Woodland Striders

Side Shop

The side shops could be found in each team safe lane. They sold several items found in the basic shop and the secret shop. This allowed heroes better access to several items in the early game, but the side shops were removed in Patch 7.23


These items are made by combining items and, often, recipes. Item recipes can only be bought in the base shops, although upgraded items can be assembled anywhere. Some items that do not require recipes to create, and some upgraded items can also be dissembled into their constituent items for further use. The cost shown here includes the cost of their constituent items and recipes (if needed).


Null Talisman (470g)

Ring of Basilius (525g)

Force Staff (2250g)

Crystalys (2150g)

Hood of Defiance (2125g)

Helm of the Dominator (1850g)

Wraith Band (485g)

Headdress (600g)

Veil of Discort (2670g)

Armlet of Mordiggian (2500g)

Blade Mail (2200g)

Mask of Madness (1800g)

Magic Wand (500g)

Buckler (800g)

Eul's Scepter of Divinity (2700g)

Skull Basher (2950g)

Vanguard (2225g)

Sange (2050g)

Bracer (525g)

Urn of Shadows (875g)

Necronomicon (2700g)

Shadow Blade (3000g)

Soul Booster (3300g)

Yasha (2050g)

Poor Man's Shield (550g)

Tranquil Boots (1000g)

Dagon (2720g)

Battle Fury (4350g)

Crimson Guard

Maelstrom (2800g)

Soul Ring (800g)

Ring of Aquila (1010g)

Rod of Atos (3100g)

Ethereal Blade (4900g)

Black King Bar (3975g)

Diffusal Blade (3150g)

Phase Boots (1350g)

Medallion of Courage (1075g)

Orchid Malevolence (4125g)

Radiance (5150g)

Shiva's Guard (4700g)

Heaven's Halberd (3850g)

Power Threads (1400g)

Arcane Boots (1450g)

Aghanim's Scepter (4200g)

Monkey King Bar (5400g)

Manta Style (4950g)

Desolator (4100g)

Oblivion Staff (1675g)

Drums of Endurance (1850g)

Refresher Orb (5225g)

Daedalus (5550g)

Bloodstone (4900g)

Sange and Yasha (4100g)

Perseverance (1750g)

Vladmir's Offering (2075g)

Scythe of Vyse (5675g)

Butterfly (6000g)

Linken's Sphere (5175g)

Eye of Skadi (5675)

Hand of Midas (2050g)

Mekansm (2300g)


Divine Rapier (6200g)

Assault Cuirass (5250g)

Mjollnir (5700)

Boots of Travel (2450g)

Pipe of Insight (3625g)


Abyssal Blade (6750g)

Heart of Tarrasque (5500g)

Satanic (6150g)

Secret Shop

The Radiant Secret Shop
The Radiant Secret Shop

The (not-so-secret) secret shop can be found on the map, on both sides of the river. Items sold in the secret shop are often more powerful then basic items found in normal shops, and are essential in making most of the more expensive upgraded items. They are also more expensive than basic items due to their power.

  • Orb of Venom (275g)
  • Ring of Health (875g)
  • Void Stone (875g)
  • Energy Booster (1000g)
  • Vitality Booster (1100g)
  • Point Booster (1200g)
  • Hyperstone (2000g)
  • Demon Edge (2400g)
  • Mystic Staff (2700g)
  • Reaver (3200g)
  • Eaglesong (3300g)
  • Sacred Relic (3800g)

Spoils of War

The Store
The Store

On May 31, 2012, Valve announced that Dota 2 will be free to play, with an in-game item store and drop system similar to Team Fortress 2. All heroes will be unlocked from the start, and players do not have to pay to play any hero in their game, unlike League of Legends.

Players can purchase customizable items for their heroes with money through the in-game item store. The store also sells courier skins, announcer voice packs, and name and description tags to rename items. All purchasable items can also be found for free. At the end of a match, players will sometimes receive a free item drop or locked chest. All purchasable items in Dota 2 are cosmetic only, and will not affect gameplay in any manner. Items received or purchased in the beta will not be wiped, and will carry over to the game's official launch.

Sharing In-game Content
Sharing In-game Content

Players earn some Battle Points at the end of every match, which goes towards their Battle Level. Every player is given a present which they can open every five levels. The in-game store sells point boosters which increase the rate of Battle Point generation for several days. To encourage users not to leave matches early, these point boosters benefit not just the buyer of the item, but all players in game and spectating. Players can also trade items with other people using the Steam trading interface, and can trade with items and vouchers from outside of Dota 2.

Dota 2 also uses the Steam Workshop, the third Valve game to do so. The community can contribute their items similar to Team Fortress 2, and vote on their favorites. Valve picks highly rated items to sell in their in-game store, and contributors earn a cut from sales of their items. Valve have stated that over 80% of items in the store are from the community.

Spectating and Tournaments

Tournaments Tab
Tournaments Tab

From its first showing at The International, Dota 2 was always aimed at the competitive eSports arena, and comes with a inbuilt game spectating and broadcasting system, DotaTV. All matchmaking games are automatically sent to a DotaTV spectating server, and any players can spectate these games (with a two-minute time gap) at any time. Spectators can move their camera freely, view hero skills and items, and check graphs that show how each team is performing. They can also use an automatic director, which focuses on any major action happening at that time. Games are saved after it is over, and players can download to view them at a later time.

DotaTV also serves as an in-game broadcasting system, and broadcasters can use it to stream and commentate on tournament matches. It will not replace existing web-based streaming services like joinDOTA, but gives them another way to stream their games. On June 19, 2012, Valve added the "Tournaments" tab to the game client, where players can follow any current tournaments, check upcoming matches with the in-game calender, and view the games with added commentary from the broadcasters. Valve also sells tickets via the in-game store to unlock tournament viewing in-game, giving tournament organizers a way to make money off spectators. Team pennants were also sold as part of the The International 2, which allowed players to support their favorite teams financially. Supporters also get a chance of receiving a rare drop when watching live games of their teams in DotaTV. The International 2 and The Defense are the first tournaments to use the DotaTV system.

A Pennant
A Pennant

On August 17, 2012, Valve released the Dota 2 Spectator Client to all Steam users. It allows anyone with a Steam account to download and watch any match of Dota 2 (including tournament matches), and comes with all the inbuilt spectator features of the normal game client. It will upgrade to the full client when the game is officially released to the public.


The International 2012

The 2nd International tournament, held in Seattle between August 31 and September 2, was the first major event in Dota 2. Free spectator clients were distributed to all Steam users, and players could participate in the event by buying pennants to support their favorite teams. Matches could be viewed in-game via DotaTV, and spectators had a chance to receive a rare drop when a special play occured. The winners, Invictus Gaming, won against the former champions, Natus Vincere, to win $1 million and the Aegis of Champions Trophy, displayed at the Fountain at both the Radiant and Dire bases.

The International 2013

The third International tournament was held in Seattle between August 7th and the 11th. This year an interactive compendium was introduced which allowed players to keep up to date with the tournament, predict the result of matches, participate in community polls and be eligible for special item drops throughout the tournament. For every compendium sold $2.5 was added to the prize pool to a sum total of over $2.8 million. In the end, Alliance won the tournament over last year's runner-up Natus Vincere after a dramatic best of five series that went the distance.

The International 2014

The fourth International tournament was held in the KeyArena in Seattle and had a prize pool of $11 million with Valve seeding the initial $1.6 million and the rest coming from the interactive Compendium sales. The winners, Newbee won against Vici Gaming winning a total prize of $5,028,308.


Diretide was the first Dota 2 event to introduce an entirely new game mode, Diretide. Held during Halloweens 2012 and 2013, players must battle to gain the most Greevil Taffys, while dodging Roshan, who is also hunting for these sweets. Players then have to take down a powered-up Sugar Rush Roshan in the shortest time possible. Players can play this separate mode to gain new items and essences, which are used to power up Greevil Eggs. Each player gets a Greevil Egg for free, and can buy extra ones in the in-game store. The eggs can eventually be hatch to give a Greevil courier, customized based on the essences it received while it was an egg.

The Greeviling

The Greeviling was held during Christmas 2012, where players play a new mode to see who can kill 11 camps of Greevils first. The river is now frozen and hinders movement, and no normal creeps spawn during the duration of the game. Players start with only a set of items (a flute, a pair of random boots, and a recovery item), and only gain additional items through presents dropped by the Greevil camps after clearing it. Players can also change to their Greevil form using the flute, which gives them an additional set of stats and abilities based on the type of Greevil. Finishing the game gives all players a present, a good one if they won, and a bad one if they lost.

Wraith Night

Wraith Night replaced the Greeviling for Christmas 2013, and introduced a waved-based Survival mode to Dota 2. Unlike the other modes, players pit their skills against 12 waves of AI-controlled creeps and heroes, protecting the Wraith King's throne from their relentless attacks. Finally, they have to go up against the Wraith King himself, reborn from the souls of his enemies. Players are rewarded Phantom and Shining Fragments for completing waves, which can be used to redeem gifts of recipes and items.

A limited amount of heroes were available in Wraith Night, and many heroes feature different skills from their normal counterparts. Some items were also added for this mode, and others removed. Gold is gained by picking up sacks dropped by fallen enemies, but they will disappear if not collected fast enough.

New Bloom

The New Bloom Festival was a special game mode that began on January 29th 2014. This game mode had 5 players team up and try to inflict as much damage as possible on the "Year Beast". The more damage dealt, the greater the reward was. Various items were introduced specifically for the event designed to help fight the boss.


The longest serving and current DotA: Allstars developer, IceFrog, announced on his blog in October 2009 that he had "great news for DotA fans" and that he had been hired by Valve. A year later, Dota 2 was formally announced in a Game Informer article. In an August 2011 interview with Gamasutra, Gabe Newell and project lead Erik Johnson revealed that the game has been in development for two years. Erik and a few other Valve employees' passion for DotA: Allstars was cited as the project's genesis. Gabe has stated that Dota 2 will be free to play, but with a "twist", and the free to play system was introduced in the end of May 2012.

In August 2010, Valve trademarked the word "Dota", rather than the title acronym "DotA". This means the "Dota" in Dota 2's title is a word and does not technically stand for Defense of the Ancients, a term that has links to many people and Blizzard itself. This trademark was the cause of a legal dispute between Valve and Blizzard that was finally settled in May 2012.


Dota 2 ran an invite-only beta that started in early November 2011 and ended in July 2013. It updated almost every Thursday, and Valve normally added new heroes every week. On February 24, 2012, Valve added a Dota 2 test client that updates a day before the actual beta, to limit bugs affecting the actual beta (which is also used for tournaments). Players could get an invite by signing up for one, or by purchasing an Dota 2 early access pack in Steam, which included an invite. Valve also periodically gave out additional invites to players that were already in the beta, allowing players to gift these invites to anyone they wanted.

The Launch

Dota 2 officially launched July 9, 2013. As a result the beta invites were retired and new training features were added to ease new players into the game. To avoid the problems that often face releases of popular multiplayer games, Valve started letting new players in to the game in waves. People could sign up to be added to the game from it's official website. Signing up would add you to a launch queue, from which you would eventually be granted access to the game. By December 16, however, Valve has removed all restrictions to entry, and signups are no longer required to play the game.

System Requirements


Minimum Requirements

  • OS: Windows 7
  • Processor: Dual core from Intel or AMD at 2.8 GHz
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: nVidia GeForce 8600/9600GT, ATI/AMD Radeon HD2600/3600
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Hard Drive: 8 GB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible


Minimum Requirements

  • OS: OS X Lion 10.7
  • Processor: Dual core from Intel
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: nVidia 320M or higher, or Radeon 7000 or higher, or Intel HD 3000 or higher
  • Hard Drive: 8 GB available space


Minimum Requirements

  • OS: Ubuntu 12.04
  • Processor: Dual core from Intel or AMD at 2.8 GHz
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: nVidia GeForce 8600/9600GT, ATI/AMD Radeon HD2600/3600 (Graphic Drivers: nVidia 310, AMD 12.11), OpenGL 2.1
  • Hard Drive: 8 GB available space
  • Sound Card: OpenAL Compatible Sound Card

Useful Links

A Blizzard of Dota 2 Activity
I Love Mondays 04/08/2013
Thursday Night Throwdown: 04/11/13 - Gameplay Feed
Thursday Night Throwdown: 04/11/13 - Commentary Feed
I Love Mondays - 05/13/13
The Daily Dota: 05/15/2013
The Daily Dota: 05/16/2013
The Daily Dota: 05/17/2013
The Daily Dota: 05/20/2013
The Daily Dota: 05/21/2013
The Daily Dota: 05/22/2013
The Daily Dota: 05/24/2013
The Daily Dota: 05/28/2013
The Daily Dota: 05/29/13
The Daily Dota: 05/30/2013
The Daily Dota: 05/31/13
The Daily Dota: 06/03/2013
The Daily Dota: 06/04/2013
The Daily Dota: 06/05/2013
The Daily Dota: 06/06/2013
The Daily Dota: 06/07/13
The Daily Dota: 06/20/2013
The Daily Dota: 06/25/2013
The Daily Dota: 07/01/2013
The Daily Dota: 07/03/2013
Dota 2
The Daily Dota: 07/25/2013
The Daily Dota: 08/01/2013
The Daily Dota: 08/09/2013
The Daily Dota: 08/15/2013
The Daily Dota: 08/22/2013
The Daily Dota: 09/05/2013
The Daily Dota Community Grudge Match: 09/14/2013
The Daily Dota Patch Six-Point-Seven-Ninestravaganza
2013 - Day 1: Part 01
2013 - Day 1: Part 02
2013 - Day 1: Part 13
Game of the Year 2013: Day Four Recap
The Daily Dota 2014 New Year Spectacular - Part 01
The Daily Dota 2014 New Year Spectacular - Part 03
The Daily Dota 2014 New Year Spectacular - Part 02
The Daily Dota: 01/16/2014
The Daily Dota New Bloom Kaboom
The Daily Dota Chat Test Bonanza
The Year Beast Cometh (and Goeth)
The Daily Dota: Do or Die Edition
The Occasional Dota: 04/24/14
The Occasional Dota: 05/07/14
Bombin' the A.M. With Andrew Groen
The Weekend Dota: 05/18/14
Freedom Stream 2014
Giant Bomb Mailbag: TI4 Edition
Bombin' the A.M. With Scoops and the Wolf: 07/18/2014
Bombin' the A.M. With Scoops and the Wolf: 07/21/2014
Brad's International 4 Hat Bonanza!
Thursday Edition 09/04/2014
2014 - Day 3: Part 02
2014 - Day 3: Part 08
2014 - Day 3: Part 09
Not-So-Daily Dota: 6.84 Patchstravaganza
443: Hideo Kojima Jr.
Giant Bomb Mailbag: Breakfast Show Edition
2016 - Brad: Part 02
Giant Bomb Presents: The Dota 2 The International 7 eSports Fantasy Dotacular
Thank God It's FriDota: The All Hero Challenge 07/21/17
FriDota: The All Hero Challenge 07/28/17
129 - Brad Max
ThursDota: The All Hero Challenge 08/03/17
WednesDota: The All-Hero Challenge 08/23/17
532: Hard Onboard
Giant Bomb Presents: The Dota 2 The International 8 eSports Fantasy Dotacular II
150 - Best of Best Of Best
Ben's Lens: The Shirt Video
Dota Auto Chess
570: EA's Got a Fortnite!
Breakfast 'N' Ben - Auto Chess 02/14/19
583: "Under the Top!"
583: "Under the Top!"
Brad's Pre-E3 Warp Gate Extravaganza
596: Math Amphetamine
596: Math Amphetamine
Breakfast 'N' Ben - DOTA 2: Custom Hero Chaos
659: ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ
659: ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ
674: Knife or Death
674: Knife or Death