|Release date(s)||Microsoft Windows
|Genre(s)||Multiplayer online battle arena|
Dota 2 is a free-to-play multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) video game developed and published by Valve Corporation for Microsoft Windows, OS X, and Linux. The game is the stand-alone sequel to Defense of the Ancients (DotA), which was a mod for Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and its expansion pack, The Frozen Throne. Dota 2 is played in matches between two teams that consist of five players, who each occupy their own base on the map. Each player controls a powerful character, known as a "hero", that feature unique abilities and different styles of play. During a match, a player collects experience points, gold, and items for their hero in order to fight heroes of the opposing team, while attempting to push through their defenses. A team wins by being the first to destroy a large structure located in the opposing team's base, called the "Ancient".
Development of Dota 2 began in 2009 when IceFrog, lead designer of the original Defense of the Ancients mod, was hired by Valve for the same role. Dota 2 was officially released in July 2013, following a Windows-only open beta phase that began two years prior. The game initially used the original Source game engine until it was ported over to Source 2 in 2015, making it the first game to use it. The game also allows for the community to create custom game modes, maps, and cosmetics for the heroes, which are then uploaded to the Steam Workshop. Dota 2 is one of the most actively played games on Steam, with peaks of over a million concurrent players, and was praised by critics for its gameplay, production quality, and faithfulness to its predecessor, despite being criticized for its steep learning curve. The popularity of Dota 2 has led to official merchandise being produced for it, including apparel, accessories, toys, and promotional tie-ins to other games and media.
Dota 2 also has a widespread and active eSports scene, with teams from across the world playing in various leagues and tournaments. Premium Dota 2 tournaments often have prize pools totaling millions of dollars, the highest of any eSport. The largest of them is known as The International, which is hosted by Valve and takes place annually at the KeyArena in Seattle. Starting in 2015, Valve also began sponsoring smaller, but seasonally held tournaments known as the Majors, the first of which was held in Frankfurt, Germany. Dedicated media coverage of professional tournaments are broadcast live on the internet, and sometimes on television networks, with peak viewership numbers in the millions.
Dota 2 is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) video game in which two teams of five human players compete to collectively overcome their opponent's defenses to destroy a large structure known as the "Ancient", whilst defending their own. To do so, players control one of the 111 avatars, known as "heroes", with each having their own design, benefits, and trade-offs. The primary method of combat in Dota 2 is by using a hero's abilities, which are all unique to each hero and are activated when needed. Using an ability is known in-game as "casting", with all heroes having at least four of them, although certain ones have up to six or more. In order to avoid powerful abilities being spammed without consequence, a magic system in the game exists. Activating an ability costs a hero some of their "mana points", which regenerates slowly over time. Using an ability will also cause it to enter a cooldown phase, in which the ability can't be used again until a timer counts down to zero.
Every hero also has a basic, non-ability attack, which doesn't have a cooldown. Basic attack damage scales throughout the game, and is influenced by one of the hero's primary attribute: strength, intelligence, and agility, which also gives a hero more health points (HP), mana points, and attack speed, respectively. Heroes begin each game with an experience level of one, only having access to one of their abilities, but are able to level up and become more powerful during the course of the game. Whenever a hero goes up an experience level, the player is able to unlock another one of their abilities or improve one already learned. If a hero runs out of health points and dies, a timer begins to count down until they are able to respawn in their base and get back into the game.
The two teams—known as the Radiant and Dire—occupy fortified bases in opposite corners of the map, which is divided in half by a crossable river and connected by three paths. The three paths that connect the bases are referred to as "lanes", and are guarded by defensive towers that attack any opposing unit who gets within its line of sight, along with weak computer-controlled creatures called "creeps", who travel predefined paths along the lanes and attempt to attack any opposing heroes, creeps, and buildings in their way. Creeps periodically spawn throughout the game in groups from two buildings, called the "barracks", that exist in each lane and are located within the team's bases. Also present on the map are "neutral creeps" that are hostile to both teams, and reside in marked locations on the map known as "camps". Camps are located in the area between the lanes known as the "jungle", which both sides of the map have. Neutral creeps do not attack unless provoked, and will respawn over time if killed. The most powerful neutral creep is named "Roshan", who is a unique boss that may be killed by either side to obtain an item that allows a one-time resurrection by the hero that holds it. Roshan will respawn between 8–11 minutes after being killed, and becomes progressively harder to kill as the match continues over time.
In addition to having abilities becoming stronger during the game, players are able to buy items that provide their own special abilities. Items are not limited to specific heroes, and can be bought by anyone. In order to obtain an item, players must be able to afford it with gold, which is primarily obtained by killing enemy heroes, destroying enemy structures, and killing creeps, with the latter being an act called "farming". Only the hero that lands the killing blow on a creep obtains gold from it, an act called "last hitting", but all nearby allies receive gold when an enemy hero dies. Players are also able to "deny" allied units and structures by destroying them, which then prevents their opponents from getting full experience. The player also receives a small, continuous stream of gold over the course of a match.
Dota 2 also features seasonal events that present players with alternative game modes that do not follow the game's standard rules. Some of these included the Halloween-themed Diretide event, the Christmas-themed Frostivus event, and the New Bloom Festival, which celebrated the coming of spring. In October 2015, a Halloween-themed "capture point" game mode was released, titled "Colosseum". The move to the Source 2 engine in 2015 also saw the addition of community-created custom game modes, with the more popular ones having dedicated server hosting by Valve. In March 2016, Valve introduced the "Custom Game Pass" option to custom game modes, which allows content creators to add exclusive features, content, and other changes to their game mode.
The Dota series began in 2003 with Defense of the Ancients (DotA)—a mod for Blizzard Entertainment's Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos—created by the pseudonymous designer "Eul". An expansion pack for Warcraft III, entitled The Frozen Throne, was released later that year; and a series of Defense of the Ancients clone mods for the new game competed for popularity. DotA: Allstars by Steve Feak was the most successful, and Feak, with his friend Steve Mescon, created the official Defense of the Ancients community website and the holding company DotA-Allstars, LLC. When Feak retired from DotA: Allstars in 2005, a friend, under the pseudonym "IceFrog", became its lead designer. The popularity of Defense of the Ancients increased significantly: it became one of the most popular mods in the world, and, by 2008, a prominent eSports title. IceFrog and Mescon later had a falling out in May 2009, which prompted the former to establish a new community website at playdota.com.
Valve's interest in the Defense of the Ancients property began when several veteran employees, including Team Fortress designer Robin Walker, became fans of the mod and attempted to play it competitively. The company corresponded with IceFrog by email about his long-term plans for the project, which culminated with his being hired to direct a sequel. IceFrog first announced his new position through his blog in October 2009, and Dota 2 was unveiled by Game Informer on October 13, 2010. The resultant surge of traffic crashed Game Informer's servers.
Valve adopted the word "Dota", derived from the original mod's acronym, as the name for its newly acquired franchise. Producer Erik Johnson argued that the word referred to a concept, and was not an acronym. Shortly after the announcement of Dota 2, Valve filed a trademark claim to the Dota name. At Gamescom 2011, company head Gabe Newell explained that the trademark was needed to develop a sequel with the already-identifiable brand. Holding the Dota name to be a community asset, Feak and Mescon filed an opposing trademark for "DOTA" on behalf of DotA-Allstars, LLC (then a subsidiary of Riot Games) in August 2010. Rob Pardo, the executive vice president of Blizzard Entertainment, similarly stated that the DotA name belonged to the mod's community. Blizzard acquired DotA-Allstars, LLC from Riot Games and filed an opposition against Valve in November 2011, citing Blizzard's ownership of both the Warcraft III World Editor and DotA-Allstars, LLC as proper claims to the franchise. The dispute was settled in May 2012: Valve retained commercial franchising rights to the "Dota" brand, but non-commercial use of the name by third-parties was allowed.
An early goal of the Dota 2 team was the adaptation of DotA's aesthetic style for the Source engine. The Radiant and Dire factions replaced the Sentinel and Scourge from the mod, respectively. The appearances of each side's heroes were adjusted to be more individualized, with less traits specific to either faction. Character names, abilities, items and map design from Defense of the Ancients were largely retained, with some changes due to copyright issues. In the first Q&A session regarding Dota 2, IceFrog explained that the game would build upon the mod without making significant changes to its core. Valve contracted major contributors from the Defense of the Ancients community, including Eul and artist Kendrick Lim, to assist with the sequel. Additional contributions from sources outside of Valve were also sought regularly for Dota 2, as to continue Defense of the Ancients's tradition of community-sourced development. One of the composers of Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, Jason Hayes, was hired to collaborate with Tim Larkin in the creation of the soundtrack. Valve had Half-Life series writer Marc Laidlaw, science fiction author Ted Kosmatka, and Steam support employee Kris Katz write new dialog and background lore for the heroes. In addition to that, Valve also had all of the heroes' voice acting completely redone. Notable voice actors for the English version include Nolan North, Dave Fennoy, Jon St. John, Ellen McLain, Fred Tatasciore, Merle Dandridge, Jen Taylor, and John Patrick Lowrie, among various others.
The Source engine itself was updated with new features to accommodate Dota 2, such as high-end cloth modeling and improved global lighting. The game features Steam integration, which provides its social component and Cloud storage for personal settings. In November 2013, Valve introduced a coaching system, which allows experienced players to tutor newer players with special in-game tools. As with previous Valve multiplayer titles, players are able to spectate live matches of Dota 2 played by others, and local area network (LAN) multiplayer support allows for local competitions. Some of these events may be spectated via the purchase of tickets from the "Dota Store", which give players in-game access to both live and completed matches. Ticket fees are apportioned in part to tournament organizers. Players are also able to spectate games in virtual reality (VR) with up to 15 others, which was added in an update in 2016. The update also added a hero showcase mode, which allows users to see the heroes and their cosmetics full-size in virtual reality.
Dota 2 includes a matchmaking system, which is measured by a numerical value known as "matchmaking rating" (MMR). MMR is updated based on if a player's team won or lost, which will then increase or decrease, respectively. The game's servers, known as the "Game Coordinator", attempts to balance both teams based on each player's MMR, with each team having roughly a 50% chance to win in any given game. Ranked game modes with a separately tracked MMR also exist, which differ from unranked games by making MMR publicly visible, encouraging players who want to play in a more competitive environment, among other changes. The game also includes a report system, which allows for players to discourage and punish player behavior that intentionally provides a negative experience. Other features include an improved replay system from Defense of the Ancients, in which a completed game can be downloaded in-client and viewed at a later time, and the "hero builds" feature, which provide integrated guides created by the community that highlight to the player on what items should be bought on their hero, and which abilities to level up.
As part of a plan to develop Dota 2 into a social network, Newell announced in April 2012 that the game would be free-to-play, and that community contributions would be a cornerstone feature. That June, the Dota 2 team confirmed that the full roster of heroes and items would remain available without charge. Instead, revenue is generated through the Dota Store, which offers for-purchase exclusively cosmetic virtual goods, including custom clothing and weapons for their heroes, along with music packs by notable artists such as electronic music artist deadmau5, Taiwanese songwriter JJ Lin, and video game composers Chance Thomas, Jeremy Soule, and Lennie Moore. Until the game's official release in 2013, players were able to purchase an early access bundle, which included a digital copy of Dota 2 and several cosmetic items. Included as optional downloadable content (DLC), the Dota 2 Workshop Tools are a set of Source 2 software development kit (SDK) tools that allow content creators to create new cosmetics for the heroes themselves, as well as custom game modes and maps. Highly rated cosmetics, through the Steam Workshop, are available in the in-game store if they are accepted by Valve. This model was fashioned after that of Valve's Team Fortress 2, which had earned Workshop designers of cosmetic items of that game over $3.5 million by June 2011. In January 2014, Newell revealed that the average Steam Workshop contributor for Dota 2 and Team Fortess 2 made approximately $15,000 from their creations the previous year. In 2015, sales of Dota 2 cosmetics had earned Valve over $238 million in revenue, according to the digital game market research group SuperData.
Valve documented the lives and stories of three professional players at the first International, Singaporean Benedict "hyhy" Lim, Ukrainian Danil "Dendi" Ishutin, and American Clinton "Fear" Loomis. In August 2012, GameTrailers announced that Valve was developing this material into a documentary film. Throughout June 2013, Valve conducted private screenings of the film with small groups outside the company. When an invitation was leaked by Kotaku, Valve's vice president of marketing, Doug Lombardi, confirmed that the documentary was in development and revealed its name as Free to Play. The documentary was released on March 19, 2014, and was distributed for free through outlets including Steam, iTunes, and YouTube.
After being tested extensively by Valve, Dota 2 was first unveiled to the public at the inaugural International event, the game's premier eSport tournament, at Gamescom in 2011. To coincide with the event, Valve began sending out closed beta invitations; the first few invites were sent out shortly after Gamescom. During the event, Newell speculated that Dota 2 would likely ship in 2012, despite original plans for a full release in late 2011. In September 2011, Valve scrapped its previous development and release plans, which would have kept the game in its closed beta phase for over a year. The new plans, which IceFrog revealed via an online announcement, were to begin beta testing as soon as possible and to implement the remaining heroes afterward. Simultaneously, Valve announced that the non-disclosure agreement for the beta was being lifted, allowing testers to discuss the game and their experiences publicly. After nearly two years of beta testing, Dota 2 was officially released on Steam for Microsoft Windows on July 9, 2013, and later for OS X and Linux on July 18, 2013. Two months following the game's release, Newell claimed that updates to Dota 2 generated up to three percent of global internet traffic. In December 2013, the final restrictions against unlimited global access to Dota 2 were lifted after the game's infrastructure and servers were substantially bolstered. In March 2016, a large update fixed many long-standing bugs and issues with the game, while also adding many community requested features.
In order to abide by the standards set by the economic legislation of specific countries, Valve opted to contract with nationally-based developers for publishing. In October 2012, the leading Beijing-based video game publisher, Perfect World, announced the acquisition of the exclusive rights of Dota 2 in China. The Chinese version also has a region-specific "Low Violence" mode, which censors and changes most depictions of blood, gore, and skulls in order for the game to follow censorship policies of the country. In November 2012, a similar publishing deal was made with the Tokyo-based company Nexon to distribute and market the game in South Korea and Japan. In November 2015, Nexon announced they would no longer be operating servers for Dota 2, allowing Valve to take over direct distribution and marketing of the game those regions.
Tie-ins to other video games and media have also been added to Dota 2 since release, including custom Half-Life 2, Bastion, Portal, Trine, The Stanley Parable, Rick and Morty, and Fallout 4 announcer packs, which replace the game's default announcer with themed ones based on those series. To coincide with the Windows release of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD in August 2015, a bundle containing a custom loading screen, a Moogle ward, and a Chocobo courier was added the same month. In April 2016, Valve announced a cross-promotional workshop contest for Sega's Total War: Warhammer.
Transition to Source 2
In June 2015, Valve announced that the entirety of Dota 2 would be ported over to the Source 2 game engine in an update called Dota 2 Reborn. The beta was released to the public in June 2015. On September 9, 2015, Reborn was officially released out of beta, which included a new user interface framework design, ability for custom game modes created by the community, and the full replacement of the original Source engine with Source 2, making Dota 2 the first game to use it. Largely attributed to technical difficulties players experienced with the update, the global player base experienced a sharp drop of approximately sixteen percent the month following the release of Reborn. However, after various updates and patches, over a million concurrent players were playing again in January 2016, with that being the largest amount of users since March 2015. The move to Source 2 also allowed the use of the Vulkan graphics API, which was released as an opt-in feature in May 2016, becoming one of the first games to offer it.
To ensure that enough Defense of the Ancients players would take up Dota 2 and to showcase the game's capabilities, Valve sponsored sixteen accomplished Defense of the Ancients teams to compete at The International, a Dota 2 specific eSports tournament, for a $1 million prize in 2011. The International became an annual championship tournament in 2012, with the venue changing to Seattle, Washington. In its third year, The International allowed crowdfunding to add to its prize pool through an interactive, in-game item called a "compendium". Compendiums, which are optional and must be purchased separately, allow players who buy them to directly raise prize money for The International by spending money on unique compendium cosmetics and other in-game items, with 25% of all the revenue made going directly to the prize pool. Sales from the 2013 compendium helped raise over $2.8 million, making The International 2013 reclaim its previous title as having the largest prize pool in eSports history from the League of Legends Season 2 World Championship. Since then, each annual tournament of The International has broken the previous one's prize pool record, with the fourth iteration of the tournament raising over $10.9 million, exceeding the prizes pools of the Super Bowl, Masters Tournament, and Tour de France. At The International 2015, the prize pool exceeded $18.4 million, earning the champion team, Evil Geniuses, over $6 million.
Following the inaugural event of The International, several other eSport events began to transition from Defense of the Ancients to Dota 2, including the Electronic Sports World Cup. DreamHack would also support Dota 2 in 2011, following a year without support for the original, on account of the other multiplayer online battle arena titles, Heroes of Newerth and League of Legends. By the end of its first year in its beta phase, Dota 2 was one of the highest-paying eSport titles of 2011, second only to StarCraft II. In 2012, Dota 2 began as an official title for the World Cyber Games annual event at World Cyber Games 2012. The Electronic Sports League (ESL) began a seasonal tournament for Dota 2 called the RaidCall EMS One in 2013, which was the largest independent tournament for Dota 2 by the beginning of 2013. Beginning in September 2013, the Association for Chinese eSports began a league, called the WPC ACE Dota 2 League, which had the largest third-party prize pool in Dota 2 eSports history at the time. At Electronic Entertainment Expo 2013, Nexon announced the investment of two billion South Korean won, (approximately $1.7 million), into amateur and professional leagues in South Korea for 2013, to coincide with the launch of their distribution agreement in the fall of that year. Modeled after the interactive compendium for The International, Valve introduced a compendium third-party tournament organizers could sell, beginning with the ASUS ROG DreamLeague in February 2014. In February 2015, the Valve-sponsored Dota 2 Asia Championships was held in Shanghai with a prize pool of over $3 million, raised through compendium sales.
In total, professional Dota 2 tournaments had earned teams and players nearly $65 million dollars in prize money by June 2016, which was more than twice the amount of League of Legends tournaments, making it the highest earning eSport game at the time.
Starting in 2015, Valve began sponsoring smaller, but seasonally held tournaments with a fixed $3 million prize pool, known as the Dota Major Championships. The format for the tournaments are based on the series of the same name that Valve also sponsors for their first-person shooter game, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The first of which, hosted and produced by ESL, was the Frankfurt Major held in November 2015, at the Festhalle Frankfurt in Frankfurt, Germany, and was won by OG. The next Major was hosted and produced by Perfect World, and was held at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai in March 2016, and was won by Team Secret. The third and final Major of the 2015–2016 season was hosted and produced by PGL, and was held at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila in June 2016. The tournament was won by OG, becoming the first team to repeat as champions of a Dota 2 Major.
After the introduction of the Majors, The International championship was then considered to be the cumulative "Summer Major", with the 2016 iteration in August being the first one under the new format. The International 2016 also broke the record for the highest prize pool in eSports history, surpassing the record that The International 2015 had set the previous year.
The primary medium for professional Dota 2 coverage is through the video game live streaming platform, Twitch.tv. For most major events, tournament coverage is done by a selection of eSports organizations and personnel who provide on-site commentary, analysis, and player interviews surrounding the event in progress, similar to traditional sports. Live Dota 2 games and coverage have also been broadcast on television networks around the world, such as ESPN in the United States, Sport1 in Germany, TV 2 Zulu in Denmark, Xinwen Lianbo in China, Astro in Malaysia, and TV5 in the Philippines.
Dota 2 received universal acclaim, according to video game review aggregator Metacritic. In a preview of the game in September 2012, Rich McCormick of PC Gamer stated that Dota 2 was "an unbelievably deep and complex game that offers the purest sequel to the original Defense of the Anicents. Rewarding like few others, but tough", giving it a rating of 85/100. Adam Biessener, the editor who authored the announcement article for Dota 2 for Game Informer in 2010, praised Valve for maintaining the same mechanics and game balance that made Defense of the Ancients successful nearly a decade prior and Quintin Smith of Eurogamer described Dota 2 as the "supreme form of the MOBA which everyone else working in the genre is trying to capture like lightning in a bottle". The most frequently praised aspects of the game were its depth, delivery, and overall balance. Chris Thursten of PC Gamer described the gameplay as being "deep and rewarding". Martin Gaston of GameSpot complimented Valve for the delivery and artistic design of Dota 2, citing the execution of the user interface design, voice acting and characterization as exceeding those of the game's competitors. Phill Cameron of IGN praised Dota 2 for its free-to-play business model that was not affected by cosmetic items. Nick Kolan of IGN also agreed, comparing the game's business model to Valve's Team Fortress 2, which uses a nearly identical system. Contrasting it with League of Legends,
While the majority of reviewers gave Dota 2 highly positive reviews, a common criticism was that the game maintains a steep learning curve that requires exceptional commitment to overcome. While providing a moderately positive review that praised Valve's product stability, Fredrik Åslund from the Swedish division of Gamereactor described his first match of Dota 2 as one of the most humiliating and inhospitable experiences of his gaming career, citing the learning curve and players' attitudes as unwelcoming. Benjamin Danneberg of GameStar alluded to the learning curve as a "learning cliff", calling the newcomer's experience to be painful, with the tutorial feature new to the Dota franchise only being partially successful. In a review for the Metro newspaper, Dota 2 was criticized for not compensating for the flaws with the learning curve from Defense of the Ancients, as well as the sometimes hostile community, which is commonly criticized in multiplayer online battle arena games.
Peter Bright of Ars Technica directed criticism at the ability for third-party websites to allow gambling and betting on match results and in-game items, similar to controversies that also exist with Valve's Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Using Dota 2 as an example, Bright also stated that he thought Valve built gambling elements directly into their games, and had issues with the unregulated practice, which was often used by underage players and regions where gambling is illegal. In response to the controversy, Valve and Dota 2 producer, Erik Johnson, stated that they would be taking action against the third-party sites, saying the practice was "not allowed by our API nor our user agreements".
Awards and accolades
Following its first public showing in 2011, Dota 2 won IGN's People's Choice Award. In December 2012, PC Gamer listed Dota 2 as a nominee for their Game of the Year award, as well as the best electronic sports title of the year. The game won 2013 eSport of the year awards from PC Gamer and onGamers. GameTrailers awarded the game the award for Best PC Game of 2013. For IGN's Best of 2013 award series, Dota 2 won the awards for Best PC Strategy & Tactics Game, as well as Best PC Multiplayer Game. The game's awards for IGN's Best of 2013 won their People's Choice Award counterparts, as well. Similarly, Game Informer recognized Dota 2 for the categories of Best PC Exclusive, Best Competitive Multiplayer and Best Strategy of 2013. In the 2013 edition of Game Revolution's countdown of the top twenty-five PC video games of all time, Dota 2 was listed in the number four position. Dota 2 was nominated for a number of Game of the Year awards by Destructoid, including the award for the best competitive game. While the staff selected StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, Dota 2 received the majority of the votes distributed between the nine nominees. In 2014, Dota 2 was nominated for best multiplayer game at the 10th British Academy Games Awards, but lost to Grand Theft Auto V. In 2015, Dota 2 was nominated for eSports Game of the Year at The Game Awards 2015, and won the award for best MOBA at the 2015 Global Game Awards.
Two months before its official release, Dota 2 had reached almost 330,000 concurrent players, and held the record for the game with the most concurrent users in Steam history, breaking its own record set in March the same year. Simultaneous with this benchmark, the concurrent number of Dota 2 players in May 2013 outweighed the number of players for the rest of Steam's top ten most-played games combined. In February 2015, Dota 2 became the first game in Steam's history to have over one million concurrent players. Also in 2015, Dota 2 was the third most watched game on Twitch.tv, after League of Legends and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Concurrent viewership numbers of professional Dota 2 matches have reached upwards of two million.
The popularity of Dota 2 led Valve to produce apparel, accessories, posters, and a number of other products featuring the heroes and other elements from the game. In addition, Valve secured licensing contracts with third-party producers; the first of these deals concerned a Dota 2 SteelSeries QcK+ mousepad, which was announced at Gamescom 2011. In September 2012, Weta Workshop, the prop studio that creates the "Aegis of Champions" trophy for winners of The International, announced a product line that would include statues, weapons, and armor based on Dota 2 characters and items. In February 2013, the National Entertainment Collectibles Association announced a new toy line featuring hero-themed action figures at the American International Toy Fair. After the conclusion of The International 2015 finals, Valve awarded the Collector's Aegis of Champions, which was a 1/5th scale brass replica of the Aegis of Champions trophy, to those with compendiums of 1,000 levels or more. Valve awarded the Collector's Aegis again for The International 2016, as well as selling a limited edition Dota 2 themed HTC Vive virtual reality headset during the event. Valve have also created webcomics featuring some of the heroes, further detailing their background lore.
Comparisons to other MOBAs titles were commonplace among the community. Critics often directly compared the game's rules and business model with games such as League of Legends and Heroes of the Storm.
Cosplay of heroes in the game is performed by the community. Valve have also officially endorsed competitions of cosplay, which take place during downtime at professional Dota 2 tournaments.
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Nowadays games like Dota and League Of Legends are described as MOBAs, which stands for multiplayer online battle arena – a laughably unhelpful term which is strangely fitting given how infamously difficult the games are to get into. And how notoriously unpleasant and elitist their online community tends to be.
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