Valve’s Dota 2 announcement broke their servers. But Dota 2 officially released a few years later.

One of the more complex games out there, Dota 2 has survived the test of time and pulls in hundreds of thousands of players on a daily basis. In 2010, it was finally revealed, after months of speculation and rumors, Valve was indeed making Dota 2. Valve employed IceFrog, whose identity still remains a secret to this day, to help produce Dota 2. Even though the game became available nearly a year later, in 2011, the game’s official release date was not until much later. Here's when Dota 2 released and other important dates.

When did Dota 2 release?

Dota 2 released on July 9, 2013. The game was initially available on Windows PC and was released for OS X and Linux a few days later on July 18, 2013.

The game was made available to teams and professional players for quite a few months. But it was first available to the general public at Gamescom 2011, coinciding with the first edition of The International. Natus Vincere won the first-ever International taking home the majority of the $1.6 million prize pool. 

The original NAVI roster included Danil "Dendi" Ishutin and Clement "Puppey" Ivanov, two players who are still competing professionally to this day. Puppey has played at every International as of 2022. 

Dota 2 is a sequel to Defense of the Ancients, a mod for Blizzard Entertainment's Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. The game sees two teams of five players each competing for map control. The team that takes down the opponent’s throne wins the game. The game has a steep learning curve but continues to draw a large player base even in 2023. 

With hundreds of heroes to choose from and a similarly large number of items, talents, and abilities, the permutations and combinations of how to play Dota 2 remain endless.

Revenue model

Dota 2’s base game remains completely free. Players can buy cosmetics and battle passes to receive special features, but they do not affect the core gameplay. There is no advantage a player can hope to gain by virtue of their wallet. 

Every year, Valve comes out with a Battle pass, 25% of whose proceeds go towards funding The International prize pool. Dota 2 has regularly boasted some of the largest prize pools in esports.

Dota 2 esports

Dota 2’s International is the celebration of top-tier professional teams and players. Every year, Valve hosts TI, and the prize pool is community-funded. 

Due to the pandemic, 2020 was the first year when Dota 2 did not have an International. The following year, Valve had to relocate the event due to travel restrictions in Sweden. Besides TI, Valve also helps in structuring the Dota 2 esports scene, allowing third-party tournament organizers to help produce Dota 2 Majors and regional leagues. 

Dota 2 esports continues with it being a crucial part of the Esports World Cup that kicks off in 2024. The best teams in the world will come together for the Esports World Cup. Later this year, fans will converge in Copenhagen for The International 2024.

Stay tuned to for the latest Dota 2 news and updates.