Dota 2 celebrates the 10th anniversary of its official release cover image

Dota 2 celebrates the 10th anniversary of its official release

Dota 2 officially released ten years ago on July 9, although had been in Beta for at almost three full years before.

Doesn't time fly? Doesn't it just feel like a few short years ago that Dota 2 splashed onto the scene and pushed the limits of what a MOBA game looked like? Well, its been over a decade now, so start the celebration as Valve's addictive, innovative, and timeless classic celebrates its 10-year anniversary.

"Um, actually!" I hear you saying, "Dota was first playable in the Beta, released in 2010. And practically anybody who was anybody had already been playing it for two years." Well... yes. But July 9 is the game's official Birthday. Look, the Steam Page even says so:

(Screenshot by esports.gg)
(Screenshot by esports.gg)

But, if you happen to find yourself in SEA, or most of Asia for that matter that date might read July 10. Steam is tied to local time, so technically Dota 2 released world-wide at the same time, which just happened to be July 10 for some places.

10 years of Dota 2

Dota 2 has undergone some changes over the years... (Image via Valve)
Dota 2 has undergone some changes over the years... (Image via Valve)

Dota 2 released officially on Steam on July 9, 2013, with 102 heroes, providing a queueing system and the first non-invite only access to the game since its Beta launch in 2010. Two editions of The International took place before the release, in 2011 and 2012.

Post-release, in 2013, Valve released three new heroes for the game, Ember Spirit, Earth Spirit, and Legion Commander, and hosted The International 2013. The game surged in popularity over next few years, eventually hitting an 1.2 million active players on Steam in early 2015. The game eventually peaked at just under 1.3 million players in March 2016, and still maintains a healthy average of over 700-800,000 players a month today.

Dota 2 attempted to cash in on the Clix craze of the early 2010s. Ultimately only the Starter Set was made (Image via Valve)
Dota 2 attempted to cash in on the Clix craze of the early 2010s. Ultimately only the Starter Set was made (Image via Valve)

Beyond just the game, Valve has explored multiple avenues of merchandise and franchising with Dota 2. The game had its own line of Hero Clix toys released in November 2013, a companion graphic novel released in 2017, and an animated series that premiered on Netflix in 2021, and ran for three seasons. Dota 2 also had two spin-off games, Artifact and Dota: Underlords, but both games have since ceased active development.

Dota 2 10th Anniversary content?

(Image via Valve)
(Image via Valve)

In a previous blog post, Valve did announce that there would be some special Dota 2 10th Anniversary content headed our way. Unfortunately, it wasn't going to make the deadline. However, we're cautiously optimistic we'll see it in the next few weeks (or, if we're feeling super optimistic, tomorrow, on the first Tuesday following the anniversary).

Apart from this, the anniversary of Dota 2's release has gone largely unrecognised. Perhaps because it fell on a lazy Summer Sunday (for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere at least), or because the Bali Major just happened to be wrapping up on the same day, the date passed unnoticed.

So, to celebrate, why not load up Dota 2, play a few games, and thank the game for eating so much of our time!


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