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The 10 Most Prominent Moments in Dota 2 History

Vignesh Raghuram
29th Dec, 2019

Time really does fly. It has been almost 10 years since Dota 2 was announced in October 2010. The game has undergone multiple evolutions with a number of significant changes over the years. It has pioneered the esports movement, becoming one of the most iconic gaming titles over the course of the decade.

Here’s a brief rundown of the most iconic, the most monumental, and the most significant moments that have sculpted Dota 2 into the game that we know of today.

(See Also: The 9 Best Dota Memes of this Decade)


Dota 2 Announcement


Before Dota 2 became reality, Dota 1 was already a thing for over 5 years. The map designed in the Warcraft 3 engine had already become a juggernaut enjoying a massive playerbase. It had already even spawned many games based on it including League of Legends and Heroes of Newerth.

But many awaited a true sequel to WC3 Dota. One that didn’t compromise on mechanics and had the legendary Icefrog balancing the game. After months of rumours, Valve finally announced that it was making Dota 2 with Icefrog at the helm, to much fanfare. 

Fans rejoiced as they believed in Valve and Icefrog to give us the perfect game and well history says that they duly delivered with a ‘Modern Multiplayer Masterpiece’.


The First International


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The big reveal of Dota 2 to the public was advertised to happen at a massive online tournament called the International. But fans, players nor the esports community were aware of just how big this tournament would be.

So when rumours of Valve hosting a Million Dollar tournament dubbed ‘The International’ at Gamescom 2011 popped up, many fans just straight up refused to believe it. A few Chinese teams didn’t even attend the tournament, thinking that it was a scam. But it was all true.


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Comment from NeutralCreeps.com made in 2010


Valve broke every single esports record and hosted the first edition of The International 2011, showcasing Dota 2 to the world for the first time and setting up the game to become one of the biggest esports titles in the world.


First Compendium at TI3


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Valve brought the game out of Beta in 2013 and along with it, announced a ‘Compendium’. A way for fans to contribute towards the prize pool while also receiving some cool, exclusive items called ‘Immortals’. This move radically transformed the entire landscape of competitive gaming.

Dota 2 fans bought the compendium in droves pushing up the prize pool to an absolutely ridiculous $2.87M which set a record and a precedent that still hasn’t changed. Every single TI since TI3, has set records for becoming the tournament with the highest prize pool every year since.


Ranked Play


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For years, we never really had the ability to gauge our talent in Dota 2. It was only through tournaments and head-to-head matchups that we could properly weigh our skills against opponents. But that was neither elegant nor an optimal solution to rate ourselves amongst our Dota peers.

In came Valve, with their Ranked System and Match Making Rating. Players now had a numeric value attached to their accounts which would allow them to personally measure how good they were in-game.

This proved to be an incredible move which resulted in an explosion in the popularity of the game allowing it to amass a number of new players.


Dota 2 Reborn


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Although Dota 2 had only officially come out of beta in 2013, Valve felt the game was beginning to feel outdated in 2015 and opted to revamp the game with a brand new interface and an entirely new engine.

Although the gameplay was unchanged, there were several drastic changes to the Map layout, HUD, user-interface and more which allegedly made it easier for amateurs to follow the game. Dota 2 Reborn also introduced ‘Custom Games’ to the client which would pay-off dividends, 5 years later with Autochess.


The Majors


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With the International peaking in popularity, fans just couldn’t get enough of the high-octane Dota 2 action and demanded more high-tier tournaments from Valve. They duly delivered with ‘the Major Championships’.

Valve revamped the competitive tournament scene by introducing a new system and format. They revealed that they would sponsor, in partnership with third party organizers, additional “marquee” events to take place sporadically throughout the season, culminating with The International.

It was our first glimpse into the future of Dota 2.


The 7.00 Patch


Ever since Icefrog took over Dota in the Warcraft days and through many years in Dota 2, the game was always in the 6.XX patch. In fact, DotA has been in version six-dot-something for more than 10 years.

So the ‘7.00’ announcement was a massive deal for the Dota 2 community. 

It was a radical modernisation of the game, changing everything including the interface, the map and other vital systems that made Dota 2 one of the hardest games in the world. It even introduced a new concept to Dota 2 players called Talent Trees which has become one of the most vital parts of the game.


The Dota 2 Pro Circuit


Although the Majors system, introduced two years prior, helped teams compete for massive prize pools year-round, it was detrimental to third-party tournament organizers. The prestige and the prize pool of Valve Majors meant that teams began to skip third-party tournaments and relegated them low-tier events. 

Valve was also being criticized by players, teams and fans for their non-transparent and unpredictable nature for handing out International invitations.

To rectify all these problems, the company announced a revamped Major system dubbed the Dota 2 Pro Circuit. Teams competed in official ‘Valve-sanctioned’ Majors and Minors for DPC points which would then be used to determine the invites for The International.

This was the first time that competitive Dota 2 began to resemble sports leagues and made it viable to teams across the globe.


Artifact and Underlords

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By 2018/19, Dota 2 had grown so popular, that it spawned spin-off games of its own. Dota 2 Underlords and Artifact are both games set in the Dota 2 universe expanding the reaches of the title beyond MOBAs and allowing casual players to access it.


The Outlanders Patch


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Over the years a few patches have caused Dota 2 fans to dub them ‘Dota 3’. But never before has a singular patch been so drastic, so complicated and so controversial which makes it deserve the Dota 3 tag.

The Outlanders patch completely changed the game with some revolutionary changes including the addition of a new neutral building type called Outposts, neutral item drops, increase of hero levels to 30, and other changes to the map and core gameplay which has made the game infinitely more complicated.




These were our picks for the most prominent Dota 2 moments of this decade. Do you agree with them? Did we miss out on any monumental moments? Let us know in the comments below.

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Vignesh is one of AFK Gaming’s most experienced writers, having written over 1000 articles for the website over the last 3 years. Although his primary focus has always been Dota 2, his experience in esports also includes expertise in CS:GO and mobile esports titles.

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