With League of Legends: Wild Rift coming to mobile devices by late 2020, it's certain to give other popular alternatives like Mobile Legends: Bang Bang a run for their money.
With a game as complex as Dota 2, it's certainly hard to translate all the mechanics and nuances onto a mobile device that offers limited control and computing power compared to a PC. Valve hasn't said anything about a mobile version of Dota 2. However, it's not like Valve hasn't dipped its feet into the mobile territory yet. Dota Underlords is available on Android and iOS, serving as a way to assess the mobile crowd and, to some extent, the strength of the Dota franchise. For those who still want Dota 2’s Coke to League of Legends’ Pepsi, players will have to be content with Dota Underlords or for a less complex version of the MOBA as an alternative to Dota 2 on mobile. Perhaps games designed for more hardcore players like Vainglory may come close as a substitute.
Vainglory: Arguably The Most Complex MOBA Experience On Mobile
Developed by Super Evil Megacorp, Vainglory burst onto the mobile scene in 2015 and since then has grown into one of the most popular mobile MOBAs after Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and Arena of Valor. Vainglory is MOBA on mobile, not MOBA for mobile. It stays true to the genre with a large enough map, multi-dimensional champions, complex item strategies and long game sessions, making a great alternative for Dota 2 on mobile.
Although it still lacks many small but essential elements needed to establish MOBA as a meaningful category on touch screen devices like a lack of competitive and social features. It is a skill-based game that forces players to learn the strengths and the weaknesses of every champion along with the item and map strategies for each of them. The game has a steep learning curve, involving spending an extensive amount of time reading through forums and watching hours of Youtube and Twitch to optimise gameplay and implement better strategies. Vainglory is a great alternative for the more hardcore MOBA fans.
Coming Soon: Wild Rift
Wild Rift is an upcoming MOBA developed by Riot Games, similar to its PC counterpart, League of Legends. Riot Games has said that Wild Rift will be available for iOS, Android and consoles by the end of 2020. The game went through a limited alpha launch in Brazil and the Philippines in June 2020 and a Closed Beta is currently live in South East Asia. So far the game has brought a total of 40 champions from the League of Legends, 34 from Alpha and 6 new for Beta. Their visuals were updated to better match their appearances in Lore and some of their abilities were changed to better work on mobile and consoles.
While some of the gameplay mechanics have been simplified for mobile devices, the game still retains a lot of the complexity from its PC parent, making a good alternative to Dota 2 on mobile.
For casual players: Mobile Legends: Bang Bang
Mobile Legends is a game with a lower skill ceiling compared to other MOBAs and, obviously to Dota 2. With shorter game times, easier mechanics and fewer factors to consider for effective decision-making, the game is great for the casual mobile MOBA player. The game helps the player make item decisions in a lot of ways. The maps are much smaller, also reducing the number of turrets and objectives. Although Mobile Legends still has a large hero pool (98 heroes currently available) and the high skill ceiling has led to a thriving esports scene. Apart from Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, there are other games like Arena of Valor and MARVEL Super War with slightly lower levels of difficulty.