|Release||February 25, 2020|
Dota Underlords is a 2020 auto battler game developed and published by Valve. The game is based on a popular Dota 2 community-created game mode called Dota Auto Chess , which was released in January 2019. Dota Underlords first released in early access in June 2019 before officially releasing on February 25, 2020, for Android, iOS, macOS, Linux, and Windows. The game is free to play and features cross-platform play.
Dota Underlords is an auto battler, a chess-inspired competitive strategy game, where players place characters, known as heroes, on an 8x8 grid-shaped battlefield. After a preparation phase, a team's heroes then automatically fight the opposing team without any further direct input from the player.  A match features up to eight players online who take turns playing against each other in a one-on-one format, with the winner being the final player standing after eliminating all of the opposing heroes.  In addition to the online matchmaking, single-player matches against bots is also featured, as well as a "freestyle" practice mode that puts no limits on hero combinations.   Over the course of a match, players earn gold and experience points, which are used to upgrade heroes and other playable units to make them stronger.  Players also make use of items, which give stat bonuses to units.  The game also features a "duos" mode, allowing two players on separate boards, but sharing health and levels, to perform as a team, with the winning duo having the best combined damage totals by the end. 
Dota Underlords was developed and published by Valve for Android, iOS, macOS, Linux, and Windows. It is based on Dota Auto Chess , a popular community created game mode within Dota 2 , a game they also developed.    Following Dota Auto Chess's release in January 2019, it quickly became a phenomenon, having over seven million players by April 2019, Valve had met with the mod's developers, the Chinese-based Drodo Studio, to discuss directly collaborating on a standalone version. However, the two companies were unable to come to an agreement, with them both stating that it was in their best interest to develop their own separate games, with Dota Underlords being Valve's project.  The game was built using Valve's Source 2 game engine, making it the first game using that engine to be released on mobile platforms. 
Valve announced Dota Underlords in May 2019, with it releasing in early access as a free-to-play game on June 20, 2019.   where it saw over 1.5 million downloads and held a concurrent player count on Steam of over 200,000 within a few days.   Features such as a replay system, ranked matchmaking, daily challenges and rewards, and a battle pass were added over time during its early access phase before it officially released on February 25, 2020.   It features full cross-platform play between its PC and mobile versions, with players able to freely start games on one and finish it on another. 
Polygon called it a clone of Dota Auto Chess, stating that while they thought Underlords was more appealing to new players, the many similarities to the original mod could make it hard for veterans of the genre to see a reason to play Underlords over it.  Critics also compared and contrasted it with Artifact , another Valve-developed Dota spinoff game released around the same time that was seen as unsuccessful,    as well as Teamfight Tactics , the League of Legends take on the genre.   IGN considered Underlords to be the easiest auto battler to get into as a novice due in part to its user interface. 
Valve Corporation is an American video game developer, publisher, and digital distribution company headquartered in Bellevue, Washington. It is the developer of the software distribution platform Steam and the franchises Half-Life, Counter-Strike, Portal, Day of Defeat, Team Fortress, Left 4 Dead and Dota.
Steam is a video game digital distribution service and storefront by Valve. Steam was launched as a software client in September 2003 as a way for Valve to provide automatic updates for their games, and expanded to distributing and offering third-party game publishers' titles in late 2005. Steam offers various features, like digital rights management (DRM), game server matchmaking and anti-cheat measures, and social networking and game streaming services. It provides the user with automatic game updating, saved game cloud synchronization, and community features such as friends messaging, in-game chat and a community market.
Defense of the Ancients (DotA) is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) mod for the video game Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos (2002) and its expansion, The Frozen Throne. The objective of the game is for each team to destroy their opponents' Ancient, a heavily guarded structure at the opposing corner of the map. Players use powerful units known as heroes, and are assisted by allied teammates and AI-controlled fighters. As in role-playing games, players level up their heroes and use gold to buy equipment during the game.
Garry's Mod is a 2006 sandbox game developed by Facepunch Studios and published by Valve. The base game mode of Garry's Mod has no set objectives and provides the player with a world in which to freely manipulate objects. Other game modes, notably Trouble in Terrorist Town and Prop Hunt, are created by other developers as mods and are installed separately, by means such as the Steam Workshop. Garry's Mod was created by Garry Newman as a mod for Valve's Source game engine and released in December 2004, before being expanded into a standalone release that was published by Valve in November 2006. Ports of the original Windows version for Mac OS X and Linux followed in September 2010 and June 2013, respectively. As of September 2021, Garry's Mod has sold more than 20 million copies.
League of Legends (LoL), commonly referred to as League, is a 2009 multiplayer online battle arena video game developed and published by Riot Games. Inspired by Defense of the Ancients, a custom map for Warcraft III, Riot's founders sought to develop a stand-alone game in the same genre. Since its release in October 2009, League has been free-to-play and is monetized through purchasable character customization. The game is available for Microsoft Windows and macOS.
Dota 2 is a 2013 multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) video game developed and published by Valve. The game is a sequel to Defense of the Ancients (DotA), which was a community-created mod for Blizzard Entertainment's Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos.Dota 2 is played in matches between two teams of five players, with each team occupying and defending their own separate base on the map. Each of the ten players independently controls a powerful character known as a "hero" that all have unique abilities and differing styles of play. During a match players collect experience points and items for their heroes to successfully defeat the opposing team's heroes in player versus player combat. A team wins by being the first to destroy the other team's "Ancient", a large structure located within their base.
Multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) is a subgenre of strategy video games in which two teams of players compete against each other on a predefined battlefield. Each player controls a single character with a set of distinctive abilities that improve over the course of a game and which contribute to the team's overall strategy. The typical ultimate objective is for each team to destroy their opponents' main structure, located at the opposite corner of the battlefield. In some MOBA games, the objective can be defeating every player on the enemy team. Players are assisted by computer-controlled units that periodically spawn in groups and march forward along set paths toward their enemy's base, which is heavily guarded by defensive structures. This type of multiplayer online video games originated as a subgenre of real-time strategy, though MOBA players usually do not construct buildings or units. Moreover, there are examples of MOBA games that are not considered real-time strategy games, such as Smite (2014), and Paragon. The genre is seen as a fusion of real-time strategy, role-playing and action games.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) is a 2012 multiplayer first-person shooter developed by Valve and Hidden Path Entertainment. It is the fourth game in the Counter-Strike series. Developed for over two years, Global Offensive was released for Windows, macOS, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 in August 2012, and for Linux in 2014. Valve still regularly updates the game, both with smaller balancing patches and larger content additions.
The International is an annual esports world championship tournament for the video game Dota 2, hosted and produced by the game's developer, Valve. The International was first held at Gamescom as a promotional event for the game in 2011, and has since been held annually with the exception of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The tournament consists of 20 teams; 12 based on final results from the Dota Pro Circuit and six more from winning regional playoffs from the North America, South America, Southeast Asia, China, Eastern Europe, and Western Europe regions.
Heroes of the Storm is a crossover multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) video game developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment. It released for Microsoft Windows and macOS on June 2, 2015. The game features various characters from Blizzard's franchises as playable heroes, as well as different battlegrounds based on Warcraft, Diablo, StarCraft, and Overwatch universes. Players form into five-player teams and fight against another team in 5-versus-5 matches, with an average game duration of roughly 20 minutes. The first team to destroy opponents' main structure, known as the "King's Core", wins the match. Each themed battleground has a different metagame and secondary objectives to secure, whose completion gives your team massive advantages, typically through pushing power. Every player controls a single character, known as a "hero", with a set of distinctive abilities and differing styles of play. Heroes become more powerful over the course of a match by collecting experience points and unlocking "talents" that offer new abilities or augment existing ones, contributing to the team's overall strategy.
Source 2 is a video game engine developed by Valve. The engine was announced in 2015 as the successor to the original Source engine, with the first game to use it, Dota 2, being ported from Source that same year. Since then, Valve's Artifact, Dota Underlords, and Half-Life: Alyx have all been made with the engine.
The International 2017 (TI7) was the seventh iteration of The International, an annual Dota 2 esports world championship tournament. Hosted by Valve, the game's developer, the tournament began with the online qualifier phase in June 2017, and ended after the main event at the KeyArena in Seattle in August. The Grand Finals took place between the European-based Team Liquid and Chinese-based Newbee, with Liquid defeating Newbee 3–0 in a best-of-five series, winning nearly $11 million in prize money.
Artifact is a 2018 digital collectible card game developed and published by Valve for Windows, macOS, and Linux. It focuses on online player-versus-player battles and is based on the universe of Dota 2, a multiplayer online battle arena game by Valve. Artifact was designed by Magic: The Gathering creator Richard Garfield.
The International 2018 (TI8) was the eighth iteration of The International, an annual Dota 2 world championship esports tournament. Hosted by Valve, the game's developer, TI8 followed a year-long series of tournaments awarding qualifying points, known as the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC), with the top eight ranking teams being directly invited to the tournament. In addition, ten more teams earned invites through qualifiers that were held in June 2018, with the group stage and main event played at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver in August. The best-of-five grand finals took place between OG and PSG.LGD, with OG winning the series 3–2. Their victory was considered a Cinderella and underdog success story, as they had come from the open qualifiers and were not favored to win throughout the competition.
Dota Auto Chess is a strategy video game mod for the video game Dota 2. Developed by Drodo Studio and released in January 2019, the game features elements of chess and supports up to eight players. The popularity of the mod, with its having over eight million players by May 2019, led to the creation of the auto battler genre that had a number of other games being released. Later in 2019, Drodo Studio developed a standalone version known simply as Auto Chess, while Valve, the developer of Dota 2, developed their own standalone version known as Dota Underlords.
Teamfight Tactics (TFT) is an auto battler game developed and published by Riot Games. The game is a spinoff of League of Legends and is based on Dota Auto Chess, where players compete online against seven other opponents by building a team to be the last one standing. There are also multiple modes of the game which include: Normal, Ranked, HyperRoll and the most recent release, Double Up. While most of these modes are against seven other opponents, Double Up is a special game mode where players have a partner and the team plays against six other players who make up the three other teams. The game released as a League of Legends game mode for Microsoft Windows and macOS in June 2019 and as a standalone game for Android and iOS in March 2020, featuring cross-platform play between them.
An auto battler, also known as auto chess, is a subgenre of strategy video games that typically feature chess-like elements where players place characters on a grid-shaped battlefield during a preparation phase, who then fight the opposing team's characters without any further direct input from the player. The genre was popularized by Dota Auto Chess in early 2019 and saw other games in the genre released soon after by more established studios, such as Teamfight Tactics, Dota Underlords, and Hearthstone's Battlegrounds.
Dota is a series of strategy video games now developed by Valve. The series began in 2003 with the release of Defense of the Ancients (DotA), a fan-developed multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) mod for the video game Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and its expansion, The Frozen Throne. The original mod features gameplay centered around two teams of up to five players who assume control of individual characters called "heroes", which must coordinate to destroy the enemy's central base structure called an "Ancient", to win the game. Ownership and development of DotA was passed on multiple times since its initial release, until Valve hired the mod's lead designer IceFrog and after an ongoing legal dispute with Blizzard Entertainment, the developer of Warcraft III, brokered a deal that allowed for Valve to inherit the trademark to the Dota name.