Dota is 20 years old and the game is somehow stronger than ever

It's still got it.

The first version of Dota was released 20 years ago on Dec. 27 by Kyle Eul Sommer.

When Dotas founding father published what would become a global phenomenon, only a handful of players joined the servers to play the game mode. But over the last two decades, Dota has evolved from a mod into a fully-fledged game, Dota 2, that’s home to The International, one of the most prestigious esports events. Though Dota 2 has continued the tradition with the help of IceFrog, the lead developer of the game, it’s also run into a fair share of problems.

From stale metas to a lack of interaction for the players, Dota 2 had a period where it bled out players on a monthly basis. A lack of advertising and a dwindling interest of existing players was plaguing the game, but the culture lived on.

Dota 2 still found a way to bounce back on its 20th birthday, though, on the back of the TI11 Swag Bag and new organizations coming in to support the competitive scene. Considering TIs prize pool shrunk by a sizable margin this year, most anticipated that players interest in the game would also suffer the same fate.

The opposite has happened in the past few months, however, and millions of players returned to Dota 2 alongside a record number of organizations entering the games competitive scene.

In addition to the new faces in the competitive scene, Dota 2s community has been treated to an animated series based on the games lore on Netflix, DOTA: Dragons Blood. Big-name streamers like Grubby also picked up Dota 2 over the last year, making 2022 one of the best years for both Dota 2 and its community.

When Dota 2s back was against the wall, it kicked back the hardest, showcasing the power of the culture it built over two decades.

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