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Dota 1: The Game That Started It All

If you are a fan of strategy video games, you have probably heard of or played Dota 2, one of the most popular and successful games in the world. But did you know that Dota 2 is actually a sequel to a much older game called Dota 1? In this article, we will explore the history, gameplay, and legacy of Dota 1, the game that started it all.

The Origins of Dota 1

How Dota 1 was created as a mod for Warcraft III

Dota 1, or Defense of the Ancients, was not originally a standalone game, but a mod for another game called Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. Warcraft III was a real-time strategy game released by Blizzard Entertainment in 2002, which featured four playable races, a rich story campaign, and a powerful map editor. The map editor allowed players to create their own custom maps and scenarios, using the assets and mechanics of Warcraft III.

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One of these custom maps was called DotA Allstars, created by a player named Eul in 2003. DotA Allstars was inspired by another map called Aeon of Strife, which was based on StarCraft, another Blizzard game. DotA Allstars was a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game, where two teams of up to five players each controlled individual heroes and fought to destroy the enemy's base. DotA Allstars was different from other Warcraft III maps because it focused on hero combat rather than base building or resource management.

How Dota 1 evolved over time with different versions and developers

DotA Allstars became very popular among Warcraft III players, and soon spawned many variations and updates. However, Eul stopped working on the map after version 2.0, leaving it open for anyone to continue. Several developers took up the challenge, such as Guinsoo, IceFrog, Neichus, and others. Each developer added new features, heroes, items, modes, and balance changes to the map, creating different versions that competed for popularity.

The most successful version was DotA Allstars v6.01, created by IceFrog in 2005. IceFrog continued to update and improve the map until version v6.83d in 2015. He also introduced new concepts such as hero attributes, gold income, creep stacking and pulling, neutral camps, runes, wards, roshan, barracks, towers, couriers, shops, recipes, and more. IceFrog also listened to feedback from the community and implemented suggestions from players and testers.

IceFrog's version of DotA Allstars became the official and definitive version of Dota 1. It was also the version that Valve hired IceFrog to work on Dota 2 in 2009.

The Gameplay of Dota 1

How Dota 1 is played as a team-based strategy game

Dota Dota 1 is a team-based strategy game, where two teams of up to five players each compete to destroy the enemy's ancient, a large structure located in their base. Each team has a base on opposite corners of the map, connected by three lanes: top, middle, and bottom. Each lane has a series of towers that defend the base from enemy attacks. Each base also has a fountain that heals and replenishes the heroes, and a shop that sells items.

Each player controls a single hero, a powerful unit with unique abilities and attributes. There are over 100 heroes to choose from in Dota 1, divided into three main categories: strength, agility, and intelligence. Strength heroes are usually tanky and durable, agility heroes are usually fast and nimble, and intelligence heroes are usually skilled and versatile. Each hero has four abilities, one of which is an ultimate ability that can only be unlocked at level 6 and has a long cooldown. Each hero also has six item slots, where they can equip items that enhance their stats or grant them additional effects.

The game begins with a picking phase, where each team selects their heroes one by one. The picking phase can vary depending on the game mode, such as all pick, captain's mode, random draft, single draft, etc. After the picking phase, the game enters the laning phase, where each team sends their heroes to one of the three lanes to farm gold and experience by killing enemy creeps (minions) and heroes. The laning phase usually lasts for about 10 to 15 minutes, until the teams start to group up and fight for objectives.

The objectives in Dota 1 include towers, barracks, runes, roshan, and the ancient. Towers are structures that deal damage to enemies and provide vision and protection for allies. Barracks are structures that spawn creeps for each team. Destroying an enemy barracks will cause your creeps to become stronger in that lane. Runes are power-ups that spawn every two minutes in the river. They grant various benefits such as double damage, haste, invisibility, regeneration, or illusion. Roshan is a powerful neutral monster that resides in a pit near the river. Killing roshan will grant your team gold, experience, and an item called Aegis of the Immortal, which allows you to resurrect once upon death. The ancient is the ultimate objective of the game. Destroying the enemy's ancient will end the game and grant you victory.

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The Legacy of Dota 1

How Dota 1 influenced the MOBA genre and esports scene

Dota 1 is widely regarded as one of the most influential and impactful games of all time. It is credited with creating and popularizing the MOBA genre, which is now one of the most played and watched genres in the world. Many other games have been inspired by or derived from Dota 1, such as League of Legends, Heroes of Newerth, Smite, Heroes of the Storm, Mobile Legends, Arena of Valor, and more.

Dota 1 is also one of the pioneers and pillars of esports, or competitive gaming. Dota 1 has been featured in many tournaments and events around the world, such as World Cyber Games (WCG), Electronic Sports World Cup (ESWC), Asian Cyber Games (ACG), The International (TI), and more. Dota 1 has also produced some of the most legendary and iconic players and teams in esports history, such as Na'Vi, Alliance, EHOME, LGD Gaming, such as Na'Vi, Alliance, EHOME, LGD Gaming, Dendi, Miracle-, Burning, YaphetS, and more. Dota 1 has also attracted millions of fans and viewers from all over the world, who follow and support their favorite teams and players.

How Dota 1 is still played and updated by fans today

Despite the release of Dota 2 in 2013, Dota 1 is still alive and kicking today. Many players still prefer to play Dota 1 for various reasons, such as nostalgia, familiarity, accessibility, or personal preference. Dota 1 is also still updated and maintained by fans and modders, who create new versions, patches, heroes, items, modes, and more. Some of the most popular fan-made versions of Dota 1 include DotA v6.88 AI Reborn, DotA v6.89a7 RGC, DotA v6.85k Allstars, and more.

Dota 1 can be played online through various platforms and servers, such as Garena, RGC,, ICCup, Dotalicious, and more. These platforms allow players to join or host games, chat with other players, rank up their skills, and participate in tournaments and events. Dota 1 can also be played offline or locally with friends or bots.


Dota 1 is a game that has shaped the history and culture of gaming. It is a game that has inspired countless other games and genres. It is a game that has created a global phenomenon of esports and entertainment. It is a game that has brought joy and passion to millions of players and fans. It is a game that has started it all.


What is the difference between Dota 1 and Dota 2?

Dota 2 is the official sequel to Dota 1, developed by Valve Corporation with the help of IceFrog. Dota 2 has improved graphics, sound, interface, matchmaking, replay system, spectator mode, workshop, and more. Dota 2 also has some gameplay differences from Dota 1, such as new heroes, items, mechanics, balance changes, etc. However, Dota 2 still retains the core gameplay and essence of Dota 1.

Where can I download and play Dota 1 online?

To play Dota 1 online, you will need to have Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne installed on your computer. You will also need to download the latest version of DotA Allstars from the official website ( Then you can join or host games through various platforms and servers such as Garena ( RGC ( ( ICCup ( Dotalicious ( etc.

Who are some of the most famous Dota 1 players and teams?

There are many famous Dota 1 players and teams that have made their


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