Dota 2 is a multiplayer game (MOBA) developed and published by Valve Corporation. Dota 2 isn't unique, it is a stand-alone continuation of Defense of the Ancients - mod created by the community for Blizzard Entertainment's Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and The Frozen Throne (its expansion pack). The game is primarily consisting of five-to-five battles where each team occupies and defends their own independent base on the map. Every player individually controls a "hero"(a powerful character) with unique abilities and various styles to play.
Dota 2, unlike its MOBA contemporaries, is completely free to play. All of the heroes are accessible to everyone at all times, and the gained experience at an account level only helps to unlock ranked play.
During the match, in order to successfully fight the competitor teams' heroes, players collect items and experience points for their own heroes. The winning team is the one which is the first to destroy the opposing team's "Ancient" - a huge structure, which is guarded by protective towers.
In 2009, when IceFrog, the original Defense of the Ancients mod fake lead designer, got hired by Valve in order to create a modernized sequel, development of Dota 2 began. In July 2013 it was officially released on Steam for Microsoft Windows, Linux and OS X based personal computers, following a public-beta phase for Windows-only that started two years earlier. Dota 2 was praised for its production quality, rewarding gameplay, and faithfulness to its predecessor.
At first, the game used the original Source game engine until in 2015 it was finally ported to Source 2, becoming the first game to use it. Since Dota 2 was released, it has been one of the most popular games on Steam played by more than a million players. Due to such popularity of the game has led to official merchandise being produced for it (various accessories, apparel, toys, promoting tie-ins to media and other games). In addition, the community is allowed to make custom modes of the game, hero cosmetics, and maps, which are uploaded to the Steam Workshop afterwards.
The game has an active and worldwide competitive scene, as well as many teams from around the world playing professionally in different tournaments and leagues. Often there are prize pools of millions of U.S. dollars in Premium Dota 2 tournaments, which is the highest of any eSport. The biggest of them is The International, produced by Valve and usually held at the KeyArena in Seattle. Valve sponsors format of the tournament (Majors and Minors) as well. They are much smaller and more regularly held events that grant qualification points for being directly invited to The International. Media coverage is carried out for most of the tournaments. It's done by a selection of on-site staff who supply analysis and commentary for the ongoing battles, very much like the traditional sporting events. Usually, the broadcasts of professional Dota 2 battles are streamed live over the internet, and from time to time on television networks reaching viewership of millions.