Jaxon Gaming News » Dota 2 News » What does Dota actually stand for?
Dota 2 News

What does Dota actually stand for?

Dota 2 mid lane

The name Dota can stand for a lot of things, but the true answer is more complex than players may think.

Over a decade since its July 2013 release, Dota 2 still ranks among the most-played esports titles on Steam. Always neck-and-neck with its rival League of Legends, the MOBA still boasts millions of monthly players. And yet, some of those players may not even know of its origins. After all, there’s a reason for the “2” after Dota. The MOBA began life as a mod for the classic RTS title Warcraft 3. It exploded in popularity, and although Blizzard never pursed a standalone title, Valve saw its potential. Shaving off all the Warcraft aesthetics, Valve released Dota 2 on Steam to much rejoicing and Blizzard’s regret.

But it does leave some fans wondering what the name Dota stands for, if anything at all.

Faceless Void Arcana loading screen

Does Dota really stand for Defense of the Ancients?

The “Dota” in Dota 2 doesn’t stand for anything at all, though it was originally an acronym for Defense of the Ancients.

Defense of the Ancients was the original meaning of Dota, but copyright disputes have complicated matters.  The name came from the framing device for the mod’s conflict. Before it was radiant and dire, the two sides were called sentinels and scourge. The term ancients referred to the structures protected by both sides.

Interestingly, heroes used to be locked to either sentinel or scourge to highlight the conflict of good versus evil. Eventually, the developers removed the restrictions for a more balanced game. Dota 2 eventually phased out normal mode, which locked radiant and dire heroes to their respective sides, in favor of the modern all pick.

When Valve announced the acquisition of the Dota property in 2010, the company moved to file a trademark for the Dota name and the acronym it stands for.

“The issue with that was when we were talking with IceFrog originally, he wanted to build the sequel to Dota,” Valve boss Gabe Newell said in an interview with Eurogamer. “So the reason to call it Dota 2 is it actually does a pretty good job of communicating to gamers what it is the game is going to be.”

Dota allstars loading screen

The name recognition of Dota 2 certainly worked in its favor, but some companies disagreed. Former Dota 1 designers Steve “Guinsoo” Feak and Steve “Pendragon” Mescon opposed Valve’s trademark, citing it as a community asset. It’s worth noting that at that point Riot Games owned the trademark for Dota Allstars. Then Blizzard VP Rob Pardo acquired the Dota Allstars property from Riot Games and opposed Valve’s claims.

Eventually, the two companies settled the conflict in May 2012, with Valve retaining commercial rights to the IP but allowing third parties to use the name commercially as well.

Nowadays, Dota only nominally stands for Defense of the Ancients, but nobody’s called it that in quite a long time. Notably, the phrase “Defense of the Ancients” does not appear anywhere in the modern game.

Read Also
Does GTA 6 actually take place in Vice City? Here’s what we know
Rockstar Games finally gave fans a proper, official look at GTA 6 ...
Visa sh*tshow: Stand-in stocks rise as 7 teams are affected ahead of PGL Arlington Major
PGL Arlington Major 2022 is turning out to be a shitshow, and ...
Stake.us Promo
Tyler1 can’t stand the state of the game, says healing is way too powerful
League of Legends is currently in a horrible state, according to streamer ...
faveN ruled out for Cologne, k1to to stand-in
Nils "k1to" Gruhne will play at IEM Cologne, as the current academy ...
YEKINDAR to stand in for Liquid in Cologne
Latvian rifler Maleks "YEKINDAR" Galinskis will be standing in for Team Liquid ...

Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or www.800gambler.org; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or www.gamblersanonymous.org.

This site is using Cloudflare and adheres to the Google Safe Browsing Program. We adapted Google's Privacy Guidelines to keep your data safe at all times.
21+NCPGGamblers Anonymous
Close
Don't Miss The Best Offers This Month
Stake.us
Stake.us Bonus
$55 Stake Cash + 260K Gold Coins + 5% Rakeback
T&Cs apply, 18+
Promo Code:
Go to Stake.us
Get Bonus
Wow Vegas
Wow Vegas Bonus
35 SC FREE and 1.75M WOW Coins
T&Cs apply, 18+
Promo Code:
Go to Wow Vegas
Get Bonus
High5Casino
High5Casino Bonus
5 Sweeps Coins + 250 Game Coins + 600 Diamonds
T&Cs apply, 18+
Promo Code:
Go to High5Casino
Get Bonus
×
Your Promo Code:
The bonus offer of was already opened in an additional window. If not, you can open it also by clicking the following link:
Visit Site