Steven R. June 19, 2019
Dota Underlords might just become a prominent esports title before long.
One week after being officially announced by Valve, the first live event for the game has been announced by ESL. The competition will take place alongside the ESL One Hamburg 2019 Dota 2 tournament that kicks off on October 20.
Few details on the tournament were announced by ESL outside of it featuring a 5,000 euro prize pool. No information was given on the format or qualification process. It is unclear if the event will feature esports pros that previously dabbled in Dota Auto Chess such as Hearthstone’s Jason "Amaz" Chan and Chris "Fenomeno" Tsakopoulos, some of the on-hand Dota 2 talent, or someone else entirely.
Regardless, this could be a big moment for the Auto Chess community.
Since initially launching in February as a custom game mode in Dota 2, Auto Chess has become a massive success attracting millions of players. The game has seen a vibrant community separate from Dota 2 pop up around it, with a number of tournaments hosted by notable organizers including Twitch Rivals and ImbaTV.
Over recent weeks, the Auto Chess genre has become a battleground for different publishers. Original Dota Auto Chess designer Drodo Studio has created its own standalone PC version of the game as an Epic Games Store exclusive, while League of Legends developer Riot Games recently launched its own answer to Auto Chess in Teamfight Tactics.
Shortly after those two games were announced, Valve revealed its own standalone Auto Chess game in Dota Underlords, which built on the original Dota Auto Chess. A closed beta version was made available to The International 2019 Battle Pass owners, with an open beta launch on the horizon.
Despite facing stiff competition, the potential is there for Dota Underlords to become a massive success and the game itself is likely deep and nuanced enough to grow roots as an esport. If more tournaments like this one can pop up, Dota Underlords’ competitors might have a real fight on their hands.