Neslyn A. February 5, 2019
The Dota 2’s chess hype continues and as the game has now reached more than 200,000 players.
After several Twitch and YouTube streams promoting the new custom game mode, players are starting to reinstall Dota 2 just to play Auto Chess. The game mode offers an exciting balance of luck and strategy that has proven a draw to players.
The game starts off with the players as a courier with 100 hit points. Eight competing players are given different chess boards, and can choose from a randomized set of five heroes with different classifications.
Each lost round deals damage to the courier based on the number of an opponent’s remaining chess pieces after battle. Heroes level up through merging three copies of the same hero, and heroes became stronger when paired or grouped with heroes of the same class and species types.
The Auto Chess economy also plays a large role as players learn how to create small advantages through gold interest and managing winning or losing streaks.
The goal of the game is to synergize one’s chosen heroes and to create the strongest army on the board, eventually staking a place as the last surviving courier.
Auto Chess was developed by Drodo Studio and launched January 4. There are player ranks and leaderboards, but the Chinese developers have not specified what goes into these rankings.
Popular Dota 2 personalities including WehSing "SingSing" Yuen and Henrik "AdmiralBulldog" Ahnberg have started streaming Auto Chessm and these streams have attracted many new players. Surprisingly, League of Legend veteran Michael "Imaqtpie" Santana has the highest viewership of an Auto Chess stream on YouTube with more than 250,000 views.
There are claims that the high Auto Chess player count is at least partially attributable to a glitch. A thread on Reddit provided a brief explanation on how Auto Chess may yield an inflated player count through a bug in Dota 2.