Why are creep denies showing up as question marks in Dota 2?

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Are you seeing question marks pop out of creep denies in Dota 2? Don’t worry, it’s not another crazy glitch.

Dota 2 players may notice something different when they hit the lanes on April 1. Instead of the normal exclamation mark, creep denies currently emit a question mark. The simple sentence-ender has an important place in Dota 2 culture, so there’s no way that it’s a silly glitch. Instead, it’s an intentional joke from Valve to the player base.

Question marks after creep denies is Dota 2’s way of celebrating April Fools’ Day each year. Question marks are a simple, yet surprisingly effective way of getting into an enemy player’s head after a bad play, and denies are an important part of the laning phase. Now players get to hit each other with a ? every time they deny a creep. 

While synonymous with Dota 2 April Fools’ Day, this isn’t the only way players have been able to automatically troll opponents. The feature has previously been locked within battle passes including the most recent Continuum Conundrum. The joke’s true origin lies in the Dota 2 community and pro scene.

Why questions marks are iconic in Dota 2

Dota 2 is a very complicated game where almost anything can go wrong. Whether it’s a poorly timed last hit attempt or a miscalculated Rolling Boulder from Earth Spirit, the line between genius and idiotic is very thin. In cases where opponents mess up, it’s practically second nature for some players to type a simple “?” in all chat. It’s not clear exactly where this trend started, but it’s now a common fixture of the game at all levels.

The most famous instance of a question mark in Dota 2 came in the grand finals of the 2021 Sinagpore Major. After Invictus Gaming won a team fight against Evil Geniuses, mid laner Zhou “Emo” Yi posted a solitary question mark in all chat directed at Artour “Arteezy” Babaev. This moment is considered the turning point in iG’s reverse sweep to win the $500,000 event.