I like to watch DOTA 2 matches and I wonder if there is a story behind that game. Is there any back story about the heroes? Are they connected to each other?


1 Answer 1


The overall answer is technically "No"... but also "Yes".

In the original game, the Defense of the Ancients mod of Warcraft 3 is set in the Pre-Burning Crusade Warcraft Universe. The original map was divided between the "Sentinels" and the "Scourge". The Sentinels occupied the bottom left side of the map, with an elven and treefolk motif, whilst the Scourge side were the top right, with an undead motif. The name derived from the invasion of the Scourge by the Lich King into the southern continents inhabited by the Elves. The elves didn't have much by way of buildings, but instead used sentient Treefolk/Ents known as "Ancients" that served similar function. In the Warcraft universe, these Ancients had the ability to actually uproot themselves and move, albeit very slowly, but that didn't translate to the mod, save one of the champions. The height of popularity came with a new manager and a rename of DOTA: All-Stars.

In the original game had the Heroes divided between Ancient & Scourge, but that was quickly done away with so any player can use any hero. The individual heroes were originally tied to Individual characters inside the Warcraft Universe. For example, Furion was the Prophet, Sylvanus is the Drow Ranger, Thrall is the Disruptor and Cairne Bloodhoof was the Earthshaker. When Valve decided to revitalize the mod as an independent game, all of the Activision-Blizzard IP names were removed, making the "Raigor Stonehoof" the Earthshaker, "Traxex" the Drow Ranger and just the "Nature's Prophet" and the "Stormcaller Disruptor". However, since the creators of the original mod moved with the game, all of the invented names for champions - Luna, Tiny, Pudge, Lina Inverse, Davion the Dragon Knight, Axe, Abbadon, Zeus, Ezalor & Sven (... et cetera) - were able to be transferred into the now-independent Dota 2. "Dota" was now a single word, rather than an acronym. You can read a brief breakdown of history the genre here.

Now that it is devoid of the original links to the Warcraft Universe, there is a new lore that is simultaneously original and a massive retcon. Instead of the Sentinels v Scourge, it's now a pair of living stone alien beings in constant conflict with one another, once trapped in the same moon, that have since been freed. One side represents the Radiant, the other the Dire. As their moon-prison was broken, the shards of each of the beings showered the earth, bending the masses to their will to fight the other. Only the Heroes have a force of will strong enough to resist the shards' call can choose a side to fight... the other.

As for the characters themselves, the Valve team is releasing little bursts of content. Sometimes they are concerning only a single hero, other times multiple heroes simultaneously, explaining how these heroes have come to be, where or why they received their powers. There are interactions between the heroes, some translated from the original source material, but largely original. Depending on the character you choose, there may be a wealth or a void of information. I've found a single-page compendium of all known lore knowledge here.

  • It's not pertinent to the answer, but it may be worth noting (at least here in the comments) that Lina's name is a tribute to Lina Inverse, the protagonist of an anime series titled Slayers. I assume it was left unchanged because the Dota character design doesn't resemble the anime character anywhere near enough to be infringing.
    – recognizer
    Commented May 17, 2016 at 21:06

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