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OpenAI Bot Defeats World’s Best “Dota 2” Players In Competitive eSport

[Estimated read time: 3 minutes]

Artificial Intelligence has already beaten humans at classical complex games like Go and Chess. This time, it destroyed some of the world’s best players of the battle-video game, Dota 2.

Dota 2 is quite a complex game with a large competitive scene in which two teams of 5 players compete to destroy the rival’s Ancient (a base with a central structure). There are 2 lanes that connect the 2 bases and waves of soldier units are spawned frequently to travel these lanes, clashing with opponent soldier units as they battle their way to the foe’s base.

OpenAI (nonprofit venture that aims to develop friendly AI) is founded by Y Combinator President Sam Altman and Elon Musk – something Elon has been beating the drum for years. Recently, he said AI is fundamental risk to the existence of civilization. Other famous tech figures, like Zuckerberg, have been opposing Elon’s killer robot doomsaying.


Developers of OpenAI claimed that their bot are better than professional player at the smash-hit video game. To prove it, they made a surprise entrance on stage at Valve’s flagship $24 million Dota-2 tournament.

OpenAI’s bot beat Dendi (professional Dota 2 player) in the first ‘1-vs-1’ match within 10 minutes. He resigned from the second match and refused to play the third. Dendi was surprised that a bot could outplay a real person. “Bot feels like a real human, but it’s a little like something else”, he said.

How Bots Are Trained?

OpenAI bots are part of a new class of program dubbed Deep Learning Neural Network. What makes their accomplishment special isn’t just the fact that AI beat some player in a complicated game, but it was able to do it because it actually “learned and understood” the game.

The AI bot is entirely trained through self-play. It starts out randomly without any knowledge of the surroundings, and plays against a copy of itself, that means it always has an evenly matched rival. Throughout the course of learning, it explores many different strategies and learn to exploit opponent. Gradually, it climbs the ladder of skill level until it is able to reach the level of professional player’s performance.

Read: 19 Most Innovative Artificial Intelligence Startups

While playing, self-trained bot doesn’t attack random things on the ground. It predicts where you go in the darkness, and most of the moves are human-like.

Other Side Of The Story

It is true that the bot defeated Dendi, but later it got defeated by other human players at least 50 times.

There has always been a issue with artificial intelligence –  if you do something unusual that they cannot manage to deal with, you outsmart them.
Source: Reddit

What’s Next?

Skynet isn’t arriving soon. Although AI bots managed to win against the best Dota 2 player, it was under certain boundaries. The character and item choices were narrowed down a little bit, and it was always 1-vs-1 match. Developers are looking to extend bot’s capabilities so it can compete and collaborate with professional players in full scale ‘5 vs 5’ match by next year.