OpenAI Five DOTA 2 team destroys human vets in exhibition match

Add Dota 2 to the list of games that bots are getting stronger at via machine learning.


The International is coming up this month and, in it, Dota 2 veterans will be battling for a piece of a prize pool that currently amounts to over $23.5 million. Before that, some players got a chance to take on the Elon-Musk-co-founded OpenAI Five in an exhibition match. Score another one for the future AI uprising if the battle for Earth involves esports of any kind, as the humans were dominated in a best-of-three series.

OpenAI is a non-profit research organization focused on machine learning, not unlike Google's Deepmind. The organization taught a bot how to play Dota 2 last year, Engadget reported, and it beat pro players in one-on-one games. The bot still had opportunities for improvement, considering it only learned one of over the many available Dota 2 characters. OpenAI Five has five bots train against each other for what equals 180 years of playtime daily using data from amateurs and pros. 

Watch OpenAI Five Benchmark from OpenAI on

The OpenAI Five got its first legitimate challenge against a team of human professionals, albeit still with a few special limitations that keep the game simple. Picking from a collection of 18 heroes, OpenAI Five won the first two matches. The audience got to choose their heroes for the next match, which gave the human team a chance to capitalize on team composition and win.

Machine learning has contributed to significant victories in the classic board game Go, Quake 3, and, now, Dota 2. Blizzard is also working with Deepmind to see if AI can get a firm grasp on Starcraft 2, which adds in the additional wrinkle of resource management as the AI attempts to reach a victory status. Stay tuned to Shacknews for additional updates.

Charles Singletary Jr keeps the updates flowing as the News Editor, breaking stories while investigating the biggest topics in gaming and technology. He's pretty active on Twitter, so feel free to reach out to him @The_CSJR. Got a hot tip? Email him at

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