Published: Sun, August 13, 2017
Science | By Boyd Webster

What OpenAI Victory in Dota 2 Means for the Future of eSports

What OpenAI Victory in Dota 2 Means for the Future of eSports

AI developers have recently shown that computers can dominate the best human players in Go and chess.

Artificial intelligence took a step forward last night, at an annual tournament for players of the tactical wargame Defense of the Ancients 2.

It's not clear if artificial intelligence will take away all our jobs, but according to Elon Musk, it is going to take away our e-sports supremacy.

Today we played Dendi on mainstage at The International, winning a best-of-three match.

The MOBA is one of the most popular video games in all of competitive eSports, but no matter how good the best squishy humans are at the game, it seems OpenAI is better. Dendi lost the first game two kills to one (he managed to kill the bot at the same time as it killed him the second time, securing the win). At the same time, he has already played in Dota 2 a greater number of parties than any other professional athlete.

OpenAI says the bot was trained on self-play-meaning it started knowing nothing about the game, slowly learning which techniques worked and which didn't by playing a virtual version of itself.

Greg Brockman, himself, appeared to be impressed by the success of the method. "This bot can learn from scratch in about two weeks of real time", Brockman said.

"This guy is scary", Dendi repeated during play as the bot whittled down his health. Earlier this year, an AI built by Microsoft beat every level of the Ms. Pac-Man game - something no human player has ever achieved. Dota's complexity lies both in its programming, but also in the extremely high level of coordination, communication, and strategy required to play it at the highest level.

The implications, of course, are that a bot that can master complex video games can have other uses too.

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