In DotA, two teams of five players attempt to penetrate the other teams base and destroy a structure called an Ancient. Each of the opposing bases are connected by three lanes defended by destructible towers and traversed by groups of minions spawning from each base. Each player controls a hero who has special powers and must be levelled up; much like in a role-playing game.
Since it was released in 2005, DotA's popularity has spawned its own genre of game known as a MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena). Modern MOBAs include popular games such as League of Legends and Smite, with tens of millions of registered users all over the world. Valve software now owns the DotA name and publishes its sequel, DotA II.