Last week, Valve announced Dota Underlords, its auto-chess variant based on Dota 2. At the time, it was only available to Dota 2 Battle Pass owners, but the plan was to make it free and available to everybody a week later.

A week has passed and, lo and behold, Dota Underlords is here! You can download it via Steam, naturally, and set your minions off on their grand adventures, which will mostly involve dying to try and win glory for you.

The open beta/early access period is expected to last a few months. Over that time, Valve plans on implementing improvements like four Underlords to choose from, ranked matchmaking, a battle pass, seasonal rotations, tournaments, daily challenges, and various flavors of flair.

In closing, let’s just take a moment to shake our heads at how Valve worked for years on a game nobody wanted (Artifact) only to see it fall flat on its face and then, when a new and popular trend emerged, quickly slap something together (Dota Underlords) that seems to be very well-received? Sometimes, the best games are the ones you don’t make, or something like that.

Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.

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