June 3, 2019 Valve has now registered a domain for Dota Underlords.
Last month, Valve filed a trademark for something called ‘Dota Underlords‘. Details about whatever that may be are still pretty scarce, but it seems the developer’s plans are now stepping up, as a domain name linked to the title has now popped up.
The website, Underlords.com, is currently just a blank page, but the address bar is linked to Valve. Poking around in the site’s certification reveals the developer’s name and Bellevue, Washington location, providing even more proof of its involvement.
While details are scarce on what Underlords could be, in the time since the trademark was filed, a significant front-runner has emerged. Valve recently confirmed that it’s working on its own “standalone version” of Dota Auto Chess, the fan-made custom game mode that’s taken the community by storm over the past few months. Auto Chess’ developer Drodo Studios will continue to make its own mobile version of the game, stripped of Dota’s licensing.
It seems increasingly likely that whatever Underlords is, it’ll be revealed at Dota 2’s The International later this summer. While it seems obvious that this filing relates to melee strength hero Vrogros the Underlord, the trademark’s ‘Classification Information’ section is pretty confounding. It encompasses a dizzying number of things, including “life-saving and teaching apparatus and equipment” as well as “calculating machines, data-processing equipment and computers”. Basically, the true nature of Dota Underlords is still anyone’s guess.
Other than this, we have no concrete details as to what fans can expect from TI 2019. However, the tournament two years ago played host to the reveal of Artifact, so there’s certainly a chance that there will be a big announcement. But, despite the hype around the Dota-inspired card game, its player base plummeted and forthcoming Artifact updates are on hold in order to address “deep-rooted issues with the game.”
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Currently we’re crossing our fingers for Dota Underlords to be as big a deal as Valve’s first foray into the card games genre, but we’ll have to check our excitement until we hear more; the last thing we want is to get our hopes up for a Funko POP.