Update: A Dragonest rep said in an email that despite the tweet, the Auto Chess alpha will not begin this week, and that an actual start date has not been set.
The big names in the burgeoning "autobattler" genre right now are Dota Underlords from Valve, and Teamfight Tactics from Riot Games. But a third contender, from the team that started the whole thing with the mega-popular Dota Auto Chess mod, looks like it will soon enter the fray too.
Despite Dota Auto Chess being based on Valve's famed mega-MOBA, developer Drodo Studios said in May that it would not be participating in the creation of a standalone version—a situation that become a whole lot clearer last month when Drodo announced Auto Chess as an Epic Games Store exclusive. (It is still working with Valve on a mobile version of Auto Chess for China, though.)
The Auto Chess page on the Epic Store contains a link to sign up for the alpha test, which according to publisher Dragonest is "coming soon." But yesterday, Epic tweeted that the alpha will being later this week. That tweet, asking "How excited are you for the Auto Chess Alpha Launch this week?" has since been deleted, but was recorded for posterity by PCGamesN (opens in new tab).
I've reached out to Epic for confirmation, but they're in the midst of a very inconvenient two-week break. I've also emailed publisher Dragonest, but it's in China, where it is currently very early. So for now, sign up for the Auto Chess alpha if you want to give it a shot, and keep your eyes open.
It's possible the tweet wasn't meant to be tweeted for weeks, but we assume that if social media messaging is being prepared, we're not far off. We'll update when we find out more.