Earlier this month, OpenAI Five, a Dota bot created by the engineers at non-profit AI research company OpenAI, destroyed a team (opens in new tab) of top-level Dota 2 players. Back in 2017, a more primitive version of the AI crushed a Dota pro (opens in new tab) in a 1v1 fight. This week, that same AI will play three matches at The International Dota 2 championship.
Before you start preparing for a gray goo-esque apocalypse, know this: the bot isn't actually competing in the championship, it's just playing in some exhibition matches as part of The International's "special events." OpenAI Five will play on Wednesday, August 22; Thursday, August 23; and Friday, August 24. You can find the full schedule here (opens in new tab).
God help the players up against the bot. As OpenAI explained in a blog post (opens in new tab), the bot "plays 180 years worth of games against itself every day, learning via self-play." When our own Morgan Park spoke to MoonMeander, one of the players who recently lost to OpenAI Five, he told us it's impossible to beat the bot mechanically, and that human opponents will only stand a chance if they "use the fog and items and skillsets in a way it won't expect."
Even if they are just for fun, OpenAI Five's matches at The International will be something to see—but you may want to temper any hopes of an upset.