The vanishing history of Dota

HistoryOpinion

When I started thinking about this blog I wanted to tell the story of Dota and Dota 2, from their earliest days in 2003. I started gathering information, carefully bookmarking things I found on the Internet.

As I advance with this project I’ve come to a sad realization: Dota history is vanishing.

The earliest days of Dota haven’t been recorded anywhere, it’s just oral history. To properly write the history of Dota interviews with people who have been there from the start will be required. So I will try to have those interviews with Dota’s creators and key personalities from the early days. But this will take time, and by then they might forget important details. So there’s a good chance we will lose forever some of the most important moments in this history.

Cobwebs

Of course, not everything will be lost, there are already articles and interviews on the internet. But the internet is a harsh mistress: many of those community maintaned sites are no longer running. Many of them were PHPBB forums which are now vanishing from the internet. Even larger ones are threatened.

The original Dota site, dota-allstars.com, belonged to Pendragon, which was a sort of “community manager” for Dota. He’s since moved on to co-found Riot (aka League of Legends) and he caused a lot of bad blood when one day he just shut down the site & forum and put up a billboard advertising LoL on the site.

Luckily for us Icefrog had already drawn a large part of the community over to playdota.com. But some brilliant pieces of Dota history were lost forever. Yes, I know that years later, after he almost killed the community, Pendragon released the forum database and da-archive.com appeared but it’s mostly broken, unfortunately :weary:

Anyway, I want to bring back the atmosphere of those early years of Dota and I hope you accompany me on this journey! :smile:

And just for fun, here’s a brilliant article written by FoxNetworks a long, long time ago on the dota-allstars.com site (maybe in 2007?). I painstakingly recreated it on playdota.com with the help of the Internet Archive (aka the Wayback Machine), a brilliant effort to save old sites. If you can, donate to help the Internet Archive as they’re an awesome non-profit.

Enjoy FoxNetworks’ article and if you have personal stories or resources about Dota’s history, please comment below.

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