Dota 2 artwork for the young Invoker cosmetic

[Update #2]: Dota Underlords has entered Open Beta and can now be played on both PC and mobile for free.

[Update]: A closed beta version of Dota Underlords has now been released for Dota 2 - The International 2019 Battle Pass owners.

Valve has pretty much made a name for themselves by picking up talented groups of modders, giving them resources, and then having them create some of the most popular games out there. They've done this with Dota, they've done this with Counter-Strike, they've done this with Team Fortress, and they planned to do the same with the hugely popular Dota Auto Chess.

However, due to what appears to be creative differences, Valve and the Dota Auto Chess team Drodo weren't able to reach an understanding. While this could've ended badly, the two parties thankfully decided to each develop their own version: Drodo would continue to work on the mobile version, while Valve would create a PC-focused one.

The exact details behind Valve's version of Dota Auto Chess are still shrouded in mystery, but it would appear that the game will be called Dota Underlords as Valve has just recently trademarked the name. Naturally, it is possible this trademark is for some other game entirely, but I wouldn't exactly bet on that option.

As far as improvements are concerned, I would say that Valve are most likely going to focus on enhancing the visual clarity, adding an actual tutorial, and perhaps most importantly, cutting down on the match time. After all, Dota Auto Chess might be a great game, but it really does get exhausting after a 50-minute match!

Whatever the case may be, you can learn a little bit more about Valve's plans over at the official website.