OpenAI Five

2016–2019

At OpenAI, we’ve used the multiplayer video game Dota 2 as a research platform for general-purpose AI systems. Our Dota 2 AI, called OpenAI Five, learned by playing over 10,000 years of games against itself. It demonstrated the ability to achieve expert-level performance, learn human–AI cooperation, and operate at internet scale.

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Project Timeline


November 9, 2016

First commit of OpenAI's Dota 2 project.


March 9, 2017

First commit in Rapid repository.


August 11, 2017


September 7, 2017

First game won by a Dota 2 professional through normal gameplay against the final 1v1 Shadow Fiend bot after being attempted by dozens of pros over thousands of games.


February 28, 2018

First 5v5 results: RL agent beats OpenAI scripted bot at tower minigame.

First team to destroy a tower wins.

April 3, 2018

RL agent beats in-house OpenAI team at net worth minigame.

Team with the higher net worth after 7 minutes wins.

June 6, 2018

RL agent defeats in-house OpenAI team at fairly restricted 5v5.

Mirror match of 5 fixed heroes utilizing 5 invulnerable couriers. No neutrals, runes, shrines, wards, invisibility, summons, illusions, or Scan. No Divine Rapier, Bottle, Quelling Blade, Boots of Travel, Tome of Knowledge, or Infused Raindrop.
Bill Gates
@BillGates

#AI bots just beat humans at the video game Dota 2. That’s a big deal, because their victory required teamwork and collaboration – a huge milestone in advancing artificial intelligence.


June 30, 2018

OpenAI Five’s parameters initialized.


August 5, 2018

OpenAI Five defeats popular casters at the Benchmark in front of a live audience and 100k livestream viewers, with somewhat restricted 5v5.

Drafting from an 18 hero pool, 5 invulnerable couriers. No summons, illusions, or Scan. No Divine Rapier or Bottle.

August 9, 2018

Match vs. Team Secret (1–2): OpenAI Five loses its first match to professional players.


August 17, 2018

First significant surgery: OpenAI Five is migrated to Dota 7.19 after training for 7 weeks on Dota 7.16.


August 22–24, 2018

OpenAI Five loses to paiN Gaming and a team of top professional Dota 2 players at The International 8.

Handpicked lineup from an 18 hero pool. No summons or illusions. No Divine Rapier or Bottle.

August 26, 2018

More model capacity: OpenAI Five’s long short-term memory (LSTM) size is doubled and number of parameters quadrupled.


October 5, 2018

Match vs. Team Lithium (2–0).


December 10, 2018

Extensive surgery to accommodate Valve's 7.20 gameplay update, including map changes, hero changes, and item changes.


January 16, 2019

Match vs. SG e-sports (2–0).


February 1, 2019

Match vs. Alliance (2–0).


April 5, 2019

Final surgery to upgrade to the 7.21d patch, which would not have been possible from scratch.


April 13, 2019

OpenAI Five wins back-to-back games versus Dota 2 world champions OG at Finals, becoming the first AI to beat the world champions in an esports game.

Drafted from a 17 hero pool. No summons or illusions.
Sébastien "Ceb" Debs
Member of OG

You play against [OpenAI Five] and you realize it has a playstyle that is different. It’s doing things that you’ve never done and you’ve never seen. Sometimes it looks extremely silly. But then again, are you going to be human and be like "Hey, this looks very stupid, this is bad" or [do] you try to take it to next steps, like "Why is it doing this?"

One key learning that we took is how it was allocating resources. It’s just allocating resources as efficiently as possible. And then you realize that we’re guilty of being stuck in a team dynamic, whereas sometimes we have to be way more flexible. […] If OpenAI does that dynamic switch at 100%, we maybe went from 5% to 10%? But that is already a difference—we’ve noticed it.


April 18–21, 2019

OpenAI Five is scaled up to play the Internet as competitor or teammate in OpenAI Arena.

OpenAI Five win rate
99.4%
7215 wins, 42 losses
Total players
33.7K
15K competitve, 18.7K cooperative

July 12, 2019

Finished training of a new agent, Rerun, which reached a 98+% win rate against the agent that played at Finals. This was completed in 2 months, without surgery, and while utilizing only 20% of the resources.


August 25, 2019

OG wins The International 9, making history as the first two-time world champions.

Johan "N0tail" Sundstein
Captain of OG

I don't believe in comparing OpenAI Five to human performance, since it's like comparing the strength we have to hydraulics. Instead of looking at how inhuman and absurd its reaction time is, or how it will never get tired or make the mistakes you'll make as a human, we looked at the patterns it showed moving around the map and allocating resources.

In terms of what OpenAI has done for us and how it influenced our run at TI9, one of the many curious patterns was the buyback and pressure play that happened in most of the games. We had a lot of talks about fighting and pressuring and how it used a different approach from any human in the past. As people, it's about being realistic and learning from the brain of the AI and not the hydraulic strength that machines have.

Selected Press


April 23, 2019
OpenAI's Dota 2 bot won 7,215 games against humans in three days
external

April 22, 2019
OpenAI’s Dota 2 bot defeated 99.4% of players in public matches
external

April 13, 2019
Humans Call GG! OpenAI Five Bots Beat Top Pros OG in Dota 2
external

April 13, 2019
OpenAI’s Dota 2 AI steamrolls world champion e-sports team with back-to-back victories
external

April 13, 2019
OpenAI Five defeats professional Dota 2 team, twice
external

April 13, 2019
AI triumphs against the world’s top pro team in strategy game Dota 2
external

June 28, 2018
OpenAI’s bot beat a human at video games last year. Now it will take on five at once.
external

June 25, 2018
OpenAI’s bot can now defeat skilled Dota 2 teams
external

June 25, 2018
Can Bots Outwit Humans in One of the Biggest Esports Games?
external

April 15, 2018
To hone its collaborative skills, this AI is taking on the world’s top video game players
external

August 31, 2017
Elon Musk's Dota 2 Experiment is Disrupting Esports in a Big Way
play

August 12, 2017
OpenAI bot remains undefeated against world’s greatest Dota 2 players
external

August 11, 2017
For the first time, AI crushed a professional Dota 2 player at the game’s biggest tournament
external

Team

Christopher Berner

1v1 Shadow Fiend

Greg Brockman

1v1 Shadow Fiend, OpenAI Five, Team Lead

Brooke Chan

OpenAI Five

Vicki Cheung

1v1 Shadow Fiend

Przemysław Dębiak

1v1 Shadow Fiend, OpenAI Five

Christy Dennison

OpenAI Five

David Farhi

OpenAI Five, Team Lead

Quirin Fischer

1v1 Shadow Fiend

Scott Gray

OpenAI Five

Shariq Hashme

1v1 Shadow Fiend

Christopher Hesse

1v1 Shadow Fiend

Rafal Józefowicz

1v1 Shadow Fiend

Catherine Olsson

1v1 Shadow Fiend

Jakub Pachocki

1v1 Shadow Fiend, OpenAI Five, Research Lead

Michael Petrov

OpenAI Five

Henrique Pondé de Oliveira Pinto

OpenAI Five

Jonathan Raiman

OpenAI Five

Tim Salimans

1v1 Shadow Fiend

Jeremy Schlatter

1v1 Shadow Fiend

Jonas Schneider

1v1 Shadow Fiend

Szymon Sidor

1v1 Shadow Fiend, OpenAI Five, Rapid Lead

Ilya Sutskever

1v1 Shadow Fiend

Jie Tang

1v1 Shadow Fiend, OpenAI Five

Filip Wolski

OpenAI Five

Susan Zhang

OpenAI Five

Special thanks to the numerous people across OpenAI that helped out at our Benchmark and Finals events.

For more on Dota 2, see these two papers.