Team Brawler

Game genre concept

A multiplayer action game genre that started out with Dota and Aeon of Strife, but has expanded beyond their definitions. Usually involves two small very character oriented teams fighting against each other, often with RPG style leveling.


Alternate names: Multiplayer Online Battle Arena, Aeon of Strife-type game, Defense of the Ancients-type game

The first video game about Team Brawler was released in 2003.

dtp entertainment, S2 Games and Net Games Laboratory has published most of these games

Following description is outdated and relates to before Team Brawler nomenclature started rising to cover the true variety and focus of the genre. The following thus relates mostly to MOBA roots.
Common traits:
* Both sides have a Thing-They-Must-Defend (let's call it HQ from here on), destruction of that HQ signals victory for the other team.
* Levels consists of usually 3 main pathways to reach the opponent, these are usually called Lanes.
* The lanes are connected with each other via usually much smaller paths that have poorer visibility for various reasons.
* Each lane has about 3 defensive structures in succession that must be destroyed in order to be able to damage the HQ. Only one lane needs to be destroyed to damage the HQ.
* HQ spawns waves of AI controlled minions that fight alongside the players.
* Players control RPG-like characters selected before the game starts. These can't be swapped during single game.
* Players gain gold by killing enemies or destroying their structures, which they use to purchase equipment.

Games usually last from 25 to 45 minutes during which the player characters fully reach their level cap (somewhere near 20 usually).

* MOBA is a name coined by Riot games, has limited recognition (Riot and S2 mainly, the two companies running currently [2012] most successful Dota-style games).
* Action-RTS is a name coined by Valve, and has gained some momentum because of marketing.
... however, the genre has little to do with RTS beyond originally being a mod for an RTS game. The genre is not so hard-set that it requires RTS-like top-down persective nor does it really have any elements of RTS games left in it. The game is actually much more comparable to 2-way siege/assault mode in FPS games.

Some strategy elements can be present, but this is usually from chosen character (minion controller) rather than the general design of the game.
Aeon of Strife was a custom map for StarCraft (presumably released late in 1998), which inspired creation of Defense of the Ancients, a similar custom map for WarCraft 3 (initially released in 2003).

Parent groups

Action-RPG, Action-Strategy, Multiplayer

Related site


Windows 31
PS4 10
Linux 7
Mac OS X 7
Xbox One 4
X360 2
PS3 2
Switch 1
Android 1
iOS 1

By year

989900010203040506070809101112131415161718 1648120 ABCD
A1998 - Aeon of Strife (AOS) StarCraft custom map released
B2003 - Defense of the Ancients (DOTA) WarCraft 3 custom map released
C2005 - Dota AllStars appears in esports tournaments
D2008 - Gamasutra article on Dota

Popular tags

action actionrpg arenashooter carcombat hybridgame shooter strategy tactical