Valve seems to be fusing Dota 2 and Overwatch in Deadlock

Screenshots of mysterious project appear

It looks like Valve is gearing up for the release of its next game: Screenshots from a project that is seemingly called Deadlock have been appearing online over the past couple of hours along with details about its alleged gameplay.

According to Gabe Follower, who is usually well informed about what’s going on within Valve, Deadlock is the latest incarnation of the projects known as Neon Prime and Citadel. Notably, Dota 2 creator Icefrog is known to have worked on Neon Prime for a while – and that’s easy to believe, looking at the screenshots and reading the provided descriptions of what the game is about.

Apparently, Deadlock is a competitive third-person shooter with hero characters that uses a Dota-style lane system along with items and some tower defense mechanics. Teams of six players are battling on what’s described as a huge map.

In essence, Deadlock looks like a fusion of Dota 2, Overwatch, Smite and Team Fortress 2. The pace of the game is described as fast and its setting a mixture of steampunk and fantasy after some initial sci-fi influences were purged.

Gameplay screenshots show that most heroes seem to have four abilities (some of which are cooldown-based), an HP bar, levels, and an item inventory. 

Those images confirm the lane-based structure of the map, which looks like it’s based on a contemporary city. One shot shows what looks like a tutorial screen and says that each lane contains a transit line players can ride to move along it quickly.

Other tabs on the tutorial screen teach the player about “Troopers”, “Guardians”, “Walkers”, and their “Base” – it sure sounds like the Dota influence is very strong with this one. Since we don’t know how old these screenshots are, it’s difficult to estimate if they represent the current state of the game or if development has progressed significantly since they were taken.

A “PlayDeadlock” web domain as well as an account on X under the handle have recently been registered, so Valve could be looking at revealing the project officially in the upcoming months.

Marco Wutz


Marco Wutz is a writer from Parkstetten, Germany. He has a degree in Ancient History and a particular love for real-time and turn-based strategy games like StarCraft, Age of Empires, Total War, Age of Wonders, Crusader Kings, and Civilization as well as a soft spot for Genshin Impact and Honkai: Star Rail. He began covering StarCraft 2 as a writer in 2011 for the largest German community around the game and hosted a live tournament on a stage at gamescom 2014 before he went on to work for Bonjwa, one of the country's biggest Twitch channels. He branched out to write in English in 2015 by joining, the global center of the StarCraft scene run by Team Liquid, which was nominated as the Best Coverage Website of the Year at the Esports Industry Awards in 2017. He worked as a translator on The Crusader Stands Watch, a biography in memory of Dennis "INTERNETHULK" Hawelka, and provided live coverage of many StarCraft 2 events on the social channels of as well as DreamHack, the world's largest gaming festival. From there, he transitioned into writing about the games industry in general after his graduation, joining GLHF, a content agency specializing in video games coverage for media partners across the globe, in 2021. He has also written for NGL.ONE, kicker, ComputerBild, USA Today's ForTheWin, The Sun, Men's Journal, and Parade. Email: