Last Friday, the gaming world was both parts shocked and impressed as the news broke out that an AI bot beat a professional player in Dota 2.

As many know, DOTA 2 is one of the biggest titles in the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) genre. One of its many boasts is the ridiculously large sums of money as prizes for their tournament, The International, which has prize pools that amount to over $20 million.

Needless to say, professional DOTA 2 players are closer to athletes than being casual gamers, and being one is serious business. By extension, an AI beating a professional player is newsworthy.

Does it mean that people have already developed an AI so sophisticated that it has learned the nuances of a five versus five team game?

AI won under special conditions

Not quite, apparently. According to The Verge, the AI is developed by none other than Elon Musk. And while Musk may as well be the Tony Stark of our generation, the AI that beat e-sports athlete Danil "Dendi" Ishutin won probably because the match is set up to accommodate certain special conditions.

First off, one of the difficulties a "perfect" AI would face is the hundreds of characters available in the DOTA 2 roster. This complication is eliminated by programming the AI tactics and strategy to suit one hero: the Shadow Fiend specifically.

Already, one can see that programming this AI must've been less complex than it first sounded, as the Shadow Fiend is a pretty straightforward character that can win with a focus on pure tactics and timing.

Another condition that minimized the complication is that the match is a 1v1 battle. DOTA 2 is meant to be a 5v5 team battle, and 5 AIs are already disadvantaged by the fact that five humans can coordinate and synchronize their tactics on the fly.

An AI may be an expert at calculating timings and enemy distance, but when it comes to adapting tactics and strategies and teamwork on top of that, the human mind is still ace.

Still a good start for a lot of possibilities

That is not to say that beating Dendi on a 1v1, fixed-hero game is not impressive in itself. It is, and the fact that the AI won on this level is already a high achievement of programming.

It may not be as complex now that the parameters of the match have been made clear. However, Elon Musk and his team's AI still promises exciting possibilities. Their bot could be a springboard to better artificial intelligence and, who knows, maybe a team of AIs based on this one could beat a team of DOTA 2 champions someday.