Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
It was only a matter of time before I added Dota 2 to this list, I'm just surprised it took this long.
There are so many ways to explain what the game is, using complicated analogies and probably moving various condiments around a tabletop in an earnest fashion while geeking out in a greasy spoon cafe (not that this has happened). But at root, Dota 2 is simply a team game - a battle to destroy the other side's ancient bonsai tree thing using a collection of weird and wonderful heroes and their combinations of skills.
It's resistant to new players, particularly those relatively new to PC gaming. It's also incredibly time consuming to dig into. You can spend hours on Reddit watching discussions about different item builds unfurl. But if you stick with it you'll find an incredibly rewarding game accompanied by a hugely creative community (the people who make items and run events, obv - not the fools who instapick Pudge and whine about having no wards despite there being FOUR OF THE DAMN THINGS ON THE MAP THIS VERY MOMENT).
It's the game to which I have dedicated the majority of my gaming time of the last couple of years and which has brought me an excellent new circle of friends.
If you remain unconvinced you can read more in-depth bits and bobs about why I find the game fascinating in the weekly Dote Night column.