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‘Artifact’ Beta Begins in October

Valve’s digital collectible card game “Artifact” will enter beta sometime in October, co-founder Gabe Newell announced during The International 2018 on Monday.

Newell didn’t share a specific date or time, but did say The International attendees who link their tickets to their Steam accounts will get a free copy of the game and beta access.

Artifact” will be playable for the first time at PAX West in Seattle, Wash. from Aug. 31-Sept. 3. Ambitious fans can compete in a single-elimination gauntlet during the convention, earn some “Artifact”-themed merchandise, and receive keys for two free copies.

“Artifact” is based on the characters and lore of Valve’s multiplayer online battle arena game “Dota 2.” (The International is “Dota 2’s” biggest esports tournament.) Designed by “Magic: The Gathering” creator Richard Garfield, it’s shipping with more than 280 cards that can be bought or sold on the Steam Community Marketplace. “Artifact” plans to distinguish itself from competitors like “Hearthstone” and “The Elder Scrolls: Legends” by drawing inspiration from its MOBA predecessor. The game board reportedly has three lanes, and each one has a tower that needs defending. The match ends when a player destroys two out of three towers or the Ancients that spawn in their place.

“Artifact” comes out Nov. 28 on PC, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS and costs $20 USD. Valve said it plans to support the game as a service via expansions, competitive events, and new features.

Variety reached out to Valve to find out more about the upcoming beta, but it did not respond to our request for comment.

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