Speaking on the DOTA 2 blog, the development team revealed that the original plan was to release the game after it had added new features and heroes.
This would have seen the game spend a year in the beta testing phase before being made available to the public on Steam.
The original plan was described as "dumb" by IceFrog, who went on to announce a new fast-track release.
"Our original plan was to spend the next year or so in beta, adding new features and slowly growing the number of heroes until we reached a level of parity with DOTA 1, at which point we'd release DOTA 2 to the world," the firm said in a statement.
"But the feedback we're seeing everywhere is that people just want to play it, even though there's still a ton of heroes yet to be implemented.
"We've also seen that the folks who are already in the beta are champing at the bit to show everyone else some of the fun games they've had. So we decided our original plan was dumb.
"Welcome to the new plan: We're going to take the current version of DOTA 2, which has The International set of heroes, and get it out there as fast as we can."
Valve hinted at a 2011 release date for DOTA 2 during an interview with Digital Spy at Gamescom.
Watch a teaser trailer for DOTA 2 below: