Finally it’s the time of the year that all Dota fans have been waiting for, perhaps the most prestigious tournament in all of eSports is just around the corner!
Regardless of stature, it certainly has the biggest prize pool, other events aren’t even close. As it stands, it’s up to over $24million, a prize pot that the 18 best teams in the world will fight tooth and nail for during the coming weeks, but only one will be able to claim the sought-after Aegis of Champions.
We’ll start off by taking a look at a few bets before the group stages begin, then go back to the main event. We've scoured the best eSports betting sites and found three of the best tips for the International 2018:
There’s essentially three teams that are heavy favourites to take home the title; the defending champions Liquid, the Chinese superteam PSG.LGD and the Russians in Virtus.Pro.
Virtus.Pro has been dominating throughout the year ever since RodjER joined, which shows in the DPC rankings as they ended the season with a huge margin down to the second-placed Team Liquid, and became the first team to qualify for the event.
Liquid on the other hand has stepped it up in the latter half of the season and PSG.LGD is always a very deadly team as well, so it won’t be easy for the Russians to claim the title. Liquid actually beat them the last time around in the Chinese Supermajor in a tight 3-2 grand final, but overall Virtus.Pro has a good head-to-head record against both of the other top contenders.
Virtus.Pro plays a classic CIS-style of Dota 2 just like Na’vi once did when they were at their peak. They’re aggressive and fun to watch, but unlike Na’vi, they rarely overextend and they might have the best team cohesion out of any team right now - their synergy and decision making is simply terrific.
Russian teams have had a history of screwing up though when the grand final rolls around, but seeing how they’ve played this far it will take a lot to keep them out of the final. Thus Virtus.Pro to reach the grand final at 1/1 with Bet365 is a solid bet.
Betting on the highest amount of kills in any game by any player looks like a tempting bet, considering where the line has been drawn by the bookmakers over at Betway. Under 25.5 is available at 13/10, which must be considered generous.
Sure there’s a lot of games being played during the course of the tournament, but 26 kills or more is an extreme anomaly and most teams have tapped out long before an enemy has the chance to reach those numbers. Even 20 kills is very rare to see but will probably happen a couple of times because of the sheer amount of games.
The last big tournament, the Chinese Supermajor, featured 102 games played and only a couple reached 20+ kills. Paparazzi from Vici.Gaming did however manage to reach 26 in a game versus Evil Geniuses but no others came close. Last International w33 had the record of 23 kills versus Fnatic, for example.
The same rules apply for the highest amount of deaths by any player in any of the games. The line has been drawn at 18.5 by Betway offering 6/5 for betting under.
It’s hard to picture a scenario where a team hasn’t surrendered before someone has reached 19 deaths. It’s of course not impossible for any of the above mentioned bets to fail, but considering the odds we’re offered it’s clearly worth a gamble.
The Chinese superstars from PSG.LGD are known for their hyper-aggressive play style which can completely overwhelm their opponents. They sometimes open themselves up to being annihilated with their all-in plays, which generally results in matches with a lot of kills which is exactly what we’re looking for when placing this esports bet. They’re the perfect mix of aggression and skill in this context.
Seeing as we’re looking for the highest kill average out of all the maps played, you’d want to pick one of the the teams that’ll go far with few losses and that leaves us with the three earlier mentioned title contenders.
Both Virtus.Pro and Team Liquid can of course completely smash their opponents out of the server, but both of them takes fewer risks than PSG.LGD.