Dota 2, or Defence of the Ancients 2, is an action-packed strategy game and it’s among the most popular games in eSports, which of course means that the betting community finds the game interesting as it offers a wide variety of available eSports markets.
Dota 2 has been out since 2013 and is also known for having the biggest prize pools of any eSport. The International, a Dota 2 tournament held every year in August is considered the biggest tournament in all of eSports.
Beside this huge tournament, you’ll find plenty of odds for lesser tournaments, when the so- called major and minor events roll around during the season.
To have the best possible chance of success it comes down to, just as in all kinds of betting, that you can understand the game and study the teams you’re planning to bet on.
Note: Unfortunately, no US jurisdictions have legal Dota 2 betting yet so it is currently unavailable to Americans. Odds listed below are from European bookmakers so not offered to those betting from the US. As soon as the legal betting market for Dota 2 opens in the US, we will offer the best places to bet and odds from top New Jersey sportsbooks and top Pennsylvania sportsbooks.
Dota 2 is a MOBA-game (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) like League of Legends in which the players are divided into two teams, the Radiant and the Dire, with five players on each side.
Every player controls his or her character, called hero, and makes it stronger by gathering gold to buy different items and experience points during the course of the game.
Something that’s appreciated by many players are the endless possibilities to tailor the game experience to your preferences and the possibility to choose your own strategy. There’s an incredible amount of items, add-ons and gear to choose from and the heroes can take on a variety of roles.
The Radiant and the Dire are competing on a map which is always the same. The game plays out very similar to League of Legends, so if you’re familiar with LoL you’ll recognize the same patterns here.
The teams start out at opposing ends of the map by their own base. To win the game each team has to reach the other side and destroy the opponents’ base. If a player is killed, the player will respawn in the same base in which he or she spawned after a short delay.
When the game is played competitively, "Captain’s Mode” is used, which means that both teams have a captain each which picks and bans heroes to his or her team before the game starts.
Each team gets to ban three heroes each before the picking-phase begins. Then each team picks two heroes and and bans two more after that. Finally they pick two more, ban one before each team picks their final hero to round out their draft.
With each hero banned or picked, the conditions of the game drastically change and each team’s strategy begins to unravel. Drafting is a major part of the game and teams that are comfortable playing a wide range of heroes have an advantage.
There are more than 100 different characters in the game, which can all be divided into three different categories:
Besides the category that the hero is divided into, the heroes have different characteristics that provides different strengths such as the ability to push well, to initiate, to lock down the enemy or to escape well.
You often talk about player roles in terms of position 1 to 5 which signifies how much the team prioritizes each player to get gold and experience. Some heroes needs it more than others.
The best advice you can get when you’re betting on Dota 2 is to watch the tournaments yourself and to listen to the eSports experts’ analysis ahead of the tournament or game in question.
Also keep an eye out for how the players and teams have performed during the last events. A few of the top tier teams like Team Liquid, Virtus.Pro, PSG.LGD and OG might be particularly interesting.
When you’re planning your betting strategy it’s a good idea to check for certain patterns for a team. For example if they’re stronger in the early stages of the tournament or how many kills they average per game.
The most common markets you’ll find are match winner bets or outright tournament winners. Beyond that you can often bet on the winner of a specific map in a best of three series for example and at Bethard and MrGreen you’ll also find handicap bets.
One of the biggest betting companies Betway offers a wide range of markets to choose from, such as odd or even number of kills, team to take first blood or how many maps they win in a series.
"An experienced bettor with a decade writing about sports and gambling, Dan's expertise includes college football, college basketball, golf, the NFL and more."