DotA 2 is an extremely popular game made by Valve. Along with the first person shooter series Counter-Strike, it is one of the only Gabe’s products with a recognized and official pro scene. Initially released in July 9, 2013, DotA 2 is Valve’s most popular free game.
It is a MOBA-based game similar to League of Legends in which your goal is to destroy the enemy team’s Ancient. You have your hero to battle through enemy towers to kill the ancient, and most matches take about an hour each.
Because there is a pro scene, many people place bets on pro players. DotA 2 betting is popular because they are exciting games to watch, and many people like to predict which team will win. DotA 2 bet market started around 2014, and has become really popular.
Let’s start with the most obvious one, total winner. This one is fairly self-explanatory. You pick who will win the game straight up. Let’s say heavily favored team A is playing with underdog crew B. Then the match winner odds would be something like 1.2 (-500 if you are American), and 4.8 for squad B.
You have to decide which odds give you most value compared to the chance each team has to actually win the competition. DotA 2 matches are usually best of 3’s in which the winner is the crew that gets 2 maps first. The most famous teams are in the Asian area, so the play times can be quite odd for Americans and Europeans.
Keep this in mind when betting on DotA 2, because you probably want to be able to watch the game while it’s being played if you put money on it. This is the most obvious market, and we will get into more different ones as we proceed.
Individual Map Predictions
This is quite similar to match winner prediction with one exception. You are only betting on specific rounds, not the whole game. For example, instead of predicting that team A will win the whole competition, you bet that they will win the first map. This is useful if you don’t have the time to watch a full game.
Individual maps are also more volatile that full matches because one stupid mistake can doom you. In this way, individual betting keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the entire map, because if your team makes one stupid mistake you are done. So this type of prediction is useful when you don’t want to watch an entire match, or want a more exciting bet.
It is a bet on which crew will kill an enemy hero player first. These outcomes are usually decided in the first few minutes of a match and are often purely luck as it is hard to predict which team get the first kill. Regardless of this, first blood is a very popular option at online Sportsbooks.
Lots of people want to place a bet that they can watch and settle in fifteen minutes. This is really useful for those who want to watch the start of a contest, maybe during a lunch break and don’t have time to watch a full game.
Because of how unpredictable these kills are, they usually have very low bet limits. This is a big con, as many people want to play big when they are watching matches. First Blood is a very unpredictable and quick option if you don’t have much time, however, it has low bet limits, which keeps some customers away.
It is when you put money on how many maps a team will win and/or allow. Let’s say that crew A has a handicap of -1.5 because they are better than squad B. If you are betting on -1.5 in a best of 3, you are actually putting money on a 2 – 0 in the favor of the crew with the handicap. This can be a favorable bet for you if you think one team will not allow the opposing one to win a single map because the odds are very good for the crew with the handicap.
Remember how team A was 1.2 in the match winner prediction? Well, with the handicap, they would be at odds such as 1.7 – 1.8, which can be good if you feel like B squad simply can’t compete. On the flip side of the coin, maybe you don’t think that crew B can win, but will put up a good fight. Then you can bet on B +1.5, in which you are betting on B to win one map or more. So this option can be useful for more accurate predictions in which you are choosing the total score, not just the winner.
Our last betting Dota 2 market is the over/under. In this, you predict whether the map will take over or under the amount of minutes the oddsmaker set. Because the length of the contest usually shows how competitive it is (usually, not always), you are basically predicting how competitive the match is.
Let’s say the Tigers are playing the Bulls. Both are good teams, so the oddsmakers set the over/under to 48 minutes. You now have to predict whether the game will take more than or less than 48 minutes. This is a good bet when you feel that you know when a match will be competitive or not but don’t want to predict who will win.
I may have missed a few markets, but I only went over the major ones, so don’t hate if I missed your favorite type of DotA 2 bet.
The biggest Dota 2 tournaments so far
Sports prediction has been around for a very long time and has been a favorite for those wishing to get some fun profit, but in the recent years eSports betting has risen exponentially and has become a very popular choice for punters nowadays.
With such a large prize pool and lots of fans, Dota 2 was bound to become a very popular game for bettors to gamble on. Some tournaments have more gambled on than others, and if you’re interested in some of these events, we’ve got all the information here.
The following is a description of a few of the most popular to bet on DotA 2 tournaments – although it is nearly impossible to determine how many bets were actually placed on a competition overall, we’ll describe the rewards and a few interesting details on them.
The International 2016
Many of the most popular DotA tournaments with the largest prizes will be Valve-sponsored and bear the name “The International”, as you will soon learn. This event, held at KeyArena in Seattle, Washington, starting on August 2nd and ending on August 13th, was a very tight competition for the top with many of the most popular contenders not making it to the top.
The end result, however, was Wings Gaming winning against Digital Chaos in an intense 3-1 situation, with many unprecedented upsets along the way. 18 teams participated in the tournament, and it had a large prize pool of $20,770,000, with Compendium purchases added into the rewards.
The International 2015
This will be a consistent trend in our most popular tournament list – The International shows up yet again! If you do play CS:GO and are familiar with esports, you will know that Major events are the largest in the game. DotA 2 differs slightly by using a more tiered system, where those types of events are placed below internationals. That said, Majors are still important and we’ll discuss one key competition in just a second.
With a prize pool of $18,429,613, with Compendium purchases added in yet again, The 2015 tourney was also a very close event with Evil Geniuses taking the final match against CDEC gaming, a game that leaned towards Evil Geniuses as the winner later in the game – this wasn’t present earlier, as both teams were in a deadlock.
Similarly to The International 2016, many favored teams did not make it in, and a few of the teams who won this contest actually disbanded a few months after and reorganized in a different teams, which is somewhat common in the eSports scene.
The Manila Major 2016
Majors differ from Internationals in a tiny way that affects prize pools greatly – they do not sell Compendiums for such events, thus lowering rewards quite a lot. As you can imagine – some Internationals have had their prizes boosted by $15 Million simply because so many people bought Compendiums!
The Manila competition is the third event of Valve’s Dota Championships, and it took place on June 3rd, 2016, and ended on June 12th. The tournament had a prize pool of $3,000,000, a standard for all majors. 16 teams were invited to the battle, with team OG winning against Liquid in the end, yet another 3-1 victory.
Interestingly, Liquid lost to MVP Phoenix 2-0 in the upper bracket round 1, and fought their way back up through the lower bracket to attain their spot in the semifinals and then the finals, something unprecedented and very uncommon with DotA2 teams.
OG, staying in the upper bracket, won relatively easily through the upper bracket, with only one map lost to Newbee. OG was somewhat expected to win the tournament because of this, but odds still were still somewhat even. Many felt Liquid would surely win just because of their endurance and strength, but still, many more felt OG would win because of recent results from the team.
As you can see, DotA 2 is a very popular game to bet on and has had one of the largest prizes in eSports history, loved by millions around the world and played by millions more. With a fast rise to the top of the eSports gambling world and lots of matches with odds often better than with other games, you can’t go wrong with DotA 2 betting!
Rules of competitive Dota 2 eSport
DotA 2 is a very complex game, as you may already know, and it requires teamwork that turns what seems to be nothing into a win. If you keep up with the pro scene, you will know most of the rules – but how do they actually play the game? How do tournaments and squads choose how many maps are played, and what heroes they choose? If you want all this information and more, we’ve got it all right here.
Most events in eSports incorporate a bracketed type of play, with group stages, eliminations, then the semifinals and finals. But how do teams even get into the group stages? The answer lies in the qualifiers, which often have squads battling it out on two or three maps.
Most major competitions use a Bo3 like the Boston Major, but some smaller contests may use Best of 2s. Very few events use Bo1s. Most tournaments use Best of 5s during the finals, which is very difficult not only for the viewers but for the players, that have to sit for nearly 5 hours of DotA, quite a lot of time compared to other eSports- by then, the game’s focused more on endurance than anything else.
Why can you be banned from participating?
Some players can also be banned for throwing a tournament for money, which is rare but not impossible (witch hunting often happens with teams because of this – it’s good to know the difference between a crew that is simply slumping versus a squad that is completely and intentionally losing a map or contest).
If you’ve heard of CS:GO, you’ll know that the players on team iBuyPower have been banned for life due to throwing a tournament for money. This happens in lots of eSports, but the punishment in Dota2 is much less severe than in other games like CS:GO- most guys only get 1-year bans from valve before being let free.
Some organizers may choose to ban these gamers as well- valve has no say on this. The major rule on this, however, is the fact that a banned team may not play at valve-sponsored tournaments. This wouldn’t be a big issue if it weren’t for the fact that most of the money comes from Valve events. Without it, a crew is almost guaranteed to die.
It’s very difficult for a team to earn money outside of these large events, although there have occasionally been rare exceptions. Valve’s bans, although only encompassing their own sponsored tournaments, really do cover the entire game, as they seal off most of the opportunity in those players for the period that the ban lasts.
How do pro-gamers choose characters and roles?
Most teams choose heroes out of preference. As obvious as it seems, they choose characters because they are trained and good with them, not because it is simply a good hero. A pro can use their heroes to do what they so choose to do and will do whatever it takes to win- whether it’s exploiting a new glitch or simply testing out a new trick. With so many strategies that are possible in such a diverse game, there’s practically no limit to how much one can do in DotA 2.
Certain teams also ban certain heroes because by studying the enemy squad, they know the enemy’s preferences and the enemy’s playstyle and know some part of their gameplay well enough to counter them. This is a very big part of DotA 2 – hence why many pros do not stream.
By streaming you may be giving away some of your new strats or playstyles, something that many CS:GO pros also do not do – whether it’s a massive changing move that will completely destroy your opponents or just a small action that creates a small advantage in an even situation, everything counts.
Such a small difference can make a huge change, especially in such a big eSport as DotA. One little mistake can create huge ripples in the pond. By choosing to stay unpredictable, both teams are kept on their toes – this is what makes DotA exciting and what makes upsets happen.
Roles are also very important in DotA, something many players, even the experienced, do not know and understand very well, causing the downfall of their crews or even a match loss. Every decision made on a hero counts towards the game, and so bans on heroes must be especially carefully done.
Although it does not completely decide the outcome of the competition, some matches can be very well predicted based just on what characters are chosen.
Most common DotA 2 strategies
Pros often use unpredictable strats that catch their enemy off guard – something difficult but not impossible to do. The game specific and theory is something that often changes, and may seem very useless to know, but can influence entire communities and entire professional squads.
For example, some heroes like Huskar used to dominate pubs and somewhat are still dominating low-level pubs today. Although he is great at lower levels, but he’s usually bad at other scenarios – a reason why some characters are not used very often or are never used – although there are many, many exceptions and it’s almost impossible to say never in DotA 2!
Pros also intensely study the game and its parts and analyze their own play to find out what’s wrong with it and just to see what the enemy is doing to make sure they aren’t having major issues in their playstyle, just like most people study for an exam (hopefully). Coordination is a key in all competitive games, and nowhere is it more present than in Dota2. Strats are affected very heavily by squad coordination – one bad step and a whole strategy falls apart.
Whether it’s the support going to the wrong lane or something else, pro-players have top-tier communication that makes this all possible. Often, crews will rehearse their strategies against bots that somewhat resemble people to get a good feel on how a strat works and how it can be improved.
Even if you just play for fun with a team or are trying to get to the top, consider getting better communications equipment and practicing executions – a bad execute that has a good plan at the core will not work out. If it takes buying a new headset and new microphone, it’s well worth it if you plan on getting the best out of the game.
Strats, naturally, also change throughout the match’s major phases, beginning, middle and end. Some teams tend to be more aggressive towards the beginning and start to play more passively towards the end – just like other eSports, DotA 2 is also a mind competition and your enemies may be falling for things they should not be falling for later in the game as your strategies change.
As we noted earlier, pros like keeping their enemies on their toes – and it’s something they’re great at doing, something that makes them different from the rest and makes them stand out from the rest. Whether it’s baiting players out of their lanes and catching them in a trap elsewhere, or just a simple move that turns out to be something completely unexpected, pros make the best out of any situation and always manage to do something – whether for the better or for the worse.
The best Dota 2 teams
Dota 2 pro gaming is a big market, with it being one of the biggest eSports out there, rivaled by League of Legends. When a game gets that big, it starts to have some influential, popular and dominant teams. DotA 2 is no exception to this, and it has its own share of big ticket squads.
In the fifth spot, we have the multi sport Team Liquid. Based in the Netherlands, it has players from all over Europe. To date, it has won over two million USD in prizes and owns a decent win rate of fifty eight percent.
The current roster includes the Finnish MATUMBAMAN as their position one, Jordan based Miracle – as their priority two player, the Bulgarian Mind_ContRoL as the position three, the German KuroKy as one of their priority four/five and captain, and the US based BulBa as the other position four/five player.
Team Liquid is popular because they are a well known name in the DotA 2 community and were in the pro scene from the start. They are also one of the best crews that is not from Asia, and have good, solid players. Major achievements of the crew include a second place finish in the American pro DotA 2 league in 2014, a victory at The Defense LAN Season five in 2015, a second place finish in the Shanghai Major, and another one at ESL One Manilla.
Liquid then won the EPICENTER LAN with a close 3-2 victory in the finals, and followed that with a second place finish at the Manilla Major. While Team Liquid has not won many tournaments yet, they have advanced into the playoffs in many big events, giving them a big name in the DotA 2 betting scene.
Next up, in the fourth spot we have the Chinese team Newbee. The squad has won over six and a half million dollars in prizes, has a win rate of sixty percent, and is considered one of the best crews in the world.
The current roster is Chinese uuu9 as their priority one, Chinese Sccc as their position two, Australian kpii as their priority three, and Chinese Faith and Kaka rounding out the squad as their position four/five.
Founded in 2014, the Chinese crew has many tournament successes to their name such as The International 2014. While they have not had huge success after this, and is a beloved team around the world and especially in China, only behind Wings Gaming which will be mentioned later in this article. The International 2014 is considered by many to be one of the biggest DotA 2 tournaments to date, and for winning it Newbee definitely deserves a place in this top.
In the third spot, we have the Russian team Virtus.Pro, which recently got sponsored one hundred million dollars! While VP has not had many major tournament victories, they are a globally recognized DotA 2 squad, which is looking to damage at future events, and is very popular.
Their current roster is very unique in the fact that they have individual position four and five players, while most other teams interchange them. Their roster is as follows: The Russian RAMZES666 as the priority one, The Ukrainian NoOne as their position two, Russian 9pasha as their priority three, Ukrainian Lil as the position four, and Russian Solo as the priority five.
This roster was created on August 4th, 2016 as VP had decided to drop their DotA 2 squad due to failure and create a new one. With the new funding and talent, this popular team has been unstoppable in recent matches, and is considered a favorite to do some serious damage in upcoming tournaments.
In the second spot, we have the American team Evil Geniuses, which as a championship pedigree and almost twelve million USD in prizes won! With an all time win percentage of sixty three percent, Evil Geniuses are the most successful American squad out there, rivaled only by Digital Chaos which is the sixth best crew in the world currently.
Founded in 1999, this is the oldest eSports organization in North America, and is considered the most successful one too. They revamped their DotA 2 roster on September 15th, 2016 and have had fairly good results with it. Their current roster is: The Canadian Arteezy as their position one, Pakistani Suma1L as their priority two, American UNiVeRsE as their position three, and Swedish zai along with Danish Cr1t fill out their roster as the priority four/five.
Evil Geniuses have won many Major events and have had good showing at several more, with their major winnings being lister below. They got third at The International 2014, won The International 2015, and got third again at The International 2016. They also won the 2016 MarsTV league, and won the Asia Championships. They have many more achievements that would take too long to list, but you get the idea that they are a VERY successful squad, and clearly deserve a spot in the top 5 most famous DotA 2 teams.
The most popular crew of them all is the one, the only, Wings Gaming! This team is the most successful to date with many wins and huge prizes. While their 9 plus million dollar winnings are less than the Evil Geniuses, they have had much more success at recent tournaments, and have the benefit of a HUGE Chinese fan base who always endorse their idols with DotA 2 bets.
Their current roster is fully Chinese and is as follows: The position one is shadow, the priority two is bLink, the position three is Faith_bian, and their priority four/five are y’ and iceice. Wings Gaming is known for being very unpredictable and have an incredibly deep Hero people, picking 20 different Heroes in the Summit 5 finals.
Their crown jewel is that they are the reigning champion of The International 2016, widely considered the biggest tournament in all of esports. Other achievements include winning the ESL One Manilla and the Summit 5. The best team in Dota 2 right now, Wings Gaming is also the most famous crew.
Hopefully, this guide has helped you, see you next time. Good luck!