DotA 2 is one of the biggest esports in the world right now. If you are into gaming on PC, chances are you have played it at least once or at least played any other games from its genre. The community is willing to bet a huge amount of cash for it. In fact, just check the prize pool for its annual competition, The International, which is around $40 million. Naturally, the interest in Dota 2 betting is exploding.
Avoid miracle Dota 2 betting systems at all costs, regardless of how convincing the demonstration is.
Dota 2 Betting Explained
Although DotA 2 is considered an esport, betting on it is a little different from if you would be on any traditional sport.
In an esport game like DotA 2, knowing at least the basics of the game is essential, and playing the game yourself would give you a better understanding of how things work and thus how you can bet on it, too.
Here is a short "crash course" of how DoTA 2 gameplay works, specifically for beginners who have yet to have an understanding of the game itself.
Dota 2 Gameplay
DoTA 2 is a massive online battle arena (MOBA) game. It follows the usual MOBA format where two teams of players go face-to-face against each other. There are five players from each team, and each team member controls a character/hero that has a specific role in the gameplay.
The game is played on a map that has two sides that are mirrored in structure. The map is divided into three lanes:
- the Top Lane,
- the Bottom Lane, and
- the Mid Lane.
Between these lanes is an area where monsters that can give buffs can be killed, called the Jungle.
At each end of the map is the "Ancient" of the team or their base. The main objective of the game is for a team to work together to take down the Ancient Structure of the enemy.
The Ancient is protected by three towers on each lane. These towers attack enemy forces that are within their range. There are also non-controllable creatures called creeps that each team has. These creeps are deployed at a regular interval to attack the enemy.
They cannot do much, but they are the main source of experience and gold in the game, especially during the early phase of each match.
Once all towers in a lane are down, the offensive is now able to attack the base of the defensive team and once it is destroyed - they win the game.
Dota 2 Character Types
There are several character attributes and roles in DoTA 2 and as with any MOBA game, a good balance in characters for each team can spell victory, while imbalance can spell defeat right off the bat.
Each class has its role and thing that it can be good at. All roles can be beneficial to the team if utilized properly. Here are the character class/roles in the game.
An attribute is the character classification that determines their skills set, their passive, and most of the time, their roles in the game. Thor attributes give them both advantages and disadvantages over other types.
Here are the current attributes in the game:
- Strength - Strength characters rely mostly on having higher HP and HP regen, making them more resilient to attacks.
- Agility - Agility heroes specialize in higher attack speed and armor points.
- Intelligence - Intelligence heroes have higher mana and mana regen properties than other attributes.
Each character has its own "job" in the game, and they all contribute to gaining victory over the other team. Roles are determined based on character attributes, abilities, and items.
Here are the current official character roles in DoTA 2:
- Carry - Carries are the main offensive power of the team, and they have the greatest offensive power during the late game.
- Support - Supports give their allies assistance and keep them alive to earn more experience and gold. They either provide healing, buffs, or a combination of both.
- Nuker - Nukers are able to kill enemy units fast because of their low-cooldown abilities. Though some of them suffer from low HP, their high attack speed and low cooldowns make them an annoyance if left unattended.
- Disabler - Diaablers are experts in rendering enemy abilities useless and providing crowd control.
- Jungler - Junglers focus on killing neutral creeps in the jungle for faster gold and experience.
- Durable - Durable characters have higher HP and higher defense, and their abilities make them harder to kill and able to tank enemy damage.
- Escape - Escape characters are masters in avoiding damage or death for themselves and their teammates.
- Pusher - Pushers focus on one thing: to take down enemy towers.
- Initiator - Initiators are good at starting a team fight.
A DoTA 2 match can go any way. A team with a huge amount of kills or a lead in towers destroyed can turn the tables with just one play. This is what makes in-play or live betting an exciting way to wager, especially for prop bets.
DoTA 2 is played all over the world, but China tops the number of professional player count, followed by Russia and the United States. It has a huge following in the North American region, Europe, and Asia.
OG, the current top team in professional DoTA 2, hails from Europe. The second-best team, Team Liquid, comes from Europe as well. The third greatest team, Evil Geniuses, is from the United States. PSG.LGD is a great contender from China with a joint partnership with the popular Parisian football team, PSG.
Dota 2 Odds
Just like in traditional sports, the odds in esports are set by the bookies. Although odds technically mean the probability of an outcome happening, odds set by the bookies are often adjusted to ensure they still have a good profit margin.
Most of the time, the odds used in DoTA 2 betting are presented in either decimal or fractional. Decimal odds simply let you know how much you can win per bet (odds of 2.5 means that you get to profit $2.50 per $1 wagered). Fractional odds, on the other hand, show you how much you can profit (the numerator) per amount you bet (the denominator).
Types of Dota 2 Bets
There is more than one way to bet on a DotA 2 game or match, and here are some of them:
In a Tournament/League winner, you simply bet on which team you think would emerge to be the overall champion for the league. Since this is a long-term bet, the profit is usually bigger when you win it.
Match Winner (Moneyline)
A match winner bet is the usual, straightforward bet. Simply predict which team would win the match - regardless of the number of kills, and other stats.
A Maps Total bet is where you predict how many maps would be played in the match, as opposed to predicting any winners.
In a match of best-of-seven, the winning team must win at least four maps to win the match. Now, this can go in a number of ways: the match-winner can win four maps in a row, or they could win the first three maps, lose the next three, and win the last map - thus exhausting the seven games.
Usually, a DoTA 2 match is a best-of-three at the least, with some matches sometimes set as a bets-of-seven. The Map Winner bet would have you predict the team winner for a single map or game, rather than the entire match.
The Correct Score bet lets you predict how a match would EXACTLY pan out.
For example, in a best-of-five match, the bookies may give you options of 3-0, 3-2, or 3-1. You then get to pick what you think would be the final score for the match.
First Blood (Map)
The payer who draws the First Blood is the player that lands the first kill in the game. This can be any hero attribute or role, but the usual bets would go to carries, nukers, or initiators.
First To Reach 10 Kills (Map)
Although kills are not the basis for the winner of a map or match, having more kills and getting the first set of kills to give a team a lot of advantage. This gives them more EXP points and gold, all the while slowing down the progress of slain enemy heroes.
Simply predict which team would reach 10 kills first on a single map. Usually, the team composition of each side can help you predict which team may get to this point.
Team To Destroy The 1st Tower (Map)
The Team To Destroy The 1st Tower bet lets you predict the team to take the first tower in a single map.
The first destroyed tower is a significant development in a game, as it immediately weakens the defense of a team and helps the other team push forward in that lane.
Team To Destroy The 1st Barracks (Map)
The Team To Destroy The 1st Barracks bet lets you predict who will infiltrate the innermost tower first and eventually destroy the barracks in a single map.
The barracks is the source of the team creeps, and it is protected by the Tier 3 tower. To reach it, the enemy team must destroy the two outer towers, then the last one, and then the barracks.
Team To Slay The 1st Roshan (Map)
The Roshan is the strongest of the neutral creeps in the game, and the team that gets to slay it gets a huge boost in EXP, gold, and other buffs. Usually, slaying the Roshan happened mid-game and involves a team fight.
Largest Dota 2 Events
There are several DotA 2 major events, and all of these are popular with players and fans all over the world. They are held in different parts of the world but can be streamed worldwide.
For these events, betting is usually available and the biggest the event is, the higher the likelihood that bookies would open slots for it.
The International is the annual esports vent for DoTA 2 that is organized, hosted, and produced by the game developer itself, Valve. It was first held in 2011 and was launched as a promotional event for the game.
Since 2013, The International has been crowdfunded by fans and players from a battle pass that is sold prior to the event. From the sales of the battel pas, Valve chips in 25% to the prize pool. This system proved to be successful as the prize pool for The International has always been a record every year, not only for DoTA 2 but for that of esports as a whole.
The most recent TI in 2019 had a prize pool of more than $34 million. The 2020 event was canceled, but the 2021 event (with dates still to be announced) currently has a prize pool of more than $40.
Being the biggest event of the game, the betting interest on it is huge. Thus, you can expect most bookies to open their doors for betting on The International.
DotA 2 Major Championships
The DotA 2 Major Championships is a newer championship series that was produced by Valve. It was announced in 2015, following the success of The International.
The major Championships are divided into four marquee tournaments throughout the year - the Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer tournaments. Tournaments are held in different parts of the world, with Valve as the major sponsor and third-party bodies as event organizers.
The first Valve-sponsored DotA Major Championship Event was The Frankfurt Major. It had a prize pool of $3 million and was organized by ESL at Festhalle Messe in Frankfurt, Germany.
ESL One is an esports league that is organized by Electronic Sports League. It brings professional esports teams from all over the world in a span of several days. Aside from DotA 2, it also features tournaments for other esports such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Battlefield 4.
It is held in a different country every year. For the 2021 edition, the prize pool is set at $400,000, which will be divided among the top 12 teams.
ONE Esports is a Singaporean tournament organizer, founded in April 2019. The company organizes DotA 2 tournaments mostly in Southeast Asia. Aside from DotA 2 tournaments, the company also holds esports leagues for fighting games.
The most recent major DoTA 2 event was the ONE Esports Singapore Major 2021, which was the first Major of the 2021 Dota Pro Circuit season. It was held in Singapore and had a prize pool of $500,000.
A total of 16 teams participated in this event, and it was played in various formats during different stages: wild card, group stage, round-robin, playoffs, and double elimination.
The ASUS ROG DreamLeague is a professional esports league for DotA 2 that is a collaborative effort between ASUS ROG, DreamHack, Roccat, The GD Studio, and Swedish TV channel TV6. The goal of the event is to become the biggest DoTA 2 event in the regions of Europe and North America. It is sponsored by CORSAIR.
The most recent edition of the event was the DreamLeague Season 15 DPC Western Europe Upper Division, which was herald earlier this year. It had a prize pool of $205,000 USD and 1150 Pro Circuit points.
It was played in a round-robin format and had eight participating teams. All matches are played in a best-of-three format. Team Alliance came out in 1st place, and they received prize money of $30,000.
Dota 2 Betting Tips
As with all other sports - and esports - that you can bet on, there are also ways to increase your odds of winning a bet in a DotA 2 game or match. Pay attention to these things, as it can help you formulate a better and sounder betting strategy in placing your wagers.
Hero Meta Statistics
For games like DotA 2, a meta refers to a hero or heroes that are currently fan-favorites due to their flexibility, skills, and the gameplay advantage that they gave.
Metas can change from time to time. Even older characters can become part of the meta depending on the dynamics a new character can bring into the gameplay. Metas also differ from rank to rank.
Metas are determined based on how often a hero is picked in a game, and how often a team with the hero in it wins. You can check the current meta and individual hero stats on OpenDota.
Team & Player Statistics
As with other sports, it is also a good thing to keep watch on the statistics for each team. This will give you an idea of how well each team plays. How well a player handles a certain role in the game, and how they perform when faced with a certain opponent. DotaBUFF and OpenDota are great sources for clean statistics.
Monitor The Pick & Ban Phase
The Pick and Ban Phase is where players from both teams get their turn to pick their hero and also ban a hero from getting picked. What makes this extremely important is it can dictate the dynamics of the game.
A player that gets to ban a hero is most likely to ban the hero that one of the players from the other team is known for using. On the other hand, the signature hero of a player may get picked first by another, making them go for a different hero.
A single decision in the ban and pick can affect the performance and rhythm of the team, especially if they end with a player getting a role they are not used to play.
Avoid Prop Bets, They're Unpredictable
Prop bets are fun to wager on and could be interesting to watch out for in any game. However, prop bets are also one other thing - they are unpredictable enough in traditional sport, and they are more unpredictable in DotA 2.
For example, consider a prop bet on which hero would draw First Blood. This gives you a one in ten chance of getting it right. Although you may have a fair idea of which hero may land the first kill, anything can happen - even a Disabler may land the first blood.
Another prop bet that is too hard to predict is the bet on who will land the killing blow on Roshan. Usually, the killing of Roshan is a team effort, and multiple heroes attack it at once. Anyone can land the killing blow - even the player himself may not be aware at first that it was their hero that killed Roshan.
This type of bet can become an interesting way of making the game more exciting and thrilling on your end - as you would look forward to something else rather than the usual plays - but the truth is that aside from that, prop bets rarely offer any value that makes it worth to wager on.
Watch The Teams' Twitch Replays
Most games from previous leagues can be watched from platforms like Twitch. You can watch replays of the player's professional games, or their individual non-league streams.
This can give you an idea of how they move around using a certain hero, who their favorite heroes are, and how they play a certain role in the game. Usually, a player is able to handle more than one role. However, they are also known to have a preferred role which, if they are able, they are more likely to take during the pick phase.
Shop For The Best Dota Odds
DotA 2 betting, like other sports, is handled by bookies. Thus, odds and lines can differ from one bookie to another. Ne may give you a good deal you think is the best, only to find out that there is a better value from a different bookie.
So, never forget to shop for the best odds. You can also use this to spread your best across multiple bookies - thus maximizing your potential profit.
Find No-Brainer Value Bets
Sometimes, going simple and settling for an easy bet can be a good thing, too. If the bookie favorites are in line with the predictions of reliable analysts, then going for it is an easy choice.
Most of the time, predictions from acclaimed analysts pan out, so if the odds for that bet can give you good value, then going for it is something that you should do. Of course, this is not always the case - so still do everything at your own risk.
Consider LAN vs Online Games
Depending on the chosen setup of the tournament, DotA 2 games can either be LAN-based or online.
Knowing this important detail of a tournament is critical, as they can make a huge difference in the gameplay of either team.
For one, a LAN-based game is the most preferable setup and offers the smoothest gameplay experience. However, it would mean that players for both teams need to be in one place for this kind of setup to be possible. There is also crowd pressure, which can be an issue for some.
On the other hand, online playing makes remote tournaments possible. However, this is more prone to technical problems and other connectivity issues. Upsets are also more common in online matches.
Play DotA 2 Yourself
Reading about DotA 2, watching gameplay videos, and spectating matches can only give you so much insight into the game. Still, nothing beats the first-hand experience. Since it is free-to-play, why not play it yourself?
This will help you gain first-hand insight into each hero's potential and drawbacks, the way each role can be played, and the most common strategies per hero or according to your role.
Currencies To Bet On Dota 2
There are several currencies you can use to bet on DoTA 2. With more bookies opening their doors to more payment and deposit options, punters are now given a wider choice when it comes to what they want to use to bet.
Real Money (FIAT)
The most common and the traditional way to bet. You can fund your sportsbook wallet using your bank account, debit or credit card, or any e-money wallet that you may have.
Usually, all bookies accept bank-based payments. As for e-money wallets, their availability as an option depends on the location of the bookie. Most popular choices include PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, epay, and several others.
With more players getting concerned with their privacy and protection in using personal accounts in gambling, sportsbooks have started to accept other forms of payment in bets aside from fiat money.
Skin betting is unique to esports. In DoTA and other MOBA games, a "skin" refers to an added aesthetic to a hero that changes its appearance and animation. This is usually paid with real money. However, it does not offer any additional abilities or stats boost.
Sometimes, skins are used as a wager for DoTA 2 bets. This is usually one in peer-to-peer betting. Players need to log in to their account through Steam authorization and make their bet by making a "deposit" of their chosen skin, or the skin required in the wager.
With the ever-growing interest in cryptocurrencies, the world of online gambling has embraced their use throughout the years. There are Bitcoin casinos where BTC is the main currency at use, and more and more sportsbooks are starting to accept major cryptocurrencies (BTC, ETH, XRP) as a form of payment.
Usually, you would need to have a verified wallet from a trusted exchange, such as Coinbase, Binance, and others. If you are betting using your computer browser, a plugin that links your wallet to the betting site is usually required.
Bets would be sent over to a certain wallet of the crypto you prefer, and the payout would be sent to the wallets of winning players.
Check with your bookie if they are open to accepting cryptos for esports betting, particularly for DotA 2.
Dota 2 Betting: FAQ
Answers to the most common questions about betting on Dota 2.
What are the most popular Dota 2 tournaments?
The International is the most popular and the biggest DotA 2 tournament. It is also known to have the biggest prize pool.
What betting sites accept Dota 2 items?
Sites like Unibet, 888sport, bet365, and 22 bet offers DotA 2 betting. Check with your bookie of preference if they have this offer as well.
Can betting on Dota 2 be profitable?
The interest in the game and its tournament is huge, so it can equate to a profitable betting market, too.
What is the best Dota 2 betting system?
There is no such thing as a single "best" betting system. Find one that works best for you depending on your preference and level of knowledge of the game, and stick to it.
How to make money betting on Dota 2?
Just like betting on any sports, you make money on DotA 2 betting by winning wagers