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Whether you’re looking to spice up your tournament viewing or put your knowledge of the DOTA 2 esports scene to the test, there’s plenty of betting opportunities to be found. Not sure where to start? Give our DOTA 2 betting guide a go – it’ll have you betting like a pro in no time!

Beginner’s Guide to Dota 2

What, Where and When?

Defense of the Ancients (DOTA) 2 is a multiplayer online battle arena game developed and published by the creators of the Steam platform and a variety of other successful titles such as Half-Life, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Portal. As you’ve probably guessed, the company behind DOTA 2 is Valve Corporation and the game itself is a stand-alone sequel to Defense of the Ancients, a community-created modification of Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos.

DOTA 2 is one of the world’s most successful eSport games, with over 10 million active players and a thriving professional scene featuring hundreds of teams. Each year, the DOTA Pro Circuit features around 25 high-level tournaments with prize pools between $300, 000 a whopping $1 million. These tournaments are held in huge arenas and bring together the world’s best competitors. With so many huge DOTA 2 events, esports bettors will never be short of opportunities to win big.

You’ll be able to pick a sportsbook and bet on DOTA 2 throughout the year, thanks to the large number of competitions that take place throughout every competitive season. Within the DOTA Pro Circuit there are two types of events that offer DOTA 2 betting opportunities: Minors and Majors.

Minors are events that offer $300 in prize funds and 300 qualification points for the next edition of The International – DOTA’s world championship. Examples of such tournaments include the StarLadder i-League Invitational, DreamLeague Season, GESC: Thailand DOTA 2 Minor, Captains Draft 4.0, DOTA Summit and PGL Open Bucharest.

Majors are events that offer 1500 qualification points for the next edition of The International and $1 million in prizes. These include ROG DreamLeague, ESL One Katowice The Bucharest Major, DOTA 2 Asia Championships, EPICENTER XL and ESL One Birmingham.

The International takes place at the end of each competitive season, which usually falls around August. This tournament brings together the world’s best teams and features the biggest prize pools of any DOTA tournament. In 2017, The International offered almost $25 million in prizes and was won by Team Liquid.

Who to back?

Much like any other form of sports betting, placing winning DOTA 2 wagers requires you to stay informed. While you could easily fill out your betslip with the bookies favourites or with a helping hand from the latest betting tip, the smart money is wagered after taking a closer look into the current state of the game and its professional scene. DOTA 2 bettors should keep an eye out for Virtus.pro, Team Secret, Team Liquid, Evil Geniuses, Newbee and VGJ.Thunder. These are currently the strongest teams in the world and this is evident when looking at match predictions as they usually make multiple appearances due to the fact they usually crush all other opposition – that is until they come up against one another.

When there’s no clear favourite at the bookies, you’ll have to work a little harder to make an accurate pick. In these instances, it would be wise to take a statistical approach. Head-to-head record, recent form and individual player records are all popular indicators of future performance

Dota 2 Betting Markets

Once you’ve figured out who to back, it’s time to head to your favourite esports betting site and choosing a betting market that gets some great value for your betslip. Let’s take a look at the most popular DOTA 2 betting markets:

  • Tournament winner: here, you are betting on a certain team to win a particular tournament.
  • Tournament finalist: here, you are betting on a certain team to qualify for the Grand Final of a particular tournament.
  • Match winner: here, you are betting on a certain team to win a particular match.
  • Game winner: here, you are betting on a certain team to win a particular game within a match. Dota 2 matches are usually played in a one-off, Best-of-3 or Best-of-5 format.
  • Tournament statistic: betting odds that fall into this category are usually available before the start of very important tournaments and they allow you to predict outcomes such as most banned or picked hero and the highest gold per minute hero within a game.
  • Game event: here, you are betting on the occurrence of a certain event within a particular game, such as a player getting a Rampage, an Aegis of the Immortal being stolen, a Courier getting killed and so on.
  • Team Firsts: these types of betting markets allow you to predict which team will be the first to achieve certain accomplishments, including first blood, destroy the first barracks, kill the first Roshan and so on.
  • Handicaps: You’ll often find there are matchups with a clear favourite, and could struggle to find some value. The handicap levels the playing field and can get you a much better price. You’re simply betting that a certain team will win a particular match while starting with either an advantage or a handicap, such as being 1.5 maps behind (-1.5) or 1.5 maps ahead (+1.5).

How to play Dota 2

Before you start adding to your betslip, we recommend getting familiar with fundamentals of the game. DOTA 2 is a highly complex game played in a team versus team format with 5 players on each side. This eSport mixes real-time strategy with role-playing game elements, which makes it extremely demanding for esports players. A professional game can last anywhere between 15 and 75 minutes and a match usually consists of two to five games.

The two teams, named Radiant and Dire, choose five heroes each out of a pool of more than 100 options at the start of every game, during what is called the drafting phase. Afterwards, they proceed to do battle on a two-sided map divided by a river, with the ultimate goal of destroying the opposing team’s Ancient, which is the most important building inside a team’s base.

Bet on DOTA 2

Now that you’re all clued up on DOTA 2 betting, you’ll need to find a top esports betting site to have a punt on the next big match! Check out our list for the very best esports bookmakers available online today. It’s packed full of the best bonuses, markets and promos available online. Simply compare, sign up and place your bets!

How do I claim my new customer bonus at a top esports betting site?

Once you’ve chosen an esports bookie from our top rated list, simply follow one of our links and sign up with your chosen bookie to become eligible for an exclusive welcome bonus. Unless stated otherwise, you’ll simply be required to make your first deposit in order for your welcome bonus to be credited to your account. This happens almost instantly.

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Last updated:
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