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|Genre||Multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA)|
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Tips, tricks and tools for betting on Dota 2
Dota 2 is a sequel to the top-rated custom map Defender of the Ancients for Warcraft 3. The custom game was so popular, Valve recruited the map's creators and made it into a standalone game. Dota 2 is a multiplayer online battle arena game where two teams of five players compete against each other.
There is a different hero for each player, each with a different ability. In order to win, a team must destroy the opponent's throne (a specific building) or force the opponent to concede. The players gather resources to buy items for their heroes and gain experience to improve their heroes as they gain experience. Currently, Dota 2 is one of the most popular esports games.
Beyond the game itself, Dota 2 goes big when it comes to esports. While the regular season of esports generally goes unnoticed outside the Dota 2 scene. The annual The International (TI) is one of the most hyped events in the esports calendar. While it’s notable for the good competition, one thing that makes Dota 2’s TI stand out is the incredible prize pools.
Not only does the game get huge backing from Valve, but the event also takes a percentage of in-game Dota 2 “Battle Pass” money and puts it into the Prize Pool. While the 2022 TI 11 wasn’t a record breaker, previous TI events have exceeded the previous by considerable amounts. The 2021 TI had over $40m in the total prize pool, which remains the largest of any single esports event.
Dota 2 uses The Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) Format for all Valve competitive play. The DPC is split up into a number of small block; Seasons, Tours, Regional Leagues & Majors, and lastly The International.
Seasons - within the DPC typically span one calendar year. The event usually starts in the autumn and concludes in the following Summer before the TI.
Tours - Breaking up the DPC Seasons are the Tours. There are three per Season and they consist of one Regional League and one Major tournament. These events offers teams a chance to earn DPC points, helping them qualify for The International.
Regional Leagues & Majors - These function as small round-robin tournaments, giving teams a path to compete in that Seasons Major. Once they make it, they move into the elimination format tournament, where teams can earn prize money and DPC points.
The International - The end goal of the yearly Dota 2 DPC Circuit. The International sees the top 12 teams with the highest DPC points granted a guaranteed spot. Teams that fail to reach this point have one last chance to qualify via the Regional Qualifiers, often called the Last Chance Qualifiers.
Learn the game: It cannot be understated how important it is to know how to play a game before you commit to betting on it. While MOBAs are known for being hard to learn if you’ve played one before, Dota 2 is a different beast. A number of mechanics like “Last Hitting” are not present in Dota 2, which can make it a weird game to adjust to. That said, it’s very rewarding if you do give it the chance, as it has a very dedicated community.
Stick to a region: With so many regions to choose from, it's best to pick one and focus on learning that. Europe and North America are a good starting point. European is probably the most dominant region in the game, so that’s a good place to start.
Avoid in-play at the start: in-play betting is the ideal evolution to your betting arsenal as you improve your knowledge of the scene. However, at the start, focus on overall winners and event winners, and you learn the ropes.
Don’t bet with bias: The more you play, the more you will learn about the game and the esports scene. You should remember that the team or player you like isn't always the best choice. Knowing more about a team is essential, but betting on them because you support them isn't a wise decision. Make your bets with your head, not your heart.
Start small: As you begin your journey into the world of online betting, it is wise to start with smaller bets. Then, as you grow in confidence and remove your initial investment, you can start to place larger bets.
Set a budget: Budgeting is as important as starting small. If you are starting out, you may want to start with €50 (or close to that amount) and avoid placing large bets simultaneously. It is never a good idea to bet money you cannot afford to lose. Talk to a helpline if you feel your gambling has become a problem.
Fear the underdog: This is especially true at The International or DPC events. There’s always a chance one of the small teams can cause an upset, especially in the best-of-one stages. Also, if you bet on the number 1 seed against the lowest seed, it’s often not worth the risk to bet on the favorite.
Thriving dedicated Esports scene - While Valve is a little inconsistent with their patches or feedback. Dota 2 has a dedicated community of players and teams. There are plenty of local broadcasts, teams to follow, and events to watch in any region. There are also plenty of grassroots events that you can get involved in if you want to grow the scene.
Highly competitive leagues - Another critical aspect of Dota 2 esports is how competitive each region is. While in LoL every winner has come from East-Asia, for Dota 2 the spread is slightly more global. Though, Europe has dominated in the past 5 years. Of the 11 TI winners, Seven have come from Europe. Though, we’ve had three national winners from the region. Natus Vincere in 2011 (Ukraine), Alliance in 2013 (Sweden), and Team Spirit 2021 (Russia).
Evolving meta - Not only does Dota 2 meta change from event to event, but Meta can also shift during an event. While Valve don’t tend to release patches right before The International… Valve has had a habit of dropping major patches just days before an event leaving teams scrambling to make changes.
Shifts within a series - Once you lock in those picks, 90% of your strategy is locked in for that game. However, if a shock pick comes out in Game 1, it might alter your picks or bans for Game 2. That, however, might open you open to a different meta shifting onto you and open you up to more problems. That’s something that makes Dota 2 so interesting to follow, with the series able to change from game to game.
Regions collide - Different regions have a different meta, so when they meet at The International it can have fascinating consequences. Regions tend to have their own meta, so when they collide it can be a fascinating mix of different styles and ways of playing.
Variety of markets - Dota 2 has some amazing variance when it comes to betting markets that operate. With a number of different pre-match bets, this is ramped up when it comes to the in-play markets. While you should avoid the latter at first, they’re well worth checking out.
Match-winners - The simplest form of Dota 2 bet is the match-winners market. In this market, you can pick which team will win. This won’t matter how many games there are in a series etc., you are just betting on the individual match/game.
Series score - Here, you’re looking at guessing the score for the series. Firstly an over/under bet on a number provided by the bookmaker is the most likely option. Alternatively, you can bet on the total number of matches in a series. For a best-of-three series, that will be between 2 to 3. For a best-of-five series, it will be between 3 and 5.
Tournament winner - The ultimate winner of an event or tournament. Here, you want to place a bet on the team that you think will claim the final title. This can either be done pre-tournament, or mid-tournament.
First Blood - Betting on which team will secure the first kill. This is one of the most exciting parts of a game of Dota. While it doesn’t determine how the game will go, it significantly impacts the early game.
Most kills - This bet can either be placed against a team or a player. The bet on a player is likely the better option, with the team getting the most kills normally being the winner anyway.
Rampage - Called a Penta Kill in most 5v5 titles, Dota 2’s Rampage’s are rare but can be an interesting betting market. You’ll be betting on whether one will happen in a series. Some betting markets might offer a specific team or player variant at shorter odds.
First Tower - Similar to the first blood market, the first tower looks at more objective-focused teams. This bet can be placed with slightly more planning, as you can see what sides statistically claim the first tower the most often.
Dota 2 is a fascinating game to watch and play. As for a betting market, it’s one of the best. Dota 2 has a wealth of markets, events, and reasons to follow it. If you can get past the game's rough exterior, there’s a lot to love about it and it’s an S-Tier esport for a reason.