The industry has had to adapt, and this has seen a change in a punter’s playing patterns, with a host of alternative means of online iGaming coming to the fore.
One of the rapidly rising sub-sectors in the online sports betting community is the growing esports market, and one example of the excitement in this arena is the expansion of one of the most popular games in history. DOTA 2 has seen exponential rise in the past three months and with uncertainty in the air regarding live sports, there is ample time for the game to garner a market slice.
What is DOTA 2
The Defense of the Ancients (DOTA) 2 is a fast paced, real-time strategy game which has proven hugely successful in the gaming world, following on the success of the earlier version.
The game has grown into one of the biggest revenue-earning sports events in the world, with prize monies for tournaments reach millions of dollars.
The game has become so well-followed that at one stage nearly three percent of all internet traffic was DOTA 2 related. This huge growth has seen the game become a strategic add-on to many of the world’s leading sports betting sites, including in the USA, UK, Asia and the European mainland.
The bet-markets offered by the game are not substantial but there is a decent enough opportunity to win, especially when playing multi-bets on various games happening across the world on any given day.
Traditional sports betting punters may tread carefully around the bet-activity due to its complex nature but there are many leading sites that offer explanations on how the bet-markets work, and how win-opportunities are on offer. Suffice to say, it is a more complex game than football, but once you get the hang of it, the gameplay, rules, bet markets and risk and reward scenarios become easier to follow.
How to bet on DOTA 2
A brief understanding of the game, the gameplay and the background on how it all unfolds is needed to gain perspective and glean insights into exploring this new online betting venture.
DOTA 2 is played by teams across the globe and is essentially a fantasy-like game with clear objectives.
The game is played in ‘matches’ between two teams, each consisting of five players, and the goal is for each team to occupy and defend their own separate bases on the map while also trying to destroy the opposing team’s “Ancient”, which is located at their home base camp.
The individual players must collect experience points and items for their selected heroes and then successfully defeat an opponent’s hero in a player vs player combat. Teamwork is essential as the goal is to destroy the opposing team’s base camp. Before starting the game, players must select one of 115 playable heroes, each with their own powers, attributes, strengths and weaknesses. The hero must play one of two roles, firstly act as a carrier or as support.
The carrier starts off weak, with few key strength attributes but can access more as the game progresses, making them the key game-enders. The support heroes start with stronger attributes like speed, manoeuvrability and power, but these taper off, so it is vital for a side to select a strong, well-rounded roster. The careful selection of an all-purpose player (hero) roster will affect odds and margins. There is plenty of tactical play before the game even starts with a fine balance between heroes and their respective roles.
Games can take on average between 30-60 minutes but theoretically could go on for years if no ‘Ancient’ is destroyed.
DOTA 2 Betting Markets
The bet markets include overall winners (outrights), map positions, total and under/over.
For live contests the odds will change depending on score (people eliminated). The live encounters are like sporting in-play options on almost all sports betting sites. Further explanation of game will give more insight into the gameplay and how a punter can win, pre-contest and during event.
There are hosts of teams entered in leagues and competitions around the globe and throughout the year, including league contests, masters tournaments and the grand International event.
Tournaments include countries from China to the USA and everywhere in between, and teams can be made up of players spread around the world.
The betting card on the sites that carry esports look like the virtual play links found on all leading platforms, with live action plus upcoming games for the day, week, month or rest of the year.
When a match begins the teams start off at opposite ends of the map (at their own base). The teams are called Radiants and Dires. They protect a large structure called the “Ancient”. The battlefield or terrain is divided in half by a river – which can be crossed and is connected by three lanes (also called paths). The lanes are areas where encounters with the ‘enemy’ occur while also allowing side objectives to earn additional powers, experience points and even gold coins to purchase extra toppings to help ensure victory.
There are neutral, common enemies called “creeps” which can weaken any player from either team, or if successfully nullified can add much needed points and upgrades. Avoiding the “creeps”, building up experience points, abilities and powers will allow teams a greater chance to defeat their adversaries.
The game is won or lost when an “Ancient” is destroyed. Strategy and tactics are key elements to betting on the winning team, but this strategy is based on the team, and not the bettor.
The teams competing will have to decide on a complex game plan, considering a ‘hero’s’ abilities, making sure there is a balance between support or carrier heroes, and individual skill of players. Experienced gamers have game plans and tactics that generally overcome inexperienced sides and the battles are evenly matched. This shows off in the margins/odds, with the general odds of a win being in the 1.87/1 range. These odds change as the games progress but seldom go higher than 4/1.
DOTA 2 is massive in the esports industry with professional leagues and the quality of the teams are of the highest calibre, especially in major tournaments and leagues. Many of the top online betting sites that offer DOTA 2 boast the hottest action at any given time.
Most of the sites offers a host of promotions and bonuses specifically with DOTA in mind, while there is an online chat forum, which allows players to chat about the event, upcoming matches and even tactics, which could all help the punter. The games are live streamed, through the twitch portal and all leading sites have access to the real time action. The video quality is good, and the look and feel are very similar to virtual play.
More bet-markets are emerging as esports gains traction in the industry, including spreads, first team to 10 kills, first to get blood, which side will destroy most towers. There are multi-bet options on some sites, meaning a punter can place a wager on the outcome of three events.
The spread works according to a best of three scenario for each match-up with the score being 2-0 or 2-1. Then a punter must consider which team is the favourite and bet over/under.
The same applies to betting on over/under in total games. Betting over 2.5 means that the match will be 2-1 to either side, and betting under means one side will win 2-0.
There is individual map-betting on many sportsbooks offer DOTA 2. This is betting on whether a team will win map 1, map 2 or map 3 and they can even bet over/under on the map system.
Knowing the team or opponent will give the punter a clue, as some squads like to start slow, build up attributes before attacking, meaning they will lose early skirmishes (maps) to win the war.
DOTA is becoming increasingly popular due to these bet-markets as well as the draft, which is like American Football. Each team will select from the 155 heroes, and as they are selected, they are taken off the draft, making them ineligible to play in that game.
DOTA 2 Betting Tips
In order to make and build our betting tips and predictions for DOTA 2 matches, we use a variety of historical data, including teams current performance, head2head performance, league position etc. We plug these into our eSports Prediction Engine (ePE), which then provides the real time tips for all upcoming DOTA 2 matches.
Top 5 Teams for eSports DOTA 2
DOTA 2 is one of the most popular eSports games in the world right now. A lot of players and punters alike stay glued to their electronic devices playing and watching as the quest to destroy the ‘’Ancient’ unravels. Owing to the immense popularity of the game, various teams have emerged in recent times with the sole intention of claiming the bragging rights to be crowned as the best in the world. In light of this, this article seeks to highlight the current top teams that hold the bragging rights for being the best in the business when it comes to DOTA 2.
Before we jump into the finer details, it’s important for everyone to know that the following teams have been chosen owing to their standings on the Dota Pro Circuit, a competition which rewards teams with points for placements within Valve sponsored tournaments. Valve is the company behind Dota and the main organizer for most DOTA 2 events and tournaments.
DOTA 2 Top 5 Teams
- VG (ViCi Gaming) – China
Vici Gaming or simply VG is the current best team in the world right now. Nothing demonstrates this than looking at the team’s form percentage which stands at an impressive 101%. Currently, Team VG leads the way with 242 points. Last year, Team VG amassed $572 000. ViCi Gaming’s DPC stands at 5, 100. The players that are part and parcel of Team VG are as follows:
- Eurus: Position – Carry
- Ori: Position – Mid
- Yang: Position – Offlane
- Pyw: Position – Support
- Dy: Position – Support
- EG (Evil Geniuses) – USA
For several years now, Team EG has been one of the consistent performers in DOTA 2. 6 years ago, the team managed to go on a 6 year winning streak, one of the longest winning streaks in the history of DOTA 2. While the team has not managed to replicate that form again, it still does rake up some massive event and tournament wins and this is the reason why it finds itself on the second position on this list. Team EG has already raked up 206 points. In 2019, Team EG scooped $395 000 in the events and tournaments it participated in. On the DPC front, Team EG has 4, 350 points. Team EG’s team members are as follows:
- Arteezy: Position – Carry
- Abed: Position – Mid
- Ramzes666: Position – Offlane
- Cr1t: Position – Support
- Fly: Position – Support
- Secret – Europe
Team Secret has been in the business for quite some time now. 5 years ago, the team made history when it recorded 17 wins in a row! The team has yet to reach those dizzy heights once again but the evidence on the ground suggests that such a feat is not too distant a wish. Last year, Team Secret had a 74% win rate and a slight improvement this year will take the team to unbelievable heights. The team of course will need its main man Nisha to push it greater heights. At the current moment, Team Secret finds itself on position 3 having raked up 183 points. On the DPC front, the team has 4, 850 points. Last year, Team Secret won a massive $400 000 in all the competitions it was a part of. Team Secret team members are as follows:
- Matumbaman: Position – Carry
- Nisha: Position – Mid
- Zai: Position – Offlane
- Puppey: Position – Support
- YapzOr: Position – Support
- The Alliance – Sweden
When talking about longevity, then The Alliance is the team that we will be talking about. During the early days when everyone else was starting to get accustomed to Dota 2 as an eSport, The Alliance had already honed its skills and was prepared to compete against any team. There is no wonder therefore why the team went on a 25 game winning streak seven years ago. The team is still going strong to this day. In 2020, The Alliance has already amassed 163 points and has 1, 920 DPC points. Last year, The Alliance pocketed $372 000. Players that comprise The Alliance include:
- Nikobaby: Position – Carry
- Limmp: Position – Mid
- S4: Position – Offlane
- Fng: Position – Support
- Handsken: Position – Support
- TNC Predator – Philippines
TNC Predator was aptly named as the team is indeed a predator in the online gaming arena. TNC Predator is one of the pioneers when it comes to DOTA 2 events and tournaments. However, the mere fact that it is an old dog does not mean that it has lost any of its competitive edge. Up to this day, TNC Predator is a force to reckon with and nothing demonstrates this than the mere fact that it finds itself high on the list of the top performing team in DOTA 2. Currently, the team sits on 143 points which makes it the fifth best team in the world. On the DPC points’ front, the team has 5, 300 points. Last year, the team walked away with $486 000 in all competitions. The players that comprise of TNC Predator include:
- Gabbi: Position – Carry
- Armei: Position – Mid
- Kpii: Position – Offlane
- March: Position – Support
- Tims: Position – Support