Defense of the Ancients 2, more usually referred to as Dota 2, is a multiplayer online battle arena, or ‘MOBA’, which was developed and published by Valve Corporation. Originally released in July 2013, it has gone on to become one of the world’s most played video games. Crucially, for those of us who are interested in esports betting, it also has a thriving, and very lucrative, professional circuit.
The game is a sequel to the original Dota, which itself began life as community created mod for World of Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos, and its expansion pack The Frozen Throne. Played on a map between two teams of five players, the main aim of the game is to fight through a series of challenges, and end by destroying the opposing team’s main base, or ‘Ancient’. Each player controls one member of a team, which are known as ‘heroes’. As you can imagine, being such a competitive game provides plenty of betting opportunity – that’s what makes Dota 2 one of the most popular markets at esportsbetting.com.
With almost 120 of these heroes for players to choose from, the potential for wildly varied games is all there. Each hero possesses four unique abilities, as well as disadvantages and weaknesses, which serve to balance out their skills.
The two factions in the game are known as ‘Radiant’ and ‘Dire’, and their home bases are located in opposite corners of the game map, which is itself divided by a river.
Work on the game had begun in 2009, and was headed by a designer known as IceFrog. He had also been responsible for leading the design of the original Defense of the Ancients mod. The game also became the first to use Steam’s Source 2 game engine, when it was ported over in 2015. The game’s popularity is massive, and it is the most played game on Steam. There have been peaks of over a million players playing the game simultaneously.
This popularity has seen all sorts of merchandise and other related items being manufactured, which are keenly bought by many of the game’s millions of fans. T-shirts, caps, jackets and other Dota 2 clothing has become very popular. Accessories and toys based on the game are also widely available.
The popularity of recreational play is mirrored by the kind of attention which the professional Dota circuit attracts. More money is awarded in prize winnings for this game than for any other esports discipline. The game’s developer, Valve, sponsors and runs many of these tournaments. As well as having live streams of Dota events on internet platforms such as Twitch, many Dota events have also been televised on mainstream TV networks. These include Sport 1 in Germany, Xinwen Lianbo in China, and even ESPN in the United States.
Dota 2 betting is also very popular, with the format of the game lending itself to all kinds of wagers. Esportsbetting.com offers real money betting markets on Dota 2, alongside Dota 2 in-play options and of course to compliment this our live streaming and live betting services.
Dota 2 began to receive plaudits from critics almost as soon as it was released, with many of them hailing the game’s depth and complexity. Additional features in the game, such as character design, voice acting, and the usability of the game’s interface also attracted praise from many quarters. This incredible quality is what makes Dota 2 one of the most popular games to bet on ever.
All of this certainly seemed to add to the game’s appeal amongst its legions of fans. Many pundits felt that the game was much better than its main rivals to the title of biggest esports, such as League of Legends. The magazine PC Gamer made Defense of the Ancients 2 their Best Esport of the Year in 2013, and the game won a clutch of other awards from other media organisation.
The Dota professional scene is rapidly becoming one of the richest in all sport, never mind just esports. Massively popular tournament The Internationalcontinues to grow exponentially every year. In 2014, the prize pool for the event was in excess of $10.9 million, bigger than many mainstream sports events such as golf’s The Masters, and cycling’s Tour De France. By the time of its 2015 event, the prize pool had swelled to a massive $18.4 million, and in 2016 it moved past $20 million for the first time. Wings Gaming were the triumphant team in that tournament, and they took home a $9,139,002 first prize.
The big money tournaments have also catapulted many teams to stardom, as well as helping them acquire healthy bank balances. Evil Geniuses are the team who currently top the list of biggest cash winners, with over $13.6 million won in prize money from competing in Dota 2 events, as things stood in February 2017. Other big teams in the world of Dota include Wings Gaming, whose run of success over the last year or so has raked in over $9 million for them.
Also near the top of the list in terms of winnings is Chinese team Vici Gaming. Historically a solidly strong team, they have claimed around $5 million in prize money during their time on the circuit.
Obviously, being a game which is capable of staging such huge tournaments, and generating such wealth for players and teams, means that Dota 2 betting has become commensurately popular.
Later, we will take a look at how to give your bets on Dota more chance of being successful, as well as at some of the tournaments on which you can bet.
According to statistics, Dota 2 was the most played game on Steam in 2016. During that 12-month period, the game averaged an astounding 636,607 players per hour. Its nearest challenger was another Valve game, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, which averaged 350,600, a total which looks almost paltry when viewed in comparison to Dota 2.
This was the second year running that Dota and CS:GO had made up the 1-2 on the list of most popular games on Steam. The two games were also in positions 1 and 2 in 2015. But, while the stats showed a slight decrease in popularity for CS:GO from 2015 to 2016, Dota grew again. The 2015 figures for the two games were: 353,033 for CS:GO, and 557,104 for Dota.
That remarkable interest in Dota continued in 2017, too. In May 2017, Dota 2 was averaging 562.958 players at any time. The figure for peak usage was 1,291,328.
A game with such a huge following means that there has also been plenty of sustained interest in Dota betting since the game’s inception. Thankfully, for those of us who are keen on Dota 2 betting, there are plenty of interesting ways to place wagers on this most popular of esports disciplines.
The structure of a Dota 2 match is perfect for betting. As with mainstream sports, two teams facing each other, competing to achieve clearly defined objectives, means that we can offer markets on a number of straightforward markets. Being an online battle arena mod means that the game is also easy for spectators to watch, which makes it even more appropriate as a sport for betting. During a typical competitive Dota 2 match, there are two teams of five players facing each other across the map. Each player controls one of the game’s 113 heroes. As with mainstream sport, the two teams compete across a clearly demarcated territory, with the ultimate aim being the destruction of the other team’s base, or ‘ancient’.
Markets you can bet on with Dota 2 at esportsbetting.com:
As well as having to face the opposition’s team of heroes, additional opposition is generated by the defensive towers which lie along the game’s ‘lanes’. These towers will attack any opposition heroes within site. As well as the attacks from the towers, computer-controlled creatures called ‘creeps’ are generated in barracks in each team’s base. These creeps move across the game map along the lanes, randomly attacking opposition heroes, creeps and buildings which are located in their path.
Some items which heroes can collect during a game are classified as immortal. Immortal items are extremely rare, and can only be obtained during certain events, such as high profile tournaments.
The simplest way of placing bets on Dota 2 is to place wagers on match outcomes. This is a simple way of betting, where the punter simply makes a selection on which team they think will win an individual match in a tournament. Odds can often be low for this type of bet, particularly for the biggest teams in early rounds of tournaments.
This means that using accumulators is a good idea when it comes to placing match bets on Dota 2. An accumulator is where the punter makes several selections on one betting slip, usually three or more. The winnings from each bet are then used as the stake for the next bet on the slip. This means that odds are multiplied together, and a winning bet slip can be very lucrative. Punters need to be aware that this type of bet will fail if just one selection on the slip loses, however.
Another way of betting on events is for a punter to place a wager on which player they think will win the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award. This can add an extra layer of interest and excitement to Dota betting.
Another form of Dota 2 betting which has become increasingly common, as the game’s popularity has exploded, is in-play betting. This is where punters bet on live matches, placing wagers on events which will occur. This is like in play betting in football, for example, where punters can bet on which team will score the next goal, or when there will be a yellow card. Live, in-play Dota 2 betting at esportsbetting.com follows a similar pattern. Punters can bet on a number of different game events and outcomes. Examples of these include first player to kill an enemy hero, which player collects the most gold, or which team will win the first map – in a best of three or best of five map contest.
Dota betting of this kind requires a live stream of an event for it to be truly enjoyable and successful – thankfully we offer an incredible live streaming service. It is very tricky to bet live and in play on matches which you cannot see taking place. If you have access to a stream, though, and all major tournaments are now streamed somewhere online, then live betting can be a thrilling way of adding excitement to a match, even one featuring a relatively minor team, such as MVP revolution. It certainly adds another layer of personal involvement, which goes way beyond being just an interested spectator.
Dota 2 betting revolves around the many tournaments which are staged throughout the year. As alluded to above, The International series of tournaments is Dota’s most lucrative and largest competitive concept, with prize pools in the millions of dollars. The Kiev Major is part of this series, and was played in late April, 2017.
This tournament consists of a mixture of invited teams, and teams who have had to work their way through a qualification process. Eight teams are invited, and eight teams have to fight their way through the qualifiers. Invited teams at the 2017 event included well-known names such as OG, Evil Geniuses, Newbee and Team Liquid. Amongst the qualified teams were names such as Team Secret, Digital Chaos and Invictus Gaming.
Another tournament which tends to attract plenty of attention from fans of Dota 2 betting is the Mr Cat Invitational Europe. In May 2017, this tournament was won by Russian giants Virtus Pro, who beat Team Empire in the final. The tournament also featured some other high-quality clashes throughout, including Team Empure vs Vega Squadron in the Losers’ Bracket semi-final.
When placing bets on Dota 2 tournaments, the most common type of wager is a futures bet. This is where the punter bets on the team that they think will win the tournament. Variations on this type of bet occur when a punter backs a team to reach a certain stage of a tournament, such as the semi-finals, or quarter-finals. Obviously, each tournament also produces plenty of opportunities for match betting too.
Here at esportsbetting.com you will find some of the very best odds and markets for a selection of the world's most popular esports games.
Check out our articles covering games such as:
We are your #1 choice for placing esports bets online, and being the best platform there is for esportsbetting - whether you use a mobile device, a laptop or desktop. Get to know the history behind this sport, and familiarize yourself with the biggest players in our hall of fame.