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Dota2 –Introduction to eSports Betting

Dota 2 is one of the most popular Multiplayer-Online-Battle-Arena games of our time. It is a real-time strategy game, developed by Valve, a sequel to the well-known game `Defence of the Ancients`, which was playable for the first time in Warcraft III. With more than 13 million players worldwide, Dota 2 is the most played game on the games-platform Steam. The leading developers of `Ice Frog` began with modifications in 2005 and have been driving the development of the game further since. There are many Dota variants on the market, although Dota Allstars is by far the most developed and most popular. The sequel, Dota 2 premiered in July 2013 as standalone game and since then has enthralled millions. But what makes Dota 2 so popular that even sports betting and capacity filled arenas generate so much attention on the gaming scene and in the mainstream public? Here we explain the phenomenon of Dota 2 in a little more detail:

Game mechanics –How is Dota 2 played?

As already mentioned, Dota 2 is distributed over the platform Steam. Like League of Legends, this MOBA is also free-to-play. It can be downloaded and played for free. `Skins` (the appearance of the heroes) are available to buy.

Dota 2 is quick and easy to explain, if one has any experience with Multiplayer-Online-Battle-Arena games. Before the game begins, each player picks a hero. These heroes each have specific skills and characteristics which give them their individuality. Currently, players can choose from 113 heroes, who each have individual skills at their disposal.

Each team is made up of five players, who control their heroes from a birds eye view. The goal of the game is to destroy the enemy `Ancient`, the main structure defended by the opposition, whilst defending one’s own Ancient. On the way to the opposition’s base, there are naturally other challenges to overcome. The map is divided into three lanes, the middle, top and bottom lane. As their names suggest, the top lane is found at the top of the map, while the bottom lane is the lower lane. On these lanes are found `creeps´, computer generated entities, who are all equally strong, so as not to have an advantage. Killing these monsters earns the hero experience and gold, which can be used to equip himself with special materials or objects that make him grow stronger

The direct way to the opposition´s base is blocked by defensive towers and need to be destroyed, with or without the help of creeps, who can absorb for the player the great deal of harm that such a tower can inflict. Naturally the opposing hero tries to stop your progress down the lane. The destruction of a hero or a tower, are rewarded with experience points and gold.

After you have destroyed the three towers, an unprotected barracks stands in your way. After the destruction of this building, your creeps increase in strength and can attack more fiercely and create more damage. The Ancient is guarded by a further two towers and is the most difficult entity on the map, which takes skilful playing dexterity to crack.

The map is designed and constructed so that no team has an advantage over the other, and it is only skill and tactics which play a role in victory.

General Introduction to betting on the game

Since Dota 2 has gained such worldwide success, in time bookmakers have also come on board, and now offer betting opportunities on different tournaments and events, in which top teams play for prestige and prize money in the millions.

Such tournaments usually play out not only in front of a live public, in sold out arenas, but fevered fans can also stream the game live, glued to their screens at home.. With well over 13 million players, Dota 2 has become a brand, and fans are prepared to pay money to become part of a team, thereby supporting it.

As already mentioned, bookmakers have climbed on board the train of successful MOBAs, and are offering sports betting, and paying out in real money or skins (outward appearance of a character)

Sports betting has been around for ages, however since the rise of the internet, sports betting portals have been offering online betting opportunities. This saves you a journey to the betting shop, or from picking up the telephone, when you want to place a bet.

Where can I bet online on Dota 2?

There are as many bookmakers as sand on the seashore, however, some bookmakers have really specialised on eSports and therefore offer a wider range of betting opportunities. Along with dedicated eSport bookmakers, there are also other providers who offer eSports as a side-line to other sports like football, handball, basketball etc. Possibly, the range of eSport betting offered by these providers will be less diverse than providers solely dedicated to eSports.

To provide you with a few contenders, we have examined a range of bookmakers, and found the best five for you:

  • Bet365 - This British sports betting provider is one of the most successful in the online betting segment. Along with numerous live events and Leagues on offer, Bet365 has taken note of the eSport phenomenon, and consequently added it to its portfolio.
  • Betway – Betway is also not a dedicated eSports provider, and mainly offers ball game based betting such as football, tennis etc. However betway has a very accessible section of its website exclusively for eSport betting.
  • eGamingBets – A newcomer, but dedicated solely to eSport betting, which covers almost all tournaments. The range of possible bets is also what makes this bookmaker so attractive to sports betting fans of electronic sport.
  • Pinnacle – One of the best bookmakers in our opinion. It is known for its above average high odds, and it is a bookmaker where you should have an account.
  • Bet at Home – You are probably already aware of this bookmaker – TV and stadium advertising, and emblazoned onto football strips, it promotes itself publicly on a broad scale. Nowadays Bet at Home also offers eSport betting.
  • Nordicbet – Nordicbet is owned by the Betsson Group, and therefore there is no need to worry about the security of this bookmaker. As well as Dota2, this bookmakers offers bets on other electronic games. This bookmaker is particularly attractive due to a great variety of Boni, (bonuses) which are continuously unexpectedly on offer.
  • gg.bet is naturally also in our sights in our overview of betting providers offering Dota2 betting opportunities. The pure eSports bookmaker has a large variety of tournaments on offer. However Wetten.com or 10.bet also have offers ready for this beloved MOBA during large tournaments.

When can bets be placed?

The main focus of bookmakers are naturally on especially large tournaments. However smaller tournaments are also finding a place, as betting on eSport events is increasingly being used as a way of using knowledge of a team to make money. To give you an overview over the largest tournaments, we have put this list together:

  • The Internationals – the largest and best known electronic games tournament worldwide. A Dota World Championship first took place in 2011, with prize money of 1 600 000 US Dollars. Six years later, the tournament has grown into such a mega event that in 2016 the total prize money, divided between the teams, topped 18 000 000 US Dollars. Evil Geniuses won the tournament and along with a trophy, pocketed winnings of 6 600 000 US Dollars. This year too, the World Championships is the main highlight for the fan base.
  • Dota 2 Asian Championships – This championship, which takes place is Asia, also attracts a lot of attention, as with the World Championships, only the best teams on the world are invited. Whilst in 2015, the prize money topped over a million US dollars, this year it has been greatly reduced.
  • Dota Major Championships – This series of tournaments takes place in a variety of cities. Valve organises these tournaments several times a year.
  • The Summit / Dota Summit – Since 2014 Beyond the Summit have been organising this series of tournaments. Two tournaments a year take place, with the best teams participating.
  • EPICENTRE, SL i-League and DreamLeague – These three tournaments also belong to the largest events of the Dota 2 scene and often attract the best teams in the world.

For these tournaments you will find the games available for betting with all of the bookmakers mentioned above.

What type of bets can be placed?

Because with Dota 2, many scenarios are possible, the game is offered by most bookmakers with a similar breadth of betting opportunities, comparable to other sport types. The punter really has open field, and diverse betting opportunities are available:

  • Winner-or-Loser Bets – the most common variety on offer by bookmakers
  • First tower destruction - which team destroys the first tower
  • Exact outcome of the game (for instance in a best of three, in which a team has to win at least two maps)
  • Map betting – betting on individual maps within a best of series
  • Team handicap – a team starts at a disadvantage on the map and must make up for it
  • First kill – the first team to kill an opponent
  • Over and Under Betting – here one bets over or under a number given by the bookmaker. For an example we can take victories. The bookmaker speculates, that Team A will win at least one map. You must decide if you agree (over bet) or if you think this team will fail to win any maps (under bet)

With every bet you need to be aware of what exactly you are betting on. Consider carefully, which bets you want to place,

With what do you bet?

Most bookmakers offer bets in your previously selected currency. A few bookmakers also offer skins as currency. Different skins have varying values. With these skins one can bet in the same way as with real money. Having said this, betting with skins is also only allowed from 18 years.

What should one take note of when betting on eSports?

Different things are important to note before a bet is placed:

  • Knowledge of the game – if you are unfamiliar with Dota 2, you should watch the game carefully before betting
  • Team knowledge – Current substitutions or new players
  • Specifically at the beginning, one should start slowly to get to know the genre
  • Know the betting types – when you are for instance confused between an over an over or under bet, the disappointment is great
Useful tip: Many betting providers give a bonus to new customers, which is especially useful for those starting out in eSport betting. You can see this as your ´apprentice money’ and use it to collect your first experiences.
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