As an esport, Dota 2 features the biggest prize pools in the world. The game is renowned for its world championship known as “The International” – where the best battle it out for millions of dollars.
If you want to learn more about Dota 2 or want to start wagering on it, here’s everything you need to know.
Dota 2 Gameplay Basics
Dota 2 is defined as a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena, or MOBA, game. This means that two teams of five players enter a map and battle it out with the eventual goal of destroying their opponents’ capitol building.
While the end goal is simple, there are plenty of objectives for both teams to accomplish from start to finish. First of all, each player picks a hero to play. Each hero has a set of unique abilities that players use to accomplish their goals. Only one of each hero can be selected per game and each game kicks off with a draft, allowing teams to choose which heroes they will play, as well as remove some from the pool.
The teams take turns picking and banning heroes and with over 115 choices, it can get a little complex. Generally, teams will aim to pick heroes that synergize with each other while banning ones that would work well on their opponent’s team.
After every player has picked a character, the game begins. Both teams will attempt to destroy the other’s main building, aka The Ancient, but will have to reach certain objectives first. Before even thinking about getting to the main base, teams must go down one of the three lanes and destroy their enemy’s towers.
After three towers in a lane are destroyed, it is possible to breach the main base. There, teams must destroy a set of barracks – doing this will upgrade their lane minions and open up a path to the capitol building.
Of course, doing all this isn’t easy as the other team will be doing all it can to defend and then launch a counter-attack. The heroes in the game grow stronger as the game goes on, gaining gold for kills and leveling up, which enables them to improve their stats and skills.
Understanding Dota 2 Betting Odds
Dota 2 bets are most commonly displayed in American odds, which consist of numbers in relation to -100. The numbers change entirely depending on how likely it is that a team will win, with a minus (-) sign showing the favored side, while a plus (+) sign shows the underdogs.
For example, the odds of a Dota 2 match may look something like this:
Team Liquid +120
This means that OG are the favorites, as shown by the minus sign, and the number that follows it shows how much you would need to bet to win $100. In this case, betting $150 would net you a profit of $100.
On the other hand, Team Liquid are the underdogs, as shown by the plus sign. This time, however, the number indicates how much you would win if you bet $100. Using this example, betting $100 would net you an extra $120.
These numbers change quite frequently and will differ from sportsbook to sportsbook. If you’re unsure of where to place Dota 2 wagers, check out our list of the best esports betting websites.
Types of Dota 2 Bets
There are a ton of options for betting on Dota 2, from simple moneylines to picking how many kills will happen or which hero will be picked. There’s really so much to choose from, so let’s dive into some of the most common options.
Moneyline wagers are the bread and butter of betting. It’s simply choosing the team that you think will win the series – nothing other than the end result matters.
Most Dota 2 series are played in a best-of-three format, meaning that the first team to win two games wins. You can bet on the whole series in general or individual games, depending on how you think it will go.
As most series are played in multiple games, bettors can also choose to wager on spreads.
Spreads, also known as handicaps, change the amount teams have to win or lose by. For example, a best-of-three match between Evil Geniuses and Team Liquid may see the former be -300 favorites, meaning not much money can be made from the bet.
However, there may also be a -1.5 game spread for Evil Geniuses at +100. Choosing the spread would mean that Evil Geniuses would have to win the series 2-0 for the bet to win. This bet is a lot riskier because all it takes to lose is dropping one game, but the payoff is also much larger due to the increased odds.
Betting on totals in Dota 2 means choosing how many games will be played in a series. For example, in a best-of-three match, either two or three games will be played.
Totals allow betters to choose how many games the match will see. This is usually represented by OVER or UNDER 2.5. OVER 2.5 suggests that three games will be played, while UNDER 2.5 signifies only two games will be played.
Futures are another simple bet. They are generally only open before an event starts and allow bettors to choose the overall winner. A futures bet for Dota 2 will generally look something like this:
Team Secret -140
Vici Gaming +265
There will be an option for every team at the event. In this example, Team Secret are the favorites, while Virtus.pro are the biggest underdog.
Prop bets, also known as proposition bets, are wagers based on certain events in the game that may not even affect the outcome of the match. Generally, they require advanced knowledge of the game to make as they can get quite specific.
There are a ton of different options for Dota 2 prop bets and it’s hard to list them all. However, here are some examples of the most popular props:
Team to destroy the first tower
Race to 10 kills
Correct game score
Ready To Make Your First Bet
Now that you understand the basics of Dota 2 and some of the many bets you can place, you are prepared to make your first wager. The next step is to make sure you are going to the right sportsbook to place your Dota 2 bet, which we have sorted out for you.
Once you find the best book for you, turn on some Dota, relax and watch the money flow in.
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