Betting on eSports: Dota 2

Dota 2 is one of the biggest computer games in the world and is played by millions of fans each year.

In fact, so big is Dota 2 that many players have become professional, earning millions of pounds from their displays on screen and entertaining even more fans down the years.

Dota 2 is created by Valve — the company also behind the successful Counter Striker: Global Offensive game — but has more similarities with a rival game, League of Legends.

In fact, many gamers who play Dota 2 also play LoL because of the similarities of their game play and the mission each player must try and achieve.

So big is Dota 2 that many fans now bet on eSports such as this game. And here at Unibet we’ve set up a wide range of betting markets so you’ll never miss any of the action.

If you want to learn more about what Dota 2 is then this guide will give you the basics. And we will also show you the best markets for Dota 2 betting, and which are the most popular bets.


What is Dota 2?

Dota 2, just like League of Legends, is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game. Two teams, consisting of five players each, battle on a created landscape, called a Map. The aim is to destroy the ‘Ancient’ in the enemy’s base. This is a large object and is heavily fortified. There are also numerous defences in front of the Ancient, as well as various neutral dangers throughout the map that can affect both teams.

Each gamer selects a character - called a hero - to control in a Dota 2 game. Their team then sets forth to try and destroy the other team’s Ancient. There are creatures to destroy that earn you gold, which can then be spent in the shop to buy more powerful weapons and more effective defensive objects. As your hero kills and destroys more dangers, it will improve in experience and become more deadly.

Eventually, heroes from opposing sides will meet and fight, with the loser regenerating back at their base and the victor progressing deeper into energy territory. Once an Ancient has been destroyed, the game ends. A new game will then begin, until one of the teams earns an insurmountable lead in the best-of-three or best-of-five match.

Dota 2 also has multiple special features, such as a day/night system which has effect on heroes’ abilities and a buyback system which allows heroes to respawn immediately after dying, at a certain cost. Because of the wide range of features and heroes, Dota 2 is commonly seen as a very difficult game to master.

But is also an enthralling game to follow and the biggest matches attract thousands of viewers in huge stadiums to follow all the action. More and more fans are also betting on Dota 2, which is why here at Unibet we’ve set up numerous markets to aid their choices.

Dota 2 as a professional eSport

Dota 2 was only released in July 2013 yet it has grown in popularity despite its young age. Now, Dota 2 is one of the most popular eSports in existence and the prize pools at tournaments are massive.

In fact, so big are the prize pools that some gamers have even turned professional, in order to play Dota 2 full time. The biggest tournament in Dota 2 each year is The International. Here, 18 teams compete for the share of an eye-watering £22m prize fund — and that figure is rising each year!

Teams from all over the world enter qualifying matches in an attempt to reach The International. These tournaments are staged in the Dota Pro Circuit, where teams compete against others for the chance to prove themselves on the biggest stage of all.

The International has been staged all over the world, from Cologne to Seattle, Vancouver to Shanghai. It take place in August each year and attracts millions of online fans.

As of the summer of 2019, there have been 62 millionaires made from playing Dota 2. That far outstrips players from League of Legend or CS:GO. China is commonly seen as the strongest country in Dota 2 with teams like Newbee, LGD, Vici Gaming and Invictus Gaming, however a lot of European teams such as Team Liquid, Virtus Pro and Team Secret show significant strength on the highest level.

Betting on Dota 2 with Unibet

As Dota 2 became very popular over its short existence, so grew the popularity of the betting community on this specific eSport. Dota 2 has all the aspects that can make any game interesting to watch. It can be packed with action, but the tactical side of the game might be even more important. Analysis is key in the game, which attracts experienced betters who use their skill of analysing teams and an active game for the perfect prematch or In Play bet.

The most poplar Dota 2 bet type is the match win. This is an outright bet, where you simply bet on who will win the match. Many Dota 2 matches are best-of-three or best-of-five matches, so teams have a chance to recover if something goes drastically wrong in the first match.

An example of Dota 2 match betting would be backing Alliance to beat Gambit eSports at a price of 2.20. If Alliance claim the victory then you win your bet.

Another strong outright bet on Dota 2 is Map betting. Each game within a three-game or five-game match is called a Map. You can bet on which team you think will win a Map — usually the first or last. For example, if you back Mineski to beat Team Serenity in the first game and they do, you win your bet.

Outright betting also occurs on the major championships. In this case, rather than betting on a team to win a particular match, you instead back them to win the who tournament. Outright betting at The International is huge in the Dota 2 betting world. But teams can cause upsets here and there are examples of when favourites have flopped hugely on the biggest stage of them all. And that means even the teams priced at large odds could always claim victory.

Much like League of Legends betting, handicap betting in Dota 2 is also popular. This is when you back a team to win or lose, with a pre-determined weight to the scoreline. For example, Team Liquid are placing ViCi Gaming. Now, Team Liquid are 1.57 to win the match, which is not a very tempting bet because the price is small. In order to increase those odds, you can add a handicap to their win. So, you could bet on Team Liquid -1.5 handicap at 3.20. That means ViCi have a virtual advantage and Team Liquid must win by two clear games or more, for you to win your bet.

Dota 2 betting specials

During the big tournaments — such as The International — we put on some Dota 2 betting specials which are always fun to check out. They include the Most Picked or Most Banned hero. When gamers select their heroes at the start of matches, they are likely to side with ones that meet their particular gaming characteristics. A hero like Pudge or Lion is picked often, while others such as Brewmaster or Dark Steer tend to be ignored.

Map times are also fun to bet on. This is when you bet on which Map during a match will last the longest or shortest. If you think the game is set to fall into attrition then it may be worth backing a long Map time.

As with many games like Dota 2, betting on the first team to complete a particular objective is also a popular bet. This could be taking down an opposing hero, or laying the first blow on the opposition’s Ancient.

Bet on Dota 2 In Play

You can also bet on loads of Dota 2 markets In Play. Here at Unibet we recognise how popular eSports are and want to make sure you don’t miss any of the action. That’s why we offer In Play markets so you can get the most up-to-date odds when you need them.

In Play betting is an excellent way to bet during a match, rather than sticking all your stake on a pre-match outcome. It means you can follow the betting odds as they fluctuate while the game is being played. And it will also show you who is currently winning and who is expected to claim victory.

Bet on Dota 2