The Best Betting Sites for Dota 2
Defense of the Ancients, most commonly referred to as Dota 2, is one of the world’s most popular esports, boasting multi-million-pound prize pools.
You’re sure to see Dota 2 plastered across lots of sportsbook sites, but what is it? How can you place a bet on it? Are there any bonuses?
We’ve given you a rundown of everything you need to know and listed some of the best sites that offer Dota 2 betting, below.
This page has been created to provide a guide to betting on Dota 2 for those interested in placing a bet on the hugely popular game, but aren’t quite sure where to start.
We’ll explain what Dota 2 is about, where you can watch it live and which sites are running the best Dota 2 bonuses.
Dota 2 Explained
Dota 2 stands for Defense of the Ancients and is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game.
There are two teams each consisting of five players who battle on a created landscape called a Map.
Both teams are trying to destroy the opposing team’s ‘Ancient’ which sits in their base, in order to win.
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18+ only. New UK players. Welcome Bonus: New Players only, 1st Deposit, Min Deposit: £10, max £10 bonus, valid for 14 days, bets must be placed at odds of 1/1 or greater and be settled within 14 days of placement. System bets no eligible View full T&C
Each of the players controls one character referred to as a “hero” who each have their own unique abilities and playing styles.
Throughout the match, the players collect various items and experience points so that they can defeat the opposing team’s heroes.
As the teams set out to try and destroy each other’s Ancient, they will come against creatures that, when destroyed, will earn them gold.
The players are then able to spend this gold in the shop to buy more effective defensive objects and more powerful weapons.
As the heroes kill and destroy more dangers on the Map, their experience improves and they become more deadly.
As the heroes overcome different obstacles they will inch closer and closer, until they eventually meet and fight it out in player v player combat. The victor from this battle can then move further behind enemy lines, with the goal of finding and destroying the Ancient.
The game ends when the Ancient is destroyed and the next game then starts. The winning team is chosen from the best-of-three or best-of-five matches.
How to Play Dota 2?
The main goal of Dota 2 is straightforward; destroy the enemy’s Ancient before they destroy yours. The gameplay, heroes, and different challenges are what make the game highly complex.
In this section we give you an easy to understand guide on how Dota 2 is played by covering the following:
1. Dota 2 Map:
2. Hero Positions:
- Roles and responsibilities
- Different Attributes
Dota 2 Terminology Explained
As with any video game, there is always unique terminology used to describe different principles, and Dota 2 is no exception.
Please pay attention to the below, as these are the three main principles that define the roles and responsibilities of the characters.
They are used often both in gameplay and in articles on our site.
Is the process of building waves of “creeps” (creeps are small combat units that the players have no control over) to take down enemy buildings.
Taking down enemy buildings earns the team gold. Pushing is necessary to win the game, however, if badly timed, may give the enemy an advantage if the team’s positioning is weak.
The term used to describe the actions of a player to acquire gold. Gold is important in Dota 2 as it is how the teams buy better weapons to improve their performance.
To acquire gold players most commonly kill lane creeps or jungle creeps.
Is the term to describe when one or two heroes actively seek and kill a hero from the enemy’s team.
This can give the team a huge advantage by slowing down the enemy’s ability to farm and allowing the team a chance to recover from different lanes and get closer to the enemy base; essentially ganking makes the opposing team weaker.
About the Dota 2 Map
The Map is the term used when referring to the battlefield where all Dota 2 matches are played.
It is made of two fractions, which both share half of the map and are divided by a river:
- Radiant fraction: This is positioned in the lower-left corner
- Dire fraction: This is situated in the upper right corner
The Ancients are situated in either corner of each fraction and the teams are assigned which fraction they will defend, they are unable to choose themselves.
Between the Ancients, a large area of the map is covered with trees, this area is known as the Jungle.
Unlike the top, mid, and bottom lanes on the map, which are very wide, the jungle is filled with winding, narrow paths and high-ground, which makes it good territory for ganking or if a hero needs somewhere to hide.
Having awareness of what is going on in the jungle is key so that the team is able to react proactively to the enemy.
Heroes can use the jungle to farm creeps (known as jungling when off the main lanes), creeps are neutral and not controlled by any team, however, they allow the hero to earn gold for weapons and gain exp.
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On the contrary, the fact that gambling sites have a hard time researching less popular titles puts you into a unique position where you can find generous esports odds practically out of thin air.
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The river is what divides the map into the two fractions, Radiant and Dire. The teams are unable to see over the river into the opponent’s side as it is surrounded by high ground.
A key attribute of the river is the six Runes, located at different points of river. These are types of power-ups that provide enhancements for heroes. There are two types of Runes:
1.Bounty Rune: Gold is granted from Bounty Runes, however, the amount can change depending on the updates. There are four Bounty Runes in total, two on each side of the river.
2.Power-Up Rune: This type of runes grant the team special abilities for a set amount of time and spawn randomly. There are two spawn locations of these on the map, which are able to grant the below boosters at random:
- Double Damage Rune: For 45 seconds it will grant the hero 100% damage.
- Illusion Rune: For 75 seconds it will create two illusions on the hero.
- Invisibility Rune: For 45 seconds the hero will become invisible.
- Regeneration Rune: For 30 seconds a hero’s mana and health are fully restored.
- Haste Rune: For 22 second a hero is granted maximum movement speed.
- Arcane Rune: For 50 seconds, spells and cooldowns are reduced by 30% and mana by 40%.
If a hero has a bottle in their inventory, they are able to bottle the rune and save it for up to two minutes before activating it.
The map is split up into three different lanes, top lane (off/hard lane), middle lane (mid lane), and the bottom lane (safe lane).
All of the lanes lead to the enemy’s base and you’ll find that, in the early stages of the game, a lot of action is centered around the lanes as the teams work through challenges to get closer to the enemy’s base.
The lanes are also protected by towers that enemies can push to overcome and earn gold.
Also referred to as off lane or hard lane, this leads from the base around the top left corner of the map.
This is the hardest lane (for Radiant, easiest if Dire) and due to the vulnerability of the hero. This is because the player has to navigate the challenges and obstacles of the enemy jungle.
Players need to have low farm abilities and high escape skills, to be successful in this lane.
The mid lane is the quickest path to follow to get to the enemy’s base. The team’s best player usually takes on this lane to control the team’s flow of gold and boost his own strength so that he can successfully gank the side lanes and push down on enemy towers.
For the radiant fraction, the bottom lane is the safe lane running along the lower right of the map.
For Dire, it runs across the upper left. It is called the safe lane as heroes are able to stay closer to their towers and keep away from ganks.
This means the carry is able to farm and accrue as much gold as possible, whilst the support keeps the enemies at bay.
What are the Five Positions in Dota 2?
Every Dota 2 match is split into two teams of five players. Each player chooses a character role (referred to as heroes) which each has different responsibilities.
It is important that these requirements are split out, as each role requires different skills to perform well and contributes towards winning the game.
We have numbered the roles 1-5 so you can see the priority of the role along with an explanation of why they are important and what lanes you will commonly see the heroes in.
Dota 2 positions split the main activities into roles, to have a great distribution of responsibilities and tactical solidarity.
When playing a Dota 2 match, a lot of tasks and challenges await the team, therefore, it’s wise to split all of these requirements smartly between five different players.
Each role is important to win the game, and each role also requires different aspects to perform well.
Position 1: Carry
Lane: Bottom Lane/Safe Lane
The Carry is the key player in each team and the one everyone is invested in. They are usually found farming (killing creeps) in the safe lane and must survive the early game. Collect artifacts and farm as much as possible, so that the team acquires gold to purchase the items they need to successfully win.
The success of the team typically depends on the Carry’s ability to farm, grow stronger, and make smart decisions later on in the game to win fights.
Carries usually start off as the weakest in the team, but with promising core abilities.
The more they farm and gain points from bonus items, the greater these abilities become, meaning they are able to deal better with fights later on in the game.
They must refrain from fighting in the early stages, so that they can farm as well as maintaining a cool head, so as to avoid dying unnecessarily.
Common Carry Heroes:
Ursa, Terrorblade, Phantom Lancer, Alchemist, Lifestealer, and Gyrocopter
Position 2: Solo Mid (Or Semi-Carry)
Lane: Middle Lane
The Solo Mid primary objective is to have as much control over the middle lane as possible, so that their team can have easy access to the river, to ambush the enemy.
They achieve this through ganking and rune control. So, when the rune spawns, they are able to collect the bonus points.
Solo Mids are particularly strong characters, needing no help from farming. They are often referred to as the semi-carry, as they work together with the carry to win the game.
They must be able to aggressively gank sidelines successfully, as well as having strong map awareness, to avoid any oncoming enemy attacks.
Common Solo Mid Heroes:
Tinker, Shadow Fiend, Storm Spirit and Templar Assassin
Position 3: Offlaner
Lane: Off Lane/Hard lane
The Off-laner is fighting in the hard lane, which is the enemy’s safe lane, making it a difficult role as he or she has to fight off enemies, whilst farming and trying to survive.
If the off-laner is able to win this lane, they give the team a big advantage over the whole game. In the later stages of the game, the Off-laner must fight back against pushes on their towers and work with the Supports so that positions one and two can farm.
Fighting and aggression is a key trait of these heroes and is needed so they can capitalize on opportunities to overcome the enemy.
Survival is key, as well as the ability to think proactively and gather experience, despite the situation of the lanes.
Common Offlaner Heroes:
Slardar, Undying, Bristleback, Clockwerk, Axe, and Mars
Position 4: Roamer/Support
Lane: Off Lane, Mid Lane, and Jungle
The Roamer should work as an attacker and a support, primarily in the hard lane. They often roam around the map providing ganking and preventing enemy heroes from farming regularly, or causing damage that interferes with their health regeneration.
They must also pull jungle creeps, whenever given the opportunity to help maintain lane control for the carry.
Roamers must have a selection of skills as they have to be able to attack and defend well, whilst having less ability to farm than other heroes.
They must pay attention to the map to gain a good sense of the enemy’s strategy and positioning.
Common Roamer Heroes:
Shadow Shaman, Skywrath Mage, Elder Titan, and Rubik.
Position 5: Hard Support/Babysitter
Although last in line, this role should not be underestimated. They form the backbone of the team, by purchasing team-wide consumables and protecting the Carry when he is most vulnerable, in the early stages of the game.
They are often relied upon when other heroes are in trouble or to help execute ganks.
Hard Supports must have the ability to be able to get by with very little items and buy consumables that are of benefit to the whole team.
Common Roamer Heroes:
Earth Shaker, Grimstroke, Rubik, and Warlock
All heroes have a range of strength, agility, and intelligence and they are capable of playing many roles.
By looking at which heroes most frequently play in which positions, you’ll be able to gain a better understanding of which heroes work well-performing together as a unit, which can influence your betting strategy.
What Type of Bets Can I Place on Dota 2?
As Dota 2 has grown in popularity, with more than 10 million people playing worldwide, there has been a natural progression from those who just liked to watch, who now want to bet on their favourite team, just like with regular sports.
The prize pool for The International tournament in 2019 was approximately $30 million, which holds the record for an esports competition, so it’s no surprise that the betting market has grown alongside the game’s rise.
In this section, we’ll explain what types of bets are available in Dota 2, with some examples, so you know exactly what you are looking at when you are ready to place a bet.
The most common type of bet on Dota 2 is betting on the outcome of the match. This is a simple outright bet, where you’re betting on who will win the match.
This is referred to as a moneyline bet by bookmakers and can differ between matches, based on varying factors such as the players’ skill set.
All matches are listed alongside betting odds, so that you are able to see how much a winning wager would pay out if you chose to bet on them.
For example, looking at the below bet slip, team Reality Rift have odds of 1/1 and Team Neon Esports have odds of 7/1.
If Reality Rift claims victory, then you win your bet.
Every game that is played on either a best-of-three or a best-of-five is called a Map.
You can bet on which team you think will win the map. In the example below, we have put £50 on Team Neon Sports to win Map 1, if they do so, then we win the bet.
Map betting is listed as its own unique event as it gives fans the opportunity to use their knowledge of teams to see if it pays off.
Outright bets are available on all of the major championships. This bet is placed on the outcome of an entire league or a championship, as opposed to an individual match or map bet.
Outright bets are often placed before the tournament but can also be placed throughout.
Betting on The International is hugely popular in Dota 2, with teams often succumbing to the pressure and the underdogs with greater odds claiming victory.
Handicap betting in Dota 2 is also very popular and works just the same way as it would for regular sports, such as football.
The handicap simply represents the game score in a ‘best of’ series. For example, Team CR4ZY are playing Team Thunder Predator, you’ve bet on Team CR4ZY with +1.5 handicap bet.
Team Thunder Predator beats Team CR4ZY 2-1 when playing best of three matches.
This means 1.5+1 =2.5 which is greater than the two of Team Thunder Predator, therefore, you win the bet.
If Team CR4ZY had failed to win a single match, meaning the overall score was 0+1.5=1.5, which is less than two, you wouldn’t have won anything.
Betting Specials in Dota 2
Many Dota 2 fans like to bet on specialist markets to test out their knowledge of the teams’ heroes.
This can be things like, which team to score the most kills, map times, the first team to take down a hero, the first team to deliver the first blow to the Ancient etc.
Given how complex Dota 2 and its strategies can be, bettors who take the time to study teams and their techniques can hone in on specific aspects of the game to take advantage of on the betting board.
Best Sites to Bet on Dota 2
Dota 2 has acquired thousands of fans who flock to stadiums to watch the matches live.
This has created a market for bookmakers who put odds on the outcomes of the matches, to make it even more interesting for the audience.
The skill and dedication that the top teams have to form their strategies make for incredible viewing and shows why it is such a popular game.
As you can see in the table, all of the operators have something slightly different to offer in terms of the available games, return to player rates, and welcome bonuses, which I’ll explain further down the page.
If you’ve looked at the bonus conditions for bookmakers, and are ready to begin, click the appropriate Claim Bonus button in the table above.
How to Place a Winning Bet on Dota 2
There are three main things that you should do before betting on a certain team.
Dedicated Dota 2 punters will develop their own strategies as they find what works for them and what doesn’t, but here’s our advice and tips to get you started:
Top 10 Betting Tips on Dota 2
1. Look up the team’s recent match history
Go Su Gamers is a really useful website to check team ranks and match history.
A team’s history may show if they have a change of player roster, have not been doing enough practice, or are adapting to a new patch (a patch is an update to the game, it can fix bugs, add new features, new items, characters etc).
You can also see if the match is important to them or not. They may play more relaxed or test new strategies if the match doesn’t influence their tournament position.
2. Find out if there have been any patch updates recently
The official Dota game blog blog.dota2.com will be able to tell you if there have been any patch updates.
The updates in a patch may favour the play style of teams who don’t win as often, and teams have to learn about the new heroes and strategies.
3. Check for changes to the teams’ rosters and schedules
Dota 2 teams swap players yearly (usually), this means the team have enough time to learn how each individual plays, to build a stronger strategy.
It also means by swapping players they are getting new ideas and experience making their gameplay less predictable. It is also difficult for teams to play multiple series in one day, so see what their schedule is like.
4. Understand the tournament rules
Tournament rules are critical. If teams from different regions compete with each other online, the game server matters a lot.
Split-seconds can determine the result of the match, so you should take them into account.
5. Current Form
Like all of us, esports players are susceptible to loss of confidence, injury, and psychological issues.
Check out recent results and compare them to a team or player’s average, and look out for news of disputes, injuries, or other personal issues that could affect performance.
6. Head to Head Analysis
Better teams will usually beat poorer teams but, occasionally, an apparently better team will struggle against inferior opponents, due to psychological or other factors.
Checking out the head-to-head team and player records will help you spot these opportunities.
7. Team Strategy
Some teams focus on pushing early, others build their team around hard carry heroes, while some adopt a mixed strategy.
If you know your teams and their strategies well, you will be able to weigh up how one strategy is likely to succeed against another.
8. Hero Banning
A key aspect of Dota 2 is hero banning. If one team is particularly reliant on key heroes, assess how they will cope if they lose them.
This means trying to think like their opponents. If you were taking on this team, which heroes would you not want to face?
9. Competitive scene
One of the most important things to know, is which teams are the strongest in the current Meta.
You should always know that Europe and China are the most successful regions but, sometimes, these teams have a really bad season.
10. Global ranking
A good way of finding out how a team is rated is by looking at the global ranking at Gosugamers.
The top 10 teams in this list are highly likely to win their series. However, you should always be looking at this ranking because it is often shifting.
The Dota 2 competitive scene is not particularly stable and there are just a few teams that are always on the top.
A few months can make a huge difference in the performance of a team.
Dota 2 Tournaments
Dota 2 tournaments are watched by millions around the world and this popularity is reflected in huge prize pots, such as the aforementioned $30 million for The International, in 2019.
Here is a full list of Dota 2 tournaments:
- The International
- World Pro Invitational Jakarta
- Omega League: Europe
- ESL Meisterschaft
- Sazka eLEAGUE Summer
- ESL One Germany
- AOC Play
- Mid-autumn League
- Top Clans
- Vita Bona Cup
- OGA Dota PIT
- Law of Inertia League
- LPL Pro
- City Online
- Positive Staff Cup
- Battle of the Cities
- China Pro Cup
- Hari Merdeka & Hari Malaysia
- Red Star Cup
- Asia Challenger League
- Masters Tournament
- Asian Gold Occupation
- Fourier Transform League
- BTS Pro Series
Best Dota 2 Teams
Just like any other sport, esports teams and players are afforded world rankings, based on how well they perform in the above tournaments.
The current top ten best Dota 2 teams in the world, according to GoSu Gamers are as follows:
- Team Secret (Europe)
- LGD (China)
- Quincy Crew (USA)
- LBZS (China)
- Alliance (Sweden)
- EHOME (China)
- Vici Gaming (China)
- Nigma (Europe)
- CDEC Gaming (China)
- OG (Europe)
History of Dota 2
As you might expect of a game called Dota 2, it is a sequel.
In this case to Defense of the Ancients (DotA), albeit one which was a community created game for Blizzard Entertainment’s Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, and its extension pack, The Frozen Throne, way back in 2003.
Like the original, Dota 2 is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) video game. It was developed and published by Valve, and released in 2013.
However, development began back in 2009 when Valve hired Ice-Frog, the lead designer of Dota to create a newer, souped-up version of the game.
In 2011, the game was released for beta testing in Windows only, before being released for Microsoft Windows, OS X, and Linux-based PCs via Steam in July 2013.
Dota 2 was well-received, with fans praising its improvements in gameplay and production quality, as well as appreciating that it stayed faithful to its predecessor in terms of style and story.
Many still consider Dota 2 to be among the greatest video games of all time, and it continues to attract sponsorship and merchandising opportunities. Valve has even released two spin-offs, Artifact, and Dota Underlords, and the international esports scene, specific to Dota 2, is hugely profitable.