Without a doubt, DOTA 2 is one of the most popular esports titles in the world with its humongous player base, unique gameplay and year-on-year record-breaking competition in the form of The International. It’s a notoriously challenging game to get into, but one that’s also very rewarding once you figure out its intricacies. This makes it one of the most worthwhile esports betting endeavors in the scene. We’ve put together a short rundown of the basics of the game alongside some useful tips on DOTA 2 betting as well so that you can gain an edge on the competition.

The basics of DOTA 2

DOTA 2 is a free-to-play MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) developed by Valve. Like other games in the genre, the players are divided into two teams of five players – Radiant and Dire –  on an intricate, symmetrical battlefield. Both sides start with their main base of operations in one corner of the map, which are connected by three different lanes. The lanes are separated by a river in the middle of the map and forests (the “jungle”) between each of them.

Each team has three towers per lane and two barracks on the map, fortifications which you’ll eventually have to battle your way through to make it to the other side. As the game progresses, the XP and gold amassed by killing the creeps (the weak AI units spawned by the barracks) and the enemy heroes will allow you to become stronger and to purchase valuable equipment, and this edge will eventually mean that one of the teams will push into the enemy base and destroy their main structure.

This is further complicated by a huge pool of items and heroes – with over 115 heroes allowing for basically limitless 5-team lineup combinations. This complexity is, of course, part of the reason behind the game’s appeal and longevity, allowing for huge gameplay and strategic depth.

DOTA 2 betting tips

Make sure you’ve done your homework – There’s no getting around this: DOTA is a complicated game, and if you want to find an edge on the bookies, you need to make sure that you have a good understanding of the title. No DOTA 2 prediction tips will help you out in the long run if you don’t know how the game works. Games like FIFA or NBA 2K are easy to figure out at a first glance – DOTA really rewards those who research the metagame properly, both as a player and a bettor.

When was the last patch? – Games like DOTA 2 regularly get updated in smaller or larger ways, both to keep things balanced and fresh. This means that the competitive environment never remains the same. Players who specialized on a certain hero type may shine or fall depending on stat modifications, and large enough changes may mean that everyone’s going into an event unsure of what strategy to pursue. If you’re not sure about a patch’s impact, dig into social media! You can be sure that the pundits and the players will let everyone know about their feelings on the matter, especially if they feel like they’ve lost an edge at the hands of the developers before a crucial tournament!

Everything revolves around The International – Of all the DOTA 2 betting tips and tricks, this could be the most crucial one. The eye-popping prize pools of TI come at a price – quite literally, and it’s that everyone is gunning for a spot at those events, often at the cost of everything else. If an event is not part of the DOTA Pro Circuit – the tournaments which grant you points which help you towards qualifying for The International –, expect the quality of teams in attendance to suffer. Similarly, even if the DPC events, a team that’s already assured of qualification may very well take their foot of the gas, while you can be sure that those who are fighting for their last chance for a spot are going to give it their all. Savvy bettors also pay attention to how much the different players have played before an event – if they were jamming PUBG for hundreds of hours, chances are, they won’t be performing to the best of their abilities.

Roster moves are somewhat punished by the current circuit rules: though the teams are allowed to change players, they lose a portion of their previously accumulated DPC points in the process. This means that they tend to treat this as a last resort. Figuring out whether a team’s bogged down with in-fighting or if there are rumors of a roster change can also provide you with a betting edge in DOTA 2.

Now that you’ve learned the basics, why not give DOTA 2 betting a try with Rivalry? Sign up with us and test the waters – we’ll refund your stake if your first bet doesn’t go as planned!