Nowadays it is very hard to find a gamer who has never heard of Dota 2. The popularity of the masterpiece developed by Valve Corporation is indisputable. Dota 2 refers to the MOBA genre, which stands for the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena. We will not exaggerate if we say that Dota 2 is one of the leading disciplines in the esports. Thereby, many players are getting interested in Dota 2 betting.

Dota 2 definitely made MOBA famous, though players still debate about the roots of this game genre. Nonetheless, we believe that the origins of MOBA go back to the modification created for Warcraft 3 RTS (Real-time strategy) game developed by the company named Blizzard Entertainment. This mod was the map called Defense of the Ancients (DotA). It is important to admit that Blizzard did not make any contribution to DotA. The mod owes its existence to the person with nickname Icefrog, who has used the Warcraft 3 map tools. An interesting fact is that Icefrog was later on employed by Valve, where he participated in the development of Dota 2. Now Icefrog is professionally focused on Dota 2 on the position of the lead designer and it is a frequent guest at major Dota 2 tournaments.


Multiplayer Online Battle Arena game like Dota 2 is a synthesis of real-time strategy and role-playing game, also known as RPG. So how to play Dota 2?

Well, every Dota 2 match involves two teams and each of them consists of 5 players. According to Dota 2 lore, teams are separated into the Radiant and the Dire. Both sides of the conflict have their specific location on the map. Both Radiant and Dire teams have bases, which send the troops all the time during the match. These combat units, called “creeps”, are not managed by the player – they are automatically generated and controlled by AI. The creeps move along three paths on the map, which connect Dire and Radiant bases. These paths have the special names: the bottom lane, the middle and the top lane. The foremost task of the creeps is to attack enemy players and damage the towers that belong to the opposing team. The towers are equally distributed along each line, with 3 towers on the bottom/top and 5 on the middle line. Additionally, at the end of each lane there are 2 barracks, for melee and ranged creeps. By putting down two barracks on one lane, the friendly creeps here will become stronger. Once all enemy barracks are destroyed, friendly “megacreeps” with enhanced stats appear. At this stage, it becomes very difficult for the opposing team to defend their base.

The position of the bases and towers is fixed in every Dota 2 match. The key condition to finish the Dota 2 match is to destroy the main building of the enemy, known in the game as the Ancient. The first team that does it – wins.

Before each match, the players pick one character from the pool of 112 heroes, although the availability of all heroes depends on the selected gaming mode. Anyway, each hero has four unique abilities. The 4th ability indicates the special skill called “ultimate” or “ulti”.

Heroes controlled by the players are gaining levels (25 in total) in the course of the match. Each level provides the possibility to boost the character by learning new abilities or increase the hero stats. Hero experience, commonly known as XP, is gained by killing creeps and enemy players – so-called “last hitting”. For last hitting, the player is granted money that can be used for purchasing items for the hero. These items can enhance the stats or provide the hero with extra abilities. The items are usually bought in accordance with the hero role. The hero classes are one of the most important factors in Dota 2 betting. Therefore, let’s discuss them further.

Betting Dota 2: Key Hero Roles

There are 9 main roles for 112 heroes in Dota 2.

  1. Carries This class characterizes the heroes which are weak at the early stage of the game, but will become the mightiest once they get the maximum level and all the necessary items. Eventually these heroes “carry” their team to the victory.
  2. Supports These characters are not killing machines. Instead, they use all resources to help other teammates with special items, healing spells and so on.
  3. Lane supports Unlike supports in a pure sense, lane supports team up with the carry on one of the lines. They help the carry in last hitting and in killing enemy players at the early stage of the match.
  4. Initiators Such heroes possess the skills needed to start or “initiate” the fight with the enemy team.
  5. Nukers Nuker describes the hero, which can deal a lot of damage with the spells in a very short period of time. Nukers are particularly strong at the beginning of the match, but then yield the palm to carries.
  6. Pushers As the name suggests, the task of pushers is to attack the enemy towers and the base (if possible). By destroying enemy towers, pushers provide the control over the map to their teams.
  7. Disablers These heroes have the abilities which allow them to prevent the enemy from undertaking any actions for the particular time, usually for a couple of seconds.
  8. Durables In MMORPG games and other MOBAs they are frequently called “tanks”, since these heroes possess a massive number of health points (HP). Therefore, durables can undergo a lot of damage done by the enemy heroes.
  9. Escapes This is the last hero role in Dota 2. Such characters have the ability to quickly jump into the fight or disengage from it when it is necessary.

Despite that heroes are classified, this role distribution is not strict in Dota 2. In fact, there are many mixed classes such as semi-carries, semi-supports, hard carries, roamers and others. Most often, the hero can combine no more than two roles simultaneously, e.g. carry/escape, support/durable. On a side note, there is no hero that can effectively play every role in Dota 2.

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Dota 2 events are highly anticipated in the esports industry, attracting millions of viewers. Not surprisingly, since pro teams in Dota 2 tournaments complete for the enormous prizes, perhaps the biggest in esports right now. Although Twitch is transmitting all the Dota 2 events, every player is able to watch each exciting match in spectator mode directly within the game client. Most importantly, there is always a chance to get an exclusive reward for watching the esports event within Dota 2 client.

So what is the hype about Dota 2 tournaments and everyone is talking about Dota 2 bet, you may ask. Well, every summer Valve holds the event called the International (TI). Just to help you see the scale of the championship, the prize pool for the International 2016 reached $20,770,460. Wings Gaming, the winner of TI6, got more than $9,000,000 for getting the first place. This is why more and more people are getting interested in betting Dota 2.

Considering all this, there is a legitimate question, how such prize pool is created. You will unlikely see such tournament prize pool anywhere else, so what is the secret. Although the initial prize pool for the International starts at $1,600,000, Valve sells special in-game content called Compendium before each TI in order to reach such a figure. Compendiums are designed to reward the player with new hero items, map appearance modifications and so on. However, Compendium never brings any changes to the actual game balance, only cosmetic effects. The gamer can buy a standard version of Compendium or the advanced one – 50th level. So yes, new in-game content is unlocked at each consecutive level of Compendium. To upgrade it, players virtually bet on Dota 2 matches, complete the special Compendium tasks and other things. There is also a lazy way to enhance Compendium experience – simply by purchasing the “points” that improve the Compendium level.

Once the Compendium is released, Valve creates the special price target plan. Once the sales of Compendiums achieve the price goal, Valve releases bonus content for all owners of Compendium regardless of the level. The most significant part is that the 25% of revenues generated by Compendium sales go to the prize pool of the International. The International is not the only Dota 2 tournament that represents interest both to spectators and bettors. Other events include Dota 2 Majors that take place in different parts of the world, as the International is only held in the USA, Seattle. If betting on Dota 2 looks exciting for you, then keep up with all the esports events using Liquipedia.


The history of Dota began from the amateur mod for Warcraft III and has grown to one of the thriving titles in esports industry. Frankly speaking, we can praise Valve for having an incentive to build the reputation of the mod map and develop a standalone product. Now Valve is one of the leading hosts of esports events, but what is behind such tremendous success?

First of all, Dota 2 is launched via Steam that is undoubtedly the most popular game platform. This offers a considerable advantage to PC players. The fact that Valve has applied the free-to-play model to Dota 2 is the icing on the cake. This means that Dota 2 has an unlimited functionality for every user, since there are no donate systems for the heroes or hero items. In this context, many gamers prefer Dota 2 over its main rival – League of Legends, which makes you pay to unlock the full hero roster.

Another advantage is that the mechanics of the original Dota did not change with an advent of its successor. On the contrary, the game became even more balanced with the rigorous guidance of Icefrog and Valve in general. In addition, starting out at Dota 2 may seem difficult at the early stages, especially for gamers that are not familiar with the real-time strategy game genre. Nonetheless, the game has many tutorials with the practice mode and so on.

Like we have said above, Dota 2 demonstrates a high degree of integration with esports by introducing the spectator mode within the game itself. Hence, players can both play Dota 2 and track their beloved professional teams in the real time.

Last but not the least significant aspect of the game’s success is the availability of Dota 2 gambling on the matches by using in-game items.


There are hundreds of professional Dota 2 bookmakers that offer multiple ways of wagering on Dota 2 esports matches. Most popular of them involve real cash, virtual money and in-game property.

Let’s focus on the first option. If you had any previous experience in online betting, maybe on golf, soccer, basketball, then betting esports like Dota 2 will not be much different for you. There are many decent esportsbooks that offer great esports betting coverage. Players can make a great variety of bets, e.g. predicting the winner of the tournament, evaluate the chances of the pro team to take the particular place and many others kinds of bets. It is not difficult to find Dota 2 best betting sites. Our personal recommendations would be Pinnacle, Betway, Bet365 and Unikrn.

On the other hand, there is the possibility to bet with virtual cash thus eliminating any risks for the bettor. Usually, the play betting is offered at the same websites as the real one. Betting with virtual cash allows the inexperienced players test and improve their skills or just get to know the esports wagering business. Sometimes it can be forced, where online betting is considered an illicit activity like in the USA or South Korea.

The opportunities for bettors do not end here, of course. We might also mention fantasy esports betting, which is particularly popular among Dota 2 players. The market leader in Dota 2 fantasy betting is the website under name Vulcun. As the matter of fact, there are almost no distinctions between fantasy leagues for traditional sports and esports fantasy betting. Thus, the bettor makes up the fantasy lineup that consists of the players from the pro scene. Choose wisely, because the success in fantasy esports strongly depends on the performance of each member of the fantasy team. In Dota 2 fantasy betting, the parameters for assessing the fantasy team are usually the stats like kills, deaths and assists, gold per minute etc.

In-Game items for betting on Dota 2

Placing wagers using in-game content is a completely new page in the history of online betting. In Dota 2 it is possible to use cosmetic items in betting on the real matches of this esports title. So, to make such betting happen it is required to use Steam and connect the profile to the third-party website, e.g. Dota 2 Lounge. Do not get it wrong, Valve is not involved in gambling activities nor it works as an affiliate for them. In fact, Steam allows the player to provide the profile URL to the third parties whenever they deem necessary. Why in-game items are eligible to be used for esports betting? Simply because they have value in the monetary terms. In the Steam marketplace, the user can track the price and demand for the particular item utilizing inbuilt charts.

Technically, Dota 2 items are all different in value and key determinant for it is the “rarity” factor. Items in Dota 2 are distinguished in the following way: Common, Uncommon, Rare, Mythical, Legendary, Immortal and Arcana. Thus, before placing the skin bet, the player considers the current price and rarity of his items to determine which items he will get in case of the winning. The player then sends the items to the specified website trading account with the help of Steam. Afterward, the bettor collects the well-deserved rewards in the form items or is left with nothing if he is unlucky.

Not all people that place Dota 2 bets are playing the actual game, but this experience could be crucial. It is important to know where to sell the items for cash in order to transfer the money to the bank account or anywhere else. Finding the credible website for this operation can be slightly complicated. Of course, the player can always sell the expensive Dota 2 items on the Steam Marketplace, but this money is not transferrable. In other words, all the funds that you get for selling the item on the marketplace can only be spent the Steam products.

There are numerous sites that agree to trade items for cash, although it is hard to gauge how credible they are. Most popular websites for buying or selling items are Dota Market and Dota 2 Shop. The warning sign here, however, is that these sites do not possess any license or regulation which will confirm the safety and legality of all transactions. Therefore, we leave such sites onto your own judgment.


Just like in any other online sports betting, you cannot go far if you do not understand the market. In the case of esports and Dota 2 in particular, the player has to know the pro scene very well and be an expert in all the niceties of the game. All this knowledge can be accumulated empirically, namely by watching over the championships such as the International, studying the stats of the pro players etc. Moreover, all Dota 2 matches are transmitted with the live commentators on the air. Usually, these are trained esports analysts and they can bring you up to date in terms of the Dota 2 pro scene.

Before the main event for the major Dota 2 tournament starts, there are special qualifier matches and “wild cards”. It is good to see them in order to get the basic idea about the potential performance of the team at the later stages of the competition. There are many websites that provide detailed stats on the majority of esports matches. However, we highly recommend you to look all such info including Dota 2 betting tips in Liquipedia.

We have previously mentioned some parameters included in the Dota 2 statistics, although it is vital to show the full list of stats: 1) Kills (K); 2) Deaths (D); 3) Assists; 4) Gold Per Minute; 5) Experience Per Minute (XPM); 6) Last Hits (LH).

Every Dota 2 player has its own predefined role, especially in the esports. For this reason, the pro player will select only those heroes which are suitable for his role in the team. Thus, on the basis of the hero class, the stats may differ from one player to another. Just to provide an example, the player on the carry role will usually have higher rates for LH and GPM than the other teammates like supports or nukers.


Dota 2 is already widely known to the public, though for the esports betting business everything only begins. Esports betting remains the dark horse for most of the online betting companies. For this reason, many people continue asking where to bet on Dota 2 and whether it is legal. Nonetheless, you still can find great esports betting websites, even among well-established sportsbooks that started to employ esports as another betting option.