In the world of esports, there are three major games: Dota 2, League of Legends and CS:GO and of those, Dota 2 can claim to be the most popular.
The biggest tournament in Dota 2 is also the biggest esports tournament of all: The International, and regularly offers prize funds of more than $20 million. Not surprisingly, this means that there is huge interest in the sport, from fans, sponsors and esports bettors.
Online sportsbooks have also responded to the demand for more Dota 2 content by providing a growing variety of markets for the sport. If you check out one of the main analytical betting services such as Match Center, which offers betting advice and info on the best bookmakers in multiple languages, including English, Spanish, Serbian, Romanian and Bulgarian, you will see just how popular Dota 2 betting has become.
There is a lot of Dota 2 betting available out there, but much of it assumes that all Dota 2 bettors are the same, with similar bankrolls and risk aversion. In reality, this is not the case, and that’s why it is important to adjust your Dota 2 betting to your betting style. Here are two options to consider.
Value is Everything
As with all betting, the key to betting on Dota 2 is to look for value. Value simply means that the odds available are bigger than they should be. Finding value takes time and experience to master but it is the only way to succeed in the long term.
Too many bettors fall into the trap of thinking that betting on short-priced selections is automatically a safe route to profit or that betting on the longshots is the only way to go. In fact, it is possible to find value at short odds and at long odds. Which range you choose to focus on will depend on your risk aversion, but both can be profitable, as long as you focus on finding value, and take time to check out all the various prices from different bookmakers, to find the best for each bet.
Betting at Short Odds
Always betting on the favourite will bring you more winners, but it will not guarantee you a profit. As mentioned above, value is the key, whatever end of the market you are betting on.
Some Dota 2 bettors, however, are more comfortable with looking for value among the favourites. It isn’t that this approach is ‘safer’ or more profitable than focusing on the bigger odds, but it does inevitably produce more winners and winners always give the bettor a psychological boost. It also means that losing runs caused by randomness are shorter than with long odds bets.
When you’re betting at short odds, you are getting a lower reward for your bet, so you need to avoid situations where there is likely to be additional uncertainty, for example:
- The first match of a tournament
- Matches with new or much changed teams
- Betting too early on a tournament
This type of betting requires you to have an in-depth knowledge of the teams and players involved, and reasonable assurance that there is minimum room for unpredictability.
Betting at Long Odds
When you’re betting at longer odds, while you are also looking for value, your approach can differ from the short odds Dota 2 bettor. In this situation, you are searching for the unpredictable, the factor that can overturn expectations and market predictions. Matches between two in-form, well established and consistent teams will not usually be suitable for this type of betting. Instead, you are looking for different, more unpredictable situations:
- Best-of-one matches
- Teams with new players
- Smaller tournaments
Remember, when you’re betting at longer odds, you are looking for situations that can be unpredictable, in which bookmakers have a harder time getting their odds correct. This kind of betting requires patience, and a certain degree of psychological strength as you will be wrong more often than you’re right, and there can be significant losing runs.
Essential Dota 2 Betting Tips
Whether you bet at long odds or short odds, there are some key factors that you have to consider before you risk any real money on a bet.
- Know the players, their strengths, their weaknesses, their consistency
- Know the teams, which tournaments they focus on
- Understand the ins and outs of the game
- Stay up to date with all relevant Dota 2 news
- Try to watch as much Dota 2 action as you can
- Never bet with money that you cannot afford to lose
- Set strict limits on your Dota 2 betting
- Only bet at regulated, licensed esports betting sites
Making a profit when you’re betting on Dota 2 is extremely hard, but whether you are betting at long odds or short odds, the key is to find value betting opportunities, where the odds are wrong in your favour, and to do your homework before you bet.