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Dota 2 is a top tier game with some of the largest tournament prizepools in esports history. The game’s popularity in the esports betting community is global, and spectator numbers reach well into the millions for majors such as “The International”. Such a popular esport has attracted the attention of some of the largest bookmakers in the market, and so your choice of markets for betting on Dota 2 is vast.

Dota 2 matches have some of the fastest gameplay in esports. Pair that with some intense clutches and world-class shoutcasting, there’s few games that are as exciting to bet on as Dota 2. A number of sportsbooks also offer in-play betting as well as some big sign up bonuses for new depositors.

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How to bet on Dota 2

A game of DotA 2 is usually decided over the course of anywhere between 20 and 70 minutes. During this time, the heroes controlled by each player grow in power, through a combination of gaining experience points (leading to higher levels) and gold (leading to more powerful items). On any given team, some players must focus on “farming” the most powerful items in the game, while others focus on more strategic affairs and supportive roles. This contrast of “carry” (the player whose hero aims to become the most powerful) and “support” (the player who gives up most of his in-game power progression in order to help the team as a whole) underlies the entirety of DotA 2’s gameplay, and results in an esport with an incredibly unusual – but especially gripping way to bet.

The Map

The Map image

A game of DotA 2 is always played on the same map, which is often a surprise to new players (“Doesn’t that get old, fast?”) until they discover the infinite depth – both broad and subtle – in its design. In essence, the map consists of three “lanes” (called such due to the AI-controlled minions that endlessly path down them), leading from one base in the bottom left (referred to as the Radiant base), to the other in the top right (the Dire base). In each base lies the titular Ancient which, you may have guessed, must be Defended.

From the start of the game until the very end, the AI-controlled minions (referred to as “creeps”) will regularly spawn – for both sides – and march gormlessly down the lanes. Without any player intervention, these creeps will meet in the middle of each lane and effectively wipe each other out. However, all it takes is a player to give one lane a bit of a nudge in order to break this equilibrium, and have the surviving creeps surge ahead to victory.

Dota 2 Buildings

Dota 2 Buildings image

However, along the way are a number of towers: sturdy structures that dish out solid damage. These control, to some extent, the pace of the game: A team must destroy the outermost tower of a lane in order to be able to damage the next, but without the assistance of players, creeps will only chip away at them whilst dying in droves. In other words, a player can clear enemy creeps to allow their own to push ahead, but how far ahead they push is essentially limited by how many towers still stand.

Beyond the towers, each lane has a barracks, where that lane’s creeps spawn for the respective team. Destroying these buildings is one of the most reliable win conditions, as doing so provides your team with extra-strong creeps on that lane, leading to constant, passive pressure on the enemy base. Destroy all three enemy barracks, and your team gets “mega-creeps”, extremely deadly creeps that usually requires the attention of the entire enemy team to defend against. Very rarely does a team win after losing all three of their barracks!

Roshan

Roshan image

Near the middle of the map, Roshan waits in his pit (the “Rosh Pit”). This powerful boss requires serious commitment to kill, but as a reward drops the Aegis of the Immortal, a time-limited item that essentially gives a player a second life.

After being slain, it takes Roshan anywhere between 8 and 11 minutes to respawn, meaning players can never know exactly when he might reappear in his cave. From his 3rd death, he also drops the Cheese, which can be consumed to instantly restore large amounts of health and mana.

Many a bloodbath takes place around this pit – especially later in the game – as teams desperately try to secure these game-winning items.

Map Vision

Map Vision image

Knowledge is power. The game uses a fog of war system, which means a team can only see what’s going on in areas where they have vision. The heroes each player controls provide vision, friendly creeps and towers provide vision, and – importantly – placeable observer wards provide vision. These wards only last for 6 minutes, and can potentially be detected and removed by the enemy team, but are essential to winning the game. Shrewd placement of wards will give you more information on what the enemy is up to, which in turn allows you to choose the best play in response, and always be one step ahead.

Runes

Runes image

A river runs through the middle of the map, from top left to bottom right, and traversing it makes you particularly vulnerable due to having limited vision and few escape routes. However, this risk comes with a reward: Every 2 minutes, potentially game-changing runes spawn at either end of the river. These range from being small but welcome boosts to gold and experience, to empowering buffs like double damage or haste that can enable quick and easy kills that would otherwise not have happened.