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Betting on eSports explained | Dafa Esports

In the thrilling world of esports, Dota 2 is one of the most popular games. While watching Dota 2 brings plenty of excitement, spicing it up with a bet or two will increase your enjoyment even more.

If you are a beginner or an advanced bettor, the following tips should provide a good reference point for your betting strategy and will help you to improve it. In order to be a successful bettor on esports, and Dota 2 in particular, there are a number of factors to consider.

Keep up-to-date with the latest info

Always be informed and follow news about the teams and individuals you are going to bet on. In general, increase your knowledge of the game. Watching games casted by professional casters is a good way to boost your overall knowledge. Social media such as Twitter is another great source of information as most players, team managers and organizations update their profiles regularly with the latest developments. Indeed, Twitter is often the first medium to break such news and could give you a competitive advantage over the bookmaker. Knowing information such as a player being unable to play can be crucial when deciding where the value bet lies.

Team Research

There are several things that you should consider here. Firstly, the recent performance of a team is important as an outfit with a stable winning record is always a relatively safe choice (e.g. Team Liquid currently). However, the odds for the win here are likely to be of poorer value.

Another thing to consider is the team’s play style as sometimes an underdog with a particular play style can overthrow a favourite thanks to having a style of play that can reap dividends against their opponent’s strategy (e.g. early aggression teams vs late game teams).

Although Dota 2 rosters shuffle a lot and head-to-head records between two teams facing each other with unchanged rosters are rare, the transfer periods and lock-ins made by Valve will add credibility to these statistics in the future. For now, it can be useful to have a look at previous meetings between two teams, although this should only be used as supplementary evidence rather than decisive information regarding your betting choices.


Odds are one of the most important things to consider in all betting scenarios. The odds reflect the likelihood of a team to win so the stronger the team, the higher the likelihood that they will win and thus the shorter the odds. In the same manner, a team that are considered outsiders will have a lower chance of winning and this will be reflected in higher odds. In accordance with that, you might want to go for a “safe bet” which would be to bet on the favourites. However, if you think the underdog will cause an upset, you might want to bet on them to maximize your profit.

Match Format

Dota 2 employs several different match formats, specifically best-of-one, best-of-two, best-of-three and best-of-five games. Each of these formats may impact your betting decisions.

Best-of-one (BO1) is often used in Losers’ Brackets as well as early play-off stages to determine the winner. This format is quite unpredictable as it is just one game. It is advisable to bet on these only when a strong favourite plays against a poorly performing team. An example of a low risk bet in BO1 right now would be Team Liquid vs Mineski.

Best-of-two (BO2) is most often used in group stages (both round-robin and direct elimination). It is usually advisable to bet on the favourites in a BO2 format because they often win at least one game. However, the BO2 format also provides the option of a draw, which lowers the chance of a team winning, but can give value. This is in contrast to the other formats, in which a team can only win or lose overall. A good example of a BO2 bet would involve a match between MVP and Team Empire as although MVP are considered the stronger team, Team Empire are more than capable of winning a game against the Koreans. The draw here may not be a bad bet.

Best-of-three (BO3) is probably the most popular format used to decide the outcome of a Dota 2 match. In this format, a team has room for one misstep as they can always force a comeback. This makes the team’s overall skill level and form very important factors, thus making this type of bet safer. In this scenario, the stronger team is still expected to win.

Best-of-five (BO5) is a format that is only usually seen in Grand Finals. A team’s skill level and form are of similar importance to a BO3 encounter, but the higher number of games gives the edge to more flexible teams who analyze their opponents then adapt to the play style of the other team in an attempt to counter it. Teams which have a history of dealing with the pressure of Grand Finals are also favoured.

Roster Changes

With the recent roster locks imposed by Valve, this is a much easier process to follow. It is an important part of Dota 2 because roster changes happen quite often and to be on the top of your game, you need to have the latest information. Generally, betting on teams that have made many changes or who have created an entirely new roster is not a safe way to go even if the changes seem solid on paper (e.g. Team Secret’s current roster). Teamwork and communication are both important in Dota 2 and these are great unknowns in reformed rosters.

Internet Issues

Most of the Premier Dota 2 tournaments are played offline, which eliminates Internet connection as a factor, but if you bet on matches being played online, you might want to inquire whether one of the teams has a higher ping or if any other Internet issues could impact a team’s performance.

New Patch Release

Recently, Valve have started to release patches more frequently in order to balance the game and the usage of heroes. Every patch increases the strength for some heroes and lowers it for others. This impacts their usage, which in turn changes the meta game. Teams who favour a lower hero pool with strong hero preferences (e.g. Alliance) will be more affected by the changes in each patch. Generally, it takes a bit of time for teams to figure out the best hero combinations in a new patch. Consequently, if a team looked strong in the old patch, there is no guarantee they will be strong in the new one. Aim to back teams with a wide selection of heroes, particularly if they are playing in a new patch.

Type of Competition

Whether it is qualifiers, a LAN or The International, the motivation of each team will be different depending on the nature of the event. With more and more tournaments these days, top tier Dota 2 teams play a lot of games (sometimes a couple of games a day for different competitions) and the tiredness of the players should also be considered.

Ongoing leagues, such as DreamLeague, that require games to be played on a periodic basis (e.g. every week) can be of greater incentive to lower tier sides who have fewer chances to win more lucrative prizes than bigger teams.

Play It Cool

As much as it is tempting to bet on your favourite team and see them win, it is advisable not to make bets based on emotional attachment. This is because it is a risky strategy that impairs your judgement and is rarely successful.


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