Put simply, esports is shorthand for “electronic sports” and was a term coined sometime in the late naughties that refers to the concept of competitive video gaming, usually online but also in real life (or “IRL” as the online community might say).
Although the term “esports” is still relatively young, the concept has technically been around since the dawn of 2 player video games, with 3 generations of gamers now having experienced the excitement of playing against each other from the comfort of a living room sofa. When multiplayer gaming went online in the naughties, it literally exploded as groups and teams of gamers from all over the world could now play against each other.
This subsequently meant that competitive video gaming grew from being viewed solely as a hobby to a professional vocation for some, and thus the modern concept of esports as we now know it was born. There are currently over a billion estimated online gamers who play either casually or professionally.
The term esports is more commonly associated with professional gamers and teams who can earn prize funds worth millions of dollars for winning a single league or tournament. Far from being limited to confines of the desk in players’ respective bedrooms (as outsiders might imagine), many esports competitions are ticketed, mass attended events held in famous indoor venues such as the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York and the SSE Arena in Wembley, London.
Dota 2 is among the most popular esports around today, hence the growing popularity of Dota 2 betting sites.
As esports grew to reach audiences of millions and millionaire esports gamers were made, it was only a matter of time before the gambling industry started paying attention and jumping on the bandwagon.
With esports betting, you can back established professional players in leagues, tournaments and one-off matches. As well as Dota 2 betting sites, games such as Counter Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends and FIFA are all hugely popular with gamers and bettors alike.
As well as being able to bet on professional players in tournaments, some esports gambling websites even allow their account holders to be both players and gamblers at the same time. An example of such a site is Unikrn, where players can enter tournaments and bet on themselves.
Esports betting popularity is such that you don’t have to go to a dedicated esports gambling website to do it. The majority of established online bookmakers have taken notice of esports’ rising popularity in recent years and have started to offer a range of esports betting markets. In fact traditional online sportsbooks such as Bet365 and Unibet actually make our list of top Dota 2 betting sites!
Game, Size of Community, Players, Tournaments & Prizes
In this particular review we’re focussing upon Dota 2 betting sites, so it’s only natural that we’ll need to find out a little more about the game itself first. In this section, we’ll take a look at the history of Dota 2 and the franchise in general, the tournaments and notable famous players.
Dota 2 is perhaps the biggest computer game in the world, and accordingly, Dota 2 betting sites are the most sought after in the esports gambling world. Dota 2 has millions of fans and players who flock to the game each year and to date is responsible for making the most millionaire professional gamers!
Dota 2: The Game Itself
As you might have guessed by the ‘2’ element of the name, Dota 2 is the second in the franchise and is a product of Valve, the same company that created the massively popular esports game Counter Strike: Global Offensive, otherwise known as CSGO. Alongside Dota 2 betting sites, CSGO is among the most popular esports betting games.
Dota 2 is a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena game (MOBA) that’s played on a map by 2 teams consisting of 5 players each. Rather than being a kill-as-many-as-you-can free for all, the object of each team in Dota 2 is to destroy the base of the opposing team. The base is known as the Ancient and is heavily fortified and protected by a great number of defences. The characters chosen by players are known as heroes in keeping with the game’s fantasy world theme.
As well as the basic, destroy the base object of the game, players also have numerous other obstacles and objectives placed in front of them. As well as opposition players, there are other mythical creatures to destroy along the way. Killing these creatures can earn players gold, which can be traded in the shop in exchange for upgraded weapons and defensive tools.
Part of what makes Dota 2 betting sites so popular is that the game is fast-paced in nature but also requires tactics and skill – making it akin to popular team sports such as football, basketball and hockey in some ways. This has helped make Dota 2 betting sites appeal to traditional sports bettors who’re looking for something new as well as gamers who are looking to make their esports viewing experience a little bit more exciting.
Dota 2 in numbers
Dota 2 was launched in 2013 and rose rapidly to become one of the most popular esp[orts games to date, to the point that there are dedicated Dota 2 betting sites.
Dota 2’s flagship competition has a colossal prize fund of around $27 million, which is part of the reason that it’s the game to have turned most casual gamers into professionals. Dota 2 is also the game to have made the most professional esports gaming millionaires with 68 gamers having made millions from the game as of 2020.
Popular CSGO competitions
The biggest event of the year on the Dota 2 betting sites calendar is undoubtedly the International, where 18 of the best teams in the world compete for a whopping $27 million prize fund! The final of the International has been staged in major cities all over the world, including Cologne, Shanghai, and Seattle with the 2020 International being streamed online due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Teams from across the world can qualify for the international by entering tournaments staged in the Dota Pro Circuit, which is a Valve sponsored online tournament series that takes place online and is extremely popular with bettors due to the abundance of games.
Other smaller, but ever-popular competitions for players and Dota 2 betting sites include the Movistar Liga Pro, One Esports SEA League and BEYOND Epic, with prize funds of up to $250,000 – a mere drop in the ocean compared with the eye-watering prize fund of the International.
Notable CSGO players
Of the top 100 list of highest overall earning professional gamers, the top 39 all made 95-100% of their earnings playing Dota 2. Knowing your top players, plus their starts, strengths, and weaknesses is essential before you start wagering money in Dota 2 betting sites. As well as players gaining fame and notoriety, the teams that play also grow to become famous and can even become branded, in a similar way to sporting clubs.
The world number 1 Dota 2 player at the time of writing is N0tail (real name Johan Sundstein), who has won back to back Internationals as well as 4 other major tournaments, making him the highest-earning professional gamer in the world, having accrued nearly $7 million in prize money by the age of 26. He is a member of the team OG and his teammates, with whom he won back to back internationals, include ana (real name Anathan Pham) from Australia and JerAx (real name Jesse Vainikka) from Finland.
Let’s now take a look at the best esport betting sites and, more specifically, the best Dota 2 betting sites. Our favourite dedicated esports betting sites include Loot Bet, GG Bet, and Unikrn among others. All of these platforms’ sole focus is esports betting and accepting cryptocurrency payments. Although they’re also great places to bet on other titles such as League of Legends and CSGO, Loot Bet, GG Bet, and Unikrn all make our list of top Dota 2 betting sites.
If we had to choose a favourite from these 3, it would be Unikrn, thanks to its innovative and technologically cutting edge platform and tools. As well as accepting payment in 12 cryptocurrencies plus 4 fiat currencies, Unikrn’s main attraction for us is their UMode, which allows users to play games and bet on themselves – a truly exciting experience.
The best Dota 2 betting sites don’t necessarily have to be gambling platforms that are solely dedicated to esports. Nitrogen is a bitcoin sportsbook and casino that offers an impressive range of sports betting markets, with an esport betting platform to rival that of any dedicated esports betting site.
Even more traditional online sportsbooks such as Paddy Power, Bet 365 and Unibet have excellent esports betting markets and make our list of top Dota 2 betting sites. Unibet is particularly good for betting on Dota 2 as they offer a betting guide to the game that also explains how the game is played alongside popular strategies.
Bet Secure & Fair on These Games
If there’s one thing that puts people off of betting on esports, it’s their reservations about the safety and legitimacy of esports betting. As it’s a fairly new concept, it’s understandable that people have these reservations but it needn’t be the case.
As long as you bet on esports through a legit and licensed online bookmaker with a good track record and reputation then it’s as safe as betting on any other form of sport or playing in an online casino. The fact that many established online bookmakers also offer esports should give you some peace of mind and even some of the more modern, largely crypto-based esports betting sites are also regulated. For example Unikrn is licensed by the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission. All of the Dota 2 betting sites we’ve recommended thus far are safe and legit.
Playing esports and betting on them is already hugely popular, to the point it’s worth an estimated $3 billion dollars at the time of writing. However, it’s still in its relative infancy and is only going to keep growing. As the world becomes more and more online, digital answers to sports offerings will no doubt increase in popularity as they are made more accessible to the older generation and as younger generations who know the online work so well start to come of age. The rise of esports gambling will no doubt go hand in hand with the development of crypto gambling and casinos as they are the two trailblazing concepts in the world of online gambling.
Esports gambling isn’t growing rapidly in popularity without reason, and if you’re looking to make your first foray into it then Dota 2 betting sites wouldn’t be a bad place to start. If you’re already into crypto gambling then combining the two on a platform such as Nitrogen or Unikrn isn’t a bad way to go. With 90% of the world’s top 100 players still being in their twenties, the future of esports is bright and the best talents are definitely still yet to come.
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