Bing Introduces An Esports Prediction Model, Test Drives It For Dota 2’s The International 6

Posted on August 11, 2016 - Last Updated on June 24, 2022

Bing Predicts, Microsoft’s prediction engine that uses data from social platforms and trending searches, is expanding into esports.

The first stop is The International 2016, the biggest Dota 2 tournament of the year.

New business opportunities in the growing market of competitive gaming

While the esports industry steadily grew during the last couple years, reaching figures that could be only dreamt of 10 years ago, Bing is seizing on this business opportunity by expanding its prediction service into the competitive gaming market.

With industry revenues, viewership, and awareness at all-time highs, it’s a smart move for the company.

Starting with The International 6, one of the biggest esports tournaments, and the biggest one in terms of prize pools, Bing Predicts is offering prognostications on match outcomes using its own special prediction engine.

The model behind setting predictions

Compared to traditional sports, Dota 2 rosters — and esports rosters in general — change very quickly, often after a period three months.

This is why top ranks of major tournaments see so many alterations, and no real long-term favorite team can be crowned. Many teams are doing well by holding their positions at the top, but it often happens that an underdog shows up from nowhere and surprises everyone.

[show-table name=cta-alphadraft]

Bing’s model tracks team performance as well as individual player performance. This is based on in-game features like gold per minute, experience per minute, and KDA (kill, death, assist) metrics, combined with external features like a team’s win rate.

It sometimes happens that individuals, who are exceptionally good on their own, often aren’t as successful at collaborating with a team.

A post from the Bing blog explains the strengths of its model:

“…while it is difficult to predict it before the players are paired together for the first time, our model computes changes in key statistics for each player and each team after a roster shuffle to quickly update predictions.”

A good way to start: TI 6 – a new record prize pool is here

On Aug. 7, a new record in esports prize pools was achieved. The $20 million threshold was reached, and while the prize pool is currently still rising, it’s the highest prize pool ever at any esports event.

So far, the prize pool has grown higher each year, with the last two years breaking the “highest prize pool” record. Below is a graph comparing prize pools from the last three years of The International (click to enlarge).


Seeing such incredible numbers, coupled with rising awareness and revenues, proves that the esports market is developing into a very important industry on a global scale and definitely deserves to be a part of the main stage.

Bing Predicts: Chinese EHOME will win TI 6

According to Bing’s predictions, EHOME, one of the oldest teams in the scene, should be victorious at TI and take home the $8.7 million grand prize. So far, EHOME has lost only two games (games in terms of one Dota 2 game, not a match, which is a best-of-three) in the entire tournament, including the group stage.

Understandably then, the current available data used for prediction would favor the Chinese team. Per the prediction, they would go against Wings Gaming, another Chinese team, and claim victory in the grand finals.

While there are still other strong teams in the tournament that could throw EHOME out of the championship, we shouldn’t forget about EG, the US team that won The International 5 last year. Prepared with a very strong roster, this squad could potentially change Bing’s current predictions by eliminating one of the two Chinese teams.

If EHOME and Wings reach the grand finals on Saturday, it will definitely solidify Bing’s prediction model, but for now we’ll just have to stay put and see, and of course enjoy the show.

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Dejan Zalik

Dejan has been involved in gaming for over 10 years. Moving from classics like Diablo 2, Lineage 2, and Warcraft 3, he found his passion in Dota 2, which he’s been playing ever since. He also likes to keep up to date by reading and writing about whatever is happening in the industry.

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