Ten teams initially started the competition, although that was reduced to nine when Wings Gaming withdrew from the event. Let’s dive a little deeper into what brought us to today.
Dota 2 Professional League Season 2 up to now
With Wings Gaming’s results expunged, the league format was a hotly contested event with, as expected, lots of draws between the nine well-matched teams. In fact, Invictus Gaming and Vici Gaming both drew 11 of their 15 matches in the league stages.
However, it was Newbee that emerged triumphant after the league stage, clinching top spot with an 8-6-1 record and 22 points in total. This renders their last league match against EHOME a no-pressure event, as they have already clinched top spot ahead of Invictus Gaming, which played all 16 of their games and have a point less.
This means we know the six teams that have made it through to the knockout stage; however, the final two league games will decide at which point Invictus Gaming and IG Vitality enter the fray.
By virtue of their success in the league stages, Newbee have earned a place direct in the Grand Final, while the three teams finishing fifth and sixth in the league table, CDEC Gaming and LGD Gaming, will battle it out in Round One of the playoff section.
The winner of that match will then take on LGD Forever Young in Round Two, and then the winner of that game will take on the third place team, either IG Vitality or Invictus Gaming, in Round Three.
We then move on to final day, when the winner of the Round Three tie will take on the second place team in the league table (again, either IG Vitality or Invictus Gaming). The competition will culminate with the winning semifinalists taking on Newbee for the lion’s share of an estimated $700,000 prize pool.
Dota 2 Pro League betting
With the final league games still to play, as well as all the knockout phase games taking place through Christmas Day, Bet365 is offering a choice of different bets on each of the matches.
Bettors can place a bet on the match winner market (which in this event is a three-way bet in the league stage, but will revert to a two-way bet in the knockout phase).
Bettors can also place handicap bets on each match, as well as betting on which team will win Map 1 and which team will win the second map in the league stage. Additional map betting will be available in the knockout phase when a winner has to be decided and further maps will be played.
2016 esports betting recap
I’m going to move away from my usual topics now to give a quick summary of 2016, as well as preview of some of the biggest and best esports betting opportunities coming in 2017, some kicking off just a few short weeks into the new year.
Esports and esports betting are still rapidly growing markets, clearly evidenced by the increase in the number of bets and events on Bet365.
League of Legends
Highlights of the past year have included a hugely exciting League of Legends World Championship, which produced its fair share of upsets and ended with the incredible SK Telecom T1 earning their record-breaking third victory in the tournament and their second in succession.
Dota 2 fans enjoyed a record-breaking The International 2016, with a total prize fund of more than $20,000,000.
After a hugely exciting, tense, and evenly-matched contest, it was the Chinese qualifiers Wings Gaming who eventually defeated Digital Chaos 3-1 in the Grand Final, despite losing twice during the league stages of the event.
2016 also proved to be a big year for CS:GO fans, as there were four different events with a prize pool of more than $1 million up for grabs.
The MLG Major Championships in Columbus, Ohio saw Liquid Gaming take home the lion’s share of a $1 million prize pool.
ELEAGUE Season One was next up with Virtus.pro taking the honours, before SK Gaming won the ESL One in Cologne in July.
To cap a massive year for CS:GO, ELEAGUE Season 2 took place October through December with OpTic Gaming taking home the majority share of a $1.1 million prize fund.
A glance ahead to some of the biggest esports betting events in 2017
The good news for CS:GO fans is they don’t have to wait too long before the next big major.
ELEAGUE Major 2017 will be held in January from the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia with a guaranteed prize pool of $1 million for the 16 teams.
Dota 2 fans will get a Major in April, with the Kiev Major 2017, which is the next in the Valve series of Major Championships. A $3 million guaranteed prize pool is on offer.
This will be followed later in the year by The International 2017, which will aim to retain its place as the biggest esports gaming event (by prize pool) in the history of the genre.
Of course, League of Legends fans will have the lengthy qualifying process for the League of Legends World Championships 2017 to look forward to, with the spring and summer tournaments taking place all around the globe.
Bet365 is already offering esports betting odds of 2/1 on SK Telecom T1 to become the first team to win three League of Legends Worlds events in a row.
KT Rolster is also rated a 2/1 chance to win the 2017 event. Bettors can also back Samsung Galaxy, this year’s finalists, at 25/1. Team SoloMid is at 50/1. Other teams’ odds are available on request.
It has been a banner year for esports betting and the esports industry with more mainstream coverage and greater exposure, particularly in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. One thing is for sure: 2017 looks bright.
Thanks for reading this year, have a great Christmas, and I’ll be back in 2017.
Image credit: Roman Kosolapov / Shutterstock.com