In this article, we will focus specifically on the different options players have for betting on Dota 2.
Sportsbooks allow people to place bets with real world currency, particularly on the outcome of a specific matchup.
In a head to head matchup, odds are given for each team. The higher the esports betting odds, the lower the chances that bookmaker thinks that team will win. The lower the odds, the higher the chance that team has of winning.
Decimal odds are generally used for predicting the probability of how each team will perform. For example, Team A will be given odds of 1.500 while Team B has odds of 2.800. Team A is the favorite here, with Team B being the underdog. To determine your return (the money you can make on each bet), a simple formula is used: Odds X Stake (money you put down) = Return (your wager back + your winnings).
If you were to bet $100 on Team A, that would mean 1.500 odds X $100 stake = $150 return (your $100 wager back + $50 in earnings).
Sportsbooks also offer proposition bets. Proposition bets are essentially betting on a specific outcome in a given match, such as which team scores first blood, which team takes down the first tower, or if a match will end in under 30 minutes. Some of the well-known esports bookmakers include Ladbrokes, Bet365 eSports, or read our Betway review.
Daily fantasy is also on the rise (and technically can be linked with real-money betting, although certain companies have designed virtual currencies). Daily fantasy has become widely popular in the United States over the past year, in part thanks to the ambiguity of U.S. gambling laws in conjunction with the marketing blitz of companies like AlphaDraft and DraftKings.
Fantasy sites allow users to draft professional gamers on a week to week basis. Users are given a max virtual salary (for example, $50,000) with each player having a designated value. The user must build a team within the limits of this $50,000 salary, filling specific roles.
For Dota 2, those roles are:
- top lane
- mid lane
- ad carry
Most daily fantasy sites also allow one or two flex positions (any role can be filled here) and the ability to draft a team.
After successfully completing a roster, users are then given points based on the individual performances of the players they drafted. Points are given for securing kills, assists, and for killing creeps. Points will also be reduced for dying. If the daily fantasy site you’re using allows you to draft a team, points for that team are generally rewarded for securing objectives, like towers, and also for winning the match.
Daily fantasy users can then take their built team and join different leagues. These leagues are generally composed of 6-12 players, but it could be less or it could be more based on the site you’re using. Each league has an entry fee which is deposited into a collective pot.
There are three distinct types of leagues:
- Winner takes all (the winner takes the entire entry fee pot).
- Top 50% (the pot is divided equally among the top half of the league).
- A hierarchy payout (first place gets 50%, second place gets 30%, third place gets 20%, or some variation to this).
Companies like Dota 2 Lounge allow users to trade or bet their digitally acquired items in an open market. These in-game items have two distinct and original sources: they can either be purchased from Steam’s virtual item marketplace or are rewarded after the completion of Dota 2 matches. While most of these acquired items provide merely cosmetic enhancements, some do offer minor in-game benefits.
In-game content is classified by rarity (such as common, rare, mythical, legendary, immortal, etc.) and the rarer the item, the more monetary value it holds.
When betting through a site like dota2lounge, bettors can see the odds for each matchup, the type of items and their rarity that they must wager, and the items they can potentially win with a successful bet. Items that are wagered are placed in an escrow account, with the winner receiving their wagered items back as well as the rewards. Lose, and you receive nothing.
These types of third party affiliate exist because Steam does not want to be directly linked to gambling. Steam does offer the buyback of virtual items on their marketplace, but users will only receive account bound Steam currency. Hence the need for third party affiliates, such as Dota 2 Lounge, to provide an outlet other than the Steam Community Market to move these virtual items.
Steam has no issue with companies providing these services (after all, they are indirectly profiting from the popularity of this). In fact, they have the necessary technology in place and openly distribute it to companies that are interested. Steam won’t openly promote it, but they’ve shown the propensity to help aid the process.
Jackpot gambling is a relatively new aspect that is completely unique in and of itself. Jackpot gambling is centralized around in-game items, with each in-game item being weighed by its monetary value. Players who use jackpot gambling must link their Steam account (login and authentication is done entirely through the Steam network for security reasons).
After creating an account, players can then add their in-game items to a pot. For each item added, a monetary value is given (this monetary value is cross-checked with the value that the Steam Community Market has valued it at). A ticket is then given for each 0.01 USD that the in-game item is worth. For instance, if an item is worth $10, the person will receive 1,000 tickets.
Based on which jackpot company you select to use, there are various pots that can be chosen. Generally, these are composed of thresholds for how many items must be placed in the pot before the winner is selected. For instance, a smaller jackpot may require 50 items, with a max of 10 in-game items per person.
After the threshold has been met, a random ticket is selected, and the person with the winning ticket will receive all of the items in the pot.