"Top Dota 2 Events" text in front of a background showing the moon and some spooky branches.

Yes, Dota 2 is fun to play, I know. You know what else is true? Dota 2 is fun to bet on, as well.

There are over 1 million people playing Dota 2 each month (give or take) and a large percentage of them are very passionate about their favorite game. You see, when you spend thousands of hours playing Dota, you basically have two options:

  1. Become a pro
  2. Start a lucrative betting career

Becoming a pro is awesome but it’s becoming increasingly hard. Besides the fact that you’ll have to battle your way through hundreds of low level tournaments to find a perfect team to play with, the competition that’s currently at the top won’t let you have a piece of the pie just like that.

On the other hand, you can use your hard earned skills to bet and make some money while watching your favorite tournaments. Which leads me to my main premise.

Every betting activity revolves around three separate entities:

  • Teams
  • Players
  • Tournaments

If you have a grasp on each of these then you can easily start predicting the match winners and use your knowledge for something other than calling a guy who just dominated you on mid a cheater.

Assuming that you know your players form, the rules of the game and form each team is in, the only thing missing is to see which tournaments should be the most fun to bet on.

The International

OK, I am not inventing hot water here, but you really shouldn’t skip TI. The reason being is that this is one of the most most viewed and fun-packed tournaments in all of eSports and the sportsbooks are offering good deals for it.

The odds are great, there are plenty of betting options available and you get the added bonus when watching your favorite players go hand in hand with their archenemies. The International 2016 was really fun to bet on, with the Wings storming through the tournament and afterwards acting like they won a “Little Betsy eSports Competition” in West Virginia and not the famous TI.

The Manila Major

The Manilla Major is held in Philippines and has a prize pool of $3,000,000. The viewership on this one is also amazing and is the second most watched Dota 2 tournament in the world. Besides that, it’s also a fun tournament to bet on, especially because of the fact that the finals are played in the Bo5 (best of 5) format.

In 2016, the winners were OG, with a 3-1 victory over Team Liquid. If we backtrack the previous matches, we can see another perk of betting on this tournament — qualifiers. Qualifiers give you a chance to warm up and sharpen your intuition before the main event. Don’t get me wrong, people have made money on qualifiers as well.

As of 2017, Valve has not confirmed that the Philippines will host another Major, but, based on the popularity of Dota 2 in that market, you can bet that they will.

ESL One Manila

ESL is a smart company. They capitalized on the popularity of Dota 2 in the Philippines (something that Valve first explored) and then went on to create their own premier tournament. The prize pool for this one was $250,000 and it was also violently taken by Wings Gaming with a 3:0 win over Team Liquid.

This tournament is a bit smaller than the ones belonging to Dota Major Championships but it’s packed with top 10 teams: it consist out of two 4 team groups and is covered by most of the sportsbooks. Additionally, you can watch the games almost everywhere as it is organized by ESL.

ESL One Genting

ESL will continue to roll the Dota 2 dice and with that in the picture they are organizing a big tournament in Malaysia. ESL One Genting will see 8 teams battling for a total of $250,000. Here we also have qualifiers: American, Chinese, European and Southeast Asian. Logically, there will be a total of 4 teams coming from qualifiers and 4 from a direct invitation, so there will be plenty of betting opportunities here as well. We will start preparing from Genting right this moment, but the tournament itself will take place in January 2017.

We have yet to see the exact time and place for other Dota Majors. The International 2017 is already set up so there’s no need to worry about that. The other 3? Well, that will be a different story.

Not sure where to bet?

Stay hungry, Troopers!