The eSports gambling market is still expanding and evolving, but already some companies have established their practice. Weeding out the best Dota 2 betting sites from those that are looking to just make some quick money scamming unsuspected people is an important process. We’re here to look at some of the legitimate gambling sites that have built a reputation of being fair to their user base.
#1 – Betway
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Compared to these other two companies, Betway is relatively new. Founded in 2006 under the Betway Group, Betway is still striving to build up their clientele. Thanks in part to a huge marketing agenda, they’ve emerged from the shadows of bookmaking behemoths like Pinnacle, Bet365, and William Hill. They still lack in terms of clientele, but they’ve carved out enough space in the market to be successful. Betway continues to push a lot of money into TV advertisements and billboard plasters, helping grow their name brand recognition.
Betway offers an extensive yet polished user interface that is easy to navigate. Their website is essentially divided into six different sections: Sports, Casino, eSports, Vegas, Poker, and Bingo. They’re one of the few bookmakers to dedicate an entire section of their website for just eSports.
One of the features that is unique to Betway is their Betway Plus program. Users are automatically enrolled in the program as soon as they make their first deposit and wager. With each wager placed, the user will earn Plus Points. These Plus Points can then be used to progress through tiers and gain exclusive bonuses and offers that you can’t find on other bookmaker sites.
# 2- bet365
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Bet365 is one of the largest bookmaking companies available. They boast a customer base of over 20 million people and service over 200 countries. Founded in 2000, the company’s headquarters are stationed in the United Kingdom and employ over 3,000 people. For those who are familiar with Bet365’s tradition, it’s been a family run business since 1974 when Peter Coates started his family’s betting shop estate. Denise Coates, Peter’s daughter, became the managing director in 1995 and has since been promoted to joint chief executive. John Coates, her brother, helps run the business operations as well while their father still remains involved with the company.
Besides their very heft reputation as an honest bookmaker, Bet365 has pushed their business model to create a company that is easy to use and accessible from anywhere. That starts right from the main lobby of their website, where users can find available game to bet on in one quick glance. After choosing eSports in the left hand column, the middle of the page will automatically update to display a list of available games and leagues to bet on. Bet365 also facilitates their banking through a widget right from the main page.
Further extending access to their products, Bet365 has developed an extensive app for both iOS and Android devices. This puts Bet365’s service right in the palm of your hand. Bet365’s users can bet on matches from the app, watch live matches on their “Match Live” feature, and also get push notifications with updated scores. Users can even make deposits and withdrawals right from the app.
#3 – Pinnacl eSports
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Pinnacle was one of the first to start offering eSports match bets on their website in 2010 and they’ve ranked consistently in the top three for bookmakers. Founded in 1998 under the parent company Pinnacle Sports Worldwide, Pinnacle has gone from a struggling startup company to now servicing customers in over 100 countries. One of the reasons they’re so popular is because they’re not a traditional betting exchange. This allows them to offer better odds without the charge of a commission. We’re here to further explain what that exactly means to you, the customer.
Traditional bookmakers function by building a safe margin in their favor. Markets are rated as a percentage of the fair market. Above the 100% fair market line favors bookmakers, below that margin favors the bettor. When the margin in odds increases too substantially, it’s hard for consistent bettors to secure a profit. For that reason, Pinnacle’s main goal is to deliver the most competitive margins possible in the bookmaker’s market. The lower the bookmaker margins are, the more value the odds return is.
Traditional bookmakers will offer incentives, such as matching your first deposit to a certain extent, in order to attract new customers. Pinnacle has decided to debunk that method, instead offering lower margins to compensate for the lack of any incentives. It’s one of the reasons why consistent bettors will use Pinnacle and why other aggregator bookmakers, such as Nitrogen Sports, use Pinnacle’s odds.
The popularity of betting on Dota 2
As far as eSports is concerned, betting on Dota 2 is one of the most popular games available. All the major bookmakers carry Dota 2, and the only true rival is fellow MOBA League of Legends. With over 150 million eSports viewers last year and the markets in North America ($143 million), Europe ($72 million), and Asia ($374 million) totaling over a half billion dollars (data provided by SuperData Research), eSports is booming. With that type of money, it was only a matter of time before bookmakers started capitalizing.
Need further proof that eSports wagering is here to stay? The recent introduction of daily fantasy eSports on DraftKings is another great indication. In fact, their rival FanDuel immediately went out and acquired AlphaDraft, another leading daily fantasy eSports company. eSports gambling is here to stay, and Dota 2 will be one of the leading games.
Betting on Dota 2
There are a ton of different ways to bet on Dota 2. The first step is to find out what you want to wager on. Bookmakers use real world currency. Lounges, like Dota 2 Lounge, allow their users to bet with in-game items. A new startup company, Unikrn, allows you to place bets with a virtual currency called Unikoins. Whichever option you choose, all of them are legitimate.
While the more traditional bet is the choose the winner of a particular match or tournament, there are other bets known as proposition bets. Proposition bets are for specific actions that occur in a game. Some examples include picking which team will score first blood (the first kill of the game), which team secures the most creep score, and even bets like nailing how many times each player dies in a given matchup.
Another fun way to wager is through daily fantasy. This requires a bit more work and research, but players essentially draft a team of professional gamers playing that weekend with the aim of scoring the most points. Points are rewarded for things like kills, assists, and creep score.