Dota 2 Item Betting vs Real Money Betting

There are two distinct approaches when betting on Dota 2: item betting and real money match betting. Item betting is unique to only Valve platform games (such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2). It was a huge boost to reinvigorating CS: GO and its player base as well as a nice source of income for Dota 2. Real-money Dota 2 betting sites such as Pinnacle Sports have been active since 2010. Subsequently, bookmakers have realized the potential earnings that eSports can provide to their companies, creating a frenzy of introductory markets. With this article, we’ll be taking a look at both aspects, their pros/cons, and how to get started with each.

Betting with in-game items

In-game item betting provides a safer avenue to wager with than using real world currency. For starters, a user does not need to deposit money or attach a source of currency (credit card, debit card, bank account, etc.) to start betting. They can safely purchase items from the Steam Community Market and then link their account with a site like Dota 2 Lounge and Dota 2 Wage.

The safety of in-game item betting on Dota 2 Lounge

To help facilitate any wagers, Dota 2 Lounge uses an escrow system. An automated, dummy account is created for each transaction that only Dota 2 Lounge has access to. The account is completely AI driven, and once a wager is placed the account will request the necessary in-game items from all associated parties. Wagers and trades will not begin until all parties have deposited the necessary items into the escrow account.

Registering on Dota 2 Lounge and placing a bet

Dota 2 Lounge uses the Steam API available to handle login and authentication. That in and of itself provides a sense of security. All Dota 2 Lounge users must link their Steam account, with authentication done entirely through the Steam platform. For a first time user creating an account, the typical Steam security measures are in place. Users must perform the two step verification process by supplying a given code from their email to Dota 2 Lounge. In essence, signing up and logging into Dota 2 Lounge involves the same process and procedures as signing into your Steam account. A third layer of security is also provided in the form of a CAPTCHA to help thwart bots from spamming the registration process.

Once the user has created an account and successfully logged in, their virtual items will sync up with the website. A list of upcoming Dota 2 matches to bet on will also be displayed on the homepage. Below is a step by step process for betting on Dota 2 Lounge:

  • At the very top of the page, two options will be available: Trades and Bets. Clicking on Bets will bring you to the active/upcoming matches section of the site.
    • A list of matches will be available here detailing each team playing, the region, and the projected percentage of each team winning.
  • For this example, we’re going to choose the upcoming Liquid vs. Vega match to bet on. After clicking on the appropriate match, we’re brought to the main match screen.
    • In order to use Dota 2 Lounge, the user must provide their Steam Trade URL. The URL will remain completely anonymous (you can find more information on this here)
    • Potential reward values are also displayed here, as well as a live stream, the number of people who have placed bets, the number of items wagered, and a ton of other information
  • Now that we’ve found the right match and linked up our Steam Trade URL, we can place a bet! Up to four items can be wagered per bet (with a minimum of 1 item).
    • Each item carries a monetary value based primarily on rarity
    • After clicking “Place Bet” the user will be taken to the “My Bets” section of their account. It’s here that the bot controlled escrow account will be available for users to deposit their items. Once the items are deposited, the bet is considered finalized.

Once a bet has been finalized, the user will no longer have access to their in-game items until the completion of the match. Users can switch which team they prefer to bet on prior to the start of the match, but they cannot cancel their bet.

Betting with real world currency

Betting has been around for ages, growing in tandem with professional sports leagues. With the rising popularity of eSports, it was only a matter of time before bookmakers caught up to the growing trend. Popular sportsbooks, such as Pinnacle, Betway, and Bet365, have already established a huge presence. Unfortunately, this market is limited to primarily European and Asian countries because of gambling laws in the United States and abroad.

Is betting with real-money safe?

Inherently, betting with real money is not going to be as safe as betting with in-game items. For starters, personal financial information must be stored on these bookmaker sites for deposit and withdrawal purposes. The safety of having all your information stored and facilitated through the Steam platform is also not available. For this reason, it’s strongly stressed to perform due diligence before placing a bet on any of these websites. Check user reviews for each company, make sure they have active and recognized gambling licenses, and always proceed with caution. If it doesn’t feel safe/right, don’t do it. With that said, Pinnacle, Betway, and Bet365 have been around for quite some time and are considered very reputable.

Registering on Pinnacle and placing a bet

For this example, we’re going to use Pinnacle Sports to place a real-money bet. Below is a detailed, step-by-step process:

  • Create an account on Pinnacle if you haven’t yet (at the top right, you’ll see a green button that says “Open Account”)
    • When creating your account, make sure you choose the proper monetary denomination that you will be using to deposit with (such as the Euro, USD, Ruble, etc.)
  • Once you’ve supplied your personal information and created an account, the user will have a new menu available at the top of the screen (i.e. “Betting Menu”, “My Account”, and “Deposit/Withdrawal”). The first step to placing a new bet will be depositing money.
  • Clicking on “Deposit/Withdrawal” will bring up a new page, divided into two columns. The column on the left side is an active list of available methods to deposit money, while the right side is a list of methods to withdrawal money.
    • There are generally four types of payment options: bank transfers, cards (debit/credit cards), eWallets, and vouchers.
  • For this example, we’re going to do a “Bank Transfer”. After selecting this option, a new page will load. A grey box will appear supplying you with a “Unique Reference Number”. This reference number must be supplied to your bank, either via phone or online.
    • You must also supply the bank with the complete name of the account and the address you’re using on the account
    • Once the bank approves the use of Pinnacle, users must fill out an additional form on Pinnacle
    • Bank transfers can take several days to verify
  • That’s it! You’re now ready to deposit money and start betting with real money.

Placing your bet on Pinnacle is pretty straightforward. After selecting eSports from the left-side panel of Pinnacle, select Dota 2. A list of available leagues/regions/tournaments will then be displayed. After clicking on a desired selection, you will be brought to the “Match Page”. Here you can see the available matches to bet on, Pinnacle’s given odds for each team, and when the match starts.

After you have selected the bet you want to make, enter the amount you wish to wager in the white rectangle box, then select the green “Submit Bet(s)” button. After submitting your bet, you will be brought to a confirmation page that presents the details of the bet you are about to place. Make certain the details are correct and then click “Confirm Bet(s)”. If the bet is accepted, a message will popup stating “Bet Accepted” as well as a unique ticket number for that bet. Bets may not be accepted if the account lacks the available funds or the odds have changed in the time it’s taken to confirm the bet.