Dota 2 bets

There is no denying that Dota 2 is an esports juggernaut. As the game enters into its sixth year this Summer, the popular "multiplayer online battle arena" (MOBA) shows no signs of slowing down. Last year, the annual Dota 2 tournament, The International, offered the biggest esports payout of any single video game tournament. In fact, The International occupies the top five positions on the top esports earnings list.

This means that with the rise of Dota 2 esports comes the rise of the Dota 2 betting site. If there is a competition or a tournament for something, rest assured that people are betting on the outcome. Of course, the betting in Dota 2 isn't just limited to The International. While it remains the biggest and most visible Dota 2 esports tournament around, there are fairly regular matches that people are betting real money on. In some cases, Dota 2 betting is happening almost daily between interested parties.

It is understood that these betting sites operate within the laws of their origin countries. Thus, this means that no minors are allowed to partake of such bets. It should also stand to reason that none of these betting sites or those involved should in any way try to impact the outcome of a match. Dota 2's developer, Valve, even took a stance on Dota 2 esports betting for the 2018 season.

In 2018, a number of professional Dota 2 teams were being sponsored by companies or groups that focused on gambling. As a result, the development studio had to step in to say that no gambling sites were allowed to sponsor either semi-professional or professional teams. Doing so would be "a direct conflict of interest with the League and he guidelines set forth by Valve." This was specifically mentioned for the 2018 ESEA League events. Valve also noted that if such a sponsorship already existed, that company could not be visibly promoted alongside a team name. The company has also pushed to shut down some less than honest sites that made use of the Steam API on bet transactions.

Dota Pro Circuit App

However, that's not to say that Valve has outright banned the betting on Dota 2 events. In fact, the company has embraced Dota 2 bets but not in a way that you may expect. Just this past week, Valve released a new Dota 2 companion mobile app that allows players and fans to track big tournaments, follow the progress of their favorite teams, and access stats for ongoing matches in real time. In addition to all of this, the app also essentially allows players to places a bet in Dota 2. It's called the Dota Pro Circuit and it is available now on both iOS and Android devices.

Though the official app from Valve may not let you bet with real money, the app does allow users to bet with Shards, a special currency for those with Dota Plus. Dota Plus is a special subscription that provides detailed statistics for players that want the most feedback possible on their performance. It also serves as a replacement for a Battle Pass, allowing players to earn special Shards that can be used to unlock special Hero cosmetics for use in the game. Prior to this companion app being released, the only way to earn these shards was to complete quests, complete matches, or hit certain performance milestones. Now, Valve allows players to earn these Shards by betting on the outcome of professional Dota 2 matches.

Earning Shards

These shards can be earned in one of two ways through the companion app. First, players can create fantasy teams similar to how people play fantasy football. Shards are earned based on the success of each individual player within their fantasy team. The other way is more akin to regular gambling. Valve provides odds on specific matches and players bet on the outcome of these individual matches. Those who bet wisely are able to win shards equal to the amount bet times the predicted odds. However, there is an upper limit of 100 shards per bet.

With loot boxes already coming under fire for apparently being a form of gambling aimed at a young audience, it will be very interesting to see how the world reacts to an officially released app that allows players to gamble virtual currency. When it comes to the real world though, Valve has already made it very clear that they do not allow betting for Dota 2 or Counter-Strike through Steam or using the Steam API. And what of those sites that don't go through Steam or their API? It seems as though the sky is the limit on what is already a multi-billion dollar industry.