With the multitude of shuffles, roster changes, and new teams flying about currently, the Dota 2 competitive scene is a potential gold mine for bettors who have a good knowledge of the scene, and spend their time researching carefully before placing their bets. It’s impossible to perfectly predict every match, but that’s what high profile bettors count on. Instead of always going for the team more likely to win, oftentimes the value bet is the better option. It’s not just skill that determines victory: motivation, standins, and health are all big factors that can affect the outcome of a match. Smart Bettors do their research and make well portioned bets on games with choice odds in order to profit in the long run.
With that in mind, now that the shuffle has died down somewhat, this article will go over some notable teams, and how good or bad of a bet they can be. A lot of teams have large fanbases that inflate the odds; others have a propensity to pull upsets. With the last pre-TI shuffle wrapping up, there are rares to be won and arcana's to be bought, and hopefully after reading this you’ll be a few keys richer.
DISCLAIMER: If you decide to yolo on an underdog team on a bet and it does not pan out, it's not my fault!
Teams with a hype train always have a recent string of wins. This tends to heavily skew odds towards the favorite. However, no team ever has a perfect run, and this means that eventually, there’s going to be an upset. And the payout is going to be big.
Alliance has had what feels like a second wind. After a month or two of mediocrity, they’ve suddenly revitalized and been having a fantastic time, beating teams like NiP, Na`Vi, and Asus.Polar. So Alliance fans are definitely having a great time. Since they are recovering from a bit of a dip, expect some great odds from them coming up.
As for iG, with the addition of the almighty B-god, the team’s been having a great run. Even though they’ve taken some losses, the Burning bandwagon is still strong. They seem like a strong team, but that’s mostly because they aren't really playing against any particularly scary teams. Their odds tend to get pretty inflated, so keep an eye out for some juicy odds to hope for an upset on.
Ehome.MY, despite the fact that they've re-branded, have also been looking strong. No team in SEA comes close to how solid these guys play at the moment (not even remotely close).
Asus.Polar has broken out once more onto the scene with guns blazing. Taking series from Empire and EG, they’ve shown that they really want that TI5 invite. They’re a very snowball-y team, so be wary. Just as they can take some surprising wins they can also drop some sets due to the fact that they play very aggressive. A great example of this was the set they lost to C9. (My bankroll is still trying to recover from that one) Despite this, however, they don’t have too large of a fan following, so usually the odds against them are pretty inflated when playing versus teams like EG and Team Secret; use that to your advantage!
And while we’re on the topic of revivals, C9 has surprisingly experienced a resurgence. After months of mediocrity the team is experiencing an unexpected return to form in time for the Summit 3 qualifiers, beating out NiP and Asus.Polar, two of the strongest contenders in EU currently.
These teams tend to have skewed odds against other teams simply due to their popularity and apparent infallibility, especially when against each other (How many times have we seen Secret vs EG expecting Secret to take the win, only for EG to pull an upset?). Bet big when betting on these teams, but be wary of the eventual upset.
Underdog teams are ones that are underestimated and undervalued, usually because of their lack of star power. However, these teams are quite skilled in their own right and can pull upsets against fan favorites and occasionally T1 teams. All of these teams have pulled a decent amount of upsets and surprising results this patch. Asus.Polar in particular are a great example of this despite also being a hype train team. They were pretty underrated post shuffle, but after taking games versus Empire and EG it’s clear that they’re strong contenders.
Usually the odds will heavily favor the opposing team when put against more popular teams, which means that they're excellent teams to make a value bet on. Keep an eye on their games, though, as they’re also subject to shaky play sometimes.
Fanboy teams usually have a large fan following, which can inflate odds in their favor despite the fact that they’re not as good as the odds reflect. They usually contain fan favorite personalities.
Na`Vi has been on tilt for quite a while now and have been losing games left and right to teams like Basically Unknown and Hellraisers. C9 is obviously here because of EE fanboys and their tendency to throw. NiP have also been on tilt lately but are still one of the fan favorites. The same is happening with Empire at the moment. However both of these teams are still quite decent so don't be afraid to bet on them if they start making a comeback.
In general it's a good idea to bet against these teams. They usually have a tendency to throw, or they just can’t live up to their glory days despite still being big name teams due to select players.
SEA Dota Level Teams
SEA Dota 2, not even once. Just trust me on this one.
SEA Dota is the bane of all bettors. Unless it’s to go big on Ehome.my, don’t bother with any of these teams. Favored teams will pull upsets when you go big on them and underdog teams will never be able to pull the win unless you don’t bet on them, for some reason. SEA is an upside-down topsy turvy world of goofy play, upsets, and nonsensical strategies. When I wake up in the morning and check the status of my SEA/China bets, oftentimes it’s the SEA ones that’ll have me ramming my head face-first into my desk.
And there you have it. Be aware that these categories can and will change very often, and that the point of this article is more for learning about the categories than which teams to currently bet on. Remember that there’s no substitute for research. Good luck with your bets!