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Dota 2 Esports & Game OverviewFrom a simple scenario to a global esport
Defense of the Ancients 2, or Dota 2 is considered the godfather of MOBA genres. Enjoyed by millions across the gaming community, it’s a true esports phenomenon. Dota 2 players pour hours into the game, polishing their skills in an effort of reaching greater matchmaking rank (MMR).
With a peak player count of 700K people every month, join the likes of many others in pouring thousands of hours into the game. After all, to be successful in Dota 2, one requires strategic thinking and cognitive flexibility when it comes to decision making.
DOTA 2’s Development over the decade
As Dota 2 celebrates its decade-old anniversary as an esport, there’s something nostalgic about the game and how far it has developed. From the early beta test days, where hero icons were just ‘art’ created on Paint. To an Esports tournament offering $40 million in prize pools.
Yet, Dota 2’s roots run much deeper, notably from its predecessor, Defense of the Ancients. It was essentially a custom map on Warcraft III, developed by passionate community players. Kyle “Eul” Sommer developed the mod back in 2002, with later help by Steve “Guinsoo” Feak and Abdul “IceFrog” Ismail, and the consistent feedback from the Dota community.
Eventually, the team would soon part ways but remained true to their passion for MOBA game development. Guinsoo went to develop League of Legends for Riot Games while Eul and Icefrog worked for Valve in developing Dota 2.
Dota 2 Gameplay & Game ModesHow the game works: learn about Dota 2’s heroes
Dota 2 was first introduced in July 2013 on Steam, and since its debut, millions of Esports fans have played the game. Yet, a decade since then, Dota 2’s objective as a MOBA remained the same, which is to destroy the opponent’s throne.
The game begins with you on the hero selection phase, where you decide which heroes to ban. While it may seem tempting to ban a hero you hate most, such as Techies, it’s advisable to ban popular heroes. Popular heroes are often picked in pro games for good reasons, primarily it has good combos or it’s overpowered.
Dota 2 Roles
Then, it comes to deciding what role and hero to pick. Roles are divided into hard carry, midlaner, offlaner, soft support and hard support. The first three are cores, but each has very distinct purposes in the game.
- Hard carry is essentially the team’s insurance for late game, where you can rely on the hard carry player to win you the game. Hence, a crippled hard carry would usually mean a losing game.
- Midlaner – revolves around making plays across the map, which redirects the enemy’s attention from your hard carry player. The key is to dominate the midgame with your advantage for having the mid lane all to yourself.
- Offlaners often get the short end of the stick, where their experience will be the toughest of the three cores. It’s crucial to pick durable heroes, or elusive ones to endure the harassment from the enemy team.
Support Roles – Soft and Hard Support
While core roles are often the most popular, supports are important roles as well. Soft supports or roamers are those that could potentially make plays by ganking enemies and performing initiatives by roaming the map. Soft support hero options can be quite ambiguous due to the role’s flexibility, so any hero with disables can do the trick. Worse yet, opting for aura items is advisable to boost the general wellbeing of the team too.
Finally, the hard support, which nobody expects you to have much net worth because you will be purchasing consumables primarily, such as wards, healing salves, and smokes. However, your team will still rely on you to make good decisions with your hero’s skills and intuition.
What happens during the game?
A typical Dota 2 game can last about thirty-five minutes, depending on the game. Contrary to popular belief that time in Dota 2 cannot be controlled, it is of utmost priority to play according to the timer.
During the early game or laning phase, players spend the first ten minutes in their lanes, or until level 6 before attempting any pursuit on enemies. Sure, when opportunity strikes, a kill or team fight can happen at any instance.
In the midgame, some hero drafts rely on early movement and objective-based strategy by taking down towers, controlling outposts and hunting down enemies. This limits the space and resources your enemy has to keep up with the game. Some infamous combos include Broodmother, Templar Assassin and Void Spirit, which are heroes that can push quickly as soon as midgame. It’s also the time when neutral items drop from neutral creeps in the jungle. Neutral items despite being free drops have become incredibly game-changing when the right ones are dropped. Smokes should be purchased whenever available (since there’s a cooldown for purchasing it). Smokes are used for ganking opponents without being seen on the mini-map.
Then there’s late-game when most hard carries shine with their sheer strength and item build. At this stage, carries from both sides are expected to be on par with killing each other. However, victory still depends on the teamwork of one team prevailing over the other. Buybacks will become instrumental at this stage, so ensure you have the gold and its availability on check. After all, you could potentially get killed during this stage, which can be detrimental for your team to fight at a handicap. Even so, when buybacks are unavailable, killing Roshan for its Aegis is a reliable alternative.
These are common occurrences and stages of a typical Dota 2 game, leading up to the destruction of one’s throne.
From BTS Pro Series to The InternationalDota 2 Competitive Scene
Dota 2’s competitive scene is tiered into several different levels. There’s regional and international competitions called Minors and Majors, and there’s the holy grail, The International (or TI). In 2021, the championship celebrated its 10th anniversary and the largest prize pool in tournament history to-date. Yet, expect the annual record prize pool to surpass its previous years.
Needless to say, with such voluptuous amounts, the Esports scene makes up a large segment in Dota 2 history. In fact, Valve hosted their league, namely the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC), which gathers teams from various regions to compete.
Dota Pro Circuit
While the format of DPC has seen changes, regional brackets are set for teams to compete among their local rivals before qualifying for the Majors. Each region has 2-3 regional slots that are allocated to winners to fly over to LAN majors.
Since the year 2020, Valve introduced an Upper and Lower Division bracket, specifically the Lower Division is meant to nurture the amateur scene. The top two teams from the Lower Division earns a spot in Upper Division at the end of the DPC. Of course, slots aside, teams are financially compensated for participating, except the bottom two Lower Division teams.
Worse yet, the bottom teams will be demoted from Lower Division bracket, leaving the free slots for newly qualified teams.
DPC 2021-2022 Schedule
The DPC 2021-2022 schedule has been revealed, and there will be three majors this time around.
- League 1 – Nov 29th – Dec 22nd and Jan 5th – Jan 23th (Christmas/New Year’s break in-between)
- Major 1 – Feb 17th – 27th*
- League 2 – Mar 14th – Apr 24th
- Major 2 – May 11th – May 21st*
- League 3 – June 6th – July 17th
- Major 3 – Aug 4th – Aug 14th*
Third-party Dota 2 Tournaments
Besides Valve-sponsored DPC season, the Dota 2 scene is blessed with eager tournament organizers who enjoy hosting their take on Dota 2 tournaments. Various key players include ESL, WePlay Esports, Beyond the Summit, etc.
ESL One considered a pioneer of Esports tournaments. Having a big player take interest in Dota 2 is always welcomed as it supports the B-tier competitive scene.
Epicenter by Epic Esports Events is no stranger to integrating incredible viewing experience in their tournament series. One of the founding and most established competitions in the CIS scene.
Beyond the Summit started their tournaments from a humble home in Los Angeles. Providing accommodations for teams to stay and play like they were at home. While BTS doesn’t have the biggest production budget, it makes up with the fun and casual environment that casters, players, and talents can enjoy during their time there.
The International (or TI) is the biggest Dota 2 competition each year. The prize pool is substantial (in 2019 it was almost $35 million), so every single match is fought with determination, skill and passion by the best Dota 2 professionals in the world. Being invited to play in The International is a feat in itself, before you even start thinking about your winning strategy!
Dota 2 Betting is big businessWhat to expect from Dota 2 Wagering
Dota 2 Esports is enticing for viewers, not just for the adrenaline rush of watching prominent players make big plays. However, Dota 2 betting play a vital role in supporting the competitive scene as well.
In August, it is a norm to bet on the International because of the abundant matches and teams playing high stake games. That said, matches are available during the League and Majors of DPC too, so there’s no shortage of a betting slip.
As a cherry on top, many curated esports betting sites actively support Dota 2 betting. We also cover match predictions and betting analysis when there’s an active tournament, so be sure to stay updated on our Dota 2 news segment.
Our ExperiencePros and cons of the game
We have covered Dota 2 among many other esports titles over the years. Even so, we pride ourselves in becoming your one-stop platform for everything Dota 2 related. Here, we discuss the top competitive Dota 2 players for the season, Dota 2 esports tournaments, and the game itself. We publish Dota 2 gameplay changes, updates, patches, overpowered meta picks, and the list goes on!
Dota 2 is a very complex game, which means that every match is different. Unlike other video games, you are not playing in the same way over and over again – which makes for a much more stimulating experience. The heroes are free, which isn’t necessarily the case with other MOBA games, and there is a wide range of ways to develop and enhance them – making your experience much richer and more exciting.
If you’re keen on strategy and working out crafty plans to defeat your enemies, Dota 2 will be right up your street. Because there’s so much strategising involved, and it is a challenging game – it’s extremely satisfying when you do manage to win. If you’re looking for a real sense of achievement for all your hard work, this is the esport for you.
The main cons of the game are that it can be very difficult to learn and understand, as there is so much detail and a whole range of knowledge and skill to be developed before you can fully immerse yourself in the world of Dota 2. The community can be a little intimidating if you’re entering for the first time, with some members considered a quite unfriendly and hostile. Having said that, there are lots of players who are only too happy to welcome you to the game!