With League of Legends World Championship dominating our betting preview recently, we’ve decided to have a look at the Dota 2 scene this week.
The cogs are starting to whirr as the Dota 2 scene steams towards the Boston Major; the first of three Valve events for the season. There’s plenty of action before we reach the Major taking place at the start of December though. Here’s our look at some of the action taking place before then.
— BTS Dota (@BTSdota) October 18, 2016
The Summit 6
Beyond The Summit’s fan-favourite tournament returns in mid to late November with eight of the biggest teams competing in the intimate setting of the BTS house. All of the teams that are competing were either directly invited or qualified to the Boston Major so make no mistake – this is the best chance we’ll get to gauge the quality of teams before they head to Boston.
It’s always tough to predict results at tournaments just before a Valve event. The Summit’s prize pool stands at a comparatively meek $100,000 (~£80,150) compared to the Major’s $3,000,000 (~£2,400,000). With that in mind, top teams often keep their top strategies and picks under wraps until they reach the biggest stage. Additionally, it’s the last chance for teams to experiment at a LAN event with strategies that they are otherwise unsure of.
Not only that, but for teams that received a direct invite to Boston we have seen very little of their new rosters so it’s difficult to assess the strength. OG, for example, are a team that had unheralded success last season but with three new faces we don’t know exactly how good they are.
To draw on a comparison with traditional sports – it’s not too dissimilar to how I feel at the start of every football season. As a Watford fan our team changes manager and approximately half of the personnel every year. I could shut my eyes and point to a random place in the table and that’s probably more likely than actually being able to predict it.
With all that said, there is some form to work and some potential value in the markets ahead of the tournament in two weeks time. Here’s a look at a few of the teams that stand out:
Wings Gaming – The International 6 champions go into this as favourites and we can see why. They’ve already notched a LAN win and have kept the same roster which is somewhat rare in the scene these days. They are known for their strength in depth and being able to play such a huge plethora of heroes. As a result, they are extremely hard to predict and with spot-on execution it makes them ridiculously hard to beat.
Generally, the winner of the previous The International tends to struggle afterwards. Wings do look different though.
They’re priced at 3.50 on Bet365 if you’re a favourite backer. You’ll find them at 3.25 on BetWay.
OG – As we said, they’ve not been playing an awful lot of games in the public domain. One thing you can guarantee though is that they’ve been practising extremely hard. The one time we’ve seen them with a new roster they looked strong but had a few teething issues. Fast forward to now and they may well have sorted them out.
For two time Major winners pricing them at 7.00 on Bet365 looks to have value. BetWay price them at 5.50 to win the tournament.
Team Faceless – This may have some personal bias – as I love the roster that Faceless have put together. They absolutely breezed through their regional qualification to reach Boston and therefore have great form going into this. Their roster is not short of talent either, but we haven’t really seen them compete against some of the bigger boys from both the East and West.
They have great form going into this and at 11.00 on BetWay look to be pretty good value. You can find them at 8.00 on Bet365.
NP – Team NP are a new look team led by one of the hardest working players in Dota 2 Jacky ‘EternalEnvy’ Mao (“EE”). Whilst EE is a divisive character, his work ethic is ridiculous and he’s out to prove a point with this new roster. He’s joined by Kurtis ‘Aui_2000’ Ling – a The International winner from his days at Evil Geniuses and a plethora of other experienced heads.
Last night NP ran Evil Geniuses extremely close losing a series 2-1. If it weren’t for a few mistakes, they could easily have won the third game and clinched the series.
The pricing different on these two is obscene and there’s definitely value there. Whether or not they are consistent enough is another question, but the odds tempt me.
Whereas Evil Geniuses are as short as 3.50 on BetWay, you can get 23.00 on NP. EG are 3.75 and NP 21.00 on Bet365 as well.
Esports Insider: It’s great to have a chance to write about my specialist esport in a betting preview. NP/Faceless/OG are the teams that take my fancy here as I don’t tend to back the favourite. As previously outlined, it’s obscenely hard to call but personally the gulf in odds on NP and every other team seem pretty ludicrous as they’re capable on their day of beating most teams.