ESI Gambling Report: a look at the odds ahead of The International 7

There’s just a month now until what looks set to be the biggest esports event by prizepool in history. The International 7, to be played in Seattle at the Key Arena brings together the best 18 Dota 2 teams in the world where they will fight it out for what looks like upwards of a staggering $21,000,000 (~£16.2m). 

Six invited teams are joined by twelve that fought through a gruelling four days of regional qualification and now the 18 teams that will play in the biggest tournament to date are confirmed. 

We had a look across several bookmakers to see how they have priced the event with a month until it gets underway. We also highlighted a couple of bookmaker bloopers at the end of the piece which are all too frequent in esports.

We checked Bet365, Betway, SkyBet, GG.Bet and Paddy Power/Betfair and summarised the results below.

The likes of Pinnacle, Unikrn, Coral, Ladbrokes and MarathonBet did not have any outright odds available when checked.

Team/Operator B365 Betway Skybet GG.Bet PP
Virtus.Pro 4.50 4.50 5.00 4.50 4.50
EG 4.50 4.00 4.50 4.50 4.50
OG 6.00 5.00 5.50 5.50 6.50
Liquid 6.50 5.00 7.00 6.00 4.00
Newbee 11.00 11.00 9.00 11.00 8.00
iG 15.00 13.00 11.00 16.00 23.00
Secret 15.00 13.00 13.00 16.00 9.50
LGD 15.00 17.00 21.00 18.00 7.00
TNC 17.00 17.00 21.00 18.00 8.00


Team/Operator B365 Betway Skybet GG.Bet PP
LFY 17.00  21.00 19.00 18.00 9.50 
Team NP 19.00  21.00  26.00  19.00  11.00 
iG.V 26.00  21.00  17.00  23.00  26.00 
Fnatic 34.00  31.00  29.00  34.00  15.00 
Team Empire 41.00  33.00  51.00  41.00  23.00 
Digital Chaos 41.00  31.00  51.00  41.00  23.00 
InFamous 81.00  67.00  101.00  81.00  23.00 
Execration 81.00  67.00  101.00  81.00  18.00 
Planet Dog 126.00  101.00 101.00  101.00  34.00 


As seen above, Skybet are standalone best priced for 9/18 teams that are set to compete. Most of the odds for the four outright favourites (VP, OG, EG and Liquid) don’t have much between the operators. 

Things start to get very weird when you look at the Paddy Power/Betfair offering. Invictus Gaming, one of the six invited teams and winners of the Dota Asia Championship 2017 are priced at 23.00. They’re priced on Skybet at 11.00 so there’s huge disparity there. The fact that the likes of LGD are as short as 7.00 on PP and 21.00 on Skybet again is pretty weird. They came through the qualifiers whereas iG were directly invited and there’s a 16.00 disparity in odds.

The price on Filipino roster Execration ranges from 67.00 to 101.00 across GG.Bet, Betway, Bet365 and Sky. In come Paddy Power/Betfair with a nice price of 18.00. The odds don’t really make much sense across the board and unless you are a backer of iG where they are best priced by a mile — I would generally steer clear.

On an unrelated note, a special shout out is reserved this week for Ladbrokes. They have an outright market for ESL One Cologne, which is now in its third day of competition. Punters are free to back Virtus Pro at 10.00 and TyLoo at 12.00 despite both teams already being eliminated from the tournament.

Ninjas in Pyjamas are priced at 41.00 and they have already guaranteed a top eight position. This is still a worryingly frequent occurrence in esports. 

Another smaller shoutout goes to William Hill who yesterday priced up a European team versus a North American team in the “Asia Minor – PGL Major Krakow” — a non existent tournament. If they just mean the Major, Team Dignitas didn’t qualify and if these two teams were set to play then C9 would not be the outsider. Just esports things.