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How and Where to Bet on The International (Dota 2)

The Dota 2 International is by far the most lucrative esports tournament in the world, with tens of millions on the line every year for the players.

You can make money from the tournament without taking part by betting on it. Here are the best sites for betting on The International online if you want to get started right away.

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We explain why you should use these sites to bet on The International for money later on. For now, let us assure you that these are trusted sportsbooks that will give you great value for your wagers.

Here’s everything we cover in this guide to The International online betting.

Contents of Our Dota 2 The International Betting Guide

Dota 2 The International Betting Guide

Best Betting Sites for The International

It’s likely that many of you found this page wondering where to bet on The International online. There are a ton of esports gambling apps and sites that will gladly take your wagers, but you need to choose wisely.

If you want to improve your chances to win, you should stick with the BEST sites to bet on The International.

The tournament is covered by many sportsbooks, but the leading online esports gambling sites offer the following perks when it comes to the Dota 2 TI.

  • Excellent Variety of TI Markets – The selection of The International bets at the top-rated online sportsbooks for Dota 2 is something else.
  • TI Special Offers – You can enjoy different The International betting promotions and bonuses to boost your bankroll.
  • The International Odds – You should always look for the highest prices and that’s exactly what the legit online The International betting sites on this page deliver.

Of course, our recommended The International sportsbooks online cover general criteria like the ones we’ve listed below.

  • Safety of the Customers – You can bet on The International for real money safely at our recommend sites.
  • Fast Payouts – You can pick between many different banking methods and the payouts are faster compared to most online esports betting sites.
  • Smooth User Interface – All reputable Dota 2 International gambling sites come with a smooth user interface that allows you to find any feature or wager in seconds.
  • Reliable Support – If you need some help, the polite and competent staff of the sportsbooks we recommend will be there to deliver.

With all the general advantages of legal The International betting websites covered, let’s take a look at more specific details of what they offer.

Sportsbook Esports Bonus Crypto Payments US Players
BetUS 100% up to $2,500 Yes Yes
MyBookie 50% up to $1,000 Yes Yes
Betway 100% up to $100 No No
Bovada 50% up to $250 Yes Yes
BetOnline 50% up to $1,000 Yes Yes

Our list of top sites for gambling on The International is not static.

We always make sure that our selected online bookmakers keep going strong. If some of them drop the ball, we replace them with better ones.

Real Money Betting Apps for The International

If you prefer to engage in mobile Dota 2 International betting, you can still pick one of the sportsbooks we have selected.

They also offer the best The International betting apps on the market. Technically speaking, most of them work with responsive mobile betting sites that are compatible with popular devices such as iPhone, iPad, Android, and Windows Phone.

Some even have native esports betting apps that you can use to target all Dota 2 events, including The International.

All of our recommended mobile bookmakers are excellent but we like two of them slightly more than the rest.

Top TI Sportsbook App for iOS

BetUS Mobile

Let’s begin with the best The International bet app for Apple devices. BetUS offers a responsive site that will easily adjust to the most suitable settings for your phone or tablet.

The user interface is seamless and allows you to quickly browse around. That’s quite handy when you consider the wide selection of markets BetUS offers. The best part is that the Dota 2 International betting odds for all of them are above the industry average.

You can also enjoy fast payments, loads of promotions, and a bunch of other esports tournaments. BetUS simply offers one of the best online betting apps out there for all Dota 2 events, including The International. We love the sportsbook on iOS but it also works well on Android.

Best The International Betting App for Android

MyBookie Mobile

MyBookie offers another responsive site that works on all devices and it’s especially good for Android phones and tablets. You don’t need to download anything to enjoy the experience, just open the site from your browser and log in.

The sportsbook offers all sorts of online bets for The International, including futures and outrights, props, and traditional markets for every match. You can also try live TI betting.

MyBookie’s Dota 2 International betting lines are very competitive and you can find plenty of promotions. The overall returns are excellent and that’s the main reason why this is one of the best apps to bet on The International.

How to Bet on The International Online

You now know where to place bets on The International online and get the highest possible value. That’s an important start, but there’s a lot more to learn if you want to win money from the biggest Dota 2 competition.

The next viable question, especially for beginners, is how to bet money on The International online. The first step would be to join a sportsbook and make a deposit.

That’s the easy part because you can get it done in a matter of minutes. Just fill in your details and pick a suitable banking option to compete your transaction.

The more important task is to decide what markets you want to target. Let’s take a look at them.

The International Betting Markets

All legitimate The International gambling websites offer a bunch of markets because of the magnitude of the event. You can pick from the following options.

  • TI Futures and Outrights – You can back any team to win The Dota 2 International or bet on the best squad for each region.
  • Gambling on TI Matches – You can bet on The International matches in many ways, including backing the winner or betting on the number of games played.
  • The International Live Betting – If you are interested in in-play gambling, you will be happy to hear that most real money betting apps and sites offer live odds on The International.
  • The International Prop Bets – Some online bookmakers also have TI props related to Dota 2 heroes and items, general stats over the course of the tournament, and more.

We strongly recommend checking all of the options at your disposal before you bet money on The International. You never know what market could bring you a healthy profit.

Your strategy should be adjusted to the different gambling options, but certain fundamentals apply to all of them.

Basic Betting Tips for The International

The following set of Dota 2 International betting tips can be applied to all potential strategies for the competition.

  • Consider the Specifics of LAN Tournaments – The International is a LAN tournament and entirely different from online competitions. There are crowds that the players can hear for one thing, and you should have that in mind.
  • Pressure is a Huge Factor – The TI is the most prestigious Dota 2 tournament in the world and the prize pool is life-changing for the players. A victory there is enough to take care of their future and the pressure to grab the opportunity is a huge factor.
  • Don’t Place too Many Wagers – All the International bookies spend a lot of time and resources to prepare for the competition. This makes it hard to find good bets, so you need be selective.
  • Use Good Bankroll Management – You should always protect your money by following proper bankroll management and picking a reliable staking plan.
  • Value Betting – Learn how to find value in the odds when you bet on The International with money, as that’s the only way to be successful in the long run.
  • Look for Bonuses and Promotions – You can find plenty of The International betting bonuses online and you should always take full advantage of every opportunity for extra cash.

With the fundamentals explained, let’s move on to more advanced tips on preparing your The International betting predictions.

Picking The International Winner

Most TI betting sites online offer the opportunity to back any team to win the competition. That’s the most popular futures market and it’s often available weeks or even months in advance.

If you want to give it a shot, you should account for the factors we discuss below. They also apply to other outrights and certain The International props.

Consider the Format

You should learn how The International works before picking a winner. It’s the biggest Dota 2 tournament out there and it features teams from all over the globe.

The total number in the finals is 18 and here’s how the quotas are distributed.

Event TI Quotas
Dota 2 Pro Circuit 12
North America Qualifiers 1
South America Qualifiers 1
Western Europe Qualifiers 1
Eastern Europe Qualifiers 1
China Qualifiers 1
Southeast Asia Qualifiers 1

The best teams usually find their way to The International through the Dota 2 Pro Circuit, but there’s a second chance via the regional qualifiers. It’s rare to see a top squad miss out on the TI, so the competition is always fierce.

Furthermore, the format of the tournament leaves a lot of room for error. In the first phase, the teams are split into two groups of nine each and they play against each other in a round-robin format. Here’s what happens to each participant when the final standings are ready.

Position Outcome
1-4 Upper Bracket
5-8 Lower Bracket
9 Eliminated

Only the last team is eliminated and everyone else progresses to the knockouts. The organizations that proceed to the Upper Bracket have even more room for error because they can lose a match and still come back to win the Aegis.

A great example of that is Team Liquid’s performance in 2017. The squad was beaten in the first round of the Upper Bracket and then overcame everyone to win The International.

Team Liquid lost in the first round of the knockouts in 2017, but came back to take the Aegis home.

This is not the only case in which a team from the Lower Bracket becomes the champion. From a betting perspective, this means that winning the competition is a marathon, not a sprint. Teams can make a wrong step along the way, or even several of them if we include the group stage, and still win.

You should consider resilience and the ability to bounce back after defeat when preparing your The International predictions.

Start From the Strong Regions

Dota 2 is popular all over the globe and the International includes teams from multiple regions. They are not all equal, though, and certain regions produce stronger squads on average.

Whether it’s because the game is more popular or because more sponsors are investing, it doesn’t really matter. You should also start from the stronger regions when you gamble on The International winner.

The following table of the winners clearly shows where the top 2 Dota teams in the world come from.

Year TI Winner Region
2011 Natus Vincere Eastern Europe
2012 Invictus Gaming China
2013 Alliance Western Europe
2014 Newbee China
2015 Evil Genuises North America
2016 Wings Gaming China
2017 Team Liquid Western Europe
2018 OG Western Europe
2019 OG Western Europe

Western Europe and China have dominated the competition, while Eastern Europe and North America have produced one champion each.

That’s not a coincidence and you should always consider the top teams from Western Europe and China first, then everyone else.

Watch the Season Before the TI

You simply can’t avoid the Dota 2 scene for an entire year, tune in when The International is around the corner, and expect to make money by betting on the tournament.

You should watch or at least follow the season leading to the biggest event in Dota 2. The Pro Circuit and other important competitions will give you an excellent idea of what to expect from the top squads.

You can learn how they cope with the latest meta, how strong the cohesion between the team members is, and how the top sides look against each other.

Every big tournament, especially close to the TI, serves a rehearsal. It provides valuable information on the meta and the condition of each team, so make sure to keep your eyes open.

Following the Dota 2 Majors before The International helps you know how each team is performing.

Analyze the Rosters

All the tips for betting The International winner so far have been focused on general factors but when it’s all said and done, analyzing the rosters is the key to success.

It’s a delicate task because you need to evaluate each member individually and then decide how they work as a unit. Let’s start with the former and check the factors you need to consider when it comes to every player.

  • Mechanical Skills – The ability to time every move and hero skill with precision is vital for success at the highest level.
  • Experience – Guys with more experience tend to be closer to their best at such a big tournament.
  • Performance in the Clutch – Some players are at their very best when the going gets tough and often that makes the difference at The International.
  • Versatility – All team members obviously have roles, but that’s only the beginning. For example, there are hard carries in the game that need a lot of time to turn up, while others are active early on. Some Position 1 players are mostly suited for one of the two options, others excel in both. The same applies to the other roles in the game.

Once you have a good idea of what to expect from each player, it’s time to figure out if the whole is greater or lesser than the sum of its parts.

That’s one of the main factors to consider when working on your The International picks. Even the most talented squad doesn’t stand a chance if the cohesion is not there. Here’s what you need to consider.

  • Leadership – Each Dota 2 team has a captain that decides on the squad’s strategy and drafts the lineup for every game. Strong leaders manage to get the best of their teammates more often than not.
  • Experience Together – Teams that have been together for a while have better coordination than squads that were just formed.
  • Team Atmosphere – In certain situations, there’s tension within the teams and that could ruin any chance to win The International. The whole organization has to be on the same page or the performance usually suffers.

Of course, the easiest way to evaluate both the individual and group factors would be to analyze previous results. Check the year before the TI with priority but also look further back to understand how strong each squad really is.

Look for Teams with Extra Motivation or Confidence

All Dota 2 teams and players desperately want to win The International, there’s no doubt about that. The same applies to coaches and sponsors.

However, some sides might have an additional mental edge and you should always consider if that’s the case. That could come from different places, both positive and negative.

OG’s victories in 2018 and 2019 are probably the most obvious examples. No one believed in this team in the first year and even qualifying for the TI was considered an achievement.

It was a squad that was just betrayed by arguably its best player, with a young and unproven carry, and a guy who was a coach not so long ago because he was labeled “not good enough to be a player”. It was a team of misfits that had everything to prove. And they did.

OG used all the pain and humiliation as motivation to win The International in 2018.

OG then returned in 2019 and most of the community still didn’t believe in the squad. The desire to prove everyone wrong again was pivotal for the side’s success once again. In both cases, the team had that extra motivation to go all the way.

That’s something that the Dota 2 International bookmakers didn’t consider in their odds.

In other scenarios, a team that has been dominating the Dota 2 pro scene for a long time might have the extra confidence required to win the Aegis.

There’s no clear formula here, but you should always dig a bit deeper around each team and try to recognize factors that could provide a boost to the performance.

Betting on Dota 2 The International Matches

The best way to bet The International online and make money is to go after individual fixtures. The sheer number of matches during the tournament opens the door to a bunch of opportunities.

Not to mention that the best sites and top betting apps for The International all have so many markets for every single clash.

We have a set of tips that can help you prepare for most of them.

Consider the Stage of the Tournament

When you prepare for your The International betting picks, you should always consider the stage of the tournament.

In the group phase, the top teams have the luxury to take it easy. They don’t have to win every single clash to proceed to the knockouts in a good position. That allows them the following opportunities.

  • Hiding Top Lineups – Every team works hard to prepare for The International and hides its top lineups in the lead-up to the competition. The best sides can afford to keep them secret for a little while longer.
  • Experiment a Bit – The squads have the chance to try different strategies without fearing an exit and that’s important.
  • Not Caring too Much – If players take every single match from the group stages as a matter of life and death, they will be drained emotionally for the knockouts.

That doesn’t mean the teams are not serious about the matches from the group stages, quite the contrary. The main point is that they try to plan ahead and make sure they do what’s necessary to go through but still have enough left in the tank for the decisive battles ahead.

Once the knockouts start, everything changes. Each squad gives everything in every single match.

Furthermore, the format changes for the eliminations. The best-of-two used for the group stage is replaced by a best-of-three system to make sure there’s always a winner.

Follow the Meta

If you have been playing Dota 2 or any other MOBA, you certainly know how important the metagame is. The most effective heroes and strategies change all the time, based on factors like the latest patches or innovative new tactics by some of the top teams.

It’s important to follow the meta around The International if you want to make money. There are three main factors here.

  • The Meta at the TI Start – You should carefully study the latest trends heading into The International and understand the meta just before the tournament begins.
  • The Meta in the Group Stages – Once the Dota 2 International starts, teams from different regions interact with each other and we see all sorts of strategies used. Some sides bring completely new ideas to the table and chaos ensues. Try to keep up with everything going on.
  • The Meta in the Knockouts – When the group stage is over, the teams usually try to regroup and analyze what happened so far. Some of them have even kept their top strategies secret up to this point so a lot can change.

Every time you’re about to use a site to bet on The International, you should think about the latest meta and try to figure out how comfortable each team is in the current situation.

Analyze the Match Context

There’s a good argument to be made that the first two points we made belong here, but they are simply too important, and we wanted to stress them individually.

They are both relevant to the match context, but there are other factors to consider. Let’s check them out.

  • Position of the Teams – This one applies to the late matches in the group stage. A team that has secured a good position for the knockouts might be willing to experiment, while a squad that is still hanging in the balance will be forced to give everything to progress.
  • Upper Bracket vs. Lower Bracket – Teams can afford to lose a match from the Upper Bracket but going down in the Lower Bracket means the dream is over. Some squads perform better when their back is against the wall.
  • Momentum – Any team on a strong streak will be full of confidence and ready to take on anyone.
  • Teams with Nothing to Lose – Complete underdogs are often free from any pressure and that could be a huge positive. Just remember what OG did in 2018.
  • Fan Support – While esports is not quite on the same level as traditional sports when it comes to live audience, any team that has a strong support in the arena might get a boost from the crowd.

You should always think about the factors above before you even start analyzing the squads.

Compare the Teams

When you have the full context around the clash, it’s time to think about overall team strength. The goal here is to both properly evaluate how good each of them is and how they would interact once the match starts.

Here are the main factors you need to go through to make realistic TI predictions.

  • Performance in the TI – If the teams played in The International already, you should analyze their performance. Look for strengths and weaknesses, as well as favorite lineups.
  • Head-to-Head Results – It’s highly likely you’ll find some matches between the same teams earlier in the season. Take a look at what happened there, so you have a better idea of what to expect from the upcoming clash.
  • Key Heroes and Strategies – Try to figure out the preferred heroes and strategies of both sides. Who has the upper hand and how easy are they to counter?
  • Drafting – How is the team doing in the drafting stage? Does the captain manage to often provide an advantage for his squad at this phase of the game or not?
  • Ability to Adapt – How are both sides performing when things aren’t going their way? Are they versatile and mentally strong enough to adapt and find different solutions? That applies both to individual games and the match as a whole.
  • Potential – Does it feel like the TI performance so far has been only a fraction of what the team is capable of? Is there hidden potential there that could be unleashed?

Once you go through the factors above, you will have a much stronger chance to predict what’s going to happen and gain an upper hand versus The International sites for betting.

Strategy for The International Live Betting

All top online betting sites for The International offer live markets for matches from the tournament. This is an excellent opportunity to make some money for people who know Dota 2 well.

Beginners should be careful, though, because it can be tricky to understand what’s going. The good news is that we have tips that will be helpful to anyone who wants to bet on The International live.

Analyze the Body Language Before the Start

The extensive TV coverage of all matches is one of the unique traits of The International. We get the chance to see both sides walk into the arena and be presented to the public.

Sometimes, the body language of the players can tell you a lot about their mental state. Some are visibly nervous because of how big the occasion is, while others are focused on the task ahead.

It’s important to carefully observe both squads for any clues on their condition. If one of the teams has multiple players that are obviously uncomfortable, a slow start might be on the cards.

Watching the body language of teams as they enter the arena can help you choose your bets.

Watch the Draft

Many games of Dota 2 are decided in the drafting stage. The captains carry the responsibility of picking the optimal lineup and outsmarting the opposition, so their team has the upper hand.

Several factors are at play here and you should try to figure out how each team performed during the drafting stage based on them.

  • Overall Team Strength – You should evaluate how strong the heroes drafted by each side are based on the current meta. The most overpowered heroes are usually banned, but that’s not always the case.
  • Overall Strategy and Win Conditions – Try to understand what the overall strategy and win conditions of each team are based on their lineups. Is the squad going for a pushing strategy that can snowball or is there a hard carry that is expected to take over later on?
  • Countering the Opposition – How do the two lineups interact? Are there any hard counters that provide an advantage for one of the sides? Are there any awkward lanes that might snowball?
  • Balance – Teams need some crowd control, some pushing, some late game, and some ganking potential in any lineup they pick. Is one of the sides missing any of these and can the opposition punish them?
  • Mid Matchup – The mid matchup is crucial and could decide the entire game. If one of the teams has a huge advantage and a hero that can then start tormenting the other lanes with ganks, the clash might be over before you know it.
  • Favorite Heroes – All players have signature heroes that they love playing. If the captain manages to get some of them, that could be game-changing.

The good news is that the casters of The International often provide their live commentary of the draft, covering most of these factors.

You can’t rely on them entirely, though. You should prepare on your own and make sure you have the knowledge to evaluate all the aspects mentioned above.

Consider Previous Matches

Some teams tend to have slow starts and bounce back later on to take games over. Others are exceptional at snowballing but might be hopeless when they don’t get an early game advantage.

It’s important to know if that’s the case and checking previous matches of both sides is the easiest way to understand that. Take a look at the last few fixtures to see what happened.

Ideally, you should check matches from the International. If there weren’t many of them, you can look at recent encounters from other tournaments too. The goal is to see both how most of the individual games went on and the matches as a whole.

Any trends you identify can be very useful for your live betting goals.

General Live Betting Tips

We’ve covered the specific traits of live betting on the TI but the general golden rules of in-play gambling also applyhere.

Be sure to consider the following factors.

  • Do Your Homework – You can’t expect to just start watching a random TI match and make money by betting on it. You should study the teams and the tournament beforehand if you want to be successful
  • Watch the Matches – If you are about to risk money, you should watch the matches. Simply checking some stats or live commentary won’t cut it.
  • Consider Mobile Betting – Using mobile sportsbooks is a great option and the best apps for betting The International online all have live markets.
  • Control Your Emotions – The odds change fast in Dota 2 and there’s a delay for each wager. You could easily miss on good wagers and get frustrated as a result. Make sure that doesn’t affect your judgment when it comes to the next bets you want to place.

The tips above might seem simple, but a lot of people ignore them and lose money as a result.

Dota 2 The International Stats and Records

We have prepared some interesting TI stats and records to satisfy the curiosity of our readers that love numbers.

Let’s begin with one of the factors that make The International unique – the prize pools!

Year Total Prize Pool
2011 $1,600,000
2012 $1,600,000
2013 $2,874,380
2014 $10,923,977
2015 $18,429,613
2016 $20,770,460
2017 $24,787,916
2018 $25,532,177
2019 $34,330,068
2021 $40,018,195

The rapid rise of the prize pool can be explained with ease. Since 2013, The International is essentially crowdfunded by the battle pass system that the players purchase.

With the money covered, let’s take a look at the teams with the most participations in The International.

Team Finals Appearances
Invictus Gaming, Evil Genuises, Fnatic 8
Na’Vi 7
Team Liquid, Virtus.pro, Newbee, Team Secret 6
Alliance, Vici Gaming, OG 5

It’s interesting to note that all the Dota 2 The International titles so far went to one of the squads in the table above with only one exception.

Wings Gaming played only in the 2016 edition and took the Aegis of Immortals home. The team disbanded soon after and never returned to the tournament.

Wings Gaming won the TI in their only appearance in 2016.

We now know the teams that appeared the most often, so let’s check out the players with the most TI finals.

Players Appearances
Puppey 10
Iceiceice, KuroKy, LaNM 9
ddc, Fly, N0Tail, s4 8
Arteezy, Faith, Fata, MISERY, UNiVeRsE, zai 7

Finally, let’s take a look at the viewership numbers, so you can understand just how big The International is.

Here are the peak viewing stats for all editions since 2017, according to data from Esports Charts.

Year Peak Audience
2017 925,375
2018 1,205,979
2019 1,968,497

Unfortunately, we don’t have stats for the previous TI editions, but it’s safe to say that this is one of the biggest esports events in the world.

More TI Resources

Now you know where to bet money on The International and we have delivered expert gambling advice that can help you build a strategy for the tournament from scratch.

We also have a list of Dota 2 TI resources that can definitely improve your chances to win. Feel free to check them out.

  • Dota 2 Betting Guide – Our guide to betting on Dota 2 can help you understand the different markets and provides useful gambling tips.
  • The International Official Twitch Channel – You can watch all matches live for free, the studio before each clash, and interviews of top players.
  • DotaBuff Official – You can find plenty of stats for both competitive and casual Dota 2 here that can help you understand the meta better and prepare for your TI bets.
  • Official TI Liquipedia Page – If you want to dig in the history of The International or stay updated with the latest developments for the next edition, this page is the place to go.
  • The International Official Page – Valve’s official TI page is where you can find various announcements and media for the tournament.
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