Dota 2 Tournaments and Leagues

Dota 2 currently organize official tournaments under the Dota Pro Circuit. This new system was introduced after years of criticism from both organizations, players and fans. Valve took control in 2018 to replace the existing structure which lacked transparency and was inconsistent around tournament invitations. Since then, almost 40 major Dota 2 tournaments have been organized by the Dota Pro Circuit with the game developer Valve in charge. In terms of betting on Dota 2 tournaments, nothing has changed on the face of Dota 2 esports, and betting is still available as usual. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many tournaments were cancelled in 2020.

History of competitive Dota 2

Similarly to CSGO, another Valve game, Dota 2 was originally born out of a popular game mod. In the early 2000s, the real-time strategy game Warcraft 3 was hugely popular in the PC gaming community. Many gamers and developers were experimenting with building mods. The most popular mod was DotA or Defense of the Ancients. It was the first form of a MOBA, Multiplayer Online Battle Arena, now arguably the most popular gaming genre. Competitive DotA had to wait until a refined version of the mod came out, DotA: Allstars. With Allstars, a small competitive circuit was formed and grew steadily during the 2000s. By the end of the 2000s, the competitive circuit for DotA: Allstars had grown and gotten commercialized. Major esports organizers like Cyberathlete Pro League (CPL) and Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) were regularly organizing DotA tournaments. At this time, several game publishers started working on ambitious MOBA projects. Most notably Heroes of Newerth and League of Legends.

A new era begins

In 2011, Valve realized that they had to get in on the MOBA action. Closest at hand was to work on a new version of DotA. They acquired the necessary rights and started working on Dota 2. Dota 2 was identical to DotA in many aspects but had much more depth and strategic elements, and of course modern visuals and a better game engine. With DotA cult following and large player base, Dota 2 was highly anticipated. Before the official release of Dota 2, Valve organized the first International event. The International 1 was played during GamesCom 2011 in Cologne. The first competitive Dota 2 prize pool shattered records from the start. TI1 had a prize pool for $1,600,000 – the largest prize pool esports had seen. Since then, the International is the main attraction of esports every year and continues to set new prize pool records that even put the biggest traditional sports to shame.

Dota Pro Circuit points

Teams earn DPS points through competing in various official Dota 2 tournaments throughout the year. The DPC points are used to qualify for the International.

The International – the most prestigious esports tournament in history

The International is the awe of any competitive gamer in the world. Winning or even participating in the International is the dream for Dota 2 professionals. Other esports professionals outside Dota 2 looks at it with jealousy. The reason is that the International is the most lucrative esports tournament in the world. The largest prize pools in CSGO are $1,000,000, and the largest prize pools in League of Legends are $2,000,000 as of recently. In competitive Dota 2 esports, however, particularly the International, the prize pool is more than $40,000,000. The winning team of the next edition of TI is expected to walk away with more than $16,000,000 in first prize money. It’s a staggering amount of money that surpasses the prize pools of even the largest traditional sports.

The first edition of TI was in 2011. It was the first official Dota 2 tournament, initially held to hype up Dota 2 ahead of the games’ release. Most major esports organization realized the lucrative opportunity and assembled Dota 2 teams to compete for the record-setting prize pool of $1,6 million. Natus Vincere played EHOME in the finals, where Na’Vi emerged as winners. The first Dota 2 final was, of course, broadcasted online, setting a viewing record for esports at the time. Over a million fans were watching as the teams battled for the title.

The International 1 was not only a milestone for competitive Dota 2 esports, but the tournament was also monumental for esports as a whole – setting a new standard.

The following Internationals events have been held yearly where each edition outperforms the other. The massive growth of the Dota 2 prize pools is due to the games’ popularity and crowdfunding system. With the International 3, Valve introduced the Compendium, a crowdfunding initiative that helped fund a portion of the prize pools. Sales stemming from sales of in-game items went straight into the prize pool. In the first year of the Compendiums existence, the prize pool grew from $1,600,000 to $2,800,000. In 2014, it leaped unto $10,900,000. Then $18,400,000 in 2015. $20,700,000 in 2016. $24,700,000 in 2017. In 2018, it had a small increase to $25,532,177. An explosion followed the small increase in 2019, where the prize pool grew to $34,300,000. The next edition of the International, TI10, already has a prize pool of over $40,000,000. Due to the Coronavirus, no date is set. But the event is scheduled for play in Stockholm, and we can expect to see plenty of betting options for the next edition of the Dota 2 International.

Other popular Dota 2 tournaments and leagues


The latest but certainly not the last Dota 2 major tournament was EPICENTER. EPICENTER is the largest LAN tournament in Russia. Besides from having a prize pool of $1,000,000, there’s also 15,000 DPC points up for grabs. DPC points are extremely valuable as they are needed in order to qualify for the prestigious the International. The first prize of EPICENTER 2019 was $350,000, Vici Gaming won and also secured 4950 DPC points.

For the EPICCENTER itself, 14 teams qualify from regional qualifiers. And an additional two teams automatically qualify by placing either first or second place in the previous official Dota 2 tournament. In 2019 for example, two teams from StarLadder ImbaTV Season 2 qualified for EPICCENTER. Sixteen teams then compete in the offline LAN finals in CSKA arena every year.


StarLadder has been hosting esports tournaments since 2001. They handle everything from the organization of the event, studio and video production and live streaming. The main Dota 2 esports tournaments from StarLadder is SL StarSeries and SL ProSeries. Dota StarLadder StarSeries changed the name to StarLadder i-League (SLi) after partnering up to Chinese event organizer ImbaTV.

StarLadder ProSeries consists of multiple seasons for lower-tier esports organizations to compete. The prize pools are small and played online. Betting odds for ProSeries is not guaranteed to be offered in bookmakers.

SLi and StarLadder minors and majors, on the other hand, are always available for betting. Dota 2 prize pools for these tournaments are $300,000 for minors and $1,000,000 for majors. Two StarLadder events in 2019/2020 awarded DPC points; StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor Season 1 and Season 2. Each with a prize pool of $300,000.


OGA stands for One Game Agency, the tournament organizers behind the Dota 2 PIT tournaments. Along with fighting for large prize pools, DPC points are sometimes rewarded in OGA Dota PIT tournaments. Most recently in 2019, 500 DPC points were awarded during the OGA Dota PIT Minor. The winner Ninjas in Pyjamas, won $125,000, 120 DPC points and a spot in the MDL Disneyland Major.

OGA Dota PIT tournament finals are normally played in Split, Croatia each year with prize pools of $300,000. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the offline event was cancelled. Instead, multiple OGA Dota PIT tournaments have been held online through 2020. In total seven tournaments was played during the year with prize pools ranging from $25,000 to $90,000 to $170,000.


The ASUS ROG DreamLeague is part of DreamHack. DreamLeague aims for the highest level of transparency, working closely with the esports organizations that participate in the tournaments. Leading up to the DreamLeague finals, teams compete throughout the regular season for seeds in the finals. Each region has its qualifier; North America, Europe, CIS, Southeast Asia and South America.

The first DreamLeague was organized in 2014. It had a prize pool of $50,000. Since then, two seasons is held every year, and the prize pools have gotten a lot bigger in recent years. When DreamLeague became part of the official Dota Pro Circuit, the prize pool was bumped up to $1,000,000 for majors and $300,000 for minors. The LAN finals are usually held in Sweden.

Mars Dota 2 League

MDL is a Chinese Dota 2 tournaments operated by Mars Media. The first edition of MDL was hosted back in 2014. New editions of MDL has been held every year since then.

In 2019, the tournament was held outside of China. Mars Media partnered up with Disneyland Paris Event Group and created Disneyland Paris Major. This edition of MDL had a prize pool of $1,000,000 and 15,000 DPC points. Fifteen teams qualified through regional qualifiers; North America, Europe, China, CIS, Southeast Asia and South America. One team qualified from the previous DPC tournament which was OGA Dota Pit major. Team secret ended up winning the tournaments and received $350,000 along with 4950 DPC points.

Mars Dota 2 League has been part of the Dota Pro Circuit since 2017.

Dota The Summit

Dota the Summit is organized by Beyond The Summit (BTS). BTS started organizing Dota 2 tournaments back in 2012; Gigabyte Dota 2 Masters, BeyondTheSummit World Tour, BeyondTheSummit World Tour, A Fistful of Tangoes and finally the Summit as we know it today. The first few tournaments by BTS were tiny, prize pools ranging from $500 to $5,000 and no Dota 2 odds were available. This came to change with the Summit. Each year since 2014, the top teams in Dota 2 have competed for prize pools that consistently have been exceeding $100,000. The minor Summit events that are part of the Dota Pro Circuit have all had prize pools of $300,000 and 660 DPC points.

CSGO leagues and tournaments FAQ


Since 2012, Dota 2 tournaments have set the standards for esports. Tournaments together with Dota 2 streams continues to deliver us with some of the most exciting esports tournaments. Since the introduction of the Dota Pro Circuit in 2017, Dota 2 tournaments have become even more professionals with larger and larger prize pools. Dota 2 offers some of the best betting options in esports with major bookmakers offering pre-match and in-play Dota 2 odds.