A Brief Introduction
Heroes of the Storm is Activision Blizzard’s intro game into the vastly growing MOBA market. The game is based on lore from Blizzard’s popular franchise games and includes heroes from World of Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft. While the game is still in its infancy (the official release date was in June of this year), it has received favorable reviews. The maps and playstyles are suited for more casual players, and it’s yet to be determined what kind of competitive scene will develop.
Heroes of the Storms is operated through Blizzard’s online Battle.net gaming service (as are their other flagship franchises). There are three central game modes that revolve around 5 vs. 5 matchups. Instead of an individual leveling system like other mainstream MOBAs, Heroes of the Storm is built off of collective experience shared amongst the entire team. Heroes of the Storm also features mounts that players can use to increase movement speed when out of combat, similar to their World of Warcraft game.
One of the main goals of Heroes of the Storm was to make exciting gameplay and quick matches. A gated system that involves players gaining mercenaries by killing jungle camps essentially ensures that most games will end before the 30 minute mark. The game also feels more simplified compared to other MOBAs, with a simple spell augmentation leveling system (compared to other games that involve buying items). Gone are the individual XP, items, and gold that one would expect after playing League of Legends or DOTA 2. While this does make the game easier to balance from Blizzard’s perspective, as well as eliminating the bickering over who gets kills, it puts a large emphasis on team unity. A single player can take down the entire team instead of just their individual play.
Another distinct difference that Heroes of the Storm brings to the MOBA genre is the eclectic collection of maps. Unlike DOTA 2 and League of Legends, where competitive games are exclusively played on one map, Heroes of the Storm features 7 maps. The different maps offer subtle but noticeable changes in gameplay, enhancing the fast pace nature of the game.
Betting on Heroes of the Storm
The competitive scene for Heroes of the Storm is still evolving (the game has only been out of beta testing for 4 months now). However, Heroes of the Storm has the same standard bets that most eSports games currently have. The most common betting is on the winner of two teams for a specific series. The betting is standard (If Cloud9 had 2.00 odds on winning against Dignitas and you bet $100 on Cloud9, you would get $150 back for Cloud9 winning) and the odds vary from bookmaker to bookmaker. Other prop bets include picking the team that has the best record at the end of each split/season, which player scores the most takedowns, or which team finishes last. Some other unique bets include which team scores the most takedowns in a single season, the most towers downed, elites killed, etc.
Don’t want to bet with real money? No problem. Some betting institutions, such as GosuGamers, have a feature called ValueBet. This feature allows bettors to place bets on matches using skins (an estimated value is given for each item).
Like any sports, upsets happen. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to bet on teams that have an 80% or higher win rate. A $20 bet would only net a $4 payout or less, all at the chance of losing your $20 for essentially a low return. Finding a high bet, or where the odds are closer to 60-70%, are considered valuable bets. Medium bets, or where the competition has odds of 50-60% per team of winning, is also important to look at. Essentially the teams are even in competition, but if the bettor has done their homework, they may find subtle differences that would incline them to pick the winning team. It’s important to make bets on games you have an ample amount of information about (I strongly recommend not betting on games that you can find no information on). Once you start betting just because everyone else is can lead to problems. Always make informative bets.
Develop an Edge
The best way to gain an edge when making the most logical and educated bet is to examine each team and player on an individual basis. Heroes of the Storm is a team based game, and team play can vary from week to week as far as coordination and synchronization. There are a few sources that you want to refer to. First, HOTS VODs (http://www.gosugamers.net/heroesofthestorm) are previous videos of competitive team fights and can be viewed at any time. This is a great place to start if you’re not familiar with the popular teams and players. Quite a few of the HOTS competitive players also use streaming services (such as twitch.tv) to stream their ranked games. Teams will also typically scrim against each other during the week and vital information can also be used from these matches (such as new team tactics, overall skill level, new champion picks, etc.).
There are also numerous websites that provide information on team news, roster changes, and team ranks. http://www.heroesnexus.com/ is always up-to-date on the latest news and results from competitive play as well as patch news and new game developments. http://www.gosugamers.net/heroesofthestorm is another website that offers a ton of sources, such as upcoming matches, rankings, team/player stats, popular streams, and videos from previous matches.
Making your Bet
Just like most eSports, Heroes of the Storm has typical bets between two teams facing off against each other. Going into a competitive tournament, the first thing you want to do is look for valuable bets. We’ve outlined what high, medium, and low bet values are, so now we want to look for one of those medium-high bets that will return a maximum profit. Generally I don’t want to all-in one matchup, so if I’m looking to spend $20 I’ll bet on 2-3 matchups. This would be a theoretical bet:
In matchup 1, Team A (Tempo Storm) has a 75% chance of winning over Team B (Team Sname). I feel confident in Tempo Storm winning, so I bet $16 with a payout of $4.
In matchup 2, Team A (Cloud9) has an 85% chance of winning against Team B (Team Liquid). I know Team Liquid has started to play much better as of late, and I feel they have a slight chance of getting the upset. I bet $2 on Team Liquid with a potential payout of $10.
The most likely outcome is that I win the bet for Matchup 1 and lose the bet on the second matchup. The end result is I come out even on the day. However, if I win Matchup 2, then I end the day up $14.
There are other unique bets that can be made, as well as multiplier (accumulator) for higher returns. If you don’t fancy betting on just head-to-head matchups, you can always find bookmakers with prop bets, such as the team with the most kills, the team to get first blood, the most towers taken down, etc. As always, have fun with betting. While a select few make it into a career, the majority of people are just casual bettors. Unless you’ve had years of experience, make smaller bets until you have full confidence in your skills.