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The 5 Most Significant Differences Between DOTA 2 and League of Legends

Undoubtedly, video games have similar gameplay, character design, and abilities in champions/heroes in combat. You’ll even find similarities in the game skins, but there are significant differences that spur the preference among fans of each game. In this article, we’ll see the key differences between these games and how they contribute to their popularity in the eSports scene.

The MOBA Games: DOTA 2 & League of Legends (LoL)

Defense of the Ancients 2 (DOTA 2) and League of Legends (LoL) are the two biggest MOBA video games in the eSports scene. League of Legends (LoL) has a cumulative 126 million active players monthly, and DOTA 2 is estimated to have between 540,000 – 840,000 daily. In addition, both games host legendary tournaments yearly to give some of the most exciting matches and talented players in the MOBA scene.

The huge success of the two games in the eSports field can partly be attributed to the long-standing rivalry between fans on which game is better. Although with the many similarities shared, ardent fans of each game never seem to come to a mutual agreement on which one reigns superior, and duly so, because there are also key differences that give one an edge over the other.

Interestingly, League of Legends (LoL) was inspired by the first version of DOTA, when it was a custom map on WarCraft III. Despite this, League of Legends (LoL) seems to have a larger fanbase than DOTA 2 in the eSports scene. And as one game inspired the other, both have similar gameplay of a team of five facing another, strategizing and battling to destroy the other “Nexus” or “Ancient.”

What Are The Significant Differences Between League of Legends (LoL) And Defense of the Ancients 2 (DOTA 2)?

The concept of the two MOBA games is so similar in terms of the gameplay, characters, and maps. But in these similarities, key differences exist to make one game appeal to you better than the other. The first you’ll probably notice is the characters known as heroes in DOTA 2 and Champions in League of Legends (LoL).

Heroes Vs. Champions

Whether in LoL matches or DOTA 2 events, you’re required to pick a character that will be your fighter in a battle. In DOTA 2, these characters are known as heroes, while they’re called champions in League of Legends (LoL). These characters have the biggest differences you’ll observe in the games. In League of Legends (LoL), you’ll have a limited number of champions to pick from at the beginning, and more will be available to unlock as you progress.

On the other hand, Dota 2 has all its heroes unlocked from the beginning, and you can pick whichever you want to start your game. However, League of Legends (LoL) champions tend to have better skillshots and spammable spells; hence you’ll need to develop your skills more with the game. But in Dota 2, you’re free to purchase boosts that can amplify the damages you deal regardless of your abilities.

This doesn’t mean Dota 2 is not a game of skills, but you’ll require more with League of Legends (LoL) compared to it.

Game Mechanics

Despite these games having similar gameplay, their game mechanics are quite different, from the controls to in-game features that affect the heroes or champions. For instance, a champion in League of Legends (LOL) will respond instantly to a command from your keyboard or mouse. This is in contrast to DOTA 2’s mechanic where you must wait for the character’s rotating animation to complete before any movement occurs.

Also, each game’s experience points and gold earned have different roles. For instance, you can earn two types of gold in Dota 2; unreliable and reliable. An unreliable gold is a bounty gotten from a hero’s kills, couriers, Midas’ hands, and Roshan. The reliable gold comes passively per minute, and you get extra if you’re with an item known as the philosopher’s stone.

These golds in DOTA 2 can help you respawn a player who just died with the “buyback feature.” However, you won’t get such in League of Legends (LoL). The gold is to buy items that might contribute to your abilities in the game. If a player dies during a LoL match, they must wait until the respawn timer hits zero.

eSports Matches

Dota 2 players and LoL players will probably never agree on what tournament holds the best matches between the games. But according to reviews, viewership, and fans’ opinions worldwide, League of Legends (LoL) has the best eSports matches. From the skills LoL players display to the suspense in games, League of Legends (LoL) undoubtedly takes the edge.

However, DOTA 2 takes the edge in pool prizes, breaking the record for the biggest pool prize at The International 2021 with just a bit over $40 million. League of Legends might be more interesting in tournaments, but the players of Dota 2 are making more bank!


The betting scene is another relevant factor in the differences between these two MOBA disciplines. In comparison, Dota 2 betting is not as huge as LoL betting. This is because LoL eSports betting gives you a wide range of markets to pick from, compared to Dota 2. More sites are dedicated to League of Legends (LoL) betting with guides, tips, and lucrative odds that could lead to massive winning. We think it’s due to LoL events’ actions in tournaments. It’s a skill-driven game, so you’d expect it to have many predictions and wagers on even the smallest things.

However, betting in Dota 2 also comes with its own perks, rising fast in the ranks of lucrative eSports bets. You’ll also find betting sites that’ll give you a rundown on events, players’ performances, and upcoming matches to make informed bets. In 2022 and beyond, you always want to leverage this data availability before you make a deposit to your eSports betting site on your favorite teams.


The community of fans between League of Legends (LoL) and Dota 2 brings all the relevance and excitement to the games. Undoubtedly, League of Legends (LoL) has a bigger fanbase due to your easy access to the game and flat learning curve. However, both communities uphold the standards and brimming rivalry between the two disciplines and will continue to do so for generations to come.


DOTA 2 and LoL are games that have dominated the MOBA scene for over a decade now. These games garner massive followers daily who will most likely continue the legendary rivalry on what game is better and why. Regardless, we think both games are fascinating with their differences and make betting on them even better!

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