Sunday, October 4th Recap
Machi Esports vs Team Liquid (Net: -0.22 units)
This draft by Team Liquid relied heavily on being ahead and the first team to objectives so that the enemy had to engage onto you. With no engage tools all Machi had to do was draft Ezreal or another safe, scaling carry and not drastically lose the tempo advantage. Liquid’s composition had scaling but when you’re not ahead with no engage tools or no split push threat then the other team just needs to wait you out. Machi did a pretty good job getting a few small advantages early to allow them to scale up without any interruption. That’s all this game was really. I’d say it was a poor draft but it was just execution based more than strictly poor. You had winning matchups in the outer lanes but they played right into Gemini.
I’m not chalking this one up to anything other than Machi stabilized with a superior scaling composition. Is what it is. Wasn’t a “bad” game by Liquid really.
G2 Esports vs Suning Gaming (Net: -3.38 units)
What a slobberknocker!
This was a fairly even game through the first 20 minutes with a lot of trading back and forth but Suning got up two drakes early on and looked like they’d won the third drake fight convincingly trading 2 for 1 and still holding full health bars. Jankos and Caps had a really slick steal (with TF wild cards….) that he traded his life for. Little did we know, that eventually that would be what kept G2 in this game when it had appeared Suning were turning the corner.
Suning were going to get outscaled in this game if it went super late like it did. While I think the Renekton “fall off” is drastically over-exaggerated, there is truth to it in the 2% of games that go to the super late game like this one did and especially against Ezreal specifically who just eats bruisers for breakfast. The fact that Suning kept these fights as close as they did with Renekton+Lee Sin in the hyper late game like this is a testament to just how insanely good Bin and SofM can be. Those champions are typically non-factors against the kind of team composition that G2 had and they still managed to get an ocean soul and make things interesting later in this game.
As soon as that dragon steal happened I had a feeling the UNDER was dead and that ended up being true. Still think Suning were the right side and honestly should have won this game off of a four drake snowball but variance happens, steals happen, that’s why we play the games out. This was a really fun one to watch. A downright brawl between two great teams.
Bigger takeaway from this is that I think G2 look like they have their ducks in a row in regards to what the important champions are in this metagame so that’s encouraging for them.
DAMWON Gaming vs Rogue (Net: -3.46 units)
One of the things I like so much about DAMWON, and to a lesser extent DragonX and a team like Invictus who isn’t here, is that their economy isn’t dependent on kills they just amplify them. DAMWON were behind in kills off of some cheeky plays by Rogue early in this game but there was never a doubt in this one. Teams need to stop giving the LCK teams Pantheon support. I know it had the worst score line in this game and there was a communication error that got BeryL killed but the ability for it to translate a free level 2 for your carry into plays around the map just make it such a potent snowballing tool. This isn’t a solo queue gimmick. The LCK supports at this tournament, as well as others, have been completely destroying on it all Summer long. It’s a big part of the reason that DWG were the hardest to gameplan against in my preparation and why I think they’re the favorites to win this whole thing.
A lot of people are giving Rogue a lot of flack for “rolling over and dying” in this game but the truth is, the way these team compositions were structured that their best bet when behind by that big a margin wasn’t to just engage into fights after your carry had been picked, but to just hope the other team got overzealous and dives. People put way WAY too much focus on situations that ultimately matter a small percentage of the time. It’s fair to criticize those moments for the future but I don’t see anybody talking about how Rogue got there in the first place which should be the real focus.
I’m not worried about Rogue.
PSG Talon vs JD Gaming (Net: -0.23 units)
.JDG dunked on Talon so hard with LvMao piloting the Pantheon support this time. Maybe the biggest whooping of the tournament so far. Talon look like they’re in trouble which isn’t a surprise but they’ve got to more or less win out at this point.
Gen.G vs TSM (Net: -5.74 units)
I’m not entirely sure why TSM felt so panicked in the early transition into mid in this game. It felt like they were making all these desperation plays when their composition scaled perfectly fine in comparison. They didn’t stave off the bleeding and Gen.G ended up with a big enough lead to win a few fights and put this one away. BrokenBlade made a pretty critical error in a level 1 trade that really screwed up the momentum for the rest of this lane and sort of ruined TSM’s plan to have priority in at least two lanes. Still, even after the mistake he got a gank to help even things out and just refused to play neutral. It literally looked like he was just afraid to screw up again but I’d argue it cost TSM a lot on the momentum plays it allowed Gen.G to make, despite the fact that they capitalized on one of them on a red buff invade.
The game losing fight, to me, was after TSM won a trade 5v5 preparing for dragon, were in a position of power to take the drake and were just really indecisive because of the threat of a flank from Rascal. All TSM needed to do was turn on one fight or the other OR just take the dragon and they did neither. TSM need to settle down. I don’t know if it’s pressure or nerves or whatever but this game they looked like a bunch of rookies including Bjergsen who made a few overly desperate plays himself. Identify the game state, realize when you’re in a position of power.
From a betting perspective I got crushed on this game because Gen.G didn’t get to 10 kills (landed on 9….) and couldn’t cover the 7.5 kill spread in what I was sure would be a stomping. The spread I won’t sweat but that not getting to 10 kills feels like a bad beat to me. Is what it is.
Fnatic vs LGD Gaming (Net: -0.47 units)
This was a fairly close game throughout which was impressive to me considering I thought Fnatic had a massive team composition disadvantage once they didn’t have a lead coming out of laning phase. With limited engage tools against Kindred ultimate which can stymie Syndra ultimate they had only Syndra E, Thresh hook, and Jhin W as forms of engage. Picks are difficult vs Kindred teams and if you go for them they had the Ornn ult + MF ult to punish you hard for committing. Ekko is also extremely difficult to pick because of his ultimate. I thought Fnatic were impressive to keep this game as close as they did. Still a decent win from LGD who are playing the best they have all season. They’ve been a lot more disciplined than we saw from them all year. Worth noting moving forward in a tricky group to call.
Parlays: +0.79 units
Total Net: -12.71 units
Brutal first two days here. I had the right side in four out of six but whiffed on just about everything. Game scripts did not go at all the way I thought they would but we did learn a lot to move forward with.
Main Event – Group Stage
G2 Esports -385 vs Machi Esports +293
Kill Total: 26.5 (over -106 / under -122)
Kill Spread: -9.5 @ -104 / +9.5 @ -125
Team Kill Totals: 17.5 / 8.5
Time Total: 32:00 (over -125 / under -104)
Machi took what was given to them in the draft by Liquid and played it out to a pretty sound win with a couple nice pressure points from Gemini to help smooth their transition to the late game. G2 aren’t going to make the same draft errors that Liquid did, and if they do I trust them to outplay the situation more than I do Liquid when dealing with a bizarre situation. That’s kind of G2’s specialty.
I think people are going to try to get cute and take Machi here but it’s tough to really take much from that win they just showed us as it was just a pretty clear picture of the drafts playing out like they looked. It wasn’t necessarily at terrible draft by Liquid but when a team has to get ahead with a comp and that comp doesn’t get ahead it almost doesn’t really matter what happens the rest of the game so I wouldn’t look to much into it for either side of that game.
G2 should win this but it’s tough to lay this kind of money in a best of one especially when Machi showed that they’re capable of punishing a draft mistake such as the one Liquid left themselves open to. G2 aren’t exactly a team that covers big spreads as their average margin of victory over the past few years isn’t as big as you’d think it is. I think this is just a pass on the sides.
Whenever we get a big underdog I’m going to look to the overpriced prop markets. I’ll be taking Machi first herald and first dragon each at fairly big plus money. G2 have hovered around a 50% rate for both this Summer which makes sense given that they frequently trade one of the other depending on their composition. We’ll hit on one of these and collect the change.
Prop: Machi first dragon @ +140 (1 unit)
Prop: Machi first herald @ +154 (1 unit)
Suning Gaming -233 vs Team Liquid +191
Kill Total: 24.5 (over -112 / under -116)
Kill Spread: -6.5 @ -119 / +6.5 @ -110
Team Kill Totals: 16.5 / 9.5
Time Total: 33:00 (over -154 / under +118)
This is a spot we typically see some overreaction and we likely would have if Suning actually pulled out the win against G2 but as it stands this isn’t far off from the opener. Suning actually impressed me quite a bit even though they lost yesterday. Their ability to keep fights close in the very late game with Renekton and Lee Sin against Ezreal is kind of ridiculous. Anyway…
The challenge with this line is whether or not it’s too rich to pay for Suning. I don’t think it is. As much as I think people might be overreacting to that Liquid performance (it was just a loss after they didn’t get ahead early) I do think Suning pose a unique challenge for them and Jensen isn’t the player to punish Angel which is typically how teams have had success beating Suning.
I’ll be sticking to a light position on the Suning kill spread because I do think they’re better than this number implies but it wouldn’t surprise me to see Liquid keep this close if they don’t just lose in the draft.
Suning were not a heavily objective focused team, they actually graded out just slightly above league average in my objective portion of the objective/economy model for the LPL. They tend to fight first and ask questions later or wait for your to start and then fight into it. I don’t see it anywhere but if you can get plus money on both the Liquid first dragon and first herald that’s worth a play to collect the icing off the top.
Kill Spread: Suning -6.5 kills @ -119 (1.19 units)
DAMWON Gaming -909 vs PSG Talon +584
Kill Total: 24.5 (over -118 / under -111)
Kill Spread: -11.5 @ -127 / +11.5 @ -103
Team Kill Totals: 18.5 / 5.5
Time Total: OTB
Talon got obliterated again today by JDG. I’m honestly not sure how Talon are going to approach this game. They’ve scored just 3 kills over their first two days. I don’t know if we’ll see an overcorrection to a hyper-aggressive look by them or if they’ll just keep trying to do what they do. Either way I think DAMWON roll this but we saw today that they’re more than comfortable playing an objective focused plan. I also think they tend to clown around a little too much in wins to feel good laying a ridiculous 11.5 kills. That said, I’m not rushing to the window to back Talon at the number either. I’m going to play this spread even though it feels terrible. This DWG team is just worlds better than the best version of Talon and DWG actually had an average margin of victory of 11.55 kills this season in the LCK so it’s not that crazy a number.
I’ve been playing a lot of the underdog objectives in big moneyline spots but I really do think DAMWON are just going to trash Talon here. This could be a 4-2-1 shutout, DAMWON had half a dozen of those this season.
I will play the tower under here. The way this prop tends to work is each side has 11 towers. If you think a game is going to be lopsided a “tutorial victory” which is all 11 of the enemies towers isn’t as common when you have lopsided games as the teams tend to just hammer down a lane or two so even if the enemy team does get one tower at some point you can still hit the under.
Kill Spread: DWG -11.5 kills @ -120 (1.2 units)(Bet365)
Prop: Total Towers UNDER 11.5 @ -175 (3.5 units)(Bet365)
JD Gaming -294 vs Rogue +234
Kill Total: 26.5 (over -116 / under -112)
Kill Spread: -7.5 @ -111 / +7.5 @ -118
Team Kill Totals: 16.5 / 9.5
Time Total: 33:00 (over -115 / under -114)
While Rogue never really had a chance against DAMWON despite the close kill score, I do think they managed to keep that game closer than a lot of people thought they would have thought. I could see a similar situation here. JDG showed yesterday why they’re one of the tournament favorites by whooping on poor Talon but I think Rogue will be a significantly tougher challenge especially because their early game is very strong.
I’m going to be taking a light position on Rogue here. The Zoom advantage over Finn is a bit concerning but I actually think the rest of this map should be able to remain competitive. Rogue are the kind of team that are capable of actually getting an early advantage, something I looked forward to going into this tournament against the Eastern teams and I think it gives them a distinct advantage that some of the other Western teams don’t have. Unfortunately that were just placed into this group. Just because we don’t expect Rogue to make it out doesn’t mean they won’t be competitive. This team is much better than their result is going to show at this tournament and I think in any other group they would have been very live to make it to the knockout stage.
JDG aren’t a first blood team they were actually in the bottom half of the LPL in that as well as first tower. They are capable of playing a variety of styles but they tend to “bend but don’t break” and choose their time to strike or wait for you to make a mistake more than force the issue themselves. I think Rogue props here are in play.
Kill Spread: Rogue +7.5 kills @ -118 (1.18 units)
Moneyline: Rogue +250 (0.5 units)(Bet365)
Prop: Rogue first blood @ +109 (1 unit)
Prop: Rogue first tower @ +128 (0.5 units)
Prop: Rogue first dragon @ +120 (0.5 units)
FlyQuest -122 vs Unicorns of Love +102
Kill Total: 27.5 (over -105 / under -123)
Kill Spread: -1.5 @ -118 / +1.5 @ -111
Team Kill Totals: 14.5 / 12.5
Time Total: OTB
This might be the most interesting matchup of the day. I talked about this quite a bit this afternoon in The Esports Department Discord. My first reaction to this was take major over minor region at this price but the more I think about it the more you actually have to plant a flag on this one.
In terms of individual player skill I think it’s always difficult to gauge the Unicorns of Love. Even though the LCL is a respectable smaller league, it’s still a smaller league. A lot of these players play against EU Masters teams and play on the solo queue ladder with the top pros with no issue but we don’t get to see that consistent test for them so it’s tough to really tell. FlyQuest we know where they’re strong and weak.
I think this matchup comes down to Solo and how you think FlyQuest can handle the clear draft liability he’s causing. If you think Unicorns of Love can punish the fact that Solo doesn’t really play any carries besides Gangplank, then I think they’re worth a play here. Another interesting point is whether or not PowerOfEvil will play Akali or Lucian. If either of those are champions that might not need to be banned against FlyQuest then they’re at a massive disadvantage in this scenario.
This is one of those matches where there is definitely a correct side to be on but it’s too tough to know what it is right now. I’ll be passing this match, looking at the context clues we’re given and hitting it in the second round robin.
Similar reasons to above. Pass.
TOP Esports -217 vs DragonX +178
Kill Total: 27.5 (over -119 / under -110)
Kill Spread: -6.5 @ -105 / +6.5 @ -123
Team Kill Totals: 16.5 / 10.5
Time Total: OTB
The TL:DR here is that I have these teams only a half tier apart in my power rankings and I’m getting +178 on a world class team. I’m going to take that every time unless I have a good reason not to. This match should be a great matchup though. Pyosik is positioned extremely well in this current jungle metagame. These champions like Nidalee, Lillia, and Kindred are his wheelhouse and while Karsa has made a nice adjustment to it himself, he’s not quite as comfortable. I think that could actually manifest in a potential draft advantage for DragonX here. Chovy is one of the few people on earth that can actually match Knight and with the way Doran and the DragonX bottom lane have looked so far I really do think DragonX might be slightly better positioned in the current state of the game than TOP are even if I think TOP are a slightly better team. The point is that I think this is a coin flip and given the current meta I might actually even give a slight edge to DragonX for the purposes of drafting. With that in mind a play on the underdogs here just makes a lot of sense.
The first props are all priced appropriately so I’ll pass there. The over 12.5 towers at plus money is intriguing but I could easily see either of these teams snowballing a lead hard on one another so I’ll pas.
Moneyline: DragonX +178 (2 units)
(all lines from Nitrogen unless noted otherwise)