Thursday, August 13th Recap

 

Victory Five vs FunPlus Phoenix (Net: +3.42 units)

A number of factors went into why I was so bullish on Victory Five in this spot but most of them came to light in different ways throughout the course of this season. I said “Victory Five have simply been a better and more consistent team” and we saw that pan out over a longer series. There weren’t really any flukes in this one, V5 just outclassed FunPlus. I also said While FunPlus did start winning with him and GimGoon has been solid, it has made them a more predictable and less versatile team. Contrary to popular opinion I think switching off of Khan was an overall downgrade despite the results.” While I have to admit I was surprised to see the GimGoon Jax broken out the fact that V5 could brazenly take the early Renekton in draft without fear of a hard counter (GP an option), made FunPlus’ plan extremely predictable. You can only get away with picks like that if you’re good AND if you just know exactly what the enemy is going to do. With Khan in this game I think FPX would have had more counter options especially given that top lane on 10.16 is very volatile with the Lucian buffs amongst other things.

Victory Five should have been favored in this series. My model thought they should have been favored too despite their “weaker” recent performance they still graded better than FPX in trending ratings. FPX have a lot of small issues. I don’t think they’re a bad team or bad players but they’re not very good at the things that are important right now (getting early leads) and seem stubborn. Doinb has had his moments this season but for a guy that was as dynamic as he was to have counterpick in almost three-quarters of their games and not take over games more often speaks to another issue FPX are having. They need to adapt or die and at this point it might be too late. They’ll have an automatic bid to the finals in the regional gauntlet so there’s still a chance we see this team at worlds but they haven’t been a top five team this season.

LPL Total: +3.42 units

 

Gen.G vs Sandbox (Net: -2.77 units)

It’s not like they were totally mailing this series in but Gen.G definitely looked like they were trying a few different looks and got punished by Sandbox for it. I actually think Sandbox could have won game three with their draft but were just outclassed. Gen.G look like they might be in … forgive me for this… “sandbox mode” trying things out. The Pantheon mid game one into Pantheon support game three is a neat little weapon to keep in their arsenal that teams will have to respect for playoffs. They earned some draft equity in this series it just sucks we got blown out by it. They didn’t strike me as this type of team but we need to be cautious moving forward.

T1 vs Afreeca (Net: +2.5 units)

T1 look in good form right now and are peaking at the right time and Faker isn’t even playing… tell me that’s not horrifying.

LCK Total: -0.27 units

 

TSM vs Golden Guardians (Net: +6.805 units)

Talked a lot about this on Twitter and in the Discord but this just boiled down to an absolutely dreadful bottom lane performance by TSM. Game one was close, few close fights could have gone either way. Game two TSM were likely going to lose anyway but looked like they’d bought themselves a chance to get back into it before a weird backdoor triple TP play lost them the game. That’s a really tilting way to lose after just defending your base. People are going to get on their case about not being thorough which is fair given that you didn’t have a dragon or baron to rush during the time you had. Still, this was a sorta flukey way to lose. They likely lose anyway but still. Game three the tilt set in. The draft was much worse than I initially thought at first glance and the bottom lane got utterly smashed in a lane that should be maybe slightly below even at worst. Then Doublelift forgot to buy before teleporting back and it just got worse from there.

I don’t think TSM are this bad a bad team but their weaknesses got exposed by a more versatile and underrated Golden Guardians team. Bad days happen, this was one of them. Spica and Bjergsen were excellent in this series it just didn’t matter. TSM spent the entire season not showing enough tempo and early game looks which allows teams to play both that style OR to go over top of them. We saw both from Golden Guardians. TSM need to shape up or they’re not making worlds at this point.

LCS Total: +6.805 units

Parlays: -1.0 units

 

Daily Total: +8.955 units

 

Nice day.

 

LPL Summer 2020

Playoffs – Round One

 

LGD Gaming -172 (-1.5 maps @ +142, -2.5 @ +433) vs

Team WE +131 (+1.5 maps @ -182,+2.5 @ -667, -1.5 @ +264)

 

Total Maps: 3.5 maps (over -357 / under +255), 4.5 maps (over +164 / under -213)

Kill Total: 26.5 (over -110 / under -119)

Kill Spread: -4.5 @ -111 / +4.5 @ -118

Team Kill Totals: 14.5 / 11.5

Time Total: OTB

Starting Lineups:

LGD – Langx, Peanut, Xiye, Kramer, Killua

WE – Morgan, Beishang, Teacherma, Jiumeng, Missing

Trends (minus final match):

LGD are 8-3 straight up, 3-8 against the map spread as favorites (swept by underdog 3x)

LGD are 15-12 against the kill spread as favorites

Kill Totals went UNDER in 17 out of 27 games where LGD were favored

WE are 3-4 straight up, 7-0 against the map spread as underdogs

WE are 12-8 against the kill spread as underdogs

Kill Totals went UNDER in 13 out of 20 games where WE were underdogs

 

This is a weird series because LGD were a significantly higher rated, albeit overrated, team over the course of the season but recently WE crept up the model ratings and LGD downward and they’re now directly next to each other at #9 (WE) and #10 (LGD).

I’ve got issues with both of these teams.

WE have relied entirely too much on their opponents mistakes in most of their wins. They’ve showed some success with more uptempo looks similar to how they were playing in Spring but were propped up most of this season by protect the Jiumeng 2-core. It’s fine it’s just predictable. It’s not that Team WE aren’t capable of creating opportunities on their own but they aren’t consistently engineering those situations on their own which concerns me. They do have a solid read on what’s important (dragons) and are great team fighters which masks a lot of their deficiencies in an LPL that sometimes loses sight of things.

LGD have been tremendous at creating leads for themselves but in an age of League of Legends where the game essentially puts you on a track for “how to win a game” they still find ways to lose. There are so many games that this team would have lost without the ridiculous gold leads they built for themselves and it wasn’t because they were overzealous either, it was just bad macro, poor setup, not understanding how to operate fights, and being completely unaware of what the enemy team might try to do to get back into a game. LGD are the quintessential season ten playoff team. Not a good overall League of Legends team by traditional standards but they’re very good at what matters right now which is getting ahead even if they’re not so good at closing the door.

Both of these teams are consistent but at different things and your thoughts on this series ultimately boil down to what you feel is more important in League of Legends right now. LGD are exactly the kind of team that Team WE get wins from. WE play excellent proactive defense which is part of why they can wait for teams to screw up. They’re patient and deploy efficient vision and often index heavily into superior scaling. However, I do think LGD are very good at the most important thing in LOL right now.

Based on the model this is a slam dunk WE play but there is another angle I want to discuss that I think could have a massive impact on this series.

The playoffs are being played on patch 10.16 which has quietly changed the dynamic of the top lane with the reintroduction of Lucian as a power pick. He was severely buffed on this patch creating a sort of rock-paper-scissor situation in the top lane. It’s not longer safe to blind pick certain things now that there are more anti-tanks and carry top options available. Lucian also makes blind Gangplank and even Mordekaiser very dangerous as we saw this morning and without those powerful weakside top lane options the lane suddenly becomes very volatile.

Why bring this up? To me, Langx is tremendously overrated but one of the strongest assets he has is that he can play everything and is particularly adept at these sorts of carry top laners. Perhaps more importantly than that, Morgan is not. Below are his champion win rates this season and while win rates typically aren’t a good measure of a players ability because they require context of each and every draft, I just wanted to provide a brief snapshot because Morgan is known as a front line, tank player.

Summer 2020: 43 games, 28 on Renekton/Ornn combined, <3 on 8 other champions, combined 5-8 record on non-Renekton/Ornn champions

Spring 2020: 41 games, 28 on Renekton/Ornn/Aatrox combined, <5 on 6 other champions, combined 4-9 record on non-Renekton/Ornn/Aatrox champions

On the year, Morgan is a combined 9-17 on champions that aren’t Renekton, Ornn, or Aatrox all of which have relevant and powerful counterpicks right now (Lucian, Jayce, Gangplank, Gnar, Fiora, niche picks). Now, again, win rates require context and I’m not saying that Morgan can’t play other things just that we haven’t seen it have success. It’s not his job to play the carry for his Team but because of that, with this shift on 10.16 it now makes Team WE a significantly less versatile team than they already were.

TL:DR – This top lane meta negatively affects Morgan more than almost any other top laner in the LPL or LCK and unfortunately for him Langx plays most of the things that are relevant.

The other angle at play here is that Killua is starting over Mark which is a little weird but makes me think that LGD have something cooked up. Killua has been a serviceable support over the years not really impressive or a detriment. Sounds just like Mark actually… Anyway I don’t think this is that huge of a deal. Killua is known more for playing engage supports which makes me think that the special something LGD have cooked up is probably just to abuse the living hell out of carry top laners in this series which makes a lot of sense. It means they’ll be relying more on jungle and support for engage options. Expect a lot of Kramer Ashe or Senna in this series.

I’m going against my model and “value” here and actually backing LGD even after losing some line value. First, I think that even though I hate this teams guts and all they stand for that they’re better on an individual level than Team WE albeit not by much. I think the solo lanes and particularly top lane are going to prove to be a massive problem for Team WE over the course of a five game series. I’m confident LGD are going to screw one or two of these up so it wouldn’t really surprise me to see them somehow lose this (that’s what they do) but I think given the big changes on 10.16, Langx’s effective pool, Morgan’s lack there-of, and the fact that I favor teams that get ahead right now especially in season ten, all lead toward an LGD pick. At first glance I thought “obviously value on WE” but the more I think about it, the more this series feels like it’s going to be very difficult for Team WE to win.

I contemplated a big play here on the OVER 3.5 maps. I usually don’t play map totals and I’ve been blown out on them before (see LCK finals last season…) but given that LGD have a … problem with punting leads and that WE often cede the early game I could definitely see this turning into a four or five game clown fiesta which makes it tempting. The reason map total bets are dangerous is that just because teams are closely rated doesn’t mean that they’ll play an even series. Also an even series can still be three even games that all resulted in wins for one team. Both of these teams played a TON of three game series this season which makes a lot of sense given their propensity to throw (in LGD’s case) and lose too hard early/draft before adjusting (in WE’s case).

 

Totals:

cCKPG: 26.15

Time-projected: 26.77

Odds-Weighted: 25.41

Underdog Win: 26.69

“G” Projected Total: 26.11 kills

I’m going to be on the under here. I think there’s a very real chance we see snowballs one way or the other or potentially even split pushing concepts a la Quinn, GP, Lucian discourage 5v5 fighting. Both of these teams have had high totals all year and we’re getting  26.5 here but both teams have also been coming in under much more often than not. I like the unders although it wouldn’t surprise me to see one goofy blow up game where multiple leads are thrown at some point.

 

LGD game times:  33.51 / 33.21 / 33.88 (average / in wins / in losses)

WE game times: 33.2 / 32.08 / 31.89 (average / in wins / in losses)

Projected Time (avg of avg game times): 33.36 minutes

Odds Weighted: 32.72 minutes

I’d lean over at 32:00 but LGD can get some pretty absurd leads sometimes. Pass given that this is OTB at most books.

 

Other markets:

First Blood: LGD 50% / WE 46.51%

First Tower: LGD 60% / WE 55.81%

First Dragon: LGD 37.5% / WE 65.12%

First Herald:  LGD 45% / WE 53.49%

Value on WE first dragon makes sense given that it’s a priority for them.

 

My Picks:

 

Moneyline: LGD -172 (3.44 units)

Spread: LGD -1.5 maps @ +142 (1 unit)

Spread: LGD -2.5 maps @ +433 (0.25 units)

Kill Total: Map 1 UNDER 26.5 @ -110 (1.1 units)

Kill Total: Map 2 UNDER 26.5 @ -109 (1.09 units)

Kill Total: Map 3 UNDER 27.5 @ -108 (1.08 units)

 

 

 

LCK Summer 2020

Week 9-  Day 2

 

 

KT Rolster -769 (-1.5 maps @ -179) vs

SeolHaeOne Prince +479 (+1.5 maps @ +140, -1.5 @ +1000)

 

Kill Total: 21.5 (over -111 / under -118)

Kill Spread: -8.5 @ -130 / +8.5 @ +100

Team Kill Totals: 14.5 / 6.5

Time Total: 32:00 (over -104 / under -125)

 

Don’t over think this. SeolHaeOne are garbage and frankly I’d be shocked if they even win a game the rest of the season. Just fade SeolHaeOne!  

Considering the compressed, hard to differentiate yourself aspect of season ten LOL it should say something. This team isn’t playing with professional caliber players in one of the more competitive leagues in the world. Even if you don’t trust KT take the pro team over the amateur team. If you want more detail on why SeolHaeOne are bad just privately message me.

I don’t think it really matters which KT lineup we see here either. Both are good. I could understand not wanting to lay money on KT but I promise you SeolHaeOne are not worth backing. Just pass if that’s the case.

 

Totals:

cCKPG: 24.74

Time-projected: 25.35

Odds-Weighted: 21.64

Underdog Win: 21.8

“G” Projected Total: 23.91 kills

I’d lean toward the over in this series given that SeolHae tend to be a little sloppier but KT absolutely need this win to remain in contention for playoffs so I’d expect them to be full try hard and not screw around. Pass at 21.5

 

KT game times: 32.81 / 33.63 / 32.23 (average / in wins / in losses)

SP game times: 30.41 / 33.46 / 29.96 (average / in wins / in losses)

Projected Time (avg of avg game times): 31.61 minutes

Odds Weighted: 31.96 minutes

Similar reasons to above. Pass.

 

Other markets:

First Blood: KT 52.78% / SP 51.61%

First Tower: KT 52.78% / SP 19.35%

First Dragon: KT 66.67% / SP 54.84%

First Herald:  KT 58.33% / SP 29.03%

Based on the numbers some of these props are worth plays on SeolHaeOne but before you do let me just remind you. If you eliminate the top five teams. SeolHaeOne have a 44.44% dragon control rate (first 5 out of 13), 26.9% herald control rate (3 out of 13 first), and have taken first tower in 4 out of 13 attempts. They’ve scored first blood in 8 out of 13 games though!

That’s against the other four bottom half teams. I’ll pass thank you very much.

 

My Picks:

 

KT Rolster -1.5 maps @ -179 (3.58 units)

 

 

 

 

DragonX -2500 (-1.5 maps @ -370) vs

Hanwha Life Esports +883 (+1.5 maps @ +265, -1.5 @ +1221)

 

Kill Total: 22.5 (over -109 / under -120)

Kill Spread: -10.5 @ -112 / +10.5 @ -116

Team Kill Totals: 16.5 / 6.5

Time Total: 31:00 (over -120 / under -108)

 

With both Gen.G and T1 advancing another win up the ladder, DragonX are now only one game ahead in the race for the top of the table. At this point it doesn’t look like anyone can catch DAMWON if they hold serve and don’t drop a series (T1, KT, and Dynamics remaining) but the #2 seed is still very much alive and anybody could drop to as low as #4 at this point making a title much more difficult having to go through the entire gauntlet. Needless to say DragonX will be up for this game.

DragonX looked a little shaky in game one against Sandbox in their last outing and Hanwha Life managed to take one off of KT but I think you’d be getting cute backing Hanwha here. If you think DragonX are just content to be in playoffs and don’t really care about placement or perhaps experimenting in the draft as we’ve seen before, I could see backing Hanwha at +265 to take a game. Or maybe if you think “nothing to lose” teams can be dangerous but Hanwha are only slightly better than SeolHaeOne in terms of overall player quality and I don’t need to explain to you how good DragonX’s players are.

If you’re going to back Hanwha take them to steal a game and the kill spreads on maps one and two. 10.5 is a large number in Korea.

 

Totals:

cCKPG: 24.07

Time-projected: 24.95

Odds-Weighted: 23.11

Underdog Win: 22.13

“G” Projected Total: 24.04 kills

Similar to the previous series, given that DragonX want this I don’t really see them fooling around here. Pass.

 

DRX game times: 32.02 / 31.97 / 32.17 (average / in wins / in losses)

HLE game times: 31.06 / 34.65 / 30.19 (average / in wins / in losses)

Projected Time (avg of avg game times): 31.54 minutes

Odds Weighted: 31.30 minutes

Really low total, while I think it’ll end up under it’s possible we see DragonX be extra thorough and take their time. Pass.

 

Other markets:

First Blood: DRX 51.35% / HLE 41.67%

First Tower: DRX 45.945% / HLE 27.78%

First Dragon: DRX 45.945% / HLE 44.44%

First Herald:  DRX 35.14% / HLE 41.67%

Value on Hanwha first herald and dragon. Still think they get stomped but big enough value that it’s worth a play..

 

My Picks:

 

Spread: DragonX -1.5 maps @ -370 (3.7 units)

Prop: Map 1 HLE first dragon @ +146 (0.5 units)

Prop: Map 2 HLE first dragon @ +149 (0.5 units)

Prop: Map 1 HLE first herald @ +178 (0.5 units)

Prop: Map 2 HLE first herald @ +178 (0.5 units)

 

Parlay (2): DragonX -1.5 maps + KT -1.5 maps @ -102 (1.02 units)

 

 

 

LCS Summer 2020

Playoffs – Winners’ Bracket Round One

 

 

FlyQuest -303 (-1.5 maps @ -119, -2.5 @ +268) vs

Evil Geniuses +226 (+1.5 maps @ -108, +2.5 @ -370, -1.5 @ +441)

 

Total Maps: 3.5 maps (over -263 / under +197), 4.5 maps (over +182 / under -238)

Kill Total: 23.5 (over -115 / under -114)

Kill Spread: -6.5 @ -105 / +6.5 @ -123

Team Kill Totals: 14.5 / 8.5

Time Total: 33:00 (over -154 / under +118)

 

So the theme of these playoffs has been consistency. Versatility has played a factor but only so much as “can this team do more than one thing” not that they require a litany of tools like in years past. Adjustments and experience tend to matter a lot less in part due to the design of the game currently, in part due to remote playing (non-LAN), and in part due to the current meta.

FlyQuest have been the model of consistency this entire calendar year. Other than a two week period in mid-Summer where they just looked a bit “off,” we’ve known what to expect. FlyQuest are versatile enough, don’t make a lot of mistakes, understand what is important in the draft, and have a great fundamental understanding of the game even if they don’t have world class players.

Evil Geniuses have been a model of inconsistency but frankly their ceiling hasn’t even been high enough to really reward that or justify supporting them. They lack identity and because of that lack a consistent approach to how they want to play the game. Their communication seems lacking given that they are frequently not on the same page. If they don’t get out to a lead on you or have easy to play out games it’s tough to trust Evil Geniuses.

I think FlyQuest win this series but I want to mention that the previous top lane metagame conversation applies to Huni and Solo here and that FlyQuest might need to get creative or Solo might need to show us a new look. Solo has been very good this season but almost entirely on tanks. The only non-tanks he’s played Renekton (bruiser/tank), Aatrox (bruiser/tank), and Gangplank who is strong but susceptible to specifically Lucian who was just buffed and discussed earlier and even niche stuff like Tryndamere that we just saw in Academy tonight.

FlyQuest should be able to come up with a way around this problem but I do think it’s worth noting that I’m slightly less confident than I was before because either a lot of draft equity is going to have to be spent to keep Huni down/help out Solo unless he’s got something cooked up for us. If I had any faith in the rest of the map for Evil Geniuses showing up I was honestly considering changing course but I just don’t trust this team.

Projections suggest a play on the over in this series primarily due to FlyQuest’s frequent high kill wins but I think we’ll see a closer to the vest series here. I like half unit plays on the unders.

(I may add more props as they become available, check back tomorrow afternoon)

 

My Picks:

 

Moneyline: FlyQuest -303 (6.06 units)

Spread: FlyQuest -1.5 maps @ -119 (2.38 units)

Spread: FlyQuest -2.5 maps @ +258 (0.25 units)

Kill Total: Map 1 UNDER 23.5 kills @ -114 (0.57 units)

Kill Total: Map 2 UNDER 23.5 kills @ -114 (0.57 units)

Kill Total: Map 3 UNDER 23.5 kills @ -114 (0.57 units)

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