Play-In Stage Recap

 

Straight Wagers:

Win – Loss: 35 – 36

Net: +4.169 units

Return on Investment: +4.4732%

 

Parlays:

Win – Loss: 0 – 1

Net:  -2.6 units

Return on Investment: -100%

 

 

Futures+Hedges:

Net: +11.53 units

Units Wagered: 23.995

Return on Investment: +48.05%

 

 

Total Play-In Stage Net: +13.099 units

 

Solid group stage, now onto the main event!

 

—–

 

World Championship

Main Event – Group Stage

Day One

 

You’ll notice a theme on the first two days of the tournament. I trend toward underdogs early in the season because it’s the most prepared that team is ever going to be for their opponent. This is true in tournaments as well. I also think that when we’re talking about the top 15 to 20 teams in the World that it’s rare that one deserves to be a near four digit favorite over another, especially in a best-of-one format. The Eastern teams also have a distinct disadvantage in this format as they don’t play it at all besides at international events. We’ve seen a lot of day one and two upsets they seem to happen every year. Here are a few:

2019 Day one J Team beat eventual tournament winners FunPlus Phoenix

2019 Day two G2 defeated Griffin

2018 Day one G2 beat Afreeca AND Vitality beat Gen.G

2018 Day two Phong Vu Buffalo beat G2 AND Flash Wolves beat Afreeca

2017 Day one Gigabyte Marines beat Fnatic AND AHQ beat EDG

2017 Day two Immortals beat Fnatic

2016 Day one CLG beat G2, AHQ beat H2K, INTZ beat EDG

2016 Day two iMay beat Flash Wolves, TSM beat Samsung

The point is that ESPECIALLY on days one and two, upsets happen. The combination of extended time off for both teams to prepare, best-of-one variance, and sometimes a weaker team having a good read or  a stronger team having a poor read on the metagame are all part of the recipe for early upsets followed by overreactions and adjustments not all the dissimilar to awaiting validation in the stock market chart reading. Cook into the fact that the underdogs often have some extra spicy strategies prepared and it can get wild.

While the Eastern teams had much less traveling to do, the “home field advantage” has never really been that strong of thing. As a matter of fact, Western teams have had more success at Eastern located Worlds tournaments but not vice versa. Perhaps it’s the elevated quality in practice environment, better solo queue, and other factors that helps teams dial in. Not always but more often than not.

With that in mind…. here…. we……… go!

 

 

TOP Esports -667 vs FlyQuest +421

 

Kill Total: 25.5 (over -120 / under -109)

Kill Spread: -10.5 @ -114 / +10.5 @ -115

Team Kill Totals: 18.5 / 7.5

Time Total: OTB

 

I’m going to be placing a bet on FlyQuest here. TOP are one of the favorites to win the tournament but FlyQuest have had this on their schedule for a couple of weeks now once they knew the group draw and have had that time to prepare whatever strategy they could think of for this game. TOP are absolutely the better team but FlyQuest are by no means a joke and they’ll punish you for any slip ups you make. They’ve also shown a willingness to try experimental picks. I could see them cheesing out a win here. TOP aren’t flawless. It’s also worth noting that I don’t think Santorin is as outclassed as people are saying. The rest of the map might be but this champion pool is far better for Santorin than it is for Karsa.

Close your eyes special. I’ll be taking the FlyQuest kill spread and a light play on the moneyline.

 

Other markets:

I also like a lot of the prop markets for this game given the ridiculously large moneyline involved especially for tradable objectives like herald/dragon. Same with first blood, especially since TOP only had a 47% first blood rate across the entire Summer season vs FlyQuest 62%. Given that I think FlyQuest will make this competitive and perhaps we see some first day rust from TOP that we might get a longer game and I like the over 4.5 dragons as well.

The over is worth considering here since FlyQuest tend to be a bit on the bloodier side when winning especially but I’ll pass. I’m going to be light on totals until the metagame settles down unless I see something that looks egregious.

 

My Picks:

 

Kill Spread: FlyQuest +10.5 kills @ -115 (1.725 units)

Moneyline: FlyQuest +450 (0.5 units)(Bet365)

Prop: FlyQuest first dragon @ +162 (1 unit)(Bet365)

Prop: FlyQuest first herald @ +147 (1 unit)

Prop: FlyQuest first blood @ +120 (1 unit)(Bet365)

Prop: OVER 4.5 dragons @ -115 (1.15 units)

 

 

 

DragonX -303 vs Unicorns of Love +229

 

Kill Total: 26.5 (over -114 / under -114)

Kill Spread: -7.5 @ -114 / +7.5 @ -115

Team Kill Totals: 16.5 / 9.5

Time Total: OTB

 

I’m fairly bullish on DragonX compared to most but the fact of the matter is that Unicorns of Love are exactly the kind of hyper aggressive and talented underdog that can upset a big dog on the first day. I actually think UOL could start this group with a pair of shockers considering the form they’re in. They could also just get completely run over by an immensely talented DragonX squad. Nomanz isn’t going to be able to get away with playing Kassadin against Chovy and DragonX have had a few series of film to study on the Unicorns now.

Just like our first match I like plays on the underdog here. Although I like the spot slightly less than FlyQuest because Unicorns are somewhat of a known quantity in terms of expectation while FlyQuest have been sitting hidden, I also think they’re the kind of team that fits in this underdog role well with their wild picks and aggressive stylings.

 

Other markets:

DragonX are highly variant in their kill totals both team and overall. If you think UOL win this game it’ll probably be an over even though it’s a high number. While I’m betting on UOL here because I think the chance they win this is more likely than these odds, I still think DragonX are most likely to win this game so it’s tough to anticipate a game script.

I like Unicorns first blood here as well. DragonX only hit at a 43% rate while Unicorns were 62%. Obviously the level of competition is much different but the film fits here. Similarly I’ll take the nice plus money on the tradable neutrals.

 

My Picks:

 

Kill Spread: UOL +7.5 kills @ -115 (1.15 units)

Moneyline: UOL +229 (0.5 units)

Prop: UOL first blood @ +113 (1 unit)

Prop: UOL first dragon @ +123 (1 unit)

Prop: UOL first herald @ +140 (1 unit)

 

 

 

Rogue -175  vs PSG Talon +138

 

Kill Total: 26.5 (over -109 / under -120)

Kill Spread: -5.5 @ -123 / +5.5 @ -105

Team Kill Totals: 15.5 / 10.5

Time Total: OTB

 

As a reminder to everyone, PSG Talon had to use emergency substitutes due to visa issues for their roster. Kongyue and Uniboy replaced, and more importantly upgraded, River and Tank. In good news, stud ADC Unified will also be returning to the lineup for Talon. It’s fairly difficult to truly tell how this will influence this team but I think Kongyue and Uniboy were a huge part of Talon’s success in the group stage. I still think this team has the potential to make some noise in this tournament but they’ll have to stop relying on just individually outplaying their opponents like they did domestically. Toward the end of the season we saw some attempts to adjust with mixed results. Just because this is a “downgrade” overall doesn’t mean I think Talon are out of the tournament. It’s unfortunate that they caught such a brutal group draw though.

Rogue got to see Talon but it was a different version so it’s difficult to tell how “tape” will influence their advantage in this spot. Rogue execute very well, very consistently and while they might not be the most strategically deep team, they’re certainly not shallow either. I like Rogue more than many of my colleagues because unlike the common thought, consistency serves you better in best-of-ones than variance and high ceiling does. If this group wasn’t ridiculously top heavy I’d be interested in taking some Rogue to get out of groups.

I think Rogue will get it done here as Talon get acclimated again. They weren’t a highly synergistic team but they are a handful of excellent players. To me the most important matchup against Rogue is having someone that can make Larssen uncomfortable and I’m not sure Tank is the guy for the job with his champion pool. Also, River and Tank are frequently not on the same page while Inspired and Larssen have been sharp all year. I’d give more credence to Talon here if they had someone that could push Larssen but I don’t see that happening and when Larssen is comfortable Rogue win, period.

 

Other markets:

I like the under quite a bit here. Other than that pass.

 

My Picks:

 

Moneyline: Rogue -175 (1.75 units)

 

 

 

 

DAMWON Gaming -147 vs JD Gaming +117

 

Kill Total: 26.5 (over -116 / under -112)

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

Team Kill Totals: 14.5 / 12.5

Time Total: OTB

This one is rather simple to me. While DAMWON might be my selection to win the entire thing JD are on the same level. This is a coin flip game. I’d actually guess that blue side will win (no way of knowing right now). This just take JDG or don’t bet this unless you’re more bullish on DAMWON than I am.

Both of these teams are great, this is a 50/50, take the dog.

 

Other markets:

These are priced quite well. Pass.

 

My Picks:

 

no wager

 

 

 

 

Gen.G -256 vs LGD Gaming +194

 

Kill Total: 24.5 (over -123 / under -105)

Kill Spread: -6.5 @ -111 / +6.5 @ -118

Team Kill Totals: 15.5 / 9.5

Time Total: OTB

 

This one largely depends on your evaluation of Gen.G. LGD look like they’ve played themselves into form and look quite sharp but going from play-in teams to Gen.G is going to be quite the shock to the system for them. I’m very bullish on Gen.G and think they’re one of the elite four teams in this tournament, one of the co-favorites. I think Gen.G are going to smash but this is a rather pricey line for a lot of people in a best of one. I’ll be playing the kill spread. Alternatively you could play Gen.G over 15.5 as they’re one of the highest scoring winners at this tournament.

 

Other markets:

The prop markets here are all pretty fairly priced. No action.

My Picks:

 

Kill Spread: Gen.G -6.5 @ -111 (1.665 units)

 

 

 

 

Fnatic -137 vs Team Solo Mid +110

 

Kill Total: 25.5 (over -115 / under -114)

Kill Spread: -4.5 @ -123 / +4.5 @ -105

Team Kill Totals: 14.5 / 10.5

Time Total: OTB

This is perhaps the most polarizing matchup on this entire slate.

We talked a lot about this matchup on the podcast. Bjergsen has the favorable matchup for TSM, the rest of the map likely goes the way of Fnatic but I think it’s by less than others do. Fnatic’s players have been demolishing solo queue on the super server which has historically been a good indicator for current form but I still have questions about this team getting it done with Nemesis somewhat “solved.” When he’s in a place where teams haven’t figured out how to abuse Fnatic’s drafts then Fnatic are in good shape. You’d think with extra prep time that they’ll have something cooked up but I’m not really sure what it could be or if I even trust this team who have been slow starters all year, slow starters internationally.

I’ve got a weird feeling about this one and think we’ll see a strong performance from TSM but this number isn’t good enough for me to bet. If you like Fnatic this number is probably really juicy and I’d encourage you to fire away. I’ll be passing.

 

Other markets:

The prop markets here are all pretty fairly priced. No action.

 

My Picks:

 

no wagers

 

(all lines from Nitrogen unless noted otherwise)

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