Saturday, August 22nd Recap

 

KT Rolster vs DAMWON Gaming (Net: +1.3025 units)

Hulk smash. DAMWON lock up #1 seed

For real though it’s a bummer that this could potentially be the last we see of a few of these KT players. Veterans of the scene, world championships, some of the most underappreciated players of all time. Most of them still playing at a very high level so hopefully we see them back again.

Afreeca vs Gen.G (Net: +5.175 units)

Afreeca were obliterated in this one. I don’t think they were trying to really hide anything either but it’s always hard to tell. I didn’t have high hopes for Afreeca to do any damage in playoffs and this didn’t do them any favors either.

LCK Total: +6.4775 units

 

TOP Esports vs Suning (Net: +2.08 units)

I was hoping these games would be more competitive but the TOP everyone expected to show up did so and in dominating fashion. Game two was a little bit interesting with Suning jumping out to a lead with their tempo composition around Olaf but they just couldn’t get the job done and game three we saw the unexpected Quinn counter out of 369, something that hasn’t really been in his wheelhouse in before. He’s always been willing to play counterpicks but I absolutely love the idea of both slamming the door shut in a game three AND showing other teams that they can’t get away with blind picking Renekton without taking a substantial risk. That’s going to earn a lot of equity for them moving forward.

Suning move to the regional gauntlet.

LPL Total: +2.08 units

 

MAD Lions vs G2 Esports (Net: -0.1509 units)

The kings are back….

That said, MAD Lions truly impressed me in this series. After being embarrased in game one they entered game two (the draft of which was fascinating by the way) with a huge problem. Galio can’t really lane against Neeko or Irelia and sure enough, G2 took advantage of this picking up kills on both Galio and Shadow’s Lillia to open the game. An absolute disaster… but they found ways to bring it back. Eventually they lost because Galio struggles against these bruiser teams because he’s limited by his cooldowns which was tragic after nearly bringing this back from the brink and in game three they actually won outright with a similar comp, remaining confident.

I absolutely love both of these teams and to quote a good friend of mine “I could watch a best of 29 between these two.” MAD are so confidnet. They never lose their cool. After being dominated in game one and the demoralizing and frustrating feeling of losing a massive comeback from an impossible situation, many teams and players go on tilt but they had the confidence to not only go out in game three and take it down but with effectively the same core composition. That’s confidence in your evaluation, your process, and your ability to execute. I love it.

LEC Total: -0.1509 units

 

 

Cloud 9 vs Evil Geniuses (Net: no action)

A few of these games were pretty close but Cloud 9 eventually got the job done however unorthodox it may have been. Licorice had himself a day… my man completely took over this series especially the Vladimir game. As expected, Zven had a much better performance as well. This is why you don’t overreact to one bad showing. It wasn’t perfect but it was good to see Cloud 9 back to what they’re good at while also problem solving for some weird situations in game.

LCS Total: no action

 

Parlays: +1.03 units

 

Daily Total: +9.4366 units

 

LPL Summer 2020

Playoffs – Semifinals

 

 

JD Gaming -238 (-1.5 maps @ -104, -2.5 @ +290, +1.5 @ -556) vs

LGD Gaming +182 (+1.5 maps @ -122, +2.5 @ -417, -1.5 @ +369)

 

Total Maps: 3.5 maps (over -286 / under +216), 4.5 maps (over +179 / under -233)

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

Kill Spread: -5.5 @ -119 / +5.5 @ -110

Team Kill Totals: 15.5 / 10.5

Time Total: 33:00 (over +127 / under -167)

 

We haven’t seen JDG for more than two weeks but we have seen LGD take down Team WE (somewhat expected) and shock the world by sweeping Invictus 3-0. The story on LGD remains the same as it has all season. They’re very good at getting a lead in games but from there they range from mediocre to terrible. The long and short of it is that LGD need big leads or they look like a significantly worse team. I know that sounds a little like John Madden analysis but they haven’t played very many close games. LGD tend to need the gold lead to make up for their macro deficiencies. They don’t close very well but it usually doesn’t matter because of the leads they have. They’ll have to be cleaner against a good macro team like JDG.

Speaking of JDG… for a lot of the season the model had them rated as a top four team but with a few weird series at the end of the season, presumably coasting to the finish line a bit against a softer schedule, they actually downgraded a tad due to some less than dominant victories. JDG actually perform better against better competition in the numbers. It’s not that they play down to weaker teams but they don’t have the kind of “jump off the page”, DAMWON-esque victories that some teams do. They just play good fundamental LOL and win games.

How you handicap this series comes down to two main factors;

1) Do you trust LGD against an intelligent macro team with big game experience? JDG might not have the pound-for-pound players of the elite squads (although they’ve got plenty of punch no doubt) but they make up for it with solid fundamentals and a diverse palette of strategies available to them.

2) Do you think LGD can build an insurmountable lead?

JDG actually grade out as a stronger early with better first twenty economy ratings than LGD and that’s with fewer first bloods. They’ve also had two weeks to prepare and have seen two best-of-fives to dissect from LGD and will have side selection for this series. We saw how much of a factor that was this morning in the TOP/Suning series as well as other across the globe.

I love JDG here. While I respect that LGD are good at the one thing that’s more important than anything else right now, I just don’t think they’re consistently going to be able to build any kind of massive lead on a team as smart as JDG and it could very well go the other direction. I also think the metagame is trending in a direction that favors these more mid game centric teams. The best way to beat JDG is to attack the mid/jungle combination and while Peanut and Xiye have been playing well I don’t exactly rate them as an elite pairing. LGD have been winning through their bottom lane with some insane performances by Mark but they’ll have to battle arguably the best bottom lane in the LPL in Loken and LvMao in this series.

LGD are the poster child team for season ten LOL, get a lead and the game wins itself for you. They’re not a world class team like JDG have shown to be. To me, they’re fairly fraudulent. I don’t mean that they’re a bad team, they’re good at what matters, you have to give them credit for that, but they’re not a fundamentally sound LOL team and I think in a best-of-five that will come to the forefront. JDG roll.

 

 

Totals:

cCKPG: 25.22

Time-projected: 25.49

Odds-Weighted: 25.12

Underdog Win: 21.875

“G” Projected Total: 25.27 kills

JDG have a history of grinding teams to a pulp in playoff series and really slowing things down but I think they’ll have to respect LGD’s early game aggression more than most teams so I’d lean toward overs here but pass.

 

JDG game times: 31.67 / 32.58 / 29.51 (average / in wins / in losses)

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

Projected Time (avg of avg game times): 32.59 minutes

Odds Weighted: 32.604 minutes

Number is right on the money as is the juice :-/

 

Other markets:

First Blood: JDG 45.945% / LGD 50%

First Tower: JDG 43.24% / LGD 60%

First Dragon: JDG 59.46% / LGD 37.5%

First Herald:  JDG 40.54% / LGD 45%

There’s great value on JDG first dragon but the rest of these are actually priced pretty accurately.

 

My Picks:

 

Moneyline: JDG -238 (4.76 units)

Spread: JDG -1.5 maps @ -104 (1.04 units)

Spread: JDG -2.5 maps @ +293 (0.5 units)

Prop: Map 1 JDG first tower @ -112 (1.12 units)

Prop: Map 2 JDG first tower @ -112 (1.12 units)

Prop: Map 3 JDG first tower @ -112 (1.12 units)

 

 

 

 

LCK Summer 2020

Week 10 – Day 4 – Regular Season Finale

 

 

DragonX -128 (-1.5 maps @ +234, +1.5 @ -370) vs

T1 +101 (+1.5 maps @ -312, -1.5 @ +265)

 

Kill Total: 23.5 (over -105 / under -123)

Kill Spread: -1.5 @ -114 / +1.5 @ -115

Team Kill Totals: 11.5 / 10.5

Time Total: 34:00 (over +111 / under -145)

 

Both of these teams are locked into their playoff positions and have nothing to really play for other than pride and momentum in this series so I’d expect we see something akin to the Gen.G/Afreeca series where we don’t really see anything particularly crazy (although the Sett/Senna was a sweet look) OR teams will intentionally show some whacky stuff to gain potential draft equity. More than likely it will be the former but this is DragonX…

T1 have been on a tear of late but unfortunately ran into the buzz saw that is DAMWON yesterday and while one of the games was fairly competitive, the other was a complete blowout. I can’t fault teams for losing to DAMWON but whether or not you can hang is a good measure of how real you are. T1 actually passed DragonX in the models ratings for the first time this season last weekend which subsequently lined up with DragonX not only not stomping (I know it was a double negative… deal with it) but actually dropping a map to them. The thing is, DragonX’s “sloppy” second half has still been a clinic in non-kill reliant economy as most cvMax teams have come to be known for. They don’t have that many ridiculous gold leads (besides the 12k+ at 20 vs Sandbox) and most of their games have been close but they still boast an 1892 team gold per minute and +188.57 gold differential per minute in the second half of the season. In that same time, during the majority of this Clozer run, T1 have an 1873 team gold per minute and a +214.91 gold differential per minute. They’ve had significantly more lopsided games as well (in both directions).

The first time these two met it was back in week one and Faker was playing. I’m not sure whether he’ll use this as a playoff warmup or if Clozer well get his shot against Chovy. He did pretty well against ShowMaker and while you could tell that he was outclassed, mostly because ShowMaker is just a beast, he certainly held his own. I’d expect a similar thing against Chovy here.

This should be a close series but I do think DragonX are a better overall team. Individually DragonX slightly outperform in some positions and have a moderately large gap in the mid lane even though Clozer has only dropped a few games during this run. Doran has quietly been having a great season (statistically stronger than Canna who has also been excellent). The way DragonX play the game is very repeatable and no reliant on opponents making mistakes. They’re just better than you and you have to break parity or they just choke you out but unlike other teams that play this boa constrictor style, they also have plenty of curveballs to throw your way and keep you guessing. You could justify either side in this game but I like DragonX here.

 

 

Totals:

cCKPG: 24.47

Time-projected: 24.87

Odds-Weighted: 24.06

Underdog Win: 23.68

“G” Projected Total: 24.47 kills

DRX have a CKPG of 24.36. 21.68 in game ones, 26.31 in game twos. 20 of their 42 games have gone under 23.5 and 15 have gone 20 or fewer.

T1 have 22.03 CKPG. 19.94 in game ones, 23.35 in game twos. 21 of their 39 games have gone under 23.5 and 7 of those have fallen between 20-22 (no 23s). T1 tend to go way under the total (which have mostly been low this season) or slightly over it.

I’d expect these games to be more generic looking and probably lower kills but we could also see some wild stuff since neither team can change their fate here. These are two more teams where the game one under / game two over play makes a lot of sense. Kind of funny how we’ve seen that a few times now the past two slates.

 

DRX game times: 32.175 / 32.11 / 32.37 (average / in wins / in losses)

T1 game times: 32.23 / 31.06 / 34.59 (average / in wins / in losses)

Projected Time (avg of avg game times): 32.2 minutes

Odds Weighted: 32.58 minutes

This could be competitive but I to like the under here. Good teams tend to snowball games efficiently.

 

Other markets:

First Blood: DRX 50% / T1 58.97%

First Tower: DRX 47.62% / T1 53.85%

First Dragon: DRX 40.48% / T1 66.67%

First Herald:  DRX 38.1% / T1 43.59%

There’s some value on T1 first dragon but it’s close enough and DragonX haven’t shown to favor either herald or dragons they just adjust as they go.  I’m going to pass on these they’re mostly priced well and there’s a ton of juice, more than usual.

 

My Picks:

 

Moneyline: DragonX -128 (1.28 units)

Spread: DragonX -1.5 maps @ +234 (0.5 units)

Kill Total: Map 1 UNDER 23.5 @ -123 (1.23 units)

Kill Total: Map 2 OVER 23.5 @ -105 (1.05 units)

Time Total: Map 1 UNDER 34:00 @ -145 (1.45 units)

Time Total: Map 2 UNDER 34:00 @ -139 (1.39 units)

 

  

 

Team Dynamics -244 (-1.5 maps @ +137) vs

Hanwha Life Esports +187 (+1.5 maps @ -175, -1.5 @ +458)

 

Kill Total: 23.5 (over -118 / -111)

Kill Spread: -5.5 @ -111 / +5.5 @ -118

Team Kill Totals: 14.5 / 9.5

Time Total: 33:00 (over -102 / under -128)

 

Hanwha Life just got smoked by Sandbox and I think Dynamics are similar, if not slightly better. Dynamics are also clearly trying hard in all of their game since being eliminated from playoffs. It feels weird laying this much but I also just did the same thing the other day with Dynamics against the similar SeolHaeOne and they got the job done in that series despite feeding Ikssu’s Darius in game two.

I originally liked Hanwha in this spot as a closer your eyes special citing the “meaningless games” narrative and teams loosening up but Dynamics appear to be true professionals and continue to play these games out with a lot of pride like most of the LCK teams have done besides SeolHaeOne. A lot of these players are playing for potential contracts (Kuzan and GuGer) or a position on this team next year.

I could understand taking Hanwha but the meaningless game narrative has not been fruitful this season. I’ll be writing an article about biases and fallacies in the off season.

 

Totals:

cCKPG: 26.68

Time-projected: 27.85

Odds-Weighted: 26.39

Underdog Win: 26.91

“G” Projected Total: 26.97 kills

Hanwha have been toothless at times but fiesty at others. When that happens is anybody’s guess but it’s mostly correlated to the team they’re playing against. Dynamics have been hot and cold in kills per game too. They just play what they’re supposed to. Some games get bloodier than others. The projections say over here but a lot of Dynamics games have been extremely high or extremely low. I’ll pass.

 

DYN game times: 32.51 / 34.35 / 31.45 (average / in wins / in losses)

HLE game times: 30.99 / 34.65 / 30.25 (average / in wins / in losses)

Projected Time (avg of avg game times): 31.75 minutes

Odds Weighted: 32.55 minutes

Same as above. Pass.

 

Other markets:

First Blood: DYN 34.15% / HLE 40.48%

First Tower: DYN 41.46% / HLE 30.95%

First Dragon: DYN 56.1% / HLE 47.62%

First Herald:  DYN 39.02% / HLE 42.86%

I don’t really know how these are going to play out and all of these are juiced up. No real value here.

 

My Picks:

 

Moneyline: Dynamics -244 (2.44 units)

Spread: Dynamics -1.5 maps @ +137 (0.5 units)

 

 

 

 

 

LEC Summer 2020

Playoffs – Winners’ Bracket Round One

 

 

 

Rogue -159 (-1.5 maps @ +145, -2.5 @ +416, +1.5 @ -333)  vs

Fnatic +124 (+1.5 maps @ -185, +2.5 @ -667, -1.5 @ +246)

 

Total Maps: 3.5 maps (over -312 / under +232), 4.5 (over +169 / under -222)

Kill Total: 24.5 (over -110 / under -119)

Kill Spread: -4.5 @ -104 / +4.5 @ -125

Team Kill Totals: 12.5 / 10.5

Time Total: 34:00 (over -104 / under -125)

 

As I’ve mentioned a number of times regarding the Western leagues, I put a lot less weight on the regular season results and numbers than I do for the Eastern leagues. It’s more about film and talent evaluation for me.

Rogue have been the most consistent team in the LEC this season and that’s a trait I value greatly in season ten which, because of the binary nature of the game,  is all about honing the ability to play the game optimally rather than things like in-game problem solving and creativity.  They’ve been an excellent early game team and have methodically closed games out in an efficient manner with a few exceptions. Larssen has a strong case for league MVP. Rogue don’t play sexy League of Legends but it’s effective. They’re my kind of team.

Fnatic struggled for the vast majority of the season. They’ve had very few decisive and dominant victories and a few soul crushing losses. For this reason, Fnatic have suffered a lot in the court of public opinion. They’ve been what I like to call a “lowlight team”, a squad remembered entirely too much for the bad things and not the good things they’ve done but they’ve slowly but surely improved as the season has gone on and appeared to be in their best form by the final weeks.

This line opened at split -115’s and is now heavily in Rogue’s favor. You can’t really blame people for feeling that way, Rogue have been a consistent performer and Fnatic struggled to get into playoffs.

I’m going with Fnatic here which may seem bizarre to a lot of people but here’s my reasoning.

First, Rogue haven’t really had to show any different looks this season. Like FlyQuest and Liquid in the LCS, they just play a very generic, solid, balanced composition in every game and it just leans early or late slightly. This isn’t to say that they’re incapable of other strategies, in fact, it wouldn’t surprise me to see some different things this series (maybe Kled for Finn?). The thing is, Fnatic have shown a TON of different looks this season. A lot of people might criticize the level of success with these different looks and cite that as a reason to avoid Fnatic but basing your opinion on the results on a few best-of-ones is a very results-oriented and narrow way of thinking about it. Fnatic have a plethroa of tools in their arsenal and while the effectiveness of that has been dulled a lot by season ten, it’s still a powerful tool in best-0f-five play.

Second is the data. Rogue have had a dominant first fifteen which is important this season. It’s extremely predictable. They do the same thing every single game but they’re very good at it and teams have struggled to stop them even if they see it coming. In terms of overall economy though, they have an edge but it’s not nearly as large as you’d think with a 13 win team and a four win delta between these two. Fnatic have lost a lot of games off of one big mistake. You could point that as a trend or as variance. To me, it’s more the latter. They’ve also pulled a few back from the brink.

Third is rather cliche but experience is a real thing as we’ve seen with the psychological collapse of a number of teams already in these playoffs. Everyone in this series has playoff experience but Fnatic have had a lot more and in much higher pressure situations.

Fourth is that this top lane metagame is significantly more suited to Bwipo’s strengths than Finns. With the top lane trending more towards carries as strong options, it’s going to earn a lot of draft equity for Fnatic if Bwipo can show something that has to get banned as the series goes on.

Fifth, I don’t actually think the gap on an individual player basis between these teams is that wide at all and I think Bwipo actually has a huge advantage in the top lane to match Larssen’s big advantage in the mid lane. Bot is a wash to me despite public hatred for Hylissang.

Sixth is also rather cliche but Fnatic are truly a “best-of-five” team. Like G2, their ability to throw curveballs, adapt on the fly, and extra time to prepare seems to always serve them better than other teams time and time again.

Seventh is value. If Rogue were getting plus money here I’d take them but the fact that we’ve earned almsot fifty cents of value is intriguing.

I won’t be playing any of the props in this series they’re all priced fairly appropriately but I’ll be taking the under. These should be closer, more disciplined games than the bonanza we saw in MAD vs G2 yesterday.

My Picks:

 

Spread: Fnatic +1.5 maps @ -185 (3.7 units)

Moneyline: Fnatic +124 (1.5 units)

Spread: Fnatic -1.5 maps @ +246 (0.5 units)

Spread: Fnatic -2.5 maps @ +689 (0.25 units)

Kill Total: Map 1 UNDER 24.5 @ -119 (1.19 units)

Kill Total: Map 2 UNDER 24.5 @ -119 (1.19 units)

Kill Total: Map 3 UNDER 24.5 @ -119 (1.19 units)

 

 

 

LCS Summer 2020

Playoffs – Losers’ Bracket Round Two

 

Team Solo Mid -172 (-1.5 maps @ +132, -2.5 @ +376, +1.5 @ -385) vs

Golden Guardians +135 (+1.5 maps @ -169, +2.5 @ -556, -1.5 @ +271)

 

Total Maps: 3.5 maps (over -323 / under +235), 4.5 (over +167 / under -217)

Kill Total: 20.5 (over -128 / under -102)

Kill Spread: -3.5 @ -110 / +3.5 @ -119

Team Kill Totals: 11.5 / 9.5

Time Total: 33:00 (over -161 / under +123)

 

So we get the rematch.

Golden Guardians played well against despite losing the way they did and are a classic example of why a sweep can still be a close series despite the appearance of it in the box score. TSM looked much better after a rough outing against FlyQuest but it was against Dignitas…

I think TSM are a better team than we saw the first these two teams played. That was a poor performance especially by the TSM bottom lane and I think looking at this series as “oh TSM got 3-0’d, GGs prolly win right?” is way oversimplifying it. We have to look at why.

When I selected Golden Guardians in that series it was because they had shown to be a fairly versatile team. They aren’t particularly masters at any one style or strategy but they’re decent a enough of them to be able to threaten good teams with a number of different looks. TSM play very mid game centric almost every single game meaning that you can go overtop and out scale them or underneath and snowball an advantage. TSM’s drafts are sort of non-committal if that makes sense. They just play for balanced, solid compositions that allow their individuals to shine in lane. The problem with that style is that if your individual players dont win it looks a lot less solid.

So can we rely on that to happen again? To me, Golden Guardians actually didn’t have to reveal much in that series and I’d anticipate that they’ve got more strategies cooked up than we saw there or against Liquid, who coincidentally, just play a stronger, more fundamentally sound version of what TSM is doing. The issue here is that I still think TSM are a stronger team overall. This line was -370 / +268 the first time around which was obviously an egregious mispricing that we all hopefully took advantage of. This time around I think this is much more in line with my thoughts. Golden Guardians should be short underdogs. I’m taking TSM.

I also like the over in this match. TSM aren’t nearly as polished a control game player as Liquid are and I could see some mistakes from both sides here allowing an extra team fight or two to happen. 20.5 is a fairly low total even for the LCS and this should be a more competitive match this time around. Combined these teams average a combined 21.05 kills per game in the playoffs which I think will end up higher after this series.

My Picks:

 

Moneyline: TSM -172 (3.44 units)

Spread: TSM -1.5 maps @ +132 (1 unit)

Spread: TSM -2.5 maps @ +376 (0.25 units)

Kill Total: Map 1 OVER 20.5 @ -128 (1.28 units)

Kill Total: Map 2 OVER 20.5 @ -128 (1.28 units)

Kill Total: Map 3 OVER 20.5 @ -128 (1.28 units)

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