Saturday, October 3rd Recap
Fnatic vs Team Solo Mid (Net: no action)
I’m not entirely sure how you could have watched Fnatic’s playoff run and think that it was a good idea to let Nemesis have a strong pick that he could limit Bjergsen on like SPECIFICALLY THE LUCIAN…. And give Selfmade his Evelynn in part because you handed over Lucian who unlocks a lot of these AP junglers. This was just a bad bad plan. It’s only one game but this read on the metagame and specifically Fnatic was profoundly disturbing to TSM’s prospects of doing anything. Hopefully they learned a lesson.
In terms of execution I thought Fnatic played well to punish mistakes but they were far from flawless or completely dominant in this one, they just had a massive draft advantage.
Gen.G vs LGD Gaming (Net: -1.665 units)
This one ended up being a slobberknocker as both teams look like they just felt the urge to 5v5 over and over again. A lot of people are pointing this out as a really “sloppy” game but it all really stemmed from a counterpunch baron fight that sent this game into a bit of a tailspin. I was expecting Gen.G to stomp in this one, that was far from the case which is maybe cause for concern but again, it’s just a single game, weird stuff happens. They didn’t cover the 6.5 kill spread.
LGD continue to team fight well, something they’ve steadily improved upon over the course of the season but I do think this was just a little bit of a weird game, I’m not sure we should expect this as the normal for this team the rest of the way.
Rogue vs PSG Talon (Net: +1.0 units)
Rogue completely destroyed Talon. A level one cheese on Tank followed by an early pre-level six dive and he was 0-2 in a hurry and this game just got completely out of hand. Where are all the “Rogue are a slow controlling team” blind narrative followers now? If you’ve been tuned in here at The Esports Department, or have spoken to me, interracted on Twitter, or listened to The Gold Card Podcast you’d know that Rogue are one of the most disrespected and more importantly MISCHARACTERIZED teams in the world. They had by far the best early game in the LEC (not close) and were consistent at earning leads for themselves despite other teams seeing their predictable plays coming. Let me tell you something… when a team sees a play coming and prepares for it and they still struggle to stop you maybe you just have to admit they’re damn good at it and it doesn’t seem people have done that yet.
Admittedly, this one just got away from Talon on a cheeky, creative play to open it but they showed absolutely no ability to stop the bleeding here and individually they were getting worked over more or less everywhere they should have been. Nobody was able to break up any momentum. Finn actually played an insane game on Malphite in this one hitting multiple multi-person ultimates and he broke this game wide open. Statement game that Rogue aren’t going gently into the night.
DAMWON Gaming vs JD Gaming (Net: no action)
As I mentioned in my writeup yesterday, I favor DAMWON to win the tournament but this matchup was close to a 50/50 so the play was JDG or pass. I guess I’m just glad I passed because this was an absolute beating. It wasn’t quite as bad as DragonX vs UOL or Rogue vs Talon but yea… I did also mention that I thought blue side would win both sides of this and DWG had blue for this game. There’s just too many things to ban out for both of these teams that someone is getting something broken no matter how you slice it. Similar to LGD/Gen.G, the LPL teams looks very on-brand struggling a bit with over-committing to plays when they could have been a bit more patient but I also don’t hate just firing your shots when you get behind in a game, I just think they could have been a little more selective about it.
We’ll see how the next one of these goes. I’ll probably be on JDG again unless they show poorly in their next couple of games because the line will likely be even greater.
DragonX vs Unicorns of Love (Net: -2.25 units)
Unicorns and FlyQuest I expected to put up a fight in these games and the bankroll got crucified for it. We hit on just one out of eleven wagers between these two matches. Pyosik went completely berserk on Nidalee in this going for 13 kills and almost beating our highest kills in a map under 15.5 bet on day one. Yea don’t give Nidalee and Pantheon to these Korean teams…. lesson learned I hope.
TOP Esports vs FlyQuest (Net: -6.375 units)
This is a weird one, I’m not at all surprised FlyQuest lost this game or even surprised that they got bodied but it was just a bummer seeing them essentially roll over and die based on an early blowout. These are the worst kind of losses because the value was definitely there and FlyQuest are not this bad but you kind of just had the perfect storm working against you. Maybe next time around it won’t be over early and it’ll be interesting.
Total Net: -9.29 units
Yikes! Rough day one mostly from FlyQuest giving us ABSOLUTELY NO HELP. Not that surprising but ouch. Today was the first time that every single favorite won on the first day of the main event since 2012 when it was the old format. And this year is arguably the strongest field of 16 we’ve seen top to bottom there’s really no truly “bad” team when usually there is one or two stragglers compared to the field. AND this happened in a high-parity metagame (season ten in general). This was an outlier of sorts so keep that in mind despite chalk taking everything down.
Historically, the first two days are where most of the wild stuff happens so there’s a reasonable chance that since we didn’t get any on day one that we could get a chalkier-than-normal tournament despite a more competitive and evenly matched field of teams. With a small sample size it’s easy to draw overexaggerated conclusions, and that’s for this group stage in general when it’s all said and done.
Just some perspective for you all.
Onto the next one!
Main Event – Group Stage
Just because we saw all chalk for the first time ever yesterday doesn’t mean we will today but I do think there’s a reasonable chance we see no true “upsets” in the sense of big underdogs winning. That said, it’s still only day two, this will be the first we’ve seen for a few of these teams and anything is possible still.
Machi Esports +182 vs Team Liquid -222
Kill Total: 25.5 (over -109 / under -120)
Kill Spread: +7.5 @ -116 / -7.5 @ -112
Team Kill Totals: 9.5 / 15.5
Time Total: OTB
The transitive property approach can be a dangerous thing because each team is different and each matchup is different but we saw Rogue completely dismantle the original roster for Talon today. Domestically, Talon dominated for the majority of the year including a 3-0 of Machi before meeting them again to lose 3-2 in the finals. If you didn’t keep up with the PCS this season, both of these teams had locked in worlds at that point and Talon used the opportunity in that final to play a completely different style than they had been playing all year long, likely in anticipation that they couldn’t get away with the “we’re better players let’s lane you do death” approach that worked for them all year. Machi capitalized and succeeded.
The TL:DR is that Machi are a different looking team than Talon. They’re much closer to how the play-in stage version of Talon looked with Kongyue and Uniboy. Fast-paced, mid/jungle centric, tempo play. The thing is, they struggled domestically against Talon who played a more reserved, controlling, disciplined style and Liquid are capable of that AND uptempo looks.
I like Liquid here quite a bit. While Machi are a bit of a wildcard and could have been cooking up something spicy during all this downtime they’ve had, I think that more likely than not they’re going to have their work cut out for them against a Liquid team that’s playing the best they have all season right now. You also struggled against your domestic version of Team Liquid. I rarely like laying this much in a best-of-one with so little info but Liquid are better than people think and I’m not sure Machi aren’t the worst team in this tournament. I’ll also remind people that Talon and Machi, while both being solid, competitive teams, weren’t alone atop the PCS. J Team and AHQ were similarly competitive and you could argue more deserving of these spots but they just got hot at the right time (I did think Talon were the best team in the league, but I would have taken JTeam over Machi for this tournament). There’s a chance we’re seeing a bit of that “this is what happens when you don’t send the best teams” syndrome here.
I’m bearish on Machi. Despite the fact that I think they may be slightly better equipped than Talon is for this specific format I just don’t think they can measure up and we’re seeing a lot of them on the international stage for the first time. Not to curse them or anything but we saw how that affected MAD Lions. I’m going to be taking Liquid on the moneyline here. A 7.5 kill spread when compared to this number is actually inflated so there’s not a lot of value there. I do feel very confident that Liquid win this though.
Machi play a very fast-paced game but it doesn’t always result in high kill games. In some ways they’re a lot like LGD. Unders are a good play with both of these teams and the fact that we’re getting a 25.5 when the general line for two lower scoring teams has been 24.5 or less for this tournament shows that we’re actually getting a pretty good value on the under here. I like the under 25.5 you can find at most shops but Bet365 floated a 26.5 @ -120 that I’ll be taking.
Moneyline: Team Liquid -222 (2.22 units)
Kill Total: UNDER 26.5 @ -120 (2.4 units)(Bet365)
G2 Esports -147 vs Suning Gaming +120
Kill Total: 29.5 (over -110 / under -119)
Kill Spread: -4.5 @ -109 / +4.5 @ -119
Team Kill Totals: 15.5 / 13.5
Time Total: OTB
I spoke on The Gold Card Podcast this week about this match quite a bit. I think it’s a toss up between these two teams for who wins this group but it’s going to depend largely on how Suning navigate the mid lane metagame or if the overall metagame is one that Angel isn’t forced into individually outplaying his opponents in. If the meta is in a place where that matters less than Suning are just as live to win this entire tournament as anybody and I think they belong in the same tier with G2, DragonX and maybe even higher. The other four players on this team are unbelievably good and are some of the best in the world at their positions. The catch here is that Caps is really good at League of Legends.
I’m treating this game like a coin flip and just taking the underpriced tails. Suning are better than a lot of people give them credit for because nobody really knows the names here besides SwordArt, especially most of the Western audience. Bin and SofM were arguably the best top/jungle pairing in the LPL this season and yes I’m including Zoom and Kanavi in that conversation… Huanfeng has emerged onto the scene as one of the best young up-and-coming ADC’s in the world and SwordArt is a veteran leader in a metagame that is absolutely perfect for his best champions over the course of his career. It all sets up well for Suning.
If you think the “Caps diff” is too great or that G2 elevate and continue to improve from their Summer performance than I could see liking G2 but you should know that you better be EXTREMELY bullish on them to want to take them at this number. Suning are a damn good team that are being underrated here so if you like G2 make sure you really really like them in this spot before backing them.
I know it’s G2, and Suning are no strangers to weird clown fiesta blood baths either but 29.5 is a pretty ridiculous total… I’ll be taking the under. Keep in mind, last year at the World Championships, G2 went from a ridiculous 32.2 combined kills per game in the LEC to 27.8 at Worlds. Expect a noticeable downtick again here with the stakes higher. Suning have had a few slobberknockers so this could devolve to that but you just need so many things to go right for a 29.5 to hit over. If either of these teams stomp that’s an easy win, if it’s a close tight game you win roughly 75% of the time. The only way this gets over this total is if we get a bloody game that also goes a good distance which is certainly possible but I don’t think the odds here can be passed up. Oh, and just for comparison a few other books have 27.5’s and 28.5’s for this so 29.5 over at Nitrogen is a good spot for us.
Moneyline: Suning +125 (1 unit)(Bet365)
Kill Total: UNDER 29.5 @ -119 (2.38 units)(Nitrogen)
DAMWON Gaming -476 vs Rogue +353
Kill Total: 24.5 (over -123 / under -105)
Kill Spread: -9.5 @ -115 / +9.5 @ -114
Team Kill Totals: 17.5 / 7.5
Time Total: 32:00 (over +149 / under -196)
Rogue looked really sharp today against Talon but DAMWON are a different beast. I don’t think it’s unreasonable for Rogue to match an early game tit-for-tat here and possibly make this a contest. It is the biggest strength for both of these teams after all. I just don’t think these players are in the same universe individually. Larssen is amazing, he’s not on the same level as ShowMaker and the truly elite mid laners in the world. I could see Rogue making this competitive and it feels absolutely criminal to not back a team as good as they are at this kind of number… but it’s DAMWON…
The more interesting number here is the total. JDG are a team that’s willing to scrap and that game was somewhat interesting at least for a little while. If you think Rogue can match early and keep this interesting I think this could turn into a similar score like the one was saw today with DAMWON having to win a few fights instead of just their ridiculous haymaker’s that they’ve landed on seemingly everyone this year. It always feels scary betting overs in DAMWON games. They’re a lot like a fighter with extreme power and can land a right hook for a knockout in the first ten seconds of a fight against anyone. All we need is a little resistance from Rogue to get an over on this low total.
The big moneylines tend to mean valuable prop markets but DAMWON are such complete winners when they do get there that it’s always menacing taking props against them. I’m going to take a shot on the best value on the board relative to the priorities of these teams and that’s the Rogue first dragon. DAMWON much prefer herald-focused snowballs and while they frequently just take everything in “perfect” wins like they’ve done a lot this season, they end up trading drake for herald quite a bit and I don’t think this is a bad spot for a nice plus money number.
I’ve never seen a +149 on an over 32 before… it feels like I should probably take that but you should only really do so if you think Rogue can make this competitive. DAMWON have been stifled in the early game a bit and still turned the corner faster than any team I’ve seen this season. Keep in mind DAMWON had an average game time under 30 minutes this season.
Kill Total: OVER 24.5 @ -123 (2.46 units)
Prop: Rogue first dragon @ +132 (1 unit)
JD Gaming -476 vs PSG Talon +354
Kill Total: 25.5 (over -123 / under -105)
Kill Spread: -10.5 @ -104 / +10.5 @ -125
Team Kill Totals: 17.5 / 8.5
Time Total: OTB
So Talon got absolutely whooped today but that game did somewhat get away from them early with a nice level one cheese by Rogue. However, as mentioned above, the more concerning aspect of this was that they didn’t really show any sort of proactive defense. They didn’t do a great job of stopping the bleeding and were just outplayed across the map over and over again. JDG are going to be a really big test. Yagao might not be Knight or Chovy or ShowMaker but he’s made a career out of obliterating these more “stay at home” control mage types in various matchups and he has an extended champion pool that includes things like Leblanc and Yasuo to really punish in certain spots.
JDG had an average margin of victory of 10.66 kills this season. I’m going to actually lay the kill spread in this situation and I almost never lay spreads this large. JDG don’t usually let teams back in once they’re ahead and they’re not opposed to running the score up either.
JDG had a combined kills per game of 26.16 this season Machi averaged just 22.7. JDG had 24 or fewer kills in 17 out of their 39 games this season (43.44%). The rest of their games were 26 or more.
I like the over here. JDG are fairly agnostic of their opponent when it comes to totals and while they won’t fight you just for the sake of fighting you like a lot of LPL teams, they’re more disciplined than that, they are more partial to fighting to get things done instead of leveraging map position or waves like, for example, Liquid. I’m also expecting Talon to throw the kitchen sink at this game since they were completely destroyed by Rogue yesterday. I’d imagine when they watch their film they’ll notice that they more or less went down without picking any good spots to make a last stand and will make it a focus to step up and pick your best option for a fight if they get behind.
Kill Spread: JDG -10.5 kills @ -104 (1.04 units)
Kill Total: OVER 25.5 @ -123 (1.23 units)
Gen.G -263 vs Team Solo Mid +218
Kill Total: 24.5 (over -119 / under -111)
Kill Spread: -7.5 @ -119 / +7.5 @ -110
Team Kill Totals: 15.5 / 8.5
Time Total: 32:00 (over -127 / under -103)
It’s a little weird to me that this line didn’t move more as there’s almost always an overreaction to a win + loss situation like this but I guess nobody is trusting Gen.G after a weird one against LGD.
Gen.G are worlds better than TSM and even more concerning was the nonsensical gameplan TSM had against Fnatic perhaps tipping us off that maybe they don’t have the best read on this current metagame like they did for most of the LCS playoffs. It’s possible it was just one flukey game but if Fnatic gave you all that trouble then Gen.G are going to seem insurmountable and I can’t help but agree there.
Gen.G won games by an average of 10.9 kills this season and even if I think this could be a tight scoring game (leaning toward the under) I have a hard time envisioning a world where TSM pull this out. They’re outclassed in every single position and Bdd is the best mid laner that Bjergsen has had to face all year this could be a shock to their system. This number should be closer to what we saw for DAMWON vs Rogue and I’m not entirely sure why it isn’t. If you think Rogue and TSM are similar teams then this is a slam dunk value play on Gen.G. This line is egregious to me.
Gen.G averaged 18.39 kills per win. This is a low total but this could go under if Gen.G just soundly put them away. I’ll pass on any sides here. I’ll note that Gen.G were one of the best objective teams of all time this season and were only overshadowed by how dominant DAMWON were. They had over 60% in every neutral which I’ve never seen before even on nearly undefeated teams. It didn’t seem to matter even once people figured out how to trade herald for drake etc. The books available to me have these priced appropriately but keep an eye out for cheaper options on Gen.G props.
Kill Spread: Gen.G -7.5 kills @ -119 (3.57 units)
Prop: Gen.G first to 10 kills @ -217 (2.17 units)
Fnatic -141 vs LGD Gaming +118
Kill Total: 26.5 (over -119 / under -110)
Kill Spread: -4.5 @ -105 / +4.5 @ -123
Team Kill Totals: 14.5 / 12.5
Time Total: 33:00 (over -114 / under -114)
Am I seeing things? Ok look, I’m as bearish a guy on LGD as you’ll find in this space and I don’t understand at all why they’re being disrespected this hard after putting up a competitive performance against Gen.G, one of the better teams in this tournament. Fnatic smashed TSM before the game even started when TSM gave them the best draft they could possibly want. I know the books had Fnatic making it out of this group and that could very well still happen but what the hell is this price? I’m a little upset at myself for not being a little more outraged about this one on the podcast this week.
These two teams are fairly evenly matched AT WORST and that’s if you don’t like LGD and love Fnatic. Take the plus money here. I’d even argue that this line is wrong and as I mentioned I’m as big an LGD hater as you’ll find. Fnatic should be good but don’t put any weight on that win yesterday it doesn’t mean anything.
I could see this getting chippy, much more so than the TSM bout for Fnatic yesterday but 26.5 is a pretty high total for the fare we’ve seen in this tournament.
Anytime you can get LGD first blood at near even money you take it. Peanut is one of the best in the world at getting the ball rolling.
Moneyline: LGD +118 (1 unit)
Prop: LGD first blood @ -110 (1.65 units)
“Double Dogs” Parlay (2): LGD ML + Suning ML @ +380 (0.5 units)
Parlay (3): JDG ML + DWG ML + Gen.G ML @ +102 (2 units)
Parlay (4): JDG ML + DWG ML + Gen.G ML + Liquid ML @ +197 (0.5 units)
Parlay (5): JDG ML + DWG ML + Gen.G ML + Liquid ML + LGD ML @ +547 (0.25 units)
“For recreational purposes only” Long Shot of the Day Parlay:
Liquid -7.5 kills + DWG -9.5 kills + JDG -10.5 kills + Gen.G -7.5 kills @ +1195 (a beer)
For entertainment I’m going to post a goofy long shot parlay every day the rest of the group stage. Let me know if you’re tailing!
(all lines from Nitrogen unless noted otherwise)