Saturday, September 26th Recap
Team Liquid vs Legacy Esports (Net: no wagers)
Legacy had a neat “stay open” style of draft with the Lucian and Ziggs flex picks to allow them to find the best matchup for Lucian to abuse. They settled on mid lane while also picking up a top lane counter Sylas into Ornn. The Jarvan was a bit weird but other than that good draft. Legacy should have had a heavy advantage in both solo lanes but Tally in particular was severely outplayed by Jensen and the overall quality of players ended up shining in this one. After a post teleport gank and a denied wave while even this game was effectively over without some heroics by Topoon which didn’t end up happening. Liquid just won all three lanes straight up. Domination.
Rainbow7 vs V3 Esports (Net: -3.24 units)
I’ll speak on the totals below but I figured this had a chance to get crazy but it turns out the snowball was just too clean by V3.Elise plus three gankable lanes can get out of hand quickly and it did.
SuperMassive vs INTZ Esports (Net: -0.2 units)
Right side, wrong total. I’m a proponent of Lulu mid when you have a carry jungler and while Hecarim can feel like a carry jungler like a Graves or Kindred. The ult seems good as a combo with these diving champions but what ends up happening in practice is you can’t reliably follow it up to ult them and it’s awkward. SuperMassive were basically betting against INTZ aggression. This isn’t a comp that works in a normal game it was a HARD read on the enemy team mindlessly aggressing into you and that’s sort of what happened. The Shen plus Lulu ult plus Senna healing was pretty vicious but this comp severely lacked damage and could have backfired. Risky but a neat solution to the Brazilians’ seemingly mindless aggression at times.
Unicorns of Love vs V3 Esports (Net: -1.07 units)
V3 tried to initiate a lane swap in this one AND we had an Orianna ADC… gotta love it! You could read this as a desperate team throwing a curveball or a prepared strategy. Sion is extremely good in 2v1 situations as a weakside wave clearer. WE used to see him frequently. Unicorns weren’t really fooled though and made the proper adjustments. That’s a pretty mature thing to do in this kind of situation. Shows good preparation. I wonder if V3 were doing this in scrims or not because UOL didn’t look surprised about it at all. An invade went badly early on and Boss picked up first blood on Camille and this game just got ugly.
I think if you’re going to do this type of strategy in a Kassadin game you should lane swap into the Kassadin’s lane to deny him resources. That’s a strategy you see sometimes against the Kassadin, to swap the bottom lane into his lane after first back or prepping for herald. Missed opportunity but as soon as Camille got the first blood this felt over.
LGD Gaming vs Rainbow7 (Net: +2.9275 units)
I was the most bearish person I knew on LGD but even I didn’t expect this one. The number was too big so I bet it obviously but I think people are beginning to realize that Invictus, Victory Five, hell even RNG or EDG or Vici died for this? Brutal. R7 continue to pick simple to execute team comps like you should as a dog. LGD continue to lose when they don’t have a gigantic gold lead just like they’ve been doing all season.
Unicorns of Love vs PSG Talon (Net: -2.07 units)
This game was fairly competitive but when Talon didn’t get a big enough advantage their four melee into Swain ADC+Orianna+double Liandry’s torment comp was going to struggle in fights taking most of their health in damage and struggling to kill any relevant target in a meaningful amount of time. UOL Swain pick was an excellent adjustment to the Sett+Ekko pairing. Great read.
MAD Lions vs SuperMassive (Net: -0.27 units)
I can’t emphasize enough how well SuperMassive played in this game. Other than a weird arrogant pathing back after a dragon by Zeitnot this was an amazing macro game. SuperMassive look really REALLY clean and for a bi-lingual team their in-fight shot calling and decision making is crisp, clear, and decisive. Go back and watch these dragon fights and how, even amidst all the chaos they make unanimous and decisive calls on targets, when to get out, rotate to mid tower, etc. SuperMassive looked better than they did in domestic finals and very live to make it to the main stage at this point. Impressive.
Daily Total Net: -3.9225 units
I know better than to take overs when there is an over-adjustment on them. Bad CLV, usually an overreaction to first day. My fault there. Other than that a decent day.
Play-In Stage – Day Three
UPDATE: Unified will likely be playing tomorrow for PSG Talon. He’s a substantial upgrade to Dee and was the best ADC in the PCS this year. Article here. We’re still not sure about how the emergency sub situation will affect Tank/River if they’re able to get to the event for the main event but they will not be playing in the play-in stage.
Current Futures Exposure to this group:
To Win Group: UOL @ +1400 (0.4 units to net win +5.6 units)
To Win Group: Talon @ +3500 (0.4 units to net win +14 units)
To Win Group: R7 +4000 (0.1 units to net win +4.0 units)
To Win Group: V3 +6500 (0.1 units to net win +6.5 units)
Because of this and the tanked market on LGD I think this is an opportunity to buy back on LGD and potentially still profit on a loss. I’ll touch on this below. I’ll be rather heavy handed in my positions on this today partially because I’m covered by these futures and this is why we play futures, for the leverage it provides us in situations like this. I’m fully expecting LGD to win both matches tomorrow and I’ll talk about that below but they’re unfortunately in a situation where they would need a small miracle (for UOL and Talon to both lose out and V3 not to win both) in order to get a #1 seed. It’s not looking likely so we’re cashing these in some way shape or form.
A reminder, actual tiebreaker matches are played for this with side selection going to the winner of the first head-to-head between the two tiebreaking teams.
LGD Gaming -413 vs V3 Esports +314
Kill Total: 25.5 (over -124 / under -107)
Kill Spread: -9.5 @ -107 / +9.5 @ -123
Team Kill Totals: 17.5 / 8.5
Time Total: OTB
Missed bans, weird openings, are LGD flustered because it sure as hell seems like it. I was more bearish on this team than anyone I know but this team has seemingly imploded this week.
So for as bad as LGD have looked I think this line has come down to the point where it’s now a value on them. LGD have clearly disappointed everyone but and while V3 showed us a cheeky lane swap look I think ultimately there is a drastic quality difference between these two teams that V3 are going to have a really hard time overcoming. I’ve been pointing to LGD as the team that needs a large lead to win games and that remains true, they’ve had leads in both losses so it’s not like they’re out of character or anything.
I think LGD will get this done but 9.5 is a pretty big kill spread. I’ll be playing the alt spreads over at Nitrogen as well as a few other markets.
This isn’t the best spot to buy back some of our anti-LGD exposure which I’ll be doing with a later line but this kill spread partially attacks that to some extent.
My favorite play in this match is actually the under. LGD are the least bloody team in this tournament beside Liquid based on weighted metrics. Particularly in wins they’ve been a lower kill snowbally team and while they tend to have a punt somewhere along the line it’s not usually through a lot of kills over and over again leading to lower kill games. They’re weird. I like the under and I Peanut to get first blood yet again in this one.
Kill Total: UNDER 25.5 @ -107 (2.14 units)(Pinnacle)
Kill Spread (alt): LGD -7.5 kills @ -161 (3.22 units) (Nitrogen)
Prop: LGD first blood @ -163 (1.63 units)(Bet365)
Unicorns of Love -369 vs Rainbow7 +284
Kill Total: 26.5 (over -113 / under -117)
Kill Spread: -8.5 @ -123 / +8.5 @ -108
Team Kill Totals: 16.5 / 8.5
Time Total: OTB
Unicorns look pretty sharp other than a few small closing errors. Their creative drafting and willingness to aggressively make counterpicks like is a difficult thing for other teams to account for and unless you mix up what you’re doing or show a variety of strategies they’re going to be paid off for having that in their arsenal. Rainbow7 have more or less played heavy CC, easy to execute dive compositions. Difficult to imagine that changing too much but unless they’re going to ban the Swain that’s exactly the kind of pick that can punish those types of comps. I’d trust Unicorns have something cooked up here and they’ve looked like the much cleaner macro team as well. That said, 8.5 is a pretty big kill spread to cover especially for the kinds of compositions that Unicorns like to run. I still think that’s the play here, UOL look really really good.
I aboslutely love the over in this spot. Unicorns games tend to be on the bloodier side mostly because, similar to teams like G2, they’re willing to throw bodies at a play if the resulting macro advantage is worth it to them. They also tend to run scores up when they get ahead. Rainbow7 have similarly continued to keep punching when behind in games which is smart AND helps us towards overs. This is a big number and this tournament has been very feast or famine through two days with either extremely high highs or low lows in terms of kill totals. Gimme The Pineapple to get first blood too!
Kill Total: OVER 26.5 @ -110 (2.2 units)(B365)
Kill Spread: UOL -7.5 kills @ -110 (1.1 units)(B365)
Prop: UOL First blood @ -138 (1.38 units)(B365 or -147 on Nitro)
PSG Talon -201 vs V3 Esports +181
Kill Total: 23.5 (over -122 / under -109)
Kill Spread: -6.5 @ -109 / +6.5 @ -121
Team Kill Totals: 14.5 / 9.5
Time Total: OTB
Talon got a little too predictable against UOL who punished their Sett+Ekko duo with a Swain pick. That’s not the only way to punish comps like this. Things like Orianna, Azir, Viktor, Vladimir, and various zone control mages can make things extremely difficult for a composition like that if you don’t snowball hard so it’s not like these are outside of the realm of possibility for V3. I do, however, think that Talon have showed me enough so far to trust that they’re deserving favorites here. V3 have been a little bit too cheeky for my taste and we saw them get absolutely routed by a similar quality team in UOL. Obviously it’s a small sample size but V3 haven’t really done a lot to impress me while Talon have showed me quite a bit. I don’t normally like laying big moneylines in best of ones but I’ll be doing that here I think Talon stomp this and I’m somewhat insulated by V3 and UOL futures if they do in fact pull this out.
23.5 is a very low total so I like the over for sure especially because these teams should be putting it all out there with Talon battling for first and V3 to avoid last.
Moneyline: Talon -201 (2.01 units)
Kill Spread: Talon -6.5 kills @ -109 (0.545 units)
Kill Total: OVER 23.5 @ -122 (1.22 units)
LGD Gaming -161 vs Unicorns of Love +132
Kill Total: 27.5 (over -109 / under -122)
Kill Spread: -4.5 @ -118 / +4.5 @ -112
Team Kill Totals: 15.5 / 11.5
Time Total: OTB
This line has a lot of variation from book-to-book. Bet365 has it at a -255/+162, Nitrogen has it -172/+132, Pinnacle -161/+132.
What a wild turn of events… So here’s the thing, I like what Unicorns are doing and LGD have looked absolutely terrible but these lines were almost double this number before the tournament. I know that those were way off because LGD were being overrated but I think at this point we have to consider that the value is now on LGD for certain. If you aren’t buying it and don’t think this team can get it done that’s totally fine but I think given the futures we have AGAINST LGD and FOR UOL that this feels like as good a spot as any especially given that the markets have tanked on LGD.
Currently our futures exposure in this group is 0.4 units each on UOL and Talon to win at +1400 and +3500 with a taste 0.1 units on R7 and V3 at longer numbers. We stand to make a nice 5.6 unit profit on a UOL group win which is looking very likely considering they only have R7/LGD left and they should win against R7 to force a tiebreaker potentially against Talon if they win one of their final game. I’ll also know before this game starts if Talon lose to V3 whether or not UOL have already secured first place depending on how the games play out. If that’s the case then this is hammer time on LGD and I’ll likely add on to this wager.
For the time being I’m just going to float a hedge to secure a profit on an LGD win because I don’t think I’ll find a better line without some buyback eventually happening on LGD. If LGD end up losing to V3 then I might come back and pound the Unicorns to complete the full nightmare sweep.
No plays on this one. I’d like the over but this is almost definitely and under if LGD do win and 27.5 is a high number.
Partial Hedge on UOL future: Moneyline: LGD -161 (3.22 units)(Pinny)
(read above, will be likely coming back for more on either side of this once we see more results)
I’ll be very active tomorrow morning on these because of how these futures have set up for me so make sure to check back here I’ll be updating this post, Tweeting, and on The Esports Department Discord in the morning. See you there!