Tuesday, October 6th Recap
G2 Esports vs Team Liquid (Net: -3.64 units)
It felt a little bizarre to me that G2 allowed Broxah to have Graves given that we haven’t seen Broxah play Nidalee in years. I could be wrong but I’d be betting it’s not in their pool based on how they’ve behaved in this tournament and playoffs. You could have taken the Graves or Renekton or whatever first pick you wanted on blue side and then taken the Nidalee in the second rotation because you know Liquid wouldn’t. It was just a poor understanding of leverage unless I’m missing something.
G2 opted for a very early game centric team composition with the classic Renekton+Nidalee combo, a BLIND Jayce mid and Alistar+Ashe bottom lane. I understand wanting the damage differentiation but Jayce blind felt a little forced to me. Maybe it’s working in scrims who knows. Liquid took Graves, Volibear, and then Kalista first rotation rounded it out with a flex Sett and a last pick Orianna.
I’ve written a lot about the draft for just this one game but it’s worth discussing because it can be telling about what a team thinks is important in the draft. G2 seem to be prioritizing their own composition over what the enemy team is doing. Liquid just took comfort.
This game started with a level one red contest by Liquid that resulted in the red buff AND first blood going over to Tactical. A few minutes later around the 6:30 mark G2 try to make a play after Broxah had taken scuttle. It looked like they had a catch but a narrow escape by CoreJJ and a three-man shockwave + Sett punch combo resulted in another kill this time on Caps to Jensen. At this point the superior scaling team already has a 1300 gold lead in under seven minutes and Liquid just had to play this out.
G2 had a few nice punches to get back into the game with a forced herald to take the top tower down and just end laning phase as fast as possible to get Caps into a sidelane and a nice long distance arrow pick. The damage was done though. Jensen was ahead and the superior Liquid scaling comp was ahead and G2 could only do so much to battle back.
This was a fairly well played close by Liquid but G2 didn’t really have the tools to really bring this back. I’d like to know how this goes if the level one didn’t go as well as it did in this one but credit where it’s due. Great game plan and clear communication by Liquid.
Suning Gaming vs Machi Esports(Net: -2.3 units)
Suning pick up the first pick Nidalee on blue, counter Volibear with Jax but walk into a flex so Voli moves to the jungle and PK picks up the Shen. This counter would be fine but Nidalee can severely outpace Volibear so there’s a chance this game could get out of hand early. Syndra for Angel. Machi round out with Azir and Rakan with Suning going to Ezreal and Bard.
Limited frontline for Suning but if Bin ever gets up on the Jax you can disengage very easily with the other four champions and just kite. This was going to be a weird ropadope look. Suning have to dance Machi around because in a straight up fight they’ll struggle until Ezreal is built up.
Bin wanted to stack and get third wave to the tower, Gemini, yet again intelligently applying pressure like he’s done in every game so far and punished him for it but saved flash for himself while PK blew his. Gemini tried to punish again but Bin absorbed it while holding his flash and SofM was able to double up and clear the entire bottom side to get up a lot of experience. They ended up diving Bin because they felt they had to, he ends up dying anyway to the dive. As dramatic as this “gg” feeling moment seemed, SofM picked up almost a full level and Angel completely destroyed Mission in the 1v1 including a solo kill. So really the only bad part about Bin’s rough start is that it sets the win condition back a little bit but with no drake stacking happening and a winning mid lane, Machi weren’t going to be able to force an early soul.
Suning did a tremendous job in this game doing what I like to call “the new reality.” When weird openings happen or a game goes off script, it’s important to identify that (also if it just feels off when it really isn’t. You also need to put into place a plan for your “new reality.” Suning identified that, while Machi had delayed Bin, they hadn’t picked up a drake quickly, and were quick to interrupt and stall the first herald take to make sure they wouldn’t get “DAMWON’d” which is camp/deny the top laner, take an early herald, end that phase and go for two so that they can’t freeze the wave deep. Machi changed it up, predictably went to dragon, Suning let it happen but countered the incoming dive bottom and Bin was able to pick up two kills on the teleport and suddenly was back in the game.
At some point shortly after that, Bin nearly went one for one in a 3v1 and picked up a few flashes too. From there you could see how this game was going to eventually play out without a good answer to the Jax. Angel specifically but really all of Suning did such a good job just running Machi around the map a la G2 while Bin built up on the Jax.
I wanted to take some time to break this all down because I saw a lot of people in the Discord and on Twitter criticizing Suning for this performance when I actually thought it was a perfect example of why efficiency matters and why we see these power farming junglers are so potent. At the 20 minute mark. SofM was two and a half levels and 70 cs up on Gemini’s Volibear. Without having the gold visible he had half an item up in inventory without buying and I’d assume he was a full level up. Levels are way more important than people realize and the reason SofM was as ahead as he was isn’t just because of the cs discrepency but because he rushed to level 9 for the bonus. He’s going to have better smites for the next 15+ minutes, is much more powerful overall even if people tend to hate on Nidalee. It’s not just the Nidalee here but generally why we see these power farming junglers right now. You saw how much work Gemini got done to set behind Bin and it all unraveled fairly quickly. Hypothetically if Bin didn’t pick up those two kills on the teleport counter bottom lane I’m not actually sure this game is that much different anyway. You have to invest so much on these ganking champs to make it worth it and that’s why we don’t see them as much. Voli and Lee actually farm at a decent enough pace to be viable picks but you can see the clear difference in efficiency here.
Suning made a few mistakes in the mid-late game with SofM getting caught before the first baron but generally Bin and Angel were just too strong that so many resources went into avoiding them in fights that it just created so much space for Huanfeng to work with and after disrupting that first baron they’d eventually take it and the game was essentially over.
DragonX vs FlyQuest (Net: -0.16 units)
Giving FlyQuest Ornn feels like a mistake if you’re not going to counterpick it but DragonX decided to try Maokai. FlyQuest had a decent start to this game despite losing in gold through the first 20 minutes strictly through CS gaps. A weird error by Pyosik fat fingering his ultimate prior to the second dragon fight ended up giving FlyQuest two dragons to open this up too. FlyQuest actually looked pretty good until a suicidal contest on the second herald. It looked like Santorin just wanted to go for a steal and then quick draw over the wall out but Ignar went in and the rest of the team just followed up giving a massive fight win over to DragonX.
TOP Esports vs Unicorns of Love (Net: -0.11 units)
UOL tried the Karthus bottom but 369 took over this game on the Jax counter to Camille outplaying the 1v1, nearly double killing a 1v2 against a pre-6 gank by Ahahacik. There’s not really much else to this one. TOP had a moment where they disrespected the UOL potential for engage and lost three but they were so far up it didn’t matter and eventually, after some clowning around by both teams this ended rather bloody.
Obviously this is TOP Esports but UOL have generally looked outclassed in this tournament. For all their weird picks and aggressive drafting, you still have to execute and they’ve struggled to do so on this level despite dominating in the play-ins. I’ll likely be fading them from here on out unless the numbers get ridiculous (more on that later).
Fnatic vs Gen.G (Net: -1.12 units)
I don’t want to make this all about a summoner spell choice because Gen.G have been looking the worst they have all year and Fnatic have looked sharp so far. Credit where it’s due as well as skepticism… but what the hell possessed you to go flash-less against Leona? I understand the exhaust/ignite spellbook Rakan is a thing but Leona can punish you so hard I have to ask if it was worth it? A mistake?
Fnatic played this well but it’s tough to really put too much stock into either side of this. Gen.G have been in a weird funk that I hope they can shake before the second round robin.
TSM vs LGD Gaming (Net: +2.23 units)
Bjergsen with the blind pick Leblanc smelled a bit like desperation to me. I get it. Team has struggled and hasn’t looked good so you want to pick something you can take over the game on. “Put the carry pants on” so to speak. It’s just not worth it when there are better things available. The play at 10 minutes where Bjergsen tries to clean this kill up but gets tagged on the way out just sort of exemplified what’s been going on for TSM this tournament. I mentioned the other day that this team’s confidence looks completely in the gutter. They had advantages and played afraid against Gen.G in multiple situations, same for Fnatic. I don’t know if they’re just struggling to identify how ahead or behind they are in the game at any given moment but they’re seemingly always feeling like they’re way far behind and just forcing or playing scared, two of the worst things you can possibly do in LOL.
TSM aren’t this bad but they only have a few days to get their act together and I’m not exactly sure what their ceiling for this specific tournament is. How you handicap them moving forward has a lot to do with how much you think they can claw back or if they’re just going to stay stuck. I think they’ll be better for sure but that doesn’t mean I think they’ll win more games.
Parlays: -4.185 units
Total Net: -11.285 units
Rough day with the two favorites losing.
Futures Outlook and Plan
With the first round robin done we have a clearer picture of how this may play out in relation to our futures wagers allowing us to set up hedge situations. Below are the liabilities I have in Group A specifically for group betting or group related wagers.
Suning to win Group A @ +225 (2 units)
Suning to win Group A @ +130 (2 units)
I stand to net +7.1 units on a Suning group win. With how the schedule is laid out with both 2-1 teams playing against both 1-2 teams in the first two games of the day tomorrow, I’ll have a pretty clear idea of who is in this conversation. If G2 win the first game against Team Liquid and Suning defeat Machi they’ll both move to 3-1 and Liquid and Machi will each move to 1-3 meaning they’d have to win out AND G2 or Suning would have to lose out to force a tiebreaker.
- If G2 lose both of their first games and Suning defeat Machi, we can look to back Liquid in the fourth game vs Suning and potentially vs Machi as well.
- If G2 AND Suning both lose we likely have to ride out the Machi match given that the odds are prohibitive to hedging.
- If Suning wins their first game and G2 wins their first two games we can either back Liquid at plus money against Suning or wait and take G2 as short favorites in the eventual decider match. I think waiting for the decider match is probably the best play here.
Most scenarios point to a G2 hedge in the final match of the day vs Suning but there are a number of potential tiebreaker situations that make this tricky. The numbers will likely change as well. I’ll be updating this post as we go tomorrow morning.
Tentative: G2 ML vs Suning in final match based on the above scenarios (TBD units, update tomorrow)
UPDATE: G2 ML vs Suning @ -111 (?? units) – waiting on results for last match (8:46am EST)
UPDATE 2: tiebreaker G2 ML @ -120 vs Suning @ -111 (4.8 units) Partial hedge leaning toward Suning (9:20am). If G2 win I make my entry back, Suning win I make more than I would on an exact split hedge. I do think Suning are the better team.
My handicap and selections of the games below is without consideration for my futures wagers which will be updated above. They’re “pure” handicaps for those that didn’t get involved in futures. They will still count in my spreadsheet totals.
Main Event – Group Stage
The way the double round robin works is each team plays a game on each side of the map. For this reason we know based on the previous game which side teams will be on. Blue side has had a noticeable win rate in this tournament. I went back and looked through each match to see if it was primarily favorites winning on that side and that was in fact the case. TOP, DWG, G2, and Gen.G have each played two games on blue side already. The following are the teams that will be playing two blue side games in the second round robin.
While I think the blue side win rate has been inflated by a handful of the strongest teams in the tournament having a good record there, I do think there is an edge to it on this patch regardless of the win rate. The ability to force a red side Nidalee ban or have to deal with it is very potent. It also forces certain teams like Liquid who may not play the Nidalee to be susceptible to stronger blinds like Orianna or take away picks like Graves knowing they won’t pick or ban the Nidalee themselves. The counterargument here is that now that these teams have a feel for each other that more specific game plans like niche counterpicks could be unlocked from red side but I think blue has a decided advantage on this patch in general. I’ll be indicating which team is blue side this time around with a (B).
(B) indicates blue side for this match
(B) Team Liquid +226 vs G2 Esports -278
Kill Total: 28.5 (over -115 / under -114)
Kill Spread: +7.5 @ -110 / -7.5 @ -119
Team Kill Totals: 10.5 / 16.5
Time Total: OTB
We talked quite a bit about this matchup on The Gold Card Podcast last night and the consensus was that this number is simply too big. Liquid have looked really sharp and while I think there are ways to exploit them that teams don’t seem to want to take advantage of, if they’re just going to be allowed to do their thing like G2 allowed them to the first time around then they’re totally live to win this game.
The counterargument here is that G2 are a team that always seems to play the long game. They’ll frequently allow certain picks to teams before bigger spots to see if it’s truly a must ban or just smoke with no fire. So which do I think it is? G2 banned Mordekaiser, Ornn, and Shen in their first rotation from blue side the first time around. Liquid opted for Lucian, Camille, and Twisted Fate. G2 took advantage of the lack of Nidalee from Liquid to first pick Renekton with Ornn off the table and took Nidalee/Ashe the second rotation in response to Volibear/Graves. Without getting too into the nitty gritty of this G2 did, in fact, take advantage of the fact that Liquid don’t play Nidalee to leverage a strong first pick Renekton (I could write an essay on why this is fine in this patch, in fact I plan to). This is akin to “wheeling” a multicolored card in a Magic: the Gathering draft because you know nobody is in a color combination or archetype. It’s a high value play.
The problem this time around is that Liquid get blue side meaning G2 are either going to have to ban Graves or allow one of Liquid’s other power picks to be first picked. Liquid could use a more leveraged drafting position to do something like ban Nidalee, Camille, Lucian and force G2 to leave up two of Graves, Twisted Fate, Shen, Ornn, Renekton, or Mordekaiser. There are counterpicks available but this season G2 haven’t been a counterpicking team in draft they tend to just play what’s comfortable. The champions that stick out to me here are Jax and Kayle both of which are champions Wunder has played this Summer.
G2 sold out for the early game and got behind so I don’t think this is a case where Liquid clearly dominated them or anything but I actually like Liquid’s chances from this position of power. It took a bit of level one magic to really boost them ahead in the first matchup but they played their lanes out well and fairly decisively won the map. While they’re at a disadvantage for not having the Nidalee available to them, I do think blue side dulls that with Jensen’s ability to play picks like Orianna and Twisted Fate blind. I also think that Liquid have an edge in the bottom lane. Tactical and CoreJJ have been playing very well in this tournament and offer a larger range of productive champions than G2’s bottom lane has shown so far.
To me this number is too big. G2 look good and mostly comfortable in the metagame but they haven’t looked dominant by any means and this number implies a clear favorite. I don’t think that’s the case. Unless it’s against one of the true elites, this is too big a number for a fundamentally solid, good team like Liquid. Of course, as always, this is G2 and they could bring out something wild like a mage bottom or a weird counterpick in mid lane. They’re the team to do it. One of the hardest teams to bet against in the world because they can seemingly will themselves to win but I do think this is a spot to do so.
28.5 is a fairly high total but G2 tend to win and lose in bloody fashion so I’ll be steering clear of this market. If you think Liquid win I think it’s doubtful we see another explosive kill-per-minute type performance from them. It’s simply not how they tend to operate in wins as they prefer to be more methodical. I do think this could be a longer game though which tends to favor overs.
I think this should be a close, hard-fought game. Even in a Liquid stomp we saw some good counterpunching and I’d expect that from whoever gets behind in this one. Since the time total is OTB at the handful of books I checked for this, I’ll attack it from a different angle. We can get plus money on total towers destroyed over 12.5 and a cheap -128 on the over 4.5 dragons slain over at Nitrogen. I’ll be taking both of those.
Kill Spread: Team Liquid +7.5 kills @ -110 (1.1 units)
Moneyline: Team Liquid +226 (0.5 units)
Prop: OVER 12.5 towers destroyed @ +108 (1 unit)
Prop: OVER 4.5 dragons slain @ -128 (1.28 units)
(B) Machi Esports +331 vs Suning Gaming -435
Kill Total: 24.5 (over -123 / under -105)
Kill Spread: +8.5 @ -114 / -8.5 @ -114
Team Kill Totals: 8.5 / 16.5
Time Total: OTB
A lot of people still aren’t buying Suning because they’ve played a few close games. Above I broke down why that game on Tuesday wasn’t actually that close. I want you to consider for a second just how lopsided that would have looked if Gemini didn’t have the great start to set Bin behind. Admittedly, he’s been great at getting his team rolling so far in this tournament win or lose but it’s not something you want to rely on.
Another thing to consider is that, like Broxah on Liquid, Gemini doesn’t seem to want to play Nidalee. He has three games on it all season, two in Summer and he hasn’t played it in this tournament or in his domestic playoffs. This matters slightly less on blue side but against a jungler like SofM, like we saw last time, this is probably something you’re going to need to spend a ban on from blue side.
Machi are being a little bit overrated because of their win against Liquid but, to me, it was a somewhat “free” win in the draft provided they just applied any pressure early to not let Liquid get to objectives first which isn’t hard. Their laners aren’t as good as people seem to think. Suning are going to absolutely roll this matchup. Mission got absolutely destroyed by arguably Suning’s weakest player in Angel in the 1v1 last time around and even with a great start, Machi were just grinded down and ran around the map. They also had the surprise counterpick with the flex Volibear to get Shen into the top against Jax and it still didn’t work for them. It’s a big kill spread but I’ll be laying 8.5 with Suning.
With large moneylines involved there’s not a lot of love to be had in the Suning markets and quite frankly I think Machi are going to get rolled here so I’m skeptical to take anything on their end even at plus money. Pass.
Kill Spread: Suning -8.5 kills @ -114 (1.14 units)
Machi Esports +310 vs (B) G2 Esports -417
Kill Total: 28.5 (over -115 / under -114)
Kill Spread: +8.5 @ -111 / -8.5 @ -118
Team Kill Totals: 9.5 / 17.5
Time Total: OTB
Similar to the above. While I’m slightly less confident in G2 I still think they’re the play here for many of the same reasons listed above. People seem to think Machi are better than they actually are. The one win was free and their one “close” game wasn’t as close as it looked. It’s difficult for a lot of people to discern between a game that’s truly close and one that just looks close on the scoreboard. This was the latter.
I’ve got my questions about G2 but I see this being more lopsided than the first game especially with blue side. This kill spread is 9.5 or 10.5 in a lot of places but you can get 8.5 over at Nitrogen or Pinnacle.
Again a 28.5 is fairly high but this is a G2 game which means it could go way over and way under.
I like under 12.5 towers here. Under dragons is in play but G2 haven’t exactly been speed running people. I’ll opt for the towers.
Kill Spread: G2 -8.5 kills @ -118 (1.18 units)
Prop: UNDER 12.5 towers destroyed @ -164 (1.64 units)
Team Liquid +236 vs (B) Suning Gaming -294
Kill Total: 24.5 (over -120 / under -109)
Kill Spread: +7.5 @ -108 / -7.5 @ -122
Team Kill Totals: 8.5 / 15.5
Time Total: OTB
This is a matchup that Liquid were exposed in the first time around. Suning completely blew Liquid out of the water from red side with a counterpick for the outer lanes and the Nidalee+Galio that managed to outmaneuver the superior 2v2 in Syndra+Lee Sin. I’d imagine Liquid ban Nidalee and Suning will take away the Graves instead of spending a ban on it. Liquid could leave the Nidalee up and make them choose in which case I think Suning would likely first pick Renekton provided it isn’t banned. I think Suning have a pretty large edge in this draft because of Bin’s large pool of strong counterpick champions and his arguably best-in-the-world proficiency on Renekton.
I’m not sure this will even be that much closer this time around. Liquid haven’t been a counterpicking team and have generally been worse on red side (58.8% win rate vs 72.7% win rate on blue). Obviously side win rates have a lot of noise baked into them but generally the power pick centric approach that Liquid have tends to favor blue side especially with the limitations Broxah has in this current metagame.
A closer game might happen but I still think Suning are going to cover this kill spread. They outclass Liquid in every position and stylistically provide a unique challenge that Liquid don’t see very often domestically.
Most of these are priced out of range for me. Liquid first dragon plus first herald combo wagers are interesting if you think they can trade one and you just collect the change but I think Suning have a strong possibility of completely blowing this one out of the water with three winning lanes and a tempo jungler.
24.5 is a fairly low total but I’d lean toward the under unless you think Liquid can keep this close. For now pass.
Kill Spread: Suning -7.5 kills @ -122 (1.22 units)
(B) Team Liquid -164 vs Machi Esports +136
Kill Total: 23.5 (over -123 / under -105)
Kill Spread: -5.5 @ -110 / +5.5 @ -119
Team Kill Totals: 13.5 / 9.5
Time Total: OTB
It’s always challenging playing back-to-back but we discussed how much more favorable Liquid are on blue side in general AND why, specifically in this metagame, that their deficiencies are less obvious on blue side. I also think they’re just a much better team than Machi and that they won’t make the same draft mistakes that they did in the first meeting between these two. To me this is a great value on Liquid.
There’s a chance that both Liquid and Machi could be eliminated by the time we see this game. If both lose their first two games of the day this could end up being a bit of a clown fiesta. Teams tend to not mess around on the international stage but they do loosen up a bit.
23.5 is already an extremely low kill total and I could see it going well over in a situation where both of these teams are already eliminated. I’ll be placing a wager on the over as it stand and then likely adding on if both teams end up eliminated. Check back for updates.
Moneyline: Team Liquid -164 (1.64 units)
Kill Spread: Team Liquid -5.5 kills @ -110 (0.55 units)
Kill Total: OVER 23.5 @ -123 (1.23 units) + 1.23 more units (update 6:51am EST)
(B) Suning Gaming -110 vs G2 Esports -109
Kill Total: 30.5 (over -116 / under -115)
Kill Spread: +0.5 @ -115 / -0.5 @ -114
Team Kill Totals: 14.5 / 14.5
Time Total: OTB
This game will likely decide the groups. Read the futures section on how I’m handling hedging my Suning futures. For this portion of the writeup it will just be my handicap on the game without that in consideration.
This line has moved in Suning’s favor as it opened G2 -115/Suning -105. The first meeting line was G2 -147/Suning +120.
I liked Suning the first time around based on line value but given how the tournament metagame has shaped out and with both teams looking in solid form, I actually think Suning are better positioned in this tournament and a stronger team than G2. I also think blue side will help them quite a bit. We discussed it on the podcast last night but the mid lane metagame has been closer to the handshake version that we anticipated would be a direct buff to teams like Suning and Fnatic and a nerf to mid lane reliant teams like G2. It’s not to say that they’re completely dead in the water or anything like that but it just amplifies the strengths of some teams and suppresses the strengths of others.
It feels bad not getting plus money here but I do think Suning are the right side and I’ll be taking them here.
30.5 is extremely high but again this is a G2 game and there’s a strong chance that this will be for first place in the group. I could see this getting crazy but 30.5 is just too much so I’ll pass on that.
I do, however, like a few of these other game length related props. Since we don’t have time totals on most books I’ll be looking to the over 12.5 towers and over 4.5 dragons again here.
Moneyline: Suning -110 (1.1 units)
Prop: OVER 12.5 towers taken @ -120 (1.2 units)
Prop: OVER 4.5 dragons slain @ -204 (1.02 units)
(all lines from Nitrogen unless noted otherwise)