Wednesday June 17th Recap
EDG vs Suning (Net: 0 units)
EDG put on a clinic in game one controlling it from beginning to end.
Game two EDG tried the Hecarim as a way to attack Huanfeng on Aphelios and lane counter Bin’s Wukong but SofM appropriately camped top lane and made things difficult. Suning had a 4k gold lead at 11 minutes in this game and it looked to be over before a split decision between the team to finish the baron or peel back left them without said baron and with a couple of deaths to boot. The baron allowed Scout’s Ekko to create some split push pressure and from there this game devolved into choas with each team making plays on side lanes. Eventually, SwordArt landed a ridiculous Bard ult at the soul point fight that helped ace EDG and force a game three.
Suning had the lead in game three and took the first four dragons to pick up mountain soul in exchange for baron. SwordArt got caught off of a pick, EDG started to siege, Meiko landed CC on Huanfeng so Suning couldn’t fight, Suning tried to force the fight when he was back up but Meiko landed CC on Huanfeng again and won the fight which gave them position on eldre drake which they took and eventually baron after… but that’s not all… Another elder fight ended up being a nailbiter that was taken by EDG and that was what would seal the game.
Suning probably should have won this series but they got sloppy with their mountain soul charged lead in game three and then Huanfeng got caught out in back-to-back fights which should have lost them the game but even with their third lease on life and a 50/50 second elder drake fight they still couldn’t get it done. Are you noticing a pattern in the LPL yet? Teams absolutely suck at winning. This happened in the LCK today too but that’s an aberration in that league and the norm here. It’s absolutely infuriating how talented some of these teams are and how poor a lot of their team fundamentals are. This league could be so good with just a slightly improvement to closing games. The LPL might be entertaining but well-played League of Legends isn’t always entertaining. Learn how to close a game and then I’ll give you the crown of “best league in the world.”
Invictus vs Rogue Warriors (Net: -5.07 units)
The LPL is more fun when Invictus are themselves and they looked like it in this series completely demolishing Rogue Warriors. I tweeted a lot about this series but it’s so relieving to see Ning just simplify the game. “That player is tilted? Camp him.” “I’ve got TheShy and Rookie? Camp them.” This is what Invictus needed and while I’m not entirely sure they’ll be a league winner this season due to their inconsistencies, it’ll make the top of the table a lot more interesting with them back in the conversation.
With that said, Invictus are a lot like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of 2019. When they win it’s in a barrage of fireworks where Jameis Winston throws for 500+ yards and five touchdowns. When they lose he throws four interceptions. You live by the sword, you die by the sword. Invictus are still playing a very lane-centric, all-in on getting ahead style and drafting that way as well. While I admire the philosophical congruence, it’s extremely risky. When Invictus win they’re going to look tremendously dominant. When they lose they’re going to look awful. There is no middle ground with how this team chooses to play. It’s important to know that as we evaluate their results so that we don’t overreact to these landslide wins or losses.
LPL Total: -5.07 units
Afreeca vs Sandbox (Net: -3.31 units)
The box score for this series is going to look a lot worse for Sandbox than it actually was. Most of the early game setup and map play in game one was pretty good but Afreeca just executed significantly better. That’s more or less what this series boiled down to. This series is a classic example of why it’s important to watch game film. One or two plays go differently and suddenly these games could have gone the other way. On paper it looks like a 2-0 stomp but Sandbox were much more competitive than that.
Afreeca look really sharp. With Twisted Fate in the meta and two mid laners that love playing toward side lanes (Fly and All-In both) as well as an elite marksman player in Mystic in a marksman-centric metagame Afreeca might be very well positioned for the next couple of patches.
T1 vs DragonX (Net: +0.87 units)
DragonX managed to snowball game one fairly convincingly and looked well on their way to a 2-0 before getting a little ahead of themselves and overzealously forcing a fight that didn’t work out which allowed T1 to reset quickly and pick up dragon soul. You could argue DRX should have had more control over the dragons beforehand but this was just a massive punt. All they needed to do was not force, win the fight at dragon and they could effectively spread out and win the game off of it. Instead, T1 got mountain soul and eventually the game. Game three was looking like T1’s in the draft and early in the game as DragonX weren’t able to get a significantly lead but some absolutely brilliant plays by Keria’s Bard, Chovy’s Ziggs, and really the team as a whole found them outplaying a lot of high pressure situations when split apart over three lanes.
What astounds me about DragonX is that they can execute these extremely difficult team compositions with ease but when you put them on something easy like an Ornn two core they look like just a good team not a great team. I thought based on the pacing of game three that it was essentially over when Kayle as able to get to two items unscathed and DragonX played their way out of it.
LCK Total: -2.44 units
Daily Total Net: -7.51 units
I’ve had an awful start to the season. I’m roughly -25% ROI through two weeks. It’s my single worst two week run in almost four years. I spent most of today not celebrating the return of the LCK but instead diving deep on my process and evaluation procedures as well as reviewing my wagers since the season started. There have been a few I’d like to have back (including a few winners) but the vast majority of them were supported by evidence, supported by reason, made sense, and just haven’t worked out. I’ve discussed with some colleagues to see if my evaluation is off base, if I’m not seeing clearly, and while there have been some disagreements, it’s mostly just been a brutal season.
I always preach that this is a long-term approach but when you’re struggling it just sucks. There’s no way around it. The truth is, bad variance happens but you aren’t entitled to win just because you’re putting in the work. That said, it’s not always bad luck either and it’s important to review your process and strategies frequently so you don’t fall into bad habits or confirmation bias. It’s a constant and ever-evolving project.
Back to work…
LPL Summer 2020
Week 3 – Day 4
Victory Five -159 (-1.5 maps @ +182) vs
BiliBili Gaming +124 (+1.5 maps @ -238, -1.5 @ +338)
Kill Total: 25.5 (over -120 / under -111)
Team Kill Totals: 14.5 / 11.5
Kill Spread: -4.5 @ -116 / +4.5 @ -115
Time Total: OTB
V5 – BiuBiu, Weiwei, Mole, SamD, ppgod
BLG – ADD, l3est16, FoFo, Wings, XinMo
V5 haven’t been favorites since 2019
V5 are 2-1 (3-0 ATS) this season and 5-3 against the kill spread
5 out of 8 V5 games have gone over the kill total, 6 out of 8 under the time total
BLG are 1-2 (1-2 ATS) this season and 3-4 against the kill spread
5 out of 7 BLG games have gone under the kill total, 5 out of 7 under the time total
This is my first real Hannibal Burress “…whack” moment of the year. I know everyone is sippin’ the Victory Five Kool-Aid, for good reason mind you, but BiliBili had to face Vici, FunPlus, and eStar for their first three series. V5 have faced Dominus, OMG, and LGD. One of those schedules is much more difficult than the other. I also think even with the rough start and new look roster that I’d take BiliBili any day of the week against Victory Five.
I honestly expected these lines to be flipped around. We know anything can and will happen in the LPL but this feels like an absolute steal. I like what Victory Five have done, they’ve moved from an F- tier team to a functioning LPL team but they’re getting entirely too much love here.
Underdog Win: 28.77
“G” Projected Total: 23.77 kills
My projected total comes in substantially under and while the underdog win, which I think is likely, says 28.77, it was primarily boosted by two extreme outlier games. There’s a lot of value in the under here.
Moneyline: BiliBili +124 (1.5 units)
Spread: BiliBili -1.5 maps @ +338 (1 unit)
Kill Total: Map 1 UNDER 25.5 @ -123 (1.23 units)
Kill Total: Map 2 UNDER 25.5 @ -118 (1.18 units)
JD Gaming -250 (-1.5 maps @ +128) vs
Royal Never Give Up +188 (+1.5 maps @ -164, -1.5 @ +466)
Kill Total: 23.5 (over -114 / under -114)
Kill Spread: -5.5 @ -111 / +5.5 @ -118
Team Kill Totals: 13.5 / 9.5
Time Total: OTB
JDG – Zoom, Kanavi, Yagao, Loken, LvMao
RNG – New, XLB, Xiaohu, Betty, Ming
RNG games have gone under the kill total in 4 out of 6 and under the time total in 5 out of 6
RNG had two utterly dominant performances to open the season blasting both OMG and Vici before losing a downright bizarre series to LNG 0-2 and we haven’t seen them since. JDG are coming off of a brutal loss to TOP Esports and a competitive win over Suning to open the season.
This is all about which RNG shows up. While it was against easier competition, RNG looked squeaky clean in their first two matchups before losing their last to a mediocre at best LNG team. If we get the former version then I think this could actually be a fairly competitive series. If we get the latter, not so much. Xiaohu is playing at an incredibly high level and rookies New and XLB (I know he played last split) have outperformed expectations but this is by far their toughest test to date.
The bottom three positions on the map are fairly evenly matched but Zoom and Kanavi should take over this game and ultimately I think that’s going to be too much for RNG to overcome, especially if they’re as sloppy as they were in their last series.
I’ll be splitting my exposure between the moneyline, map spread, and map 1 and 2 kill spreads to get a little more value.
Underdog Win: 25.5
“G” Projected Total: 23.19 kills
This total is fairly close so I’ll be passing.
Moneyline: JDG -250 (1.25 units)
Spread: JDG -1.5 maps @ +128 (0.5 units)
Kill Spread: Map 1 JDG -5.5 kills @ -111 (0.555 units)
Kill Spread: Map 2 JDG -5.5 kills @ -112 (0.56 units)
LCK Summer 2020
Week 1 – Day 2
Early on in the LCK it will be much more evaluation than data focused handicapping since a few of these teams have made substantial changes.
KT Rolster -323 (-1.5 maps @ -103) vs
Team Dynamics +237 (+1.5 maps @ -123, -1.5 @ +580)
Kill Total: 20.5 (over -114 / under -115)
Kill Spread: -6.5 @ -101 / +5.5 @ -105
Team Kill Totals: OTB
Time Total: OTB
Day one average game time 32:26 average kills per game 20
I typically like the unknowns and think Team Dynamics should actually be a competitive team despite whatever win total they end up with but I also like KT Rolster.
There are a lot of questions with KT Rolster’s lineup. Will Smeb start? Will Smeb AND UCal start? Will it be the Spring version of the team? What about Bono/Malrang? And this isn’t even taking into account how each of these players will look.
I’d anticipate seeing the new lineup of Smeb, Bono, UCal, Aiming, and Tusin but honestly nothing would surprise me so for you DFS’ers out there, build accordingly.
To me, KT Rolster have league winning upside if these additions pan out. They were an impressive team of scrappy veterans that turned an absymal start into a formidable run into the playoffs before facing a DAMWON team that played their best series of the year in the 4th/5th gauntlet match. However, that doesn’t mean there might not be bumps along the way and Team Dynamics should not be a pushover by any means.
I’ve got a funny feeling that this is just too much to lay on day one and while I like KT Rolster this season, this might not be the time to back them in full. I’ll be passing on a side in this series. If you’re going to play KT Rolster, the -5.5 kills @ -123 isn’t a bad option.
My gut tells me that this is going to go over either from a surprise underdog win or a statement shellacking by KT Rolster. 20.5 is an extremely low total even for Korea and I’d think we get an over but I’m just going to wait and see how this shakes out.
APK Prince +107 (+1.5 maps @ -294) vs
Hanwha Life Esports -137 (-1.5 maps @ +217)
Kill Total: 22.5 (over -112 / under -116)
Kill Spread: +0.5 @ -109 / -1.5 @ -111
Team Kill Totals: OTB
Time Total: OTB
Day one average game time 32:26 average kills per game 20
APK had the highest CKPM in LCK Spring at 0.74
Hanwha added Viper to reunite him with his former Griffin teammate and the most underrated support player on the planet, Lehends. They also cleared out some of the clutter on the roster locking in Lava as the starting mid laner who will no longer be battling Tempt for the position. APK dropped Cover for Mickey most recently from Excel in the LEC. Everytime Mickey has played in Korea he’s been pretty solid but it’s been a long, long time.
I absolutely loved the Viper addition and in a bottom lane centric metagame this Hanwha team should thrive in a way they weren’t consistently able to last season. Even still, they showed flashes of brilliance and creativity. This team has playoff upside.
I absolutely did not love the Mickey addition for APK. As a matter of fact I’m fairly bearish on APK in general. I called APK the “FlyQuest of Korea” last split because they’d more or less metagame check everybody. If you got cute or experimented against them, like many teams do against the bottom teams, then they were good enough fundamentally and played good enough team compositions to punish you for your arrogance. APK rarely generated winning exchanges through their own application of leverage or execution. Almost all of their wins were due to opponent error. While I think they will improve with another split in the LCK, and that this metagame could potentially be good for budding superstar Hybrid in the bottom lane, this team has too many liabilities across the rest of the map.
This is a match I bet when the lines came out and they haven’t moved substantially from that point. Hanwha are one of my favorite plays on any slate this week.
I was hoping the books would float a lower number here but APK tend to get a little wild in both their wins and losses so the bump up to 22.5 seems adequate and in line with my projections from the Spring split data.
Moneyline: Hanwha Life -137 (2.055 units)
Spread: Hanwha -1.5 maps @ +217 (0.75 units)