Monday, September 28th Recap
Team Liquid vs SuperMassive (Net: -1.45 units)
Legacy Esports vs MAD Lions (Net: +2.75 units)
Team Liquid vs INTZ Esports (Net: +0.271 units)
SuperMassive vs Legacy Esports (Net: -4.285 units)
No wagers on either tiebreaker match
Total Net: -2.713 units
Futures Results for Group A: +4.3 units
This ended up being a wild day where Legacy almost accomplished the impossible to blow me out but we got by and Liquid laid down a biblical beat down in the tiebreaker match to secure a profit for us.
A few takeaways here. Tay from INTZ simultaneously played himself into and out of a job multiple times today. This kid can carry like no other but you could definitely tell there were some nerves and overexcitement in their tiebreaker match against MAD Lions. INTZ were way up in their match against MAD Lions and Tay and Shini just got ahead of themselves a few times and threw in spectacular fashion. Credit to INTZ who performed significantly better than I thought they would but I also thought Tay sort of ‘backpacked’ this team through this tournament. I’m not sure they would have made any noise without him. Here’s hoping some North American teams look at him for next LCS season the kid is a beast.
Legacy also performed extremely well today completely destroying MAD Lions and then pulling out a solid victory against SuperMassive. I’ll add a bit of a caveat to this one though. I’m not sure if they just prepared it or if they actually think it’s good but this fascination with the Lulu all-in on the ADC strategy isn’t very good in most situations but they seem to think it is for whatever reason. The good thing about it is that it’s extremely simple philosophically and sometimes you want simple game plans in these high pressure situations but I didn’t like it the first time they pulled it out either they just happened to win that game. Little concerned we see it again but let’s hope we don’t or it’s in an optimal situation with maybe an ADC jungle or something.
MAD continue to look shaky but they get points for finding their windows back into a game that looked lost and keeping themselves in a position to capitalize on some game ending mistakes by INTZ. MAD feel like the kind of team that might “play themselves into shape” as this tournament goes on. Keep in mind that this is five kids roughly under 20 years old, four of which are rookies, that played just 14 stage games in Spring, traveling for the first time as a team, halfway around the world, to a country where none of them speak the language, with just two weeks to prepare for four-ish single games. Don’t overreact to poor performances here. We can draw certain things from their approach and criticize that but for a lot of these teams that traveled certain teams just handle it differently than others. All it takes is a bad week or two of practice and it’s pretty easy to imagine looking not so sharp in a few individual games. Just keep that in mind because as this tournament goes on I could see them adjusting, getting more comfortable, and returning to form. I have questions about the meta and their approach but we’ll touch on that in a bit.
Liquid look damn good…
Play-In Stage – Day Five
Best-of-ones and best-of-fives are very different. Even the major region teams that I’m skeptical on are significantly stronger overall than some of these emerging region teams. A few of the wildcard squads can hang in there but not the lower tier ones. It’s really easy to overreact to what you saw in group stage but keep in mind that in a longer series the overall quality of a team gets more chances to manifest itself. We saw a competitive group stage last year followed by Clutch Gaming 3-0’ing Royal Youth, Hong Kong Attitude 3-1’ing Isurus (the three wins weren’t very close), and DAMWON punting a game to Lowkey before obliterating them in the other three. The cream does eventually rise to the top.
Rainbow7 +509 (+1.5 maps @ +207, +2.5 @ -175, -1.5 @ +1012, -2.5 @ +1700) vs
LGD Gaming -833 (-1.5 maps @ -278, -2.5 @ +137, +1.5 @ -3333)
Kill Total: 27.5 (over -123 / under -105)
Kill Spread: +8.5 @ -104 / -8.5 @ -125
Team Kill Totals: 9.5 / 17.5
Time Total: 32:00 (over -154 / under +118)
So for as underwhelming as LGD have been the fact of the matter is that in a best-of-five LGD are going to have more wiggle room for mistakes. I can’t stand this team, trust me, but even I have a hard time seeing them lose this series. They’ve identified that they should just play more scaling compositions to allow them a larger margin for error. Josedeodo could hard carry Rainbow7 to a game win or maybe even two but I just don’t think these players measure up to LGD whatsoever and we’ve seen LGD make the proper adjustments as they went through groups.
The other narrative here is that the pressure of embarrassment gets to LGD and they crack but with the veterans on this team I don’t really see that happening. We’ve made a lot of money fading LGD but now that they get a bit of cushion that the best-of-ones simply don’t provide, I think we’ll see a 3-0 or 3-1 here even if the games themselves get a little sloppy. It’s time to come back the other way and buy low even if that looks like -833 compared to -1200 or something. L
LGD should completely stomp this series I don’t see Rainbow7 taking more than a game and they’d probably need LGD to do one of their patented throws. If R7 win game one I might go in on them live but I’m backing the LOL equivalent of the big conference school here even if I’m not a strong believer in what they’re doing overall.
LGD aren’t the cleanest closers but getting plus money on the under 32 when about half the games have gone under that total is a nice play here especially because I think there is a VERY strong chance we see the overall quality come to bare in this series. LGD had a slower average game time over Summer (around 33.5 minutes) and 33.2 in wins but this Rainbow7 team is also much worse than most of the teams they played. I think this under is a slam dunk now that LGD can loosen up and play their game in a best-of-five series.
For whatever reason Nitrogen is listing under 28.5 for map one but 26.5 for map two. We sometimes see these types of things and it actually will lineup with the statistics but not usually that drastic a difference. I like the under at 26.5 and 28.5 is kind of a joke to me. We’ll take the under 26.5 and double down on that map one total. LGD were one of the lowest kill total teams in the LPL, especially in wins.
Spread: LGD -1.5 maps @ -278 (5.56 units) (Nitrogen)
Spread: LGD -2.5 maps @ +137 (1 unit) (Nitrogen)
Kill Total: Map 1 UNDER 28.5 @ -123 (2.46 units)(Nitrogen)
Kill Total: Map 2 UNDER 27.5 @ -120 (1.20 units)(Bet365)
Kill Total: Map 3 UNDER 27.5 @ -120 (1.20 units)(Bet365)
Time Total: Map 1 UNDER 32:00 @ +118 (2 units) (Nitrogen)
Time Total: Map 2 UNDER 32:00 @ +111 (2 units) (Nitrogen)
Time Total: Map 3 UNDER 32:00 @ +111 (2 units) (Nitrogen)
Papara SuperMassive +142 (+1.5 maps @ -156, +2.5 @ -556, -1.5 @ +307, -2.5 @ +846) vs
MAD Lions -172 (-1.5 maps @ +122, -2.5 @ +363, +1.5 @ -435, +2.5 @ -2000)
Kill Total: 28.5 (over -110 / under -119)
Kill Spread: +3.5 @ -114 / -3.5 @ -115
Team Kill Totals: 12.5 / 14.5
Time Total: 32:00 (over -123 / under -105)
This matchup is quite a bit more interesting to me. While I think the major region, cream rises to the top premise applies here, this matchup is much closer than the previous one because SuperMassive actually pretty good.
MAD Lions have mostly underperformed expectations which isn’t surprising but even for someone that was rather bearish on them going into this tournament they’ve really underwhelmed me. As I mentioned above, MAD Lions look like a prime candidate to “play themselves into shape” as this tournament goes on. Read above for why. I think a big part of their struggles in late Summer had to do with their region having six plus months to figure them out playing them every week, the bottom lane meta becoming very stagnant on patch 10.15 and 10.16, and people finally figuring out to ban Lee Sin against Shadow. I don’t think MAD Lions are as bad as they were in the second half and think they’re probably closer to what they were in early Summer but went through a bit of a rut and caught a bad playoff patch against some good teams. The question becomes whether you think they can recapture that on short notice like this because they haven’t looked good so far.
Each of these teams has question marks. SuperMassive looked excellent overall but they seem to think this Lulu mid strategy is legitimately good and I’ve got my questions about it. I also have questions about Shadow’s champion pool. One of these teams has looked sharper in their execution and that’s been SuperMassive.
This handicap comes down to whether or not you think we see at least some regression to the mean for the MAD Lions. If you think they improve on what they were doing even a moderate amount then I think they’re the play here in a best-of-five where they can exercise some of their unique approaches to the game. If you think they get closer to their early Summer form then they’re a slam dunk here. Anything else then SuperMassive is the play.
I personally will be taking the Lions here. I like SuperMassive quite a bit as a team as you all know but if you told me before this tournament started that we’d be getting MAD Lions at this kind of price most people, myself included, would have called you crazy. Now obviously their performance has impacted this price. The trick in these short form tournaments is knowing when to trust overall evaluation vs what you’ve seen. You have very little time to adjust and sometime teams that look bad just aren’t in good form for a tournament. That could very well be the case here and it wouldn’t surprise me at all but I have a hard time turning down an overreaction like this.
I think these games could get a little looser now that we’re not in a best-of-one anymore. I think both of these teams are going to be more willing to play with a bit more flow to their game but the total is also very high, even for a MAD Lions game. Other than a few isolated instances, this tournament has been fairly snowbally one way or the other so far which is to be expected in the current jungle carry metagame. I think the under is the play here.
Moneyline: MAD Lions -172 (3.44 units) (Nitrogen)
Spread: MAD Lions -1.5 maps @ +122 (1 unit) (Nitrogen)
Spread: MAD Lions -2.5 maps @ +363 (0.25 units) (Nitrogen)
Kill Total: Map 1 UNDER 28.5 @ -119 (1.19 units)(Nitrogen)
Kill Total: Map 2 UNDER 28.5 @ -119 (1.19 units)(Nitrogen)
Kill Total: Map 3 UNDER 28.5 @ -119 (1.19 units)(Nitrogen)