Monday, June 22nd Recap
Victory Five vs Vici Gaming (Net: -5.305 units)
A lot of people are getting Vici for their poor performance this season and to a certain extent that’s warranted.
I don’t think it’s right to call Kkoma’s coaching style or drafting “outdated” at all. Many are way too quick to fall into that narrative but he seems to me to be trying to put a round peg in a square hole a bit in the draft. I rarely dislike the team compositions he drafts. The champions fit his player pool, the uptempo, skirmish oriented mid+jungle combos he picks make a lot of sense for this team. The problem Vici are having are that the opponent almost always gets exactly what they want in a draft which demands a higher level of execution that the players simply aren’t delivering at the moment. In the past, he’s had the horses to operate this kind of stuff but he needs to realize that he doesn’t right now and make the jobs of his players easier by not making them play against the best an opponent has to offer.
Now maybe his players eventually get to that point. Maybe this is a slump but maybe this is what they are and adjustments need to be made on his end. Make no mistake, this is still primarily a player issue. Let’s get drop the narrative and get this analysis right, the issue with their drafts isn’t “LCK-style” or “outdated” but we can criticize Kkoma and Vici for what’s not working and failing to make adjustments.
Regarding V5, via my Twitter:
“Credit where it’s due: V5 continue to improve. Every criticism I’ve had is being ironed out quickly as the season progresses. That said, they haven’t faced a good team yet and their next 3 will pose a challenge. They might get their teeth kicked in here but V5 look playoff bound.”
eStar vs Royal Never Give Up (Net: +0.25 units)
I believe it was John that said it in our Discord but this series was a stock up to both of these teams.
New continues to impress me fitting in seamlessly and winning individual battles as well as contributing in the big picture. RNG were an enigma last season as they started off looking like one of the best teams on the planet before forgetting how to draft and making things impossible for their players down the stretch. Unless we see that sort of two-faced situation happening again this is a top four LPL team in my eyes.
eStar continue to remain on-brand and their uptempo, force-the-issue style is not only a joy to watch but a perfect fit for the LPL and this metagame in general. It’s going to look bad when it doesn’t work but I’d rather this team play that way than anything else. They’ll continue to improve as Fenfen builds more chemistry with the other four.
Side note: I mentioned it on Twitter but because I’ve been pounding the table in favor of Xiaohu’s performance this season but let’s calm the jets on that game three Corki. It’s a free lane into Galio who can do absolutely nothing to pressure you. It’s not that impressive that he got huge from free farming. What is more impressive was that his team deftly maneuvered around the map pressure to stall for long enough to allow their team comp to scale. They played near immaculate defense in this game three, something LPL teams have typically struggled with. We should give more credit to that.
LPL Total: -5.055 units
Daily Total Net: -5.055 units
Unfortunately for my bankroll, V5 continue to act like a bull stock and defy expectations. I do think their next few opponents will be their first real challenges of the season though and that I was just a week early on the fade. They’re a legitimately decent team which I’ve now learned and they continue to improve. This situation reminds me in some ways of MAD Lions in Spring although with lower pre-season expectations. They’re going to be a tricky handicap the remainder of the season because they’ll be overrated but simultaneously able to meet that expectation in spots against all but the elite teams. V5 are the new Rogue Warriors but better, a good punch up underdog that we’re going to need to respect against all but the very best.
LPL Summer 2020
Week 4 – Day 2
Dominus Esports +1022 (+1.5 maps @ +283, -1.5 @ +1400) vs
JD Gaming -3333 (-1.5 maps @ -400)
Kill Total: 23.5 (over -108 / under -122)
Kill Spread: +9.5 @ -118 / -9.5 @ -111
Team Kill Totals: 6.5 / 15.5
Time Total: OTB
DMO – Chelizi, Xiaopeng, Twila, Xubin, Mitsuki
JDG – Zoom, Kanavi, Yagao, Loken, LvMao
Favorites of greater than -1000 are 1-1, 0-2 against the spread in Summer
Favorites of greater than -1000 were 17-2, 13-6 against the spread in Spring
Dominus have failed to cover as underdogs in these spots twice
JDG have covered their only opportunity
This is one of those classic spots where everyone is like “LpL uNdErDoGs GuIzE!?!” and I have to tell you that, unfortunately in these extreme situations it hasn’t been nearly as profitable as people think. If you were to bet every underdog spread blind in these situations in Spring you would have ended up -10.3% return on investment. Moneylines weren’t much better at -5.1% return. (data based on Nitrogen lines which are admittedly very juiced but it was where I kept line histories for last season)
Now the argument here is that JDG haven’t looked sharp lately and their execution has been extremely lackluster all Summer even in their wins but let’s not forget that their three opponents thus far have been Suning (2-0), TOP Esports (0-2), and RNG (1-2). Two of those teams look like the class of the LPL at the moment. JDG won the Spring split and we should be holding them to a high standard but realistically it’s difficult to fault them for losses to good teams especially when they haven’t been in peak form.
Unfortunately for Dominus they’re just what the doctor ordered for JDG who should use this as a get right spot. At -3333 the sides markets are just about out the window unless you want to bet against the fluke and take the -1.5 maps here. I’m going to take a different angle and look to alternate spreads.
Underdog Win: 24.39
“G” Projected Total: 25.56
There’s a chance JDG run up the score in the previously mentioned “get right” spot but historically they’ve been a team to take care of business rather than styling and given the few near punts they’ve had this season from overzealousness I’d expect this to be a reserved and clinical close. Projections like the over but given the way I expect this to go I think the under is probably likely but not likely enough to bet.
As mentioned earlier, I’ll be playing the alternate kill spreads. JDG have an average margin of victory (AMOV) of 10.33 kills this season and had a 10.06 in Spring. Dominus have an average margin of defeat of 11.69 in Spring and 11.156 this season where they’ve lost all but two games by double digits.
The dangerous thing here is that if I’m anticipating this total to go under the 23.5 then a large spread can be risky so we’re going to do something I rarely do and actually buy the extra kills down to -7.5. Usually this is a bad idea but again, given that I’m expecting an under here I think this is one of the rare times where it’s the play.
Kill Spread: Map 1 JDG -7.5 kills @ -169 (1.69 units)
Kill Spread: Map 2 JDG -7.5 kills @ -167 (1.67 units)
LGD Gaming +141 (+1.5 maps @ -217, -1.5 @ +336) vs
Invictus Gaming -182 (-1.5 maps @ +167)
Kill Total: OTB
Team Kill Totals: OTB
Kill Spread: +4.5 @ -114 / -4.5 @ -114
Time Total: OTB
IG – TheShy, Ning, Rookie, Puff, Southwind
LGD – Langx, Peanut, Xiye, Kramer, Mark
Invictus are 3-1, 2-2 against the spread this Summer
LGD are 0-1, 0-1 against the spread in their only appearance as an underdog (vs TOP)
Invictus have covered the kill spread in 6 out of 9 games
Kill totals has gone under in 7 out of 9 Invictus games
Kill totals have gone under in 7 out of 9 LGD games
Invictus are a weird team aren’t they? I don’t know if there’s any other team on earth that can go from looking like a complete dumpster fire to one of the best teams in the world in as short a time frame. They’ve done this a lot over the years. So what’s changed? Honestly I think it’s rather simple; TheShy has dropped the ego. Ning has had a few games but hasn’t completely transformed this team or anything this recent success is mostly because TheShy hasn’t been forcing Aatrox into every matchup and getting tilted when he starts losing. He’s mixed it up bringing back the Kayle and Jayce. It goes without saying but Rookie has been otherworldly and if the rest of this team can continue to improve then look out.
LGD had red flags all over their play over the course of the season but put up a really good fight against TOP in game one before being summarily dismissed in game two. I still think this team has a lot of problems and I don’t want to point to one good game performance as evidence that they’re coming around. They still have very poor objective setup and fail to identify their win conditions in fights. If they don’t mechanically outplay you and brute force wins with gigantic leads then LGD tend to look lost.
A few other things about this Invictus turnaround I thought I’d mention because it pertains to this matchup. LGD have had first blood in 7 out of 10 games so far which is really no surprise given Peanut’s propensity to get the action started early but when you dive a bit deeper and look at their gold differential advantage in this matchup you need to consider that first blood is contributing to that while Invictus have only scored first blood in 3 out of 11 games. What does this all mean? Given that first tower rates has been close to even between the two it means that Invictus’ gold leads are more “organic.” They majority of their gold leads are purely from laning in much the same vein as DragonX in the LCK. This is more repeatable on a game-to-game basis and more consistent as it’s not reliant on variance or opponents mistakes.
I’m going to be on Invictus in this matchup. LGD are almost definitely going to be challenging for a playoff spot but I think they’re just a bit fraudulent. Their numbers tell a much different story than their film does. Invictus are in peak form at the moment and LGD won’t just be able to brute force their way to victory like they’ve been able to do in most of their game wins. Invictus have also been utterly dominant in most of their wins. You give this team a lead and they’ll slam it home decisively. Invictus throw haymakers and when they land one you’re out. Their gold swing charts have looked a lot like Cloud 9 who have ridiculous closing speed.
Admittedly I’ve struggled to handicap Invictus accurately over the years as this team can be a bit two-faced but I like that this team has rediscovered themselves and think that they have massive advantages in both solo lanes both of which are arguably the best at their positions in the world when they’re “on.” Hopefully Invictus don’t turn back into a pumpkin because they can certainly do that.
Underdog Win: 23.27
“G” Projected Total: 23.24
The totals markets aren’t up for this game but I’ll be staying off of it unless we see a very high number like a 25.5. The projected total is low and both of these teams have been under machines but primarily because their total numbers have been rather high based on historical expectation. Given the nature of the split push meta, any game can turn into a 1-3-1 12-2 score line but I’d expect LGD to challenge individually and lose while Invictus try to just “lane you to death.” It’s probably an under but I’m going to wait for a total. 24.5 of higher I like the under. 23.5 is a pass.
Moneyline: Invictus -182 (1.82 units)
Spread: Invictus -1.5 maps @ +167 (0.5 units)