Tuesday, September 8th Recap
T1 vs Afreeca Freecs (Net: +2.5 units)
This recap is mostly not going to be talking about the games but I’ll briefly mention that the Afreeca game win was a bizarre game with two earlier game centric team comps (besides Taric) that ended up going to the hyper late game. Afreeca also had a lead and squandered it in game four although credit goes to Faker and Ellim for blowing this game wide open and turning a deficit against superior scaling into a huge snowball. The other two games were complete stompings from T1 who simply outclassed Afreeca in this series as expected. It wasn’t perfect but T1 looked fairly clean in this one. Now for the juicy part….
Talk about drama… A lot to unpack here.
About ninety minutes before start last night T1 announced that Ellim, Faker,and GUMAYUSI of all people would be getting the start against Afreeca (also Dread for Afreeca). In a wild turn of events, T1’s super prospect who has done nothing but be unfortunate enough to be sitting behind one of the greatest to ever play the position in Teddy would be getting the start with T1’s worlds spot and season on the line. Talk about balls… This is fascinating for a number of reasons. I’ll touch on Gumayusi in a bit but once again we see T1’s commitment to trusting their process and their talent development. Time and time again over the years this team has consistently put their prospects in real games with real consequences and it pays off because most of the time these new players are excellent. Every team on earth should be following T1’s example as an organization.
For those that don’t know, Gumayusi has been at the top of the Korean solo queue ladder for the better part of the past two years and has been a developmental piece for T1 for quite some time on their B squad. He’s the younger brother of Innovation, one of the better Starcraft professionals of all time. I’ve reviewed some solo queue footage, albeit early this year, in my studies and the kid is a mechanical monster so it was no question to me that that wouldn’t be an issue but to see him thrive so much in a big spot like this was definitely sweet to see.
So now the challenging part… what does this all mean for T1? My guess is that Faker and Ellim had been working better in scrims. There was speculation that players were disagreeing on how the game should be called and other things and while there may be something to that. Teddy has been the best player for this team all season long and I don’t think this is an attitude or disciplinary issue. T1 have the luxury (read: fruits of their labors) of having studs on the bench to step in when they need it and if Teddy was having issues with how the games were being called or how they wanted to play or even the draft strategy then it is what it is.
The Cuzz benching makes more sense, he was extremely underwhelming in the last series and single handedly lost them game three with his Karthus pathing. Ellim has looked great when he has played this season and I had absolutely no issue with this change up in fact I consider it a slight upgrade given Cuzz’s recent struggles. The Faker vs Clozer situation I wouldn’t look into too much. This is Faker we’re talking about. Clozer looked a little tight in the one game he played vs Afreeca last week but he was far from the only reason they lost that game. I think this is just a matter of wanting the experienced, all-time great on the Rift when it matters most.
As always with T1, nothing would surprise me but I think they’re going to ride the hot hand and play the same lineup again tomorrow. If they lose then people will criticize them, if they win people will find excuses but this is one of the organizations in this sport that I trust on behind the scenes stuff. They wouldn’t do something like this if they didn’t feel it was right and who am I to judge their track record. What will be will be… now onto the match!
Daily Total: +2.5 units
LCK Summer 2020
Regional Qualifier – Finals
Gen.G -147 (-1.5 maps @ +148, -2.5 @ +420, +1.5 @ -345)
T1 +117 (+1.5 maps @ -192, +2.5 @ -667, -1.5 @ +254, -2.5 @ +740)
Total Maps: 3.5 maps (over -312 / under +234), 4.5 maps (over +164 / under -213)
Kill Total: 24.5 (over -114 / under -115)
Kill Spread: -4.5 @ -114 / +4.5 @ -115
Team Kill Totals: 14.5 / 11.5
Time Total: OTB
All season long I’ve been saying that the top four teams are all capable of beating one another so no result should surprise you but I do think DAMWON and Gen.G have been maybe half a tier better than T1 and DragonX. For my money, Gen.G are in the discussion for the second best team in the world and definitely the second best in Korea. They’ve been remarkably consistent, capable of playing a number of different styles and strategies, and are dominant in all facets of the game. I don’t think it’s out of line to say they’re the clear favorites here but the question is by how much and what other factors are at play.
First, over the course of the full year you could say T1 has “had Gen.G’s number” being swept in Spring and utterly destroyed in 3-0 Spring grand finals but they managed to get the proverbial monkey off their back with a win in their second round robin matchup (and a decisive one at that). I don’t look too much into this narrative but it’s worth mentioning that there has been a mental block at times. During their Spring matches it took some really insane plays (could argue flukey plays) for T1 to take a few of those series which lead to a bit of “can Gen.G ever catch a break against this team?” sentiment.
Second, Gen.G lost a weird but highly competitive series against DragonX, a team that I find has a higher ceiling than T1 on a given day but not by much. Again, no result should surprise with these top four teams we need to evaluate each on a match by match basis. You could look at that match as a severe underperformance, an over performance by DragonX, a little of both, the weird delay threw everything off, or Chovy just willing DragonX to win, or any number of ideas. I wasn’t that surprised and I don’t hold any losses by these top teams to other top teams against them unless there are systemic issues that are identifiable on film to criticize. I’m not putting much weight on the loss to DragonX.
Third, who T1 starts in this match plays a factor for sure but maybe not as big as people think. As impressive as the Ellim-Faker-Gumayusi lineup looked today they weren’t flawless and Gen.G is a significant step up in quality of competition, by an order of magnitude in my opinion. While it’s short notice to prepare, Gen.G might not be as completely caught off guard as Afreeca were this morning and have at least seen four games to evaluate and breakdown. I also wouldn’t rule out that we see Teddy and Cuzz back but as mentioned earlier, nothing would surprise me at this point.
To me there are two key matchups that I think will break this series one way or the other; Canna vs Rascal, and perhaps more importantly Clid vs Ellim. Today we got “good” Canna, you know, the one that is up 50 cs at 15 minutes and is completely dominating the Ornn he’s facing… although Fly was pretty terrible in that game. Canna had a great series against Kiin who, for all the things you can criticize, is still one hell of a top laner and one of the best in the world. If we get that Canna again things suddenly look better than not for T1. Ellim also had a great series today but Clid has been tremendous this season, far better than Spirit or Dread but we haven’t seen this matchup in Summer as Cuzz played both series against Clid. Ellim has been excellent but Clid gets the edge here.
This line opened a shade higher around the -160 mark and has been bet down and/or tightened up over the course of the day. Of note, and it was all the way back on July 18th for what it’s worth, but T1 were -125 favorites against Gen.G for that series and looked far worse at the time.
I like what T1 did today but I’ll be riding with Gen.G here. As always with these elite four, nothing would really surprise me in terms of result but I do think Gen.G are being slightly undervalued here. They’ve been more consistent in all facets of the game, have a slightly stronger overall talent level (in my opinion), and just because it worked today doesn’t mean that T1 have solved all their issues. I liked this look a lot better but keep in mind that we saw them against a significantly worse Afreeca team AND Gen.G have side selection/film advantage and won’t be quite as caught off guard by the Gumayusi starting as Afreeca were today. Don’t disrespect Gen.G because they lost to DragonX, that’s the crucial takeaway. They’ve been the better team all season even with losses to T1. Gen.G should take this down and represent Korea at Worlds but I’m not looking forward to the offseason drama with T1 (queue the “IS TEDDY WASHED UP!?!” “IS FAKER DONE!?!” morning talk show click bait…).
This should be an awesome series and there’s a ton of storylines that make it even more interesting. I hope it delivers on that to close out our non-Worlds season!
Underdog Win: 26.62
“G” Projected Total: 26.35 kills
Three out of four went over today and Gen.G are a significantly bloodier team than either of these two, especially in wins, but this total also reflects that being a couple kills higher. As it still represents some value, I’ll be playing the over.
Gen.G game times: 31.39 / 30.535 / 33.61 (average / in wins / in losses)
T1 game times: 32.54 / 31.39 / 34.84 (average / in wins / in losses)
Projected Time (avg of avg game times): 31.97 minutes
Odds Weighted: 32.61 minutes
While I’d lean to the under if we get a 33 or even a 34 but with this off the board currently I’ll be passing. Number will likely be about right or juiced up.
First Blood: Gen.G 60.465% / T1 61.9%
First Tower: Gen.G 72.09% / T1 54.76%
First Dragon: Gen.G 65.12% / T1 66.67%
First Herald: Gen.G 81.39% / T1 42.86%
Gen.G first herald represents a ton of value at the price. That’s the only prop I’ll be playing here.
Moneyline: Gen.G -147 (4.41 units)
Spread: Gen.G -1.5 maps @ +148 (1 unit)
Spread: Gen.G -2.5 maps @ +420 (0.5 units)
Kill Total: Map 1 OVER 24.5 @ -114 (1.14 units)
Kill Total: Map 2 OVER 24.5 @ -114 (1.14 units)
Kill Total: Map 3 OVER 24.5 @ -114 (1.14 units)
Prop: Map 1 Gen.G first herald @ -143 (1.43 units)
Prop: Map 2 Gen.G first herald @ -143 (1.43 units)
Prop: Map 3 Gen.G first herald @ -143 (1.43 units)