Thursday, February 18th Recap

 

Hanwha Life Esports vs Nongshim RedForce (Net: +0.56 units)

This was yet another absolutely bizarre day in the LCK. As it turns out, the overs really were as obvious as they looked on this one because both of these teams were playing VERY loosely.

Nongshim absolutely destroyed Hanwha in game one of this series racking up 28 kills and a 5000+ gold lead before the 20 minute mark. Four drake stack and GG.

Game two was extremely sloppy. When you get these double bruiser/tank comps on both sides with Renekton vs Sett in the mid lane it’s bound to be a scrappy game. Eventually Hanwha started getting the best of all of the extended fights and had stacked upfour drakes in a 43 combined kill win.

Game three opened with a weird pre-gank flash committed by Peanut to find a weird path to gank top lane but Morgan was able to get out  and pull Chovy’s teleport to clean up a kill on Peanut. This was the start of yet another really weird game that got very bloody yet again. Hanwha got the best of most of the fights and again stacked a four drake win.

The LCK has full on turned into the LPL the past two days. Just constant aggression, terrible macro play, and some odd decision making that have resulted in some very high kill total games. I do like that Hanwha seem to excel in this style but it still makes me wonder just how good this team actually is as they’ve looked unimpressive whenever they don’t rack up 25 kills in a game. Their kill agnostic economy remains below league average as well. Morgan and Dudu both got some play in this one with DuDu being benched after game one for reasons unbeknownst to me. He wasn’t the problem. We also saw Hanwha play the Skarner twice which is noteworthy.

Nongshim looked a lot more feisty in this one and I liked their creative solution to just put Bay on Sett, a champion that can stat check and just get out of lane so he didn’t have to deal with Chovy in any kind of extended one-on-one. Still not sure this moves the needle much for me on Nongshim.

Afreeca vs Gen.G (Net: -4.885 units)

Game one was a clinical Gen.G Renekton+Nidalee snowball. Don’t give this team those picks please…

Game two Afreeca tried the Quinn counter but Gen.G lane swapped against it putting Afreeca behind in tempo but they were able to maintain. Afreeca actually cleaned up a few fights and jumped out to a 6-0 lead despite the swap putting them behind in pace but they proceeded to punt fight after fight with seemingly no communication happening whatsoever.

It was frustrating watching this game two go down. Afreeca jumped out to a lead in the face of adversity and just completely squandered an opportunity to push this to a game three. Not only that but they went from 6-0 up into a swift 27 minute loss that wasn’t all that different from game one. Bit of a rough beat on that one.

LCK Net Total: -4.325 units

 

Daily Net Total: -4.325 units

 


 

LOL Champions Korea

Week 5 – Day 3

 

DRX +219 (+1.5 maps @ -156, -1.5 @ +550)

vs

T1 -270 (-1.5 maps @ +122, +1.5 @ -1000)

 

Total Maps Played: 2.5 (over +115 / under -147)

Kill Total: 22.5 (over -123 / under -105)

Kill Spread: +5.5 @ -114 / -5.5 @ -115

Team Kill Totals: 8.5 / 13.5

Time Total: 32:00 (over -130 / under +100)

 

(Individual player model positional ranking is a “living” number comparing individual performance against other players at their position)

(Clozer is the #11 mid with a player rating of -0.383, Teddy has a small sample but is #1 ADC with the highest player rating in the league at +1.29, Zeus has a 5 game sample size but Canna grades at #10 top at -0.64, Ellim is jungle #8 at -0.08, plug and play depending on roster announcement)

Suggested Model Play: T1 moneyline and -1.5 maps (double digit edge on market)

If you’ve been reading my material for awhile then it goes without saying that T1 are dependent on which lineup is playing. Generally speaking Faker in = more disciplined, controlled, higher likelihood to win while Clozer in = fast, loose, higher kills, significantly more volatile results. The model show

With Clozer in the lineup:

Gold per Minute: 1855.7

Kill Agnostic Gold per Minute: 1682

Gold Differential 10 / 15 / 20: +365 / +954 / +1665

Gold Differential per minute: +70.26

Combined Kills per Game (per minute): 27.3 (0.8)

Total Record: 5-5 (vs Hanwha, KT, Sandbox, Afreeca)

With Faker in the lineup:

Gold per Minute: 1825.7

Kill Agnostic Gold per Minute: 1646

Gold Differential 10 / 15 / 20: +602 / +1720 / +2812

Gold Differential per minute: +109.6

Combined Kills per Game (per minute): 22.09 (0.69)

Total Record: 6-5 (vs DAMWON, Gen.G, Nongshim, Brion)

 

With Faker in the lineup T1 make a lot fewer mistakes and play a significantly more controlled game. Although the economies overall are similar (slightly better with Clozer in both measures) the differentials are significantly better with Faker in. They also played very competitive series against Gen.G and DAMWON, the two best teams in the league but also had the luxury of playing Nongshim and Brion.

The point of this exercise isn’t some sort of “Faker is better than Clozer OLD GUYZ RULE!” narrative, it’s to point out the differences using the data we have so that we can have realistic expectations for what is essentially two different teams. That said, both iterations of T1 have very very strong statistical profiles so while they’re different in the way they get there, they’re very similar in end results. T1 are a better team than their 4-4 match record (11-10 in games) regardless of which iteration, one version is just more volatile than the other.

On the contrary, DRX have the statistical profile of a 2 to 3 match win team but here they sit in fourth place with a 5-3 match record (11-11) in games. They rank 9th in dragon control rate, 7th in herald control rate, 7th in gold percent rating, 7th in gold differential per minute, 8th in overall economy rating. However, their kill agnostic gold per minute and gold differentials per minute are very sound at 4th and 4th respectively which makes a lot of sense given their “minimize mistakes and let our opponents beat themselves” approach.  I’ve said it enough times already but the long and short of DRX is that they’re obviously better than my 10th place pre-season evaluation of them but they’re a fraudulent team both on film and in the underlying metrics. They do very little to create on their own and rely way too much on opponent error to get things done. That’s not a long term winning strategy (unless you’re FlyQuest in Summer 2020).

T1 in any iteration is the side in this contest. You could have gotten this at a -250 but all of my calculations and inputs are using this current price. I’ll have more details on how I’m playing this specifically with each lineup below.

 

Other Markets:

 

Kill Total Model Projections:

Odds-Weighted: 22.772

Time-Implied: 23.367

Underdog Win: 23.093

“Gelati” Total Projection: 22.859 kills

Combined % of Games OVER Kill Total:  44.26% (T1 47.62% / DRX 40.91%)

Volatility Rating: T1 0.35141 / DRX 0.35461 (League AVG: 0.3184)

Suggested Model Play: alt total UNDER 23.5 @ -127 (moderate edge)

 

It’s a common theme in T1 games but if T1 with Faker (T1 Senior as I’ll call them) is playing I like them to win, sweep, and kill total unders. If Clozer is in (T1 Junior or Young) then kill total overs and I’d be wary of the sweep due to stylistic volatility. I’ll mention it later on but almost every game has gone WAY WAY over the total since returning from the break but I only like that here if Clozer plays.

 

Time Total Projection:

Combined AVG Game Time: 32.92 minutes

Combined % of Games OVER Time Total: 72.186% (T1 76.19 / DRX 68.18%)

Volatility Rating: T1 0.1427 / DRX 0.15239 (League AVG: 0.14566)

Suggested Model Play: OVER 32:00 @ -130 (heavy double digit edge on market)

 

This suggestion to play the over time total, just like many things in this series, depends largely on your evaluation of DRX and which T1 lineup starts. The younger lineup is fast and loose leading to volatile game times and higher kill totals. T1 senior are much more disciplined and tend to play it “by the book” with lower kill, +EV decision making as they minimize mistakes and capitalize on small edges. I’m staying off of this one until we know the roster lineup but see the game play in the “My Picks” section below.

The model shows a high single digit edge on the market price for the underdog kill total OVER in this series but that largely depends on your evaluation of DRX and which T1 lineup is playing. If we get the young guns with Clozer (T1 Young as I’ve been calling them) then I like that play quite a bit over trying to snipe a DRX side. If not, I’m significantly less inclined.

I also like T1 first tower quite a bit.

 

My Picks:

 

Prop: Map 1 T1 first tower @ -149 (1.49 units)

Prop: Map 2 T1 first tower @ -149 (1.49 units)

Map 3 is juiced to high hell so pass there.

 

If Faker plays:

Moneyline: T1 -270 (2.7 units)

Kill Total: Map 1 UNDER 23.5 @ -127 (1.27 units)

Kill Total: Map 2 UNDER 23.5 @ -123 (1.23 units)

Kill Total: Map 3 UNDER 23.5 @ -120 (1.2 units)

If Clozer plays:

Moneyline: T1 -270 (2.7 units)

Kill Total: Map 1 OVER 23.5 @ -103 (1.03 units)

Kill Total: Map 2 OVER 23.5 @ -105 (1.05 units)

Kill Total: Map 3 OVER 23.5 @ -109 (1.09 units)

 

 


 

KT Rolster -270 (-1.5 maps @ +140, +1.5 @ -1111)

vs

Fredit Brion +217 (+1.5 maps @ -179, -1.5 @ +620)

 

Total Maps Played: 2.5 (over -108 / under -119)

Kill Total: 22.5 (over -118 / under -111)

Kill Spread: -5.5 @ -109 / +5.5 @ -119

Team Kill Totals: 13.5 / 8.5

Time Total: 32:00 (over -130 / under +100)

 

(Individual player model positional ranking is a “living” number comparing individual performance against other players at their position)

 Gideon is going to be your starting jungler for KT, Hybrid and Noah will be battling for the starting ADC gig.

Suggested Model Play: none (small edge on market for KT -1.5 maps)

We had a slew of second round robin roster eligibility announcements at the deadline yesterday (see FOMOS Kenzi’s timeline ) the two most notable of which were Sandbox outright releasing Route and Leo in favor of Prince and KT Rolster promoting Gideon and Noah while delegating Bonnie and Blank to Challengers Korea. For Sandbox, they’ve got nothing to lose although I do think it’s rather sudden. For KT this is a bit of a strange move because they’re in contention for a playoff spot (even still).

Gideon is a bona fide stud and by my evaluation the best prospect in Korea at any position. He was a player that I was excited about before the season started and I somewhat expected this to be a Blank/Bonnie hold down the fort until he’s ready to go. Well here we go! Noah I know less about as this is his first real split in CK and he’s only played four games but he did beat out another anticipated prospect in 5kid (currently rank 31) for the ADC position on KT Challengers.

It’s always difficult to judge the immediate impact of a move like this. There’s a few ways this can go. Blank and Bonnie weren’t exceptional but they were solid, starter caliber LCK junglers, if Gideon can deliver on the hype immediately and demonstrate that he’s one of the best junglers in the league than obviously this is an upgrade for KT. Hybrid has been solid but not spectacular as well but it’s also a much easier role to fill in and have success at right away. Introducing change to two positions could prove volatile for a team that’s already had some suspect decision making. with fewer veteran voices it could be a two steps backward to four steps forward eventually kind of situation and we want to avoid the backwards part by timing this correctly. They could also come in and make an immediate impact. More on this in a bit.

Brion pulled off a 2-0 win against an error prone Liiv Sandbox squad on Wednesday, the first day back from break. After a game one that should have been a loss, Brion punished an overly aggressive play early in game two and proceeded to play arguably their third best game of the season outside of the two DAMWON wins. I’ve been discussing Brion a bit already today in the Discord channel. This team isn’t bad like a Spring 2020 Victory Five or 2019 Jin Air or a 2021 Golden Guardians (spoiler alert). They’re a professional level team that can punish mistakes and while they’re limited, they are capable of hanging in and taking games off of people. That said, you need to be aware that they’re still clearly the worst team in the LCK as both a full team and on an individual level.

UmTi is doing some heavy lifting for this team. The long-standing veteran is playing some of the best League of his career in which he’s spent a ton of time on a lot of really bad teams. Good on you UmTi but this reminds me a lot of ShiauC and eStar in the LPL (although much more disciplined than that squad).

I made this market assuming KT’s normal squad and it was priced just about right (very small value on KT but within fractions of a percent on the map moneyline. If you think Gideon provides an immediate impact and doesn’t have rookie jitters then this is probably a value play on KT Rolster. If, like me, you’re less confident in the short term but are long on KT then this is a pass as the number is right on the money.

 

Other Markets:

 

Kill Total Model Projections:

Odds-Weighted: 22.416

Time-Implied: 23.23

Underdog Win: 22.956

“Gelati” Total Projection: 22.838 kills

Combined % of Games OVER Kill Total: 65.56% (KT 70% / BRO 61.11%)

Suggested Model Play: OVER 22.5 @ -118 (heavy, double digit edge on market)

 

The model is suggesting a heavy play based on the fact that the combined percentage of games that have gone over averaged between these two teams is 65.56% but that’s why we also have the projection for an extra layer.

Sometimes new players are timid on stage but when you get the really high end prospects it usually ends up being the opposite and, as we say in the business, they’re a “bit hype-y” frequently overplaying in spots. Given the volatility we’ve seen so far this week, my projections, and the influx of the rookies onto KT I think we’re likely to see some wilder games here. 8 out of 10 of the games we’ve had this week since returning from break have gone over their total, and not just barely, they’ve blown the total out of the water. I think this partially has to do with the new patch but four matches isn’t exactly a large sample size either.

 

Time Total Projection:

Combined AVG Game Time: 33.439minutes

Combined % of Games OVER Time Total: 76.11% (KT 80% / BRO 72.22%)

Volatility Rating: KT 0.13935 / BRO 0.15789  (League AVG: 0.14566)

Suggested Model Play: OVER 32:00 @ -130 (heavy, large double digit edge on market ~19%)

I like the over here to begin with because of how these two teams play the game. Brion tend to sit and wait for their opponents to screw up playing a scaling game, KT Rolster have often faltered in the early and mid game. Add some rookies in their first series to the mix and the overall weird post-break vibe we’ve had in the LCK this week and I think these games could get a little bit weird. KT have only gone under this total in 20% of their games this season, Brion 27.88%.

In terms of other derivatives markets I like the time-correlated play of over 4.5 dragons although you do need to pay a price for it. I won’t completely double dip on that game script though because the time total price is simply better for essentially the same thing.

I forgot to mention it above but the model also likes Brion’s team total over 8.5 @ -123 and shows a double digit edge on the market there too. Given that we’re already playing the kill total over we’ll just stick with that instead of double dipping.

 

My Picks:

 

Kill Total: Map 1 OVER 22.5 @ -118 (1.18 units)

Kill Total: Map 2 OVER 22.5 @ -114 (1.14 units)

Kill Total: Map 3 OVER 23.5 @ -112 (1.12 units)

Time Total: Map 1 OVER 32:00 @ -130 (1.3 units)

Time Total: Map 2 OVER 32:00 @ -123 (1.23 units)

Time Total: Map 3 OVER 32:00 @ -123 (1.23 units)

 


LOL European Championship (LEC)

Week 5 – Day 1

I’m still taking a more selective approach to the best-of-one leagues earlier in the season for a few reasons. The data sample isn’t big enough to really derive too many solid conclusions for my preference  just yet so it’s still mostly “art” at this point, my eyes and film evaluation as the main tool for analysis. I’ll also be laying low on derivative markets for a bit as we get more data there as well. We’ve seen a wide variety of outcomes even on a team-to-team level through the first four weeks. While the identity of some teams is beginning to calcify, others are still nebulous. It’s tough to decipher what’s what this early we can only look at process and intent.

With that in mind, I’ll only be taking positions on squads that I feel confident that I’ve pinned down OR on numbers that I think are particularly inaccurate given what we’ve seen thus far. Perhaps my biggest mistake so far this season has been being too heavy-handed in the best-of-one leagues. This isn’t as efficient a market as a major spot like the NFL or NBA. There might not be as glaring an advantage as the season progresses but there are still going to be plenty of quality positions to take and we’ll have a better idea of what we’re working with in each of these teams further down the road.

 

Schalke 04 -164 vs SK Gaming +128

 

Kill Total: 22.5 (over -125 / under -104)

Kill Spread: -5.5 @ -105 / +5.5 @ -123

Team Kill Totals: 13.5 / 9.5

Time Total: 31:00 (over -127 / under -102)

Schalke are coming off of an 0-2 weekend with losses to MAD Lions and Astralis after winning four in a row against Misfits, Rogue, G2, and SK Gaming. SK finished week four with a win over Vitality but got whooped by Fnatic the day before. The first time these two met it was a somewhat back-and-forth affair that Schalke ended up taking down.

Based on what we’ve seen so far this season this price is just about right to me. My pre-season evaluations of these teams would designate Schalke as a value. SK Gaming have been better than I thought they’d be but they’re far from a good team. Their only really impressive win was against MAD Lions in that bottom lane counterpick fiasco game. They’ve mostly taken care of business against the bottom of the table but haven’t looked that competitive against the stronger teams. Schalke have been a little inconsistent here-and-there but to me they’re a better squad all-around.

Schalke are worth a play here despite their inconsistencies.

 

My Picks:

Moneyline: Schalke -164 (1.64 units)

 


MAD Lions -147 vs Excel Esports +115

 

Kill Total: 24.5 (over -130 / under -101)

Kill Spread: -4.5 @ -110 / +4.5 @ -119

Team Kill Totals: 13.5 / 10.5

Time Total: 31:00 (over -139 / under +106)

We spent a good amount of time on this match this week on The Gold Card Podcast. I’ve also talked in more detail with a few members individually.

MAD Lions are a good team that aren’t playing well right now. Specifically the bottom lane seems to be in a weird funk and has been making some really questionable decisions through four weeks. Excel are very much a known quantity in that they’re going to play a “slow and steady wins the race” approach and that’s been working for them despite giving up some massive leads to open most of their games.

The long and short of the handicap here is this: If you trust the MAD Lions bottom lane to get it together here after a poor start then MAD are an absolute slam dunk at this price point. It’s early and there isn’t quite enough data to rely on it too much but just based on their objectives and economy, my model makes MAD well over 200 point favorites here. This line is also down from -179 when we recorded the pod.  However, if you think the bottom lane issues persist, Excel are absolutely live here given their steady improvement and low volatility style which fits perfectly for early season play like this.

I think MAD have gotten cheap enough to warrant a play and if you’re going to play this match I think it has to be MAD or pass. You missed the boat on a better Excel price yesterday.

My Picks:

Moneyline: Excel -147 (1.47 units)

 


G2 Esports -833 vs Astralis +501

 

Kill Total: 27.5 (over -108 / under -122)

Kill Spread: -10.5 @ -111 / +10.5 @ -118

Team Kill Totals: 18.5 / 7.5

Time Total: 29:00 (over -200 / under +151)

A lot of people are pointing to Magifelix as the reason Astralis looked better but it was a full team effort in their upset win over Schalke last week. They went right back to losing against Misfits the next day. I still don’t think Astralis are particularly good and their problems are systemic as well as individual. I think they’re probably the worst team in the LEC. They’ll likely improve just not at the same pace as the rest of the league.

To me the only real way to play this is the underdogs kill spread. I think the kill total under is justifiable as well but largely dependent on anticipated game script. G2 have shown more controlled looks, and the more typical bloody looks that we’ve grown used to over the past few years so they’re a bit of a tough team to pin down. They’re at or near 50% on their totals and spreads this season. 10.5 is particularly high and the way I’d play this match if I had to. That’s a low margin of error for them to cover although they would have done so in their last matchup against Astralis.

Pass for me.

My Picks:

no wagers

 


Team Vitality +347 vs Fnatic -500

 

Kill Total: 28.5 (over -118 / under -111)

Kill Spread: +8.5 @ -106 / -8.5 @ -122

Team Kill Totals: 9.5 / 18.5

Time Total: 30:00 (over -109 / under -120)

The new look Vitality have an absolutely brutal schedule this week with Rogue and Fnatic on their card. I’m confident this team will improve but this is some pretty stiff competition to do it against. Fnatic have been absolutely dominating in their wins, however messy they may be. They’re taking a very G2-esque approach to the game with a bit of their own flair. Everything is firing on all cylinders but by nature they’re a volatile team and for that reason I’m skeptical to back them as favorites of this magnitude.

The underdog kill spread and maybe a taste on the moneyline is how I’d play this one if I had to but for now I’ll just pass.

My Picks:

no wagers

 


Misfits +237 vs Rogue -323

 

Kill Total: 23.5 (over -123 / under -105)

Kill Spread: +6.5 @ -106 / -6.5 @ -122

Team Kill Totals: 8.5 / 14.5

Time Total: 30:00 (over -179 / under +136)

Misfits are a team that I think could get there long term. They have a lot of talent on this roster but they’re very raw. Once they develop more tools and become a bit more refined they’re going to be a competitive team but in the short-term I’m very bearish. Rogue have only lost to G2 and Schalke this season. They have one of the best kill agnostic economies in any region which I touched on in great detail during my week four articles. They lost a game to G2 but this team is still looking to me like a world class team. Rogue are so fundamentally sound that of the top three elite teams in Europe I think they’re the least likely to drop random games to these inferior squads.

I think Rogue handle Misfits here. Reduced staking for best-of-one large moneylines early in the season.

My Picks:

Moneyline: Rogue -323 (1.615 units)

 


LOL Championship Series (LCS)

Week 3 – Day 1

 

Similar to the LEC I’ll be staying lighter and more selective in the LCS until I have a stronger feel for each of these teams and collect more data.

 

CLG +425 vs Cloud 9 -667

 

Kill Total: 24.5 (over -111 / under -118)

Kill Spread: +9.5 @ -122 / -9.5 @ -106

Team Kill Totals: 6.5 / 16.5

Time Total: 32:00 (over +101/ under -132)

Originally Broxah was slated to start Saturday (his announcement) but CLG Twitter a bit ago announced that he’d be starting tonight. It’s very short notice so I’m not entirely sure how much of an impact he’ll have immediately but the jungle play from CLG has left a lot to be desired so my gut tells me, jet lagged and all, that Broxah will likely be at least the same level right away with plenty of room to improve over time. It’s a tough ask to make this transition on such short notice although I’m sure he’s been taking part in team meetings from abroad.

Cloud 9 and my personal league MVP thus far, Blaber is about as tough an opponent as you could ask for to face on short notice like this. Cloud 9 have been rolling but I do think it’s possible that teams figure out some adjustments to make now that they’ve shown a willingness to really invest in helping out Fudge since the LCS main season started up. This is exposable but we’ll have to see who can do it. I’m not going to grasp at straws trying to figure it out.

Cloud 9 have only been winning games by an average margin of 6.2 kills but their two most recent games were by 10 and 12 against FlyQuest and 100 Thieves, better teams than CLG are at the moment. That said, 9.5 is a fairly thin margin to cover. If I had to take a position here it’d be CLG +9.5 kills or CLG team total over 6.5 but I’ll be passing.

My Picks:

no wagers

 


Dignitas -119 vs FlyQuest -108

 

Kill Total: 23.5 (over -123 / under -105)

Kill Spread: +0.5 @ -115 / – 0.5 @ -114 (weird I know)

Team Kill Totals: 11.5 / 12.5

Time Total: 34:00 (over +154 / under -204)

We talked a lot about this one on the podcast this week. The simple version of that discussion is that you could make a case for either side in this game. Dignitas have been one of those enigma teams. I do think they’re actually playing pretty well but their numbers don’t support that and they’re vastly exceeding my pre-season expectations. FlyQuest are a team I expected to start slow and improve steadily over the course of the season as the younger players get more comfortable.

You can see why that leaves me between a rock and a hard place.

I’d lean to FlyQuest in general here but I can’t make enough of a case to justify a position.

My Picks:

no wagers

 


Golden Guardians +495 vs Team Liquid -769

 

Kill Total: 22.5 (over -123 / under -105)

Kill Spread: +9.5 @ -106 / -9.5 @ -122

Team Kill Totals: 6.5 / 16.5

Time Total: 32:00 (over +106 / under -139)

From what we’ve seen so far I think Golden Guardians are the worst LCS team we’ve had in quite some time. I figured this time would have some growing pains at first with how young they are and Niles and Iconic skipping the academy scene altogether but this team looks absolutely lost in 90%+ of situations on the rift. They’re the worst team in the league and until they prove otherwise are a team I’ll be looking to fade whenever I can.

Liquid had a rough outing last weekend but I’d expect them to get right in this spot. Alphari vs Niles does not seem like a great thing for the Guardians.

The thing with this is that Liquid are more than happy to win a game 9-5 or 12-4. This is a pretty big number for a team that is content to grind you out. There’s a chance Liquid come out angry after a bad weekend and Jatt let’s the boys loose for a match but I wouldn’t count on it. I do like the time total under here.

My Picks:

Time Total: UNDER 32:00 @ -139 (1.39 units)

 


Team Solo Mid -118 vs Evil Geniuses -110

 

Kill Total: 24.5 (over -123 / under -105)

Kill Spread: -1.5 @ -110 / +1.5 @ -119

Team Kill Totals: 11.5 / 12.5

Time Total: 34:00 (over +116 / under -152)

TSM looked significantly improved last weekend but I don’t want to just assume that they’ve “figured it out” all of the sudden either. This is a team that I expected to have a slow start. They had a lot of roster turnover, imports, and a new to the job coach so there was going to need to be some time to bring it all together.

Evil Geniuses had a bad looking loss to Dignitas on Sunday that is sticking in everyone’s minds but until that point they had been a pretty solid team this season. It’s critically important not to let a few boneheaded plays get in the way of your overall judgment of a team. Bad games happen. Plays that look bad are often overreacted to (although it was a pretty bad look by Jiizuke on a few of these heh). Evil Geniuses have shown me a better track record thus far and I had these two teams in the same ballpark anyway. I think the underdogs are worth a look in this match.

 

My Picks:

 

Kill Spread (alt): Evil Geniuses -4.5 kills @ +121 (1 unit)

 


Immortals +297 vs 100 Thieves -435

 

Kill Total: 23.5 (over -111 / under -118)

Kill Spread: +8.5 @ -122 / -8.5 @ -108

Team Kill Totals: 7.5 / 15.5

Time Total: 32:00 (over +109 / under -143)

After a promising opening day win over Liquid, Immortals dropped three in a row to Golden Guardians, Cloud 9, and Dignitas before picking up another win against Evil Geniuses and dropping to TSM on Sunday. This team has been a rollercoaster. At times they look great and make intelligent moves to keep leads or keep deficits close. Other times they get blown out early and never recover. I will say that their numbers are being skewed pretty heavily by the absolute shellacking Cloud 9 gave them. They’d be just barely under 0 in gold differentials and some other metrics if you take that game out of the equation. I think this team is probably better than their record but you could make the case that losing to GGS is an unforgivable sin at this point.

100 Thieves have been absolutely rolling and have even pulled a few late game wins out of their hats with inferior scaling compositions. I’ve talked a lot about the good things that they’re doing with tempo and the pace they play the game at is going to force the entire league to adapt to them.

I think this number is a little too big for an early season, pace-based team like 100 Thieves. Do I think they’re one of the best teams in the league? Absolutely but even though they looked polished relative to the rest of the LCS, they’re still making a lot of mistakes themselves and that’s to be expected this early in the calendar year. We’ve seen them win late game with early game comps but that’s not something you can rely on frequently if you end up stalling out. All it takes is that to happen again and we’ve seen it a few times against good teams and bad. I think Immortals can fix some things and keep this close although I must admit this is a bit more of a “gut” handicap than my other positions this week.

My Picks:

Kill Spread: Immortals +8.5 kills @ -122 (1.22 units)

Moneyline: Immortals +297 (0.25 units)

 


I believe in accountability. For years I’ve tracked all of my picks publicly. 2021’s selections will be via this spreadsheet but it isn’t updated until AFTER the games have started. The Esports Department subscribers get the first look.

Check out The Gold Card Podcast and can find me on Twitter @GelatiLOL

(all lines from Nitrogen unless noted otherwise)

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