Friday, January 22nd Recap

 

EDG vs JDG (Net: +0.835 units)

This first game was a bit of a weird one with EDG jumping out to a huge lead with their up-tempo look against JDG’s scaling. Everything looked great before a really bizarre split decision at a mid game dragon fight that JDG picked up a ton of gold and the objective at. It felt like that was the stabilizing moment. Eventually Jiejie had a miracle baron steal and JDG lost a fight clumping together in the pit and EDG just won on that play in the next 30 seconds. Game two we much more lopsided in favor of EDG.

I’m not sure if it was ego kicking in but Scout won the first game on Leblanc and Yagao (both the feature Leblanc players in the LPL) ran it back in game two in a situation that wasn’t terrible for it, but wasn’t particularly great either. Worst of all, JDG had two Liandry’s as Yagao, for some reason, rushed Liandry’s over Ludens or Night Harvester while his Lillia also had it. The effect doesn’t stack so this was an egregious misuse of gold and in combination with already being behind ended up amplifying the deficit JDG had.

Kanavi made a ton of really questionable decisions trying to gamble on guessing on backs in this series and got punished. While I understand that you do have to sometimes take some risks to get yourself back in games the fact that he got caught on two or three occasions in game two did not bode well for JDG.

JDG have always been a slow starting team. I’ll remind people that it’s still January. They do have a very tough opening schedule. They’ve faced Invictus, BiliBili, and EDG so far. Next week they get RareAtom and TOP, the week after Rogue Warriors and Team WE, and they open week six against Suning before catching TT. They are only going to have two “easy” matches in their first six weeks and in combination with how they typically start the year they could dig themselves a decently sized hole but don’t overreact to it unless we see a lot of red flags in these series.

RareAtom vs BiliBili (Net: -4.27 units)

Well, at least I had the right idea about BiliBili being undervalued but these games went no way like I thought they would. In hindsight I suppose I shouldn’t be that surprised given that I have these two teams similarly rated but both games stayed within 2000 gold for the first 25 minutes despite having very active early game compositions on both sides. Just a sign of a competitive match.

KT Rolster vs Hanwha Life Esports (Net: +0.25 units)

This first game was actually awesome. Super fast-paced, great back-and-forth. Chovy and Arthur completely took over this early first game despite Doran dominating the top lane matchup against DuDu who I had a sneaking suspicion we might see soon. KT actually did an excellent job punching back in this first game. This easily could have been a complete steamrolling with the start that Chovy and Arthur got on Twisted Fate and Hecarim. They made sure to counterpunch quickly on every cross map play and won a few of these skirmishes eventually picking up a gold lead and the game.

The second game was looking pretty heavily in KT’s favor with a bunch of kills early and UCal outplaying Chovy as the Orianna against the Lucian counterpick (you don’t see this very often by the way). Deft opened with an early kill and a triple kill clean up in the mid lane around the 15 minute mark and that gold funneled onto Kaisa was eventually just way too much to overcome given the enablers he had on his team (Gragas and Lillia). Even in this game KT kept punching back and wrestled back the gold lead multiple times. Eventually a mistake by Hybrid and Blank getting caught prepping top side around baron cost them what was otherwise an extremely fast-paced, high level game. Morgan came in for game two*

Game three was such an anticlimactic ending to this series with Hanwha picking up three kills to one at a level one fight over raptors (I hate this so much). That was all the lead Hanwha needed to grind this one out.

It really sucks that game three ended that way. This was a surprisingly high level series despite how bloody it looked. The punch-counterpunch that was going on here was really great by both sides and rapid pace was refreshing especially after watching the next series.

 

DRX vs Liiv Sandbox (Net: -2.61 units)

DRX picked up what I’d call their first legitimate win in game one here. Slowly grinding out an advantage they picked up early but Sandbox didn’t do themselves any favors when they gambled early to take their last stand and got aced to essentially end this one. Sandbox completely ran over DRX in game two. Game three basically had nothing happening until after the thirty minute mark with both teams trading back and forth. Sandbox picked up mountain soul and still ended up losing this game because Miss Fortune struggles in these extreme late game scenarios when she can’t find great opportunities to park and ultimate. Irelia, Udyr (again), and the follow up Jhin and Galio ultimates are just too much for that champion, and FATE’s Syndra as well and that eventually cost them this game.

Sandbox missed a lot of opportunities to blow this game open in game three. Summit also straight up won the isolated 1v1 as Gnar against Irelia who is considered a pretty hard counterpick. He was visibly frustrated after this one. To lose after that kind of herculean effort is frustrating and you know what? I don’t blame him. Sandbox haven’t been bad by any means but they’ve now had a few games like this where it’s just not good enough.

I’m sharing in his frustration. DRX continue to get away with murder. I will say this was the most “legitimate” of their match wins thus far and that this team is definitely better than I thought they’d be but they’re still not really doing anything of their own volition to get advantages in a lot of these games. They just try to keep it even and hope the enemy messes up. Early in the season and against mediocre or worse teams you might find success doing that but against better teams and as the league sharpens up over the season that’s not a winning strategy. We saw how this trajectory worked for APK who did similar things last season.

I’ll note that I do like the drafting by DRX so far this season. Their coaching staff has done an excellent job in some of their games of putting their players in situations where they can succeed at this slow-and-steady style. I typically love these kinds of teams because they keep the league honest but they feel just a tad fraudulent. Losing a few bets to them doesn’t help. Regardless, this is part of the reason why I feel that wins in the LCK are just harder to come by. Most of these bottom of the table teams (although not so far this season…) will beat you if you screw up even a little in draft or in-game. You don’t see that same dynamic in the LPL or even the Western leagues. They’re fundamentally sound enough to at least have what I like to call “level one” or the foundation of the fundamentals pyramid down solidly. There are no “easy” wins in this league although there have been a few really poor games so far as well.

G2 Esports vs MAD Lions (Net: -2.22 units)

MAD had a decent start to this game pressuring the bottom dive and looked like they were going to snowball off Trist mid and Jhin but G2 did their typical G2 thing and found the windows to punch back and once they did they never let go. It’s amazing how consistently this team has done this exact sort of thing over the years. Once they had control it wasn’t close.

Rogue vs Excel (Net: +0.5 units)

Top Ivern and Udyr… what is this normal games? Jokes aside, the top Ivern is a thing that’s been picking up some looks by people, for its ability to completely abuse the support items Moonstone Renewer and Staff of Flowing Water. It looked like Rogues early game look didn’t have a big enough lead and that Excel were stabilizing with the Ivern comp before a lazy mistakes warding as a three man unit blind against five to try to get vision around baron was punished by Trymbi in his debut. He had had a rough game until that point but pulling the trigger there won them the game as they picked up an ace, baron, and two inhibs. Good signs for Excel and I think this comp was actually going to get there if they had not overextended to ward while two were separated clearing mid lane. Rogue look sharp.

Team Vitality vs Schalke 04 (Net: -1.0 units)

Vitality picked up an early lead with a Nidalee/Jayce poke comp against the tankless Schalke comp with Kaisa to boot. If Vitality were to get ahead in this game, this was going to be an extremely difficult uphill battle for Schalke. When you don’t have anybody that can soak damage or face check, if you get poked out approaching objectives and get too low, Kaisa and just pop in and instantly clean multiple people up.

Vitality had this one over and done with stacking drakes to force ocean soul but made a few mistakes overreaching first at the 25ish minute mark trying to catch out Gilius’ Lillia and then again getting caught mid en route to prepping for that ocean soul point. Schalke picked up the kills and 2nd dragon. Schalke tried to force baron but took a lot of poke damage and Skeanz was able to pick up the steal from behind the pit which extended this game. They’d eventually pick up the ocean soul while Vitality traded it for baron.

From there this one got real weird. Gilius stole the next dragon, there was this weird back and forth dance around 40 minutes. Neither team had particularly good engage options so there was just this awkward dance where people were threatening but not doing anything.  Gilius screwed up not communicating an engage, but Vitality couldn’t win off of it. Minutes later a base race from the elder fight was what ended this absolute clown fiesta.

Don’t put too much stock into these kinds of games. Teams don’t get put in this situation a lot in practice. These are those weird sub 1% outcome type situations. In this specific case, neither team had reliable engage options other than supports landing hooks so as soon as it went late it was going to be this awkward dance no matter who was playing. It’s not a damnation of the players or teams, just the drafts. Also keep in mind that it’s still January. Combine the January effect with the no engage effect, and the limited tanks effect and suddenly it’s not that unrealistic to see a game like this.

That said, it still took some luck for it to get here. I’m fairly certain Vitality win if they don’t get the sixth dragon stolen but you could argue Schalke probably win if they don’t get the baron stolen. I’m not gonna spend anymore time analyzing this one. It was goofy. That’s all.

Astralis vs SK Gaming (Net: -1.725 units)

Promisq did a horrible job in this game maintaining vision and had some questionable engage decisions. Sett is one of those champions that can sometimes look worse in losses and in a few of these situations he was just peeling for his carries to escape losing fights but this was a game Astralis had full control of before completely botching it. Well played by SK to punish on the overreach and pull this one out.

Fnatic vs Misfits (Net: no action)

There’s really not much else to say other than Fnatic assumed they could “outplay” a bunch of different situations in this game and didn’t. Bwipo has one job as the Gragas in this comp and that’s to hit a relevant target with ultimate to enable your Kaisa. Never saw that and the rest was a complete mess. Not a good look for Fnatic’s first game.

 

Dignitas vs Cloud 9 (Net: +0.25 units)

Golden Guardians vs 100 Thieves (Net: -0.79 units)

Evil Geniuses vs FlyQuest (Net: -1.14 units)

Team Liquid vs Team Solo Mid (Net: no action)

Immortals vs FlyQuest (Net: -1.0 units)

 

 

LPL Net Total: -3.435 units

LCK Net Total: -2.36 units

LEC Net Total: -4.445 units

LCS Lock-In Net Total: -2.68 units

 

Daily Net Total: -12.92 units

Without LCS in this has been an absolute bloodbath of a day. It’s actually pretty difficult to do as badly as I did.


LOL Pro League (China)

Week 3 – Day 6

 

TOP Esports -1429 (-1.5 maps @ -256)

vs

LGD Gaming +671 (+1.5 maps @ +192, -1.5 @ +1400)

 

Total Maps Played: 2.5 (over +236 / under -323)

Kill Total: 24.5 (over -112 / under -116)

Kill Spread:  -10.5 @ -102 / +10.5 @ -128

Team Kill Totals: 16.5 / 6.5

Time Total: 31:00 (over +100  / under -130)

Starting Lineups:

TOP – 369, Karsa, Knight, JackeyLove, Zhuo

LGD – Cult, Kui, Uniboy, Kramer, Chance

I’m going to keep this handicap really simple.

TOP have been predictable in the draft and that’s punishable by good teams. LGD have looked better than I thought they would but they still haven’t looked like a good team. Not only do they not have the players to hang with TOP but this newly formed roster isn’t one I’d rely on to punish TOP’s exposable drafts. Think of this like collecting a dividend and just move on. Don’t get cute.

 

Other Markets:

Not going to mess with any derivative markets on this one.

 

My Picks:

 

Map Spread: TOP -1.5 maps @ -256 (2.56 units)

 


FunPlus Phoenix -185 (-1.5 maps @ +177, +1.5 @ -500)

vs

Suning Gaming +148 (+1.5 maps @ -233, -1.5 @ +352)

 

Total Maps Played: 2.5 (over -103 / under -123)

Kill Total: 26.5 (over -111 / under -118)

Kill Spread: -5.5 @ -109 / +5.5 @ -120

Team Kill Totals: 14.5 / 10.5

Time Total: 33:00 (over -108 / under -122)

Starting Lineups:

FPX – Nuguri, Bo, Doinb, Lwx, Crisp

SN – Bin, SofM, Angel, Huanfeng, ON

For those that aren’t aware, Tian will be taking a leave of absence for health reasons (from what I could tell anxiety/stress/panic attacks). Obviously I hope he can figure things out and get himself right sooner rather than later but let it serve as a reminder that the amount of pressure to perform can even weigh on experienced veterans. We like to talk about these players like it’s fantasy football but they’re real people. Keep that in mind and be respectful.

This move has been in the works for a couple of weeks now so it won’t be a complete shock to the system but FunPlus haven’t played a game without Tian since 2018 when Doinb wasn’t even on this roster yet. Even though he hasn’t exactly been dominant, disrupting this kind of thing can be a struggle at first. Bo hasn’t played a game on the LPL stage before either which is the other angle to this. This could end up being not a big deal or even an upgrade, who knows. FunPlus still have ridiculously players on their team which makes it way easier for the jungler.

Here’s the catch though…

I liked Suning before this happened as a value play. I know that they’ve struggled so far this season and that, stylistically the mid priority centric style that FPX plays is a tough matchup for them, but I just think this price is too good to pass up. This isn’t a “SLAM SUNING FPX WITHOUT TIAN WHALE PLAY” it’s just a half stake value dog. I think it’s just a slight added bonus given that the way you abuse Suning is through the mid and jungle duo getting stuff done and there’s a chance we see some nerves with the new kid. SofM isn’t exactly an easy positional matchup either.

 

Other Markets:

I’m not sure how FPX are going to look and Suning are a volatile derivatives team. Their totals are frequently way over or way under in both time and kills and they play some of the weirdest games in the LPL so I’ll be staying away in this instance.

 

My Picks:

 

Map Spread: Suning +1.5 maps @ -233 (1.165 units)

Moneyline: Suning +148 (0.5 units)

Map Spread: Suning -1.5 maps @ +352 (0.25 units)

 


LOL Champions Korea

Week 2 – Day 4

 

Afreeca Freecs +658 (+1.5 maps @ +190, -1.5 @ +1300)

vs

DAMWON Kia Gaming -1000 (-1.5 maps @ -250)

 

Total Maps Played: 2.5 (over +240 / under -323)

Kill Total: 23.5 (over -114 / under -114)

Kill Spread:  +8.5 @ -103 / -8.5 @ -127

Team Kill Totals: 7.5 / 16.5

Time Total: 31:00 (over +100  / under -130)

It was going to happen eventually. DAMWON were going to lose to a non-elite team. After multiple years of playoffs and Worlds appearances it’s tough to expect these guys to remain perfect without showing something. DAMWON drop their first series against a non-elite LCK team since mid-Spring split. Sure they looked a little “off” in this series but Brion also played out of their minds well and it was just a matter of DAMWON missing a few windows that they normally don’t. That’s all it takes.

I’m not going to overanalyze this. DAMWON are still ridiculous. That said, there’s a chance that this could be the beginning of a bit of a slump. We’ve seen them from this team before it’s just been awhile. The question is are Afreeca the team to make it back-to-back?

Afreeca have accounted for more most of my net losses this season. They’ve been a very two-faced team so far but in my previous recap of their series against Sandbox I wrote that “The trick with Afreeca is going to be not overreacting to this. This team still has a ton of talent and experience but they’re officially in “you’ve got to show me something” mode until further notice.” I’m sticking with that. Afreeca have good enough players to steal a series against a team like DAMWON but it took a near perfect series to do that and I’m not banking on it. We also saw Afreeca struggle mightily with the elite teams last season.

On the Gold Card Podcast this week I mentioned that this was probably an Afreeca or pass game but I’ve reconsidered. I think DAMWON are just going to steamroll this team. Afreeca’s macro has been god awful this season and that’s been against significantly weaker teams. If this is the start of a longer slump then I’m willing to pay to see it. Two gigantic priced -1.5’s in a day, I feel like I’m Gelati from 5 years ago…

Other Markets:

The under time totals, towers, and dragons, are probably worth a look here but I’m going to have enough exposure on this one that I’ll just avoid the derivatives for now.

 

My Picks:

 

Map Spread: DAMWON -1.5 maps @ -250 (2.5 units)

 


Fredit BRION +195 (+1.5 maps @ -169, -1.5 @ +479)

vs

Nongshim RedForce -238 (-1.5 maps @ +133, +1.5 @ -769)

 

Total Maps Played: 2.5 (over +106 / under -135)

Kill Total: 24.5 (over -110  / under -119)

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

Team Kill Totals: 9.5 / 13.5

Time Total: 32:00 (over -120  / under -109)

On the other end of that gigantic upset is Brion. First thing is first, this line has moved down from almost +330 to +214 from that DAMWON win and Nongshim’s loss to DRX.

Nongshim honestly haven’t showed me anything to be optimistic about. They’ve only created one lead of their own volition this season despite having a few game wins and Bay has been awful in the mid lane, losing even when he’s in the winning matchups against bottom half mid laners. He’s legitimately looked like the worst player in the LCK to me this split, at least so far. I was optimistic for this team but that’s quickly losing steam because it’s extremely difficult to win in this league unless your mid laner is tall enough to ride so to speak. The rest of this roster is good enough that they should still be fine and maybe this is just early rust but as it stands I don’t think they’re that much better than Brion and as we’ve seen, I don’t think we’re going to have a Jin Air this season at the bottom of the table. All of these teams are at least decent.

I was going to play Brion in this spot even before said upset and even at this price I’m willing to play it. For the purposes of record keeping I’ll use these numbers. I would still play it at this number today but I’ll note that I did get this at +321 earlier in the week.

Other Markets:

I’m still getting a feel for Brion so I’m going to avoid derivative markets for them for the time being until I get a clearer picture and more data.

 

My Picks:

 

Map Spread: Brion +1.5 maps @ -169 (1.69 units)

Moneyline: Brion +195 (0.5 units)

Map Spread: Brion -1.5 maps @ +479 (0.25 units)

 


LOL European Championship (LEC)

Week 1 – Day 2

 

For me details check out my LEC Spring 2021 Team-by-Team Outlook post which contains discussion about all of the roster moves, my long and short term outlooks for these teams, my tier list, and futures portfolio. I’ll be going primarily off of that tier list for my early handicaps with a few exceptions.

 

FC Schalke 04 -164 vs Excel +126

Kill Total: 24.5 (over -109 / under -120)

Kill Spread: -3.5 @ -115 / +3.5 @ -114

Team Kill Totals: 12.5 / 10.5

Time Total: 33:00 (over -127 / under -103)

Early in the season teams aren’t quite as clean at closing out games and the trailing teams do get credit for solving the puzzle of a deficit, but it’s never a good look when you’re consistently behind so it’s something to keep an eye on if it becomes a common thing. Same with things like miscommunication. If it’s not getting ironed out pretty quickly it’s a cause for concern.

I’m going to be sticking primarily to my tier list for the first week or two and seeking value that way. It obviously didn’t pan out yesterday but I do find it’s the best approach to early season. It’s crucial to make adjustments when you see multiple red flags early on.

I was slightly higher on Schalke than most this season putting them atop my A Tier but I had both of these teams in that range. Take the plus money.

My Picks:

Moneyline: Excel +126 (1 unit) 

 


Team Vitality +111 vs Misfits -143

Kill Total: 25.5 (over -120 / under -109)

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

Team Kill Totals: 12.5 / 12.5

Time Total: 34:00 (over +128 / under -167)

Misfits looked really sharp yesterday in their debut. Vetheo had a few highlight reel plays as well, although the game was already over at that point. Vitality looked pretty good and had a substantial lead until that game went completely haywire yesterday. Sure, you could criticize them for the way it played out but as I discussed in the recap above, it’s tough to judge how teams behave in games like that since that’s not something that’s replicated often in practice. Getting yourself ahead early is repeatable and over time doing that puts you in more situations to win more frequently. Historically it’s been much more predictive than losing while ahead.

On Wednesday this line was Vitality -139 / Misfits +106. This is simply an overreaction to one game. A fifty point move? Get out of here. Give me Vitality. I had them a tier above Misfits in my pre-season evaluation anyway and while Misfits might end up being part of that group or Vitality might be downgraded, the middle of the table in Europe is all very close and competitive.

My Picks:

Moneyline: Vitality +111 (0.5 units)

Kill Spread (alt): Vitality -0.5 @ +131 (0.5 units)

 


MAD Lions -303 vs Astralis +229

Kill Total: 25.5 (over -112 / under -116)

Kill Spread: -7.5 @ -109 / +7.5 @ -120

Team Kill Totals: 16.5 / 10.5

Time Total: 32:00 (over -122 / under -106)

Astralis were yet another team (there was a slew of them yesterday…) that had a substantial edge and control of the game before botching it over something stupid. It’s January League of Legends, it’s going to happen more frequently now than later but it’s still frustrating to watch. MAD had the unfortunate pleasure of opening the season against G2 and got absolutely mollywhopped but we won’t hold that against them.

I liked MAD quite a bit before the season but this is too big a number to be laying this early in the season. I’ll take a shot on the dogs here.

 

My Picks:

Kill Spread: Astralis +7.5 @ -120 (0.6 units)

Moneyline: Astralis +229 (0.25 units)

 


G2 Esports -667  vs SK Gaming +425

Kill Total: 27.5 (over -118 / under -111)

Kill Spread: -9.5 @ -108 / +9.5 @ -122

Team Kill Totals: 17.5 / 8.5

Time Total: 31:00 (over -115 / under -114)

SK were able to bring it back, with more than a little help from Astralis, in their match yesterday. G2 utterly destroyed MAD. It’s pretty tough to justify not taking a shot on a +400 dog in best-of-ones but I’m just staying away from sides in this one. G2 looked really good and I think SK are potentially the worst team in the league.

I know G2 tend to have significantly higher kill games but 27.5 is a very high number. The LPL has had an average total of 26.77 kills and gone under 57% of the time, the LCK 24.0 kills and gone under 57% of the time, the LCS has had an average total of 24.63 in the Lock-In Tournament and gone under more than half of the time as well. I love the under here especially considering G2 probably steamroll this.

My Picks:

Kill Total: UNDER 27.5 @ -111 (1.665 units)

 


Fnatic -116 vs Rogue -110

Kill Total: 26.5 (over -109 / under -120)

Kill Spread: -2.5 @ -115 / +2.5 @ -114

Team Kill Totals: 13.5 / 12.5

Time Total: 33:00 (over -127 / under -103)

Fnatic looked straight up terrible yesterday. It looked like a solo queue game with people just trying to outplay every single situation. This team also has a history of starting off the season slow. Rogue looked very sharp against Excel even when faced with the bizarre opening game Ivern top look. They handled it beautifully.

I have these two teams fairly close to even in my overall, season long power rankings and both in the S Tier but Fnatic certainly looked terrible and I’ve seen this movie a million times already. The catch with this line is that you could have had it more than thirty cents better as it opened -161 / +121. I would still take Rogue at this number in current form. I got Rogue at that better number earlier in the week but for record keeping purposes I’ll use how I’d play the current number.

My Picks:

Moneyline: Rogue -110 (0.55 units)

Kill Spread (alt): Rogue -1.5 kills @ +121 (0.5 units)

 


LCS Lock-In Tournament

Week 2 – Day 2

 

100 Thieves -383 (-1.5 maps @ -106, +1.5 @ -1131)

vs

Immortals +294 (+1.5 maps @ -114, -1.5 @ +730)

Total Maps Played: 2.5 (over +130 / under -174)

Kill Total: 23.5 (over -112  / under -118)

Kill Spread: -5.5 @ -116 / +5.5 @ -114

Team Kill Totals: 14.5 / 9.5

Time Total: 34:00 (over +131  / under -176)

Immortals have looked significantly better than I think most people anticipated. 100 Thieves, one game aside, have looked like one of the class team of the tournament. It makes sense that 100 Thieves have looked as good as they have doesn’t it? A lot of roster continuity from Golden Guardians, no imports to wait for, probably one of the most complete offseasons of practice leading up to this without any interruptions.

100 Thieves is the play here the question is how we want to play it. I’ve got a futures position on 100 Thieves to win the tournament outright but I don’t think this is the time to fade them so what is the best way to play this? Well, for the -106 or 51.5% implied odds to break even over the course of a best-of-three it assumes a ~71.1% map win percentage for 100 Thieves. If you take that 71.1% map win percentage over the course of a series it would imply a 79.77% series price. The series price implies 79.3% so that’s the better expected value (EV) play. It’s just a matter of whether or not you believe that is the correct handicap in this given situation.

So are 100 Thieves better than 71.1% to win a single map against Immortals and, if so, how much better?

From what I can tell Immortals are planning to run the academy roster again based on Revenge’s Twitter and the team announcement on the 21st. The academy roster isn’t a bad team by any stretch but given the form 100 Thieves are in currently it’s tough to not have some 100 Thieves here. Just for some comparison, Liquid are -244 per map against FlyQuest and T1 are -278 per map against KT Rolster tomorrow. Is this in that ballpark? Worse? Better? That’s your handicap on this game.

My concern for 100 Thieves in this small sample is that they’ve only really had a substantial early lead heading into the mid game in their opening match against TSM. Against Golden Guardians, CLG, and Liquid they were mostly within 1000 gold until a later game fight, typically around dragon or baron blew things open. They’ve looked fundamentally sound and they’re not overplaying or forcing things which is good but I typically want a team that’s blowing games open if I’m going to take a number like this.

I do think 100 Thieves would win 7.5 or 8 out of 10 maps against Immortals Academy and if we take that 7.5 maps (75% obviously) pricing that would make this 84.44% to take the series which would be implied odds of -543 (1.18). I’m going to take the 100 Thieves moneyline and sprinkle the -1.5 maps.

(assuming 75% per map)

My Picks:

Moneyline: 100T -383 (3.83 units)

Spread: 100T -1.5 maps @ -106 (0.53 units)

 


Cloud 9 -343 (-1.5 maps @ +103, +1.5 @ -982)

vs

Team Solo Mid +266 (+1.5 maps @ -125, -1.5 @ +652)

 

Total Maps Played: 2.5 (over +125 / under -167)

Kill Total: 23.5 (over -115  / under -115)

Kill Spread: -6.5 @ -109 / +6.5 @ -121

Team Kill Totals: 14.5 / 8.5

Time Total: OTB

Similar thought process here. Cloud 9 map price is -248 (71.3%). Extrapolate that over a series and you get an 80.02% series price which would be -401 as seen below.

In this scenario the Cloud 9 2-0 has a 50.837% chance of happening which would be priced at -103 (1.97). You’re getting a small value on the C9 spread. The moneyline is -343 which implies a 77.4% win rate and you’re getting ~2.6% advantage using that market vs the map price.

Now all of this hinges, as always, on your handicap of the game. Are Cloud 9 71.3% to take a map? More? Less?

Similar to 100 Thieves, Cloud 9 haven’t exactly been blowing teams out by as much as the final score might say. They’ve only had substantial gold leads in the first 20 minutes in two of their games so far and that’s against a few teams most are considering “weak” in FlyQuest and Dignitas. Cloud 9 haven’t looked bad by any stretch but they have looked a little chaotic at times.

TSM haven’t looked great in this tournament. Both games against quality opponents (Liquid and 100T) they were completely blown out of the water. Against Golden Guardians and CLG they took a slow-and-steady approach, limited their early gold deficit and outscaled to win. It’s not always pretty but it works.

Cloud 9 haven’t looked nearly as dominant as the broadcast and social media hype would have you think. They’re obviously deserving favorites here but unlike Immortals Academy, TSM have some elite players and any one of them could take over any given game. I think the underdogs are worth a play here.

If you bump the map win percentage for Cloud 9 down to 66.6% you get the following:

That makes underdogs ~26% to win the series which would be +285 (3.85) which is less than the number we’re getting (-EV), but TSM to take a map here is 55.6% which matches the -125 on the +1.5 maps. I happen to think TSM are a bit more likely than 33.3% to win a map so I’m going to take a stab at the dogs here with most of my weight on the +1.5 maps.

My Picks:

Map Spread: TSM +1.5 maps @ -125 (1.25 units)

Moneyline: TSM +266 (0.25 units)

Map Spread: TSM -1.5 maps @ +652 (0.1 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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