Friday, May 21st Recap


Royal Never Give Up vs PSG Talon (Net: -0.17 units)

Before I dissect anything it’s important to say that this was an awesome series by both teams in very different ways.

PSG Talon legitimately could have, and I’d argue should have won games one and four of this series and completely laid a beating on RNG in game two. RNG answered right back with their own shellacking in game three but game four was an absolute slugfest.

I loved Talon’s game plan. In yesterday’s article I mentioned that I wanted them to force RNG out of their comfort zone a bit by either taking away or banning things like Gnar, Kaisa, and Lucian or having creative solutions for them. They did this right off the bat, no wasted time. They also put a heavy focus on getting things rolling early which is something they’ve been excellent at in this tournament despite not showing it often domestically. This was exactly the way I’d want to see a team attack RNG and it’s what PSG did. Great concept, great realization, the execution was even pretty good, there were just some small mistakes.

You could tell the experience just wasn’t quite there for Talon in this series. There were frequently spots where they were in a position of power or at the very least neutral in power that RNG simply bullied them away in. Frequently these were situations like the one that ended game four where RNG leveraged control of the mid lane to pick up a fast dragon forcing PSG to completely lose composure. This happened a few different times over the course of this series most notably in games one and four and it’s purely mental. RNG weren’t doing anything other than being confident and that was intimidating enough to push Talon out of positions that they could have contested. They were also late to a few setups by a few seconds.

All-in-all this was a great series by PSG but they just couldn’t get it across the finish line and it was one of the few series I can remember in recent memory where the lack of experience in critical macro situations was very obvious. You simply cannot make these kinds of mistakes at this level. Frankly I didn’t think RNG had a particularly great series relative to what we expect from this team but they won in a very RNG fashion. Clean a few things up, learn from this and we’ll see you at Worlds in the fall PSG. And hopefully you bring a few of the other top four PCS teams with you.

Live: -1 unit

Fired live in game four when RNG didn’t jump out to a big lead. PSG’s scaling composition was completely bonkers in this one and that very nearly came to fruition if not for an unfortunate throw by Doggo who otherwise had an outstanding series.

Futures: -0.5 units

Stood to make 11u on PSG if they won but let it ride. No regrets they definitely could have won this series 3-1 with slightly cleaner execution.


Daily Net Total: -1.67 units


Mid-Season Invitational

Knockout Stage – Day Two



DAMWON Kia Gaming -714 (-1.5 maps @ -345, -2.5 @ +113, +1.5 @ -3333)


MAD Lions +503 (+1.5 @ +251, +2.5 @ -145, -1.5 @ +992, -2.5 @ +2600)


Map Moneyline: DWG -370 / MAD +270

Map Total: 3.5 maps (over -132 / under +103), 4.5 maps (over +316 / under -455)

Kill Total: 23.5 (over -112 / under -116)

Kill Spread: -7.5 @ -110 / +7.5 @ -119

Team Kill Totals: 14.5 / 8.5

Time Total: 31:00 (over -141 / under +108)


DWG Tale of the Tape MAD
1130.3 Gold Diff @ 10 min 889.3
2277.4 Gold Diff @ 15 min 1056.5
2952.0 Gold Diff @ 20 min -165.9
53.4 GPM first 20 min vs Avg 79.8
134.1 Gold Diff / min first 20 95.6
268.9 Gold Diff / min Rest of Game 245.4
1908.0 Gold /min (GPM) 1884.3
129.9 Gold / min vs Avg 106.2
268.9 Gold Diff / min 135.9
3.8 Gold Percent Rating (GPR) 1.9
1694.2 Kill Agnostic GPM 1650.9
185.2 Kill Agnostic Gold Diff/min 74.1
1948.4 GPM in wins 2018.1
359.0 Gold Diff per min in wins 408.0
1732.9 GPM in losses 1661.3
-121.8 Gold Diff per min in losses -317.5
319.1 Adjusted Gold Diff / min 186.1
-9.9 Win-Adjusted GPM 59.8
25.5 Win-Adjusted Gold Dif/min 74.5
64.0 Dragon Control % 50.7
54.8 Herald Control % 59.4
65.2 Baron Control % 54.5


 (Numbers from just this tournament)


Suggested Model Plays (in order of strength of edge):

MAD across the board with strongest edge on MAD +2.5 maps @ -145


Quantitative Analysis:

DWG Series Outcomes
Wins Losses Probability
3 0 41.250%
3 1 31.630%
3 2 16.169%
2 3 5.552%
1 3 3.729%
0 3 1.670%
(Series Win): 89.049%


(Above: DWG series outcome projections according to map moneyline implied odds minus vig)

(Below: DWG series outcome projections according to economy/objective model)

Wins Losses Probability
3 1 22.130%
3 2 20.118%
2 3 16.765%
3 0 16.229%
1 3 15.367%
0 3 9.391%
(Series Win): 58.477%




 * DWG / MAD Right


  • Gold per minute in wins: 6th / 3rd
  • Gold Differential per minute in wins: 5th / 3rd
  • Gold per minute in losses: 1st / 4th
  • Gold Differential per minute in losses: 1st / 5th
  • Win-adjusted gold per minute: 6th / 3rd
  • Win-adjusted gold differential per minute: 5th / 3rd
  • Kill-agnostic gold per minute: 1st / 3rd
  • Kill-agnostic gold differential per minute: 2nd / 4th
  • Opponent kill-agnostic gold per minute: 2nd / 3rd
  • Overall Objective Control: 1st / 7th
  • Overall Team Rating: 2nd / 4th
  • Rumble Stage Series: DAMWON 2-0



I cannot stress enough just how poorly DAMWON have performed relative to their full 2021 sample expectation. You could point to a weak league, stylistic differences, or whatever narrative tickles your fancy but I think it’s all much simpler than that… they’re just playing badly, especially BeryL.

To give you an idea of just how relatively poor they’re playing, if you look at their season long totals in the LCK and compare it to this tournament (minus non-top five teams) all but one game would have fallen within the bottom thirteen games in overall game performance rating which is a metric that compares performance across a range of categories against both the team and league average. Statistically seven of their worst thirteen games of 2021 have occurred just here at MSI. That’s a terrible run. I don’t even think this is a poor read on the metagame either it’s simply uncharacteristically sloppy mistakes.

So this comes with a few perspectives. First, you could consider that this is just their level at the moment and we should treat them as such. Another option would be to consider them candidates to regress to their mean level of performance to some degree. You could also blend the two and figure out a consensus somewhere in the middle. I happen to think the third option is the way to think about this. Frankly, a DAMWON team that’s been playing relatively terribly that still finished first in the Rumble Stage is a bit terrifying to think about. They did lose both games to RNG and probably should have lost one of their contests against Cloud 9. I’m treating DAMWON as slightly better than they’ve been in this tournament expecting some regression.

MAD Lions have performed at a similar level to Talon albeit in very different style. Talon frequently converted on early aggression and simply struggled with the transition while MAD often fumble opening sequences but play their way out of the proverbial hole they dig themselves frequently, in much the same way RNG do. We mentioned it on the podcast but MAD Lions are the wild card here. This team’s ceiling performances are as good as some of the best teams in the world but they have these floor games and minor inconsistencies on a game-to-game basis that are just covered up by outplays. Relying on outplays isn’t something good teams do. It’s certainly great to have that as an option but that’s my only real concern with the MAD Lions. They’re a team that’s been performing slightly above expectation statistically as well which makes sense given their form at this tournament but also makes them a candidate for some regression. We’ve seen the both the floor and the ceiling for this team it’s just a matter of which you think we get.

I mentioned it a handful of times in yesterday’s article but essentially these favorites are unbettable via sides so this is yet again another “dogs or nothing” situation. If you’re particularly bullish on DAMWON attack it through different mediums than the piss poor lines you’re getting here.

Conclusion: MAD Lions just because the value is simply too good to pass up


Qualitative Analysis:

I sort of strayed from my quantitative analysis into a qualitative one above so apologies for not keeping the two separated in this instance but this series essentially boils down to your opinion on which versions of these teams we see in this match. Your “average” DAMWON performance level wins this series 3-0 or 3-1 a vast majority of the time but that’s not the team we’ve seen in this tournament.

MAD rely a little too much on outplays and opponent error for me to really like them against such a fundamentally sound (usually) team like DAMWON. I also think their versatility in the draft could cause issues but I think MAD probably get a game or two with the form DAMWON are currently in. My only fear is that DAMWON flip a switch and just go full terminator here. Conversely, MAD could turn into a pumpkin as well we’ve seen this team streak both good and bad.

Either way this line is just prohibitively expensive on the favorites so just hold your nose to back the underdogs whether you like them or not. MAD can hang with the best of them when they’re in form and it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see them steal this series but I think Talon had a slightly better shot at an upset this morning for what that’s worth.

Conclusion: Expect a DAMWON win but MAD price is simply too good to pass up.


A quick note on my futures positions:

Region of MSI Winner LCK @ +100 (11 units)

I have a very large position on DAMWON here but I’m already going to be taking a piece of the MAD Lions simply because the price is off. IF it comes down to a hedge I’ll do that in the next round if they get there and if the price is right.


Other Markets:


Kill Total Model Projections:

Combined AVG kills per game: 27.313

Odds-Weighted: 26.984

Time-Implied: 27.803

Underdog Win: 32.883

“Gelati” Total Projection: 27.834

Combined % of Games OVER Kill Total: 65.63% (DWG 50% / MAD 81.25%)

Volatility Rating: DWG 0.29165 / MAD 0.27351 (Tournament Avg: 0.2873)

Suggested Model Plays (in order of strength of edge):

(alt) OVER 22.5 @ -143 (VERY strong)

OVER 23.5 @ -112 (VERY strong)

(alt) OVER 24.5 @ +112 (VERY strong)


Team Totals:

MAD Lions OVER 8.5 @ -105 (VERY strong)

DWG OVER 14.5 @ -123 (moderate)


DWG League Average MAD
Combined Kills / game 24.750 28.27 29.875
Combined Kills / min 0.803 0.94 0.962
Kills per win 15.897 18.27 20.550
Kills per loss 12.333 10.34 9.063
Deaths per win 7.54 8.90 8.80
Deaths per loss 19.33 19.17 18.17
Average Margin of Victory (AMOV) 7.69 9.27 11.80
Average Margin of Defeat (AMOD) 7.00 10.29 8.83

Situations like this game are always fascinating to handicap. You’ve got an extremely bloody team in both wins and losses in MAD Lions (over course of year not just this tournament, ignore that KPL average). They’re aggressive and continue to take their shots as you should from a deficit. They’re also sometimes sloppy with leads and get a little ahead of themselves. All of these factors contribute to a lot of overs in their games and that’s even with the highest game total prices in the LEC. DAMWON are very much the opposite. Quiet, grind you to a pulp kind of games. Very neat, prim and proper.

If you think DAMWON win this series then I think you pass on these totals but if you think MAD can take a game or two and think you might get one win and one competitive game then I could see backing the overs like the model does. That’s just a little murky for me. The over felt amazing at first glance and was my favorite position when going over the opening numbers but the more I’ve thought about it this series could have one 30 kill MAD win and then two or three 18 kill grindfests. I’ll pass. MAD Lions team total might be the avenue to attack here but DWG give up VERY few kills in wins.

No wagers.



Time Total Projection:

Combined AVG Game Time: 31.505 minutes

Odds Weighted / Rating Weighted: 31.8 / 32.19

Combined % of Games OVER Time Total: 56.25% (DWG 50% / MAD 62.5%)

Volatility Rating: DWG 0.19207 / MAD 0.14556 (Tournament Avg: 0.15890)

Suggested Model Plays (in order of strength of edge):



Average Game Time 31.37 31.64
Avg Game Time (in wins) 30.42 31.39
Avg Game Time (in losses) 35.483 32.044

Again, volatile early games could lead to stalled out game states but the price bakes that in here. I make this right on market price. Pass.


Other Derivatives:

Suggested Model Plays (in order of strength of edge):

MAD across the board with strongest edge at first tower +177  **

(DWG extremely good neutral objectives #1 in tournament)

OVER 1.5 barons @ +170 (strong)

** denotes advantage in a category that the opponent is also strong in, must be considered

If you consider that I make the time total close to market with the lean toward the over 31 then suddenly neutral overs are at least interesting. Over 1.5 barons seems very cheap and I’ll be taking a piece hoping we get two of these home in a four game series or perhaps 3 in 5.

The MAD “firsts” are intriguing but DAMWON are such a dominant “firsts” team and have been over the past two calendar years that it’s tough to really want to bet against that even at the ridiculously good numbers you’re getting. It’s anyone’s guess. I think MAD are going to get free heralds because I’d expect them to play through Armut but that’s just speculation. Not enough to go on for me. If I had to pick one it’d be MAD first herald.


My Picks:


Map Spread: MAD +2.5 maps @ -145 (2.9 units)

Map Spread: MAD +1.5 maps @ +251 (1 unit)

Moneyline: MAD +503 (0.5 units)

Map Spread: MAD -1.5 maps +992 (0.1 unit)

Map Spread: MAD -2.5 maps +2600 (0.1 unit)

Prop: Map 1 OVER 1.5 barons @ +170 (1 unit)

Prop: Map 2 OVER 1.5 barons @ +170 (1 unit)

Prop: Map 3 OVER 1.5 barons @ +170 (1 unit)

Prop: Map 4 OVER 1.5 barons @ +170 (1 unit)

Prop: Map 5 OVER 1.5 barons @ +170 (1 unit)



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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