Friday, May 7th Recap
Pentanet.GG vs Royal Never Give Up (Net: -0.44 units)
RNG’s opening in this game was looking good until Cryin made a questionably arrogant flash play that could have been punished had Pentanet had the wherewithal to do so. Getting the flash off of a melee mid laner against a ranged matchup with a ganking jungle like Volibear was essentially a free gank but the resulting 3v3 was won out by RNG mostly due to poor communication, pathing, and target selection by Pentanet. Against a decent team RNG would have been punished badly for Cryin’s bad cockiness here but this game ended up turning into a steamrolling for RNG.
I’m usually pretty good at seeing through the competition. I’ve been watching this game long enough to know when good systems are in place compared to when a team just gets away with a lot because their competition is weak. Pentanet showed me a lot of good things on the film that I did watch but they have been absolutely terrible at all of the things they were good at through a few games here in this tournament. I don’t know if it’s nerves or that they’re intimidated or that they’re just having fun (seems it) but they’re not on a level that I expected for this tournament so I’m willing to stay away unless we get some choice numbers the rest of the way. Maybe some gigantic kill spreads.
Unicorns of Love vs Royal Never Give Up (Net: -1.41 units)
UOL took a chance with Trundle who’s been terrorizing solo queue in recent patches since a buff back on 11.6 but this game was a picture perfect example of why, at the professional level, jungle is very much a position of “you must be this tall to ride.” Trundle’s clear speed, despite being buffed, is still significantly slower than the meta junglers (who knew… the meta junglers were meta for a reason…). If you can’t keep up, you ABSOLUTELY MUST convert on your first gank or you’ve effectively lost the game. I’m not entirely sure that people know how this works. They just see kills. IF you’re against a turbo clearing jungler (a good jungler) then what happens is, you gank, maybe you get a flash, and then you want to revisit that lane to punish the fact that the flash is down. During that entire time the other jungler is running laps around you. They’re getting scuttles, taking your camps, maybe setting up for dragon or getting forward vision on your camps to set up a kill on you, etc. The reason you don’t see ganking junglers is because it’s predictable and as long as you flash the first gank and that flash doesn’t get punished you effectively turn the game into a 4v5 and it’s over. It’s not hard to do.
That might sound extreme but assuming a game plays out in any kind of normal fashion with things relatively close, your jungler will be 2-3 levels down in short order and never recover until the hyper late game. Ahahacik actually got a flash on his mid lane gank but it’s not a lane he’s going to be able to reliably revisit due to the pressure Wei was going to exert on the map via objectives and farm/experience. You take time to gank mid, they flash, you are now even further behind and you’re not even going to have the time to go back to that mid lane without giving up even more of your pace…. hopefully that clears things up.
Wei picked up a nearly kill top and was already ahead because of aforementioned gank mid and this game was effectively over. Wei was able to completely choke UOL out of the game in synchronized pushes. Clinical punish of a low tier pick. I love Trundle but you can’t play him (in jungle) at this level without 2-3 winning lane matchups or a very VERY specific and powerful synergy that erases the deficit he’ll get himself into.
Infinity vs DAMWON (Net: no action)
Clinical stomping by DAMWON. Not really much to say. Infinity did try to put up a fight and DAMWON got a little loose with a tier two dive but ultimately were in full control of this contest start to finish.
Detonation FocusMe vs Cloud 9 (Net: no action)
I’ve been talking to a lot of people today about this match.
So first of all, don’t overreact to a single game. Cloud 9 loses to a bad team and suddenly everyone is having an existential crisis and questioning EVERYTHING. LGD lost to Rainbow7 at Worlds last year and nobody was complaining about that. Chill folks, Cloud 9 are probably still getting out of this group, losses happen. Sometimes you roll snake eyes. I get that people are “tired” of NA disappointing but nobody is going to be talking about this if Cloud 9 get out of groups anyway. Look in the mirror and think about how tired the complaining narrative is every year. Lower expectations or don’t bring it up.
Another thing… dont’ blame the draft or champions for this loss. I saw a few people pointing “lulz Jayce and Nidalee for NA lulz” but realistically Cloud 9 just played terribly in this game and I’m not sure the champions mattered. You could argue “oh but Vince, the champions always matter, if they were playing something easier they could have worked through this.” This is true to some extent but at some point you just have to… not suck.
It’s a single game. I’m not looking into this too much more than “ok Cloud 9 might not be in good form right now.” The sky isn’t falling, this one got away from Cloud 9. …. it was funny seeing the overreactions to day two group stages though I have to admit.
Istanbul Wildcats vs MAD Lions (Net: +1.5 units)
This was an absolute slugfest with both teams throwing back-and-forth. The bottom lane was, as predicted, extremely volatile. HolyPhoenix is having a hell of a tournament and he and Farfetch are excellent in lane. The rest is a little sketchier.
I’m not going to fully break this one down, there were a lot of good things and a lot of mistakes by both teams. This was very much in line with what I expected from these two.
PSG Talon vs paiN Gaming (Net: pending)
Clinical win from PSG Talon. Don’t overreact to comeback wins/losses.
If Talon win the next match against paiN we cash a nice parlay.
Parlays: (pending, Talon first leg complete)
Daily Total: -0.35 units
Adjustments for Day Three
Pentanet aren’t looking as good as I’d anticipated and don’t seem to have a lot of confidence as they’re just clowning around quite a bit. I like the loose attitude but this looks like vacation more than a proving situation. Pabu has been pretty terrible so I think unless we get some absurd numbers I’m off of them.
It’s looking like unders are the play so I’ll be taking a few of them today as you’ll see below.
Group Stage – Day Three
Royal Never Give Up -1429 vs Unicorns of Love +702
Kill Total: 25.5 (over -116 / under -112)
Kill Spread: -12.5 @ -110 / +12.5 @ -118
Team Kill Totals: 18.5 / 6.5
Time Total: 30:00 (over +179 / under -238)
I’m just going to take the unders. I know the UOL are aggressive and that there’s a chance we get blown out if RNG decide to start clowning around but I’d expect a better draft from UOL this time around and a slightly quieter game. This kill spread looks ridiculous but I really don’t have a lot of faith. RNG also look like they’re not easing up at all.
Kill Total: UNDER 25.5 @ -112 (1.12 units)
Time Total: UNDER 30:00 @ -238 (2.38 units)
Unicorns of Love -333 vs Pentanet.GG +243
Kill Total: 25.5 (over -125 / under -103)
Kill Spread: -9.5 @ -109 / +9.5 @ -120
Team Kill Totals: 17.5 / 8.5
Time Total: 32:00 (over +121 / under -159)
I’m tempted by the kill spread here but I’ve already got some exposure if this ends up competitive.
Instead I’m going to look to the time total and kill total unders. There’s a chance this turns into a bit of a fiesta but UOL are still looking to cement their spot in rumble stage with a win here. Pentanet weren’t able to generate anything last time and they even had a Rumble first pick.
Kill Total: UNDER 25.5 @ -103 (1.03 units)
Time Total: UNDER 32:00 @ -159 (1.59 units)
DAMWON Kia Gaming -2500 vs Detonation FocusMe +893
Kill Total: 23.5 (over -108 / under -122)
Kill Spread: -11.5 @ -122 / +11.5 @ -106
Team Kill Totals: 17.5 / 5.5
Time Total: 30:00 (over +195 / under -263)
Don’t get cute. I know DAMWON are terrible against the spread but this could very well be a 15-1 kind of game and I think that’s fairly likely. I like the kill and time total unders. Noticing a pattern?
Kill Total: UNDER 23.5 @ -122 (1.22 units)
Time Total: UNDER 30:00 @ -263 (2.63 units)
Cloud 9 -500 vs Gillette Infinity Esports +338
Kill Total: 23.5 (over -116 / under -112)
Kill Spread: -9.5 @ -108 / +9.5 @ -120
Team Kill Totals: 16.5 / 7.5
Time Total: 31:00 (over +110 / under -143)
I’m going with a little “gut” handicapping here and taking Cloud 9 to completely obliterate this team in a bounce back spot. There’s a chance I get blown out here and the nerves/pressure of the NA disappointment narrative actually kicks in but I think Cloud 9 are going to destroy Infinity in a bounce back.
Kill Spread: Cloud 9 -9.5 kills @ -108 (1.08 units)
Kill Total: UNDER 23.5 @ -112 (1.12 units)
Time Total: UNDER 31:00 @ -143 (1.43 units)
MAD Lions -435 vs paiN Gaming +306
Kill Total: 28.5 (over -110 / under -119)
Kill Spread: -10.5 @ -116 / +10.5 @ -112
Team Kill Totals: 18.5 / 8.5
Time Total: 31:00 (over +140 / under -185)
MAD have been their typical bloody selves and I’ve got criticisms about them like some of their sketchy opening sequences. I also think they’ve been gifted a couple spots in this tournament that I talked about extensively yesterday. That said, I don’t really think paiN is very good and MAD have been beating the hell out of teams from terrible opening situations. If they get a strong open they’re just going to steamroll.
Surprise surprise… another under and under. No kill spread this time since we’ve already got a MAD ML parlay with both heads up matches vs paiN.
Kill Total: UNDER 28.5 @ -119 (1.19 units)
Time Total: UNDER 31:00 @ -185 (1.85 units)
PSG Talon -370 vs Istanbul Wildcats +264
Kill Total: 26.5 (over -116 / under -111)
Kill Spread: -7.5 @ -118 / +7.5 @ -111
Team Kill Totals: 17.5 / 9.5
Time Total: 32:00 (over +107 / under -139)
Feeling pretty good about the -270 I got now. After a flukey weird day one comeback loss we saw more what I expected to see. I actually like Talon on the kill spread in addition to both unders yet again here. The Wildcats are clearly able to put up fights but I think what we saw today is more indicative of the Talon I expected coming into the tournament, albeit it was against lesser competition in paiN.
Kill Spread: Talon -7.5 kills @ -118 (1.18 units)
Kill Total: UNDER 26.5 @ -111 (1.11 units)
Time Total: UNDER 32:00 @ -139 (1.39 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)