Saturday, January 23rd Recap
DAMWON Kia vs Afreeca (Net: +1.0 units)
The champs looked very sloppy in game one and still never really lost the gold lead. In fact, they managed to build up a 4000+ gold lead by the 25 minute mark. Game two was completely taken over by Canyon and Khan who managed to build up a 600g lead in the first six minutes even after Dread’s Lee Sin picked up first blood on ShowMaker. This one got a little sloppy in the mid game from 10 to 18ish minutes but DAMWON maintained a significant gold lead the entire time as they frequently do and eventually it was too much for Afreeca to overcome.
I mentioned during my preview for this match that it’s important not to overreact in this kind of spot for DAMWON who hadn’t lost a series to a non-elite team in nine months. That turned out to be true but it’s worth noting that DAMWON looked a little off in this series as well and still completely steamrolled Afreeca. That’s how good this team is. It took a perfect series from Brion and DAMWON on an off day for that upset to happen. I’m sure we’ll see an upset again but DAMWON are so fundamentally sound and so consistently build leads for themselves no matter what compositions they’re playing that it’s really tough to ever really bet against them even when the numbers are ridiculous like this.
Afreeca showed some signs of life in this series but continue to struggle against top teams. They have struggled against mid to bottom of the table teams so far this season as well. I still think this team will eventually be pretty good but it certainly hasn’t been a good look for them through four matches. They’ll get some time off to get it together.
Fredit Brion vs Nongshim RedForce (Net: -2.44 units)
This game one was really weird. Nongshim were the ones forcing the action and build up a moderate gold lead over the first 30 minutes of the game but Brion managed to pick up three of the first four dragons which made this closer than it probably should have been.
Game two started off explosively with a double teleport 3v3 in the top lane just before the four minute mark that NS picked up a triple kill in. NS came back and dove top lane. With so many summoners down this game was effectively over. This was a CLASSIC Peanut early game. It wasn’t entirely him obviously but THIS is what Peanut teams tend to look like. I want to see NS play more like they did in this game two. If your mid lane is going to be a liability in neutral games, get the action started early and get Bay out of lane.
Nongshim managed to build their own leads in this series which is something that they’d been struggling with to this point in the early season but even so they weren’t always getting a lot out the kills and leads that they were building. Brion played pretty well in this one considering how far down they could have been, particularly in game one. Game two was just over on that initial top play so I’m not really holding that against them too much, could have gone either way.
TOP Esports vs LGD Gaming (Net: +1.0 units)
Game one was a blowout. Game two looked closer than it actually was as TOP had a huge gold lead more or less the entire time. Not much to say here, this looked about as expected. Was cool seeing the Gragas flexed to the jungle, I’ve been waiting for that wrinkle.
FunPlus vs Suning (Net: -1.915 units)
Suning looked horrible in game one. They’ve been trying to put a square peg in a round hole all season long so far. What I mean by that, is that they’re just not playing to their compositions at all and because of that, their games have been chaotic meltdowns. They’re just overplaying way WAY too much. Even still, Suning managed to nearly claw back into this one despite an abysmal early game. FunPlux overstayed in a few situations while closing. Probably some hubris but still, something to keep an eye on.
Game two we got to see the Doinb Kled for the first time in awhile and FPX got ahead off the back of a 3v3 in the top lane early on. Once he got back to lane, Bin teleported bottom lane to clean up a 1v1 between the ADC’s but lost his turret in exchange since FPX were on the herald when this happened. This sort of play has exemplified Suning this season. They’re playing like this is solo queue and not thinking about the big picture which is something they were much better at last season even in weird games. The rest of this game turned into a classic LPL game with two teams just throwing themselves mindlessly at each other with seemingly no care in the world about what was going on from a macro perspective. FPX were constantly getting caught out and overstaying and Suning actually managed to claw this game that looked completely over back to even. Suning would win a fight and then immediately throw it trying to over play. FPX would win a fight and they would throw it trying to over play. Eventually FPX would pick up the ocean soul which was extremely powerful for their 2.5 tank composition.
Straight up this was one of the lowest level series I’ve seen from both of these teams in the past year or so. Nobody won this series. I like to call these bar fights. Every so often, especially in the LPL, you’re just going to get this kind of a game for whatever reason. Sometimes both teams just get caught up in the chaos of it all, lose their heads, and just resort to carnal urges or solo queue instincts. I can forgive it once in awhile but I certainly never like to see it, especially with good teams because it shows me that they can’t keep a level head when shit hits the fan. Suning looked horrible in this series but still brilliant at moments. FPX didn’t play well either. That’s all you should take from this one.
Team Vitality vs Misfits (Net: +1.21 units)
Schalke vs Excel (Net: +1.26 units)
MAD Lions vs Astralis (Net: -0.85 units)
G2 Esports vs SK Gaming (Net: +1.5 units)
Fnatic vs Rogue (Net: +1.105 units)
100 Thieves vs Immortals (Net: +1.5 units)
Cloud 9 vs TSM (Net: )
LPL Net Total: -0.915 units
LCK Net Total: -1.44 units
LEC Net Total: +4.225 units
LCS Lock-In Net Total: +2.15 units
Daily Net Total: +4.02 units
LOL Pro League (China)
Week 3 – Day 7
Rogue Warriors +195 (+1.5 maps @ -147, -1.5 @ +416)
Victory Five -256 (-1.5 maps @ +116, +1.5 @ -667)
Total Maps Played: 2.5 (over +119 / under -152)
Kill Total: 26.5 (over -114 / under -114)
Kill Spread: +6.5 @ -114 / -6.5 @ -114
Team Kill Totals: 9.5 / 15.5
Time Total: 32:00 (over -114 / under -114)
RW – Ziv, Haro, Forge, Michi, Reheal
V5 – Aodi, Weiwei, Mole, Trigger, ppgod
Aodi gets the start over Langx who has been a little hit or miss this season so far. After having a bit of an unexciting career to start, Aodi really came into his own on EDG last season putting in a wonderful blend of carry and utility performances on a variety of champions. This is likely a horizontal move to get Langx some rest or something along those lines but Aodi is significantly better than public discourse on him has been over his career. Doesn’t change my handicap of this match, if anything it might be a slight bump given current form of Langx.
I keep saying that Rogue Warriors are getting close but until they show me they can get over the hump and start putting it all together I’m going to remain skeptical of them unless the price is right. They’re just too inconsistent still. Victory Five look very similar to the 2020 Summer version of themselves which was a top five team in the LPL by my evaluation. They would have been a strong representative at Worlds but didn’t get to go. They’ve picked up right where they left off and remain one of the stronger up tempo teams not just in the LPL but worldwide.
I gave Rogue Warriors a substantial bump from last season’s priors and blended it with this season and still couldn’t come close to this number. Victory Five show a lot of value even still. I’ll be with them in this match.
Rogue Warriors, as usual, have been one of the bloodier teams in the LPL but Victory Five are such a strong early team that there’s a very high likelihood of these games being quick, lopsided stomps one way or the other. Rather than kills, the time total under is a better play here. Rogue Warriors are averaging just over 30 minutes per game and V5 are a shade under 32 but that’s been against much stronger competition. I like the under.
Moneyline: V5 -256 (2.56 units)
Map Spread: Victory Five -1.5 maps @ +116 (0.5 units)
Time Total: Map 1 UNDER 32:00 @ -114 (0.57 units)
Time Total: Map 2 UNDER 32:00 @ -114 (0.57 units)
Time Total: Map 3 UNDER 32:00 @ -114 (0.57 units)
LNG Esports +199 (+1.5 maps @ -169, -1.5 @ +540)
Team WE -263 (-1.5 maps @ +133, +1.5 @ -909)
Total Maps Played: 2.5 (over +103 / under -132)
Kill Total: 25.5 (over -125 / under -104)
Kill Spread: +5.5 @ -111 / -5.5 @ -118
Team Kill Totals: 10.5 / 14.5
Time Total: 32:00 (over -120 / under -109)
LNG – M1kuya, Tarzan, Icon, Light, Iwandy
WE – Breathe, Beishang, Shanks, Jiumeng, Missing
LNG have looked much improved from last season but I do think everyone is overreacting a bit. In ways they outplayed Invictus but that series felt way more to me like an Invictus underperformance than an LNG overperformance and they managed to get Tristana fed in two games which snowballed out of control. The bottom lane gets some props for sure but to me this is sort of the equivalent to a football team getting an interception for a touchdown and a fumble recovery for a touchdown based on the opposing offense screwing up not from forced errors or good defense on the defenses part. When the score at the end of the first half is 24-3 it’s pretty easy for that to completely warp the rest of the game. The trailing team has to take a lot more risks which could make them look dumber or even worse. We see this ALL THE TIME in League of Legends and nobody seems to treat it like that at all. Let’s not forget that LNG dropped a game and nearly the series to TT, a team that looks arguably worse than anyone else at the moment. I guess I just don’t get the hype. People like Tarzan and Icon I suppose.
Team WE haven’t been their normal selves either. They’ve been rather sloppy but they’re still picking up wins and have even done a better job creating their own advantages, something I’ve frequently criticized them for. This team has a lot of room for improvement and they’re still pretty good. I’m not quite sure they’ll be one of the true elite teams in the league but they’re firmly in that next group down. Team WE handle bad teams and frequently handle the mediocre teams as well.
I’m not buying LNG yet and I think WE are even better than what we’ve seen so far. I gave LNG a substantial bump from their priors and blended it with this season just like I did for Rogue Warriors and still couldn’t get to this number for them even being optimistic. Even just using the eye test, I think LNG are all sizzle and no steak. I typically hate looking at common opponents but they’ve had two in common and that tells a story to me. Team WE might be overrated by some but I do think this team is good and likely to get better. I’ll be on them here.
Team WE have been absolutely speed running this season. They’ve been much better about putting pressure on early and engineering their own advantages than they were last season in large part because they don’t need to overcompensate to make up for Teacherma with the mostly solid performance that Shanks has been putting in. Team WE have gone under 32:00 in six of their seven wins and under 32:00 in eight of their nine total games. Unders have also been hitting at a strong clip this season as we’ve discussed before.
Moneyline: Team WE -263 (2.63 units)
Map Spread: Team WE -1.5 maps @ +133 (0.5 units)
Time Total: Map 1 UNDER 32:00 @ -109 (0.545 units)
Time Total: Map 2 UNDER 32:00 @ -109 (0.545 units)
Time Total: Map 3 UNDER 32:00 @ -109 (0.545 units)
LOL Champions Korea
Week 2 – Day 5
KT Rolster +319 (+1.5 maps @ -110, -1.5 @ +800)
T1 -417 (-1.5 maps @ -115, +1.5 @ -2000)
Total Maps Played: 2.5 (over +137 / under -175)
Kill Total: 23.5 (over -114 / under -115)
Kill Spread: +6.5 @ -111 / -6.5 @ -118
Team Kill Totals: 8.5 / 14.5
Time Total: 32:00 (over -123 / under -105)
The Telecom War… is maybe a thing of the past.
For those that don’t know, this is a rivalry spanning the better part of two decades between SKT and KT that started in the original Starcraft. These teams always seem to “play up” for this match and it has delivered some absolute classic series over the years… but not recently. Obviously T1/SKT have been a significantly better team in recent years than KT who have dropped off from their former glory.
KT looked much better in their last two series, a 1-2 loss to Hanwha and a 2-0 sweep of Sandbox but T1 might be the best 4-5 team I’ve ever seen. T1 have already had to face DAMWON and Gen.G. They should have beaten DAMWON 2-1 and the Gen.G series was an incredibly high level, close series. If you’re high on Hanwha (I’m not as much as most) that was their opening match. I know some people that would say that they’ve faced the other three top four teams in their first three matches. T1 have looked AMAZING no matter the lineup. They’ve just been on the wrong side of some extremely difficult matchups.
I think KT could be competitive here but T1 are significantly better than their record indicates. I like the favorites.
Time total unders!
Moneyline: T1 -417 (2.085 units)
Map Spread: T1 -1.5 maps @ -116 (0.58 units)
Time Total: Map 1 UNDER 32:00 @ -105 (0.525 units)
Time Total: Map 2 UNDER 32:00 @ -105 (0.525 units)
Time Total: Map 3 UNDER 32:00 @ -105 (0.525 units)
Gen.G -256 (-1.5 maps @ +126, +1.5 @ -1000)
Hanwha Life Esports +210 (+1.5 maps @ -161, -1.5 @ +557)
Total Maps Played: 2.5 (over +110 / under -141)
Kill Total: 24.5 (over -120 / under -109)
Kill Spread: -5.5 @ -119 / +5.5 @ -110
Team Kill Totals: 15.5 / 9.5
Time Total: 33:00 (over +105 / under -137)
This article is going to be boring today. Call me teacher I guess because this is a straight up chalk board! (I’ll see myself out, tip your waiters/waitresses)
I’m not buying Hanwha at all. They’ve shown some good signs but the non-Chovy players on this team have been so feast or famine that until they show me they can string together consistently good performances I’m not betting them against the elite teams.
Gen.G are an elite team.
Gen.G also don’t lose to teams worse than they are very frequently and they’re in tremendous form at the moment.
Don’t overthink this one. Unless Chovy puts in some hero performances, which he’s certainly capable of doing, I have a hard time seeing Hanwha winning this.
Time total unders again… I know, I’m boring today. A lot of people are pointing to the kill total over in this spot because of how bloody the new look Hanwha has been and Gen.G tend to always be rather stylish. I make this total only slightly higher than this one so I won’t be playing that market. I think the better option would be to play either team total overs depending on which side you like in this contest if you were to play kill totals. If you think this is a more competitive, back-and-forth series the overs are probably worth a consideration but I think Gen.G are going to blast Hanwha out of the water.
Moneyline: Gen.G -256 (2.56 units)
Spread: Gen.G -1.5 maps @ +126 (0.5 units)
Time Total: Map 1 UNDER 33:00 @ -137 (0.685 units)
Time Total: Map 2 UNDER 33:00 @ -137 (0.685 units)
Time Total: Map 3 UNDER 33:00 @ -137 (0.685 units)
LOL European Championship (LEC)
Week 1 – Day 3
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.
Astralis +171 vs Team Vitality -222
Kill Total: 28.5 (over +131 / under -172)
Kill Spread: +4.5 @ -114 / -4.5 @ -114
Team Kill Totals: 12.5 / 15.5
Time Total: 33:00 (over -123 / under -105)
This line has moved from +131 / -175 to the current number which already makes me want to take some Astralis but I’ll be passing on a side and instead taking the under even with the juice.
Kill Total: UNDER 28.5 @ -172 (1.72 units)
Rogue -370 vs SK Gaming +265
Kill Total: 23.5 (over -111 / under -118)
Kill Spread: -7.5 @ -124 / +7.5 @ -107
Team Kill Totals: 14.5 / 7.5
Time Total: 32:00 (over -109 / under -121)
Rogue look razor sharp so far this season. SK have looked a little better than I’d anticipated keeping things rather close against G2 but I do think that was more a symptom of the team compositions than the actual play. With all of this Ivern top running around the LEC I’m somewhat tempted to play kill spreads and unders more aggressively but it doesn’t seem very predictable when you’re going to see it yet. I’d lean toward the Rogue kill spreads here but I’m going to pass this one for now.
Misfits +133 vs MAD Lions -175
Kill Total: 24.5 (over -110 / under -119)
Kill Spread: +5.5 @ -116 / -5.5 @ -112
Team Kill Totals: 10.5 / 14.5
Time Total: 32:00 (over -132 / under +101)
MAD Lions handled Astralis yesterday while Misfits came back down to earth after the hyped victory on Friday with a sound loss to Vitality. I think MAD Lions is the side here. They looked decent to open in their loss to G2 but I’m also still in a sort of “wait and see” position with Misfits. There’s a chance they’re better than I thought originally. This line looks about right to me. If I had to pick something it’d be the under 32:00 @ +101 but this is a pass for now.
Fnatic -217 vs FC Schalke 04 +167
Kill Total: 26.5 (over -120 / under -109)
Kill Spread: -5.5 @ -119 / +5.5 @ -110
Team Kill Totals: 15.5 / 10.5
Time Total: 33:00 (over +123 / under -161)
Fnatic looked at least a little bit better in their loss to Rogue yesterday while Schalke have played two absolute clown fiesta games to open the season. Frankly, I haven’t looked the loose, wheel-and-deal look we’re seeing from Fnatic so far even though it’s very on-brand for them overall. If they keep it up they’ll eventually get it I think but for the time being it just looks like a complete mess. The way Fnatic have played thus far doesn’t deserve to be laying -200 to anybody in. I’m sure they’ll prove me wrong eventually but I’m not sure they fix their issues this weekend.
Moneyline: Schalke +167 (0.5 units)
Kill Total (team): Schalke OVER 10.5 @ -128 (0.64 units)
Excel Esports +345 vs G2 Esports -500
Kill Total: 26.5 (over -112 / under -116)
Kill Spread: +9.5 @ -118 / -9.5 @ -111
Team Kill Totals: 8.5 / 17.5
Time Total: 31:00 (over -101 / under -128)
They’ve been far from perfect but I’ve actually liked the outside the box compositions we’ve been seeing from Excel to start the season and it appears they’re sticking to their read instead of panicking over a loss on day one. The problem is that G2 have looked in form right from the start. I still think this is worth a play on Excel, at least on the kill spread. The kind of game they’ve been playing so far tends towards lower scoring and they’ve been good about not giving up big losses in fights.
Kill Spread: +9.5 @ -118 (1.18 units)
Moneyline: Excel +345 (0.25 units)
Kill Total: UNDER 26.5 @ -116 (1.16 units)
LCS Lock-In Tournament
Week 2 – Day 3
Evil Geniuses -625 (-1.5 maps @ -145, +1.5 @ -3333)
Golden Guardians +401 (+1.5 maps @ +114, -1.5 @ +1073)
Total Maps Played: 2.5 (over +153 / under -200)
Kill Total: 23.5 (over -115 / under -114)
Kill Spread: -7.5 @ -120 / +7.5 @ -108
Team Kill Totals: 16.5 / 7.5
Time Total: 32:00 (over +100 / under -130)
The per map price on this series implies the following results:
The moneyline odds imply an 86.21% for EG and a 19.96% so there is a very slight edge on the moneyline for the favorites IF, in fact, you believe this accurate. From an EV perspective that’s the play if you believe in the price.
As good as Evil Geniuses have looked so far in this tournament there’s just no way they’re 78.72% per map against anyone. We’ve seen mostly feast from this traditionally feast or famine type team so far in this tournament. However, they are coming off of a loss to Josedeodo who more or less stepped off of his plane which arrived this week and onto the stage with very limited prep time. Now, I think FlyQuest are eventually going to be pretty good but they’ve looked awful until that game. It’s just a reminder of the volatility of early season.
Golden Guardians have looked a little rough around the edges. Niles has struggled against “elite” top lane talent in his last two matches against Ssumday and Alphari. Impact has been in good form this tournament so I think it’s fair to include him in that bunch but I also think the more games this young GGS roster gets under it’s belt the more comfortable they’re going to get. I also wouldn’t put it past them to have something spicy cooked up for this. They’ve also had a longer offseason and presumably more practice time together.
I’m going with a small play on the underdogs here. Evil Geniuses are deserving favorites for sure and the top lane matchup could be cause for concern but this is just too disrespectful a price. If you put this closer to a 70-30 per map price it’s suddenly VERY enticing to take the underdogs. There’s enough volatility both in the game and the fact that it’s early season and things aren’t super clean that I have a hard time seeing Evil Geniuses as more than a 70% per map favorite. This is what it looks like with that implied price:
I’ll also be taking the Golden Guardians team kill total over. This total is quite low especially when you look at the EG total and the kill spread. It’s a small sample size so taking averages is somewhat pointless but because I think this might be a messier series than most that this and the total kills are both live. I’ll be sticking to the underdog team total over as my way to attack that market.
Map Spread: Golden Guardians +1.5 maps @ +114 (1 unit)
Moneyline: Golden Guardians +401 (0.5 units)
Map Spread: Golden Guardians -1.5 maps @ +1073 (0.1 units)
Kill Total (team): Map 1 Golden Guardians OVER 7.5 kills @ -122 (0.61 units)
Kill Total (team): Map 2 Golden Guardians OVER 7.5 kills @ -122 (0.61 units)
Kill Total (team): Map 3 Golden Guardians OVER 7.5 kills @ -122 (0.61 units)
Team Liquid -385 (-1.5 maps @ -108, +1.5 @ -1429)
FlyQuest +278 (+1.5 maps @ -119, -1.5 @ +702)
Total Maps Played: 2.5 (over +130 / under -167)
Kill Total: 23.5 (over -104 / under -125)
Kill Spread: -6.5 @ -109 / +6.5 @ -119
Team Kill Totals: 14.5 / 8.5
Time Total: 32:00 (over -127 / under -102)
Map price for Liquid (71.43%) suggests an 80.177% series price compared to the 79.38% we’re getting on the moneyline. Liquid sweep is priced at 51.932% compared to the map price implied 51.02%. TL:DR the +EV play for Liquid is just to play the moneyline.
Map price for FlyQuest (34.483%) suggests a 27.472% series price compared to the 26.455% we’re getting on the moneyline. FlyQuest to take a game (+1.5 maps) is priced at 54.34% compared to the map price implied 57.075%. TL:DR the +EV play for FlyQuest is to play the map spread and it’s actually at a pretty sizeable 2.735% edge if you believe this handicap is accurate.
So if you believe in the accuracy of the market price there is a strong edge on FlyQuest +1.5 in this match so let’s start our case there an argue against it. Is Liquid 71.43% per map?
In our previous matchup I mentioned that Evil Geniuses, for as good as they’ve looked, are absolutely, in no way 78%+ to win per map and manually handicapped it at roughly 70-30. Is there a bigger gap between EG and GGS or Liquid and FlyQuest? Other than a loss to a 100 Thieves team that we can now see is pretty damn good, Liquid have completely steamrolled the rest of their competition. All three of their wins against TSM, CLG, and Golden Guardians were in under 26 minutes. Now there’s a chance you could consider those three “easy” victories given the form we’ve seen from each in this tournament so if you want to go transitive property on this series and compare FlyQuest to those that’s one way to approach it. FlyQuest SHOULD be better than at least CLG and GGS even if it’s not right away. We did see Josedeodo come in and make an immediate impact but I think it’s safe to assume that given his recent arrival and limited practice time that FlyQuest aren’t likely to be in peak form quite yet even though they’re coming off of a win. The catch is that we’ve also got early season volatility to battle with.
I like FlyQuest quite a bit this season but I think they’re going to get completely destroyed in this series. Asking a team that’s had about a week of practice with their jungler, however good he may be, to take down the fundamentally sound Team Liquid is going to be a pretty heavy undertaking. It feels bad not taking the big +1.5 edge here but I’m sticking to the Liquid moneyline.
Moneyline: Team Liquid -385 (3.85 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)