Saturday, May 15th Recap
Pentanet.GG vs Royal Never Give Up (Net: +2.0 units)
Pentanet tried a lane swap in this game which got me thinking about why more of these big underdog teams haven’t tried this against RNG specifically. RNG aren’t a one trick pony by any stretch of the imagination but they do show a heavy preference for playing towards top side with top lane carries for Xiaohu. Lane swaps are a way to try to take him out of the strongest part of the game for him and at least throw the team a curveball.
I liked the idea and Pentanet actually jumped out to a lead on RNG and had taken Xiaohu out of the game but the lack of practice on this strategy (RIP lane swap meta) was pretty obvious as they were unable to keep up the volley, tread water, hold serve, or whatever terminology you want to use. Eventually Cryin and Wei broke this open by preying on the mid lane and then steamrolled. RNG had a little too much fun toward the end of this and had a small throw when they got overzealous but they were never really in threat of losing this once they turned the corner and built up a gold lead.
DAMWON Kia Gaming vs Cloud 9 (Net: +2.0 units)
This was a close game. Cloud 9 had a substantial lead and I absolutely loved their “slap the wrist, walk away” composition with the double ADC + Karma and Lulu against the Rumble Sion look from DAMWON. Karma and Lulu are extremely difficult champions for Rumble to deal with as their shields and mobility boost make landing quality ultimates challenging. Ultimately a few very small mistakes did Cloud 9 in and as we’ve talked about before, you have to play very disciplined LOL when closing a game out against DAMWON and they just couldn’t quite get this one to the finish line.
DAMWON had yet another awful opening sequence in this one. BeryL has not had a good tournament and continues to make a lot of questionable decisions. That said, DAMWON are playing terribly relative to their typical performance more or less across the board if you look at their metrics both team wide and individually and they’re still 8-2 in this tournament. They don’t seem comfortable in this metagame for whatever reason so if they can figure that out and clean up some of the dumb mistakes then I’d still expect them to take this tournament down but it should say something that they’ve been playing terribly and are still winning.
MAD Lions vs Royal Never Give Up (Net: +1.0 units)
RNG took a more uptempo look in this one with the Olaf+Twisted Fate combination and jumped out to a pretty sizeable lead in the first twenty minutes. A wild fight in the top river that had a pause in the middle of it and eventually where Armut cleaned up with some sick outplays on Wukong was the only reason this game was remotely close. RNG a few small errors overreaching when full court pressing to close this game with a baron buff. Could have backfired.
Cloud 9 vs PSG Talon (Net: +1.36 units)
Cloud 9 managed to build up a small gold lead in the first fifteen minutes but PSG were winning the objective game. At some point Maple picked up a few kills on Akali against Perkz’ Viktor and this game felt like it was going to be an uphill battle for the Lulu/Kog composition from Cloud 9. PSG’s comp was harder to execute but they simply played the fights better in this and managed to pick off Zven and Perkz multiple times so C9 could never get a clean front-to-back fight.
Pentanet.GG vs DAMWON Kia Gaming (Net: +2.0 units)
Not much to say here, DAMWON wire-to-wire with a sub-twenty minute win.
MAD Lions vs PSG Talon (Net: -1.0 units)
This game looked closer on the scoreboard than it actually was. MAD were in full control more or less the entire game and other than a few very sharp pick-offs by PSG Talon when MAD were in transition, they didn’t really have a shot.
Daily Net Total: +7.36 units
Rumble Stage – Day Three
Cloud 9 -714 vs Pentanet.GG +438
Kill Total: 26.5 (over -115 / under -112)
Kill Spread: -10.5 @ -122 / +10.5 @ -105
Team Kill Totals: 18.5 / 7.5
Time Total: 31:00 (over +162 / under -217)
This is a bit of a weird one. The unders seem like slam dunks to me, especially the time total but I do think there’s a non-zero chance that Cloud 9 are just very VERY nervous for this one with all the pressure on them and play this overly conservative. Still I think they’re the correct positions. I think the under 4.5 dragons is the best value position here. 12.5 towers climbed from -350 to -400, the time total from -185 to -217, kill total is the most volatile of the three. Under 4.5 dragons is the play here.
Prop: UNDER 4.5 dragons @ -149 (2.98 units)
Royal Never Give Up -417 vs PSG Talon +294
Kill Total: 26.5 (over -114 / under -114)
Kill Spread: -9.5 @ -114 / +9.5 @ -114
Team Kill Totals: 17.5 / 7.5
Time Total: 29:00 (over -118 / under -110)
RNG might be undefeated but they haven’t been perfect by any means. I loved their use of map leverage to pick up a baron today and their overall map play in general has just been fantastic this tournament and really all of 2021. That said, I think PSG Talon have a shot here. I like the kill spreads and a small taste on the moneyline as well as the kill total under and time total over. Lot of markets so let’s slim down to the kill spread +9.5, small on moneyline, and over on the time total.
Kill Spread: Talon +9.5 kills @ -114 (1.14 units)
Moneyline: Talon +294 (0.5 units)
Time Total: OVER 29:00 @ -118 (1.18 units)
DAMWON Kia Gaming -312 vs MAD Lions +246
Kill Total: 26.5 (over -116 / under -112)
Kill Spread: -6.5 @ -118 / +6.5 @ -110
Team Kill Totals: 16.5 / 9.5
Time Total: 31:00 (over +112 / under -145)
DAMWON continue to win despite playing incredibly poorly relative to their typical level of performance. MAD Lions on the other hand are playing out of their minds well in this tournament. I keep saying it, and maybe I sound like a bit of a crazy person at this point but at some point I think we’ll see some regression on both sides here, DAMWON upward, MAD Lions a little back down to earth. This would have been roughly a -435 moneyline for DAMWON based on pre-tournament odds, we’re getting a decent value there but I like the under kill total much more than a side in this contest. I think this is going to be a tight, hard fought game.
Kill Total: UNDER 26.5 @ -112 (2.24 units)
Royal Never Give Up -2500 vs Pentanet.GG +893
Kill Total: 26.5 (over -116 / under -111)
Kill Spread: -13.5 @ -119 / +13.5 @ -109
Team Kill Totals: 19.5 / 6.5
Time Total: 28:00 (over +142 / under -185)
13.5 is a lot… like a lot a lot…. and RNG could maybe play with their food or experiment here but I’m actually just going to pass on the side based wagers here in favor of unders.
Prop: UNDER 12.5 towers @ -400 (4 units)
Prop: UNDER 4.5 dragons @ -149 (2.98 units)
Cloud 9 +241 vs DAMWON Kia Gaming -294
Kill Total: 24.5 (over -120 / under -108)
Kill Spread: +7.5 @ -112 / -7.5 @ -115
Team Kill Totals: 8.5 / 15.5
Time Total: 31:00 (over +112 / under -145)
You’ve got to feel for Cloud 9. They’ve played so well in most of their games in this tournament and small mistakes have cost them a few times. They’ve played significantly better than their record so far. That said, they had just about as good an opening as they’re going to get against DAMWON last time out and unless you think they get that again it’s tough to imagine them consistently getting that kind of opportunity. I’ll be taking the favorites here but I could see the argument for Cloud 9 in a must win spot or taking the C9 kill spread.
Moneyline: DAMWON -294 (2.94 units)
Kill Total: UNDER 24.5 @ -108 (1.08 units)
PSG Talon +142 vs MAD Lions -182
Kill Total: 28.5 (over -108 / under -122)
Kill Spread: +4.5 @ -109 / -4.5 @ -119
Team Kill Totals: 11.5 / 15.5
Time Total: 32:00 (over -114 / under -115)
The MAD Lions bottom lane has been playing out of their minds in this tournament and seem to always get the better of Doggo and Kaiwing in every game they’ve played so far. They’ve got their number. I can totally understand why MAD Lions are favored by this much but I’ll once again point out that every time these two play the line grows more and more toward MAD Lions. It’s easy to be results oriented and say that PSG haven’t beaten MAD yet in this tournament but that’s not because they’ve been playing poorly. I’m going back to the well with PSG again. I also like the under on the kill total.
Kill Total: UNDER 28.5 @ -122 (2.44 units)
Moneyline: PSG Talon +142 (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.
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(all lines from Nitrogen unless noted otherwise)