Saturday, May 22nd Recap


DAMWON Kia Gaming vs MAD Lions (Net: +1.51 units)

While I’d anticipated that this would be a competitive series it certainly did not go down in the manner that I thought it would. Good teams blow out small mistakes into game wins and this series was essentially about which team did a better job of doing that.

I liked the way both teams drafted in this series and didn’t really think either had substantial draft edges in any of the games (except maybe for DWG in game four?). The difference came elsewhere. Both teams made a ton of mistakes in this series and the vast majority of them were in the opening sequences with botched dives, weird rotational decisions, and questionable all-in’s (looking at you BeryL). I’d argue DAMWON made more mistakes in this series overall than MAD did but did a very slightly better job of taking advantage of them over the course of the five games and that was the only real difference here.

DAMWON continued their string of seemingly endless underwhelming performances until the fifth game in this series and again the bottom lane continued to make boneheaded mistake after boneheaded mistake all over the map. Take game four for example. This ended up looking like a complete blowout but it would have been an even game if MAD didn’t give in to their bloodlust and overstay bottom which allowed ShowMaker to clean up on a teleport play that I’m assuming they lost track of the timer for.

Really I’m a bit perplexed moving forward to the finals. I’m typically a wet blanket in regards to narratives about current form. Nine times out of ten the regression happens, you don’t hear about it and the things go on as usual but this is now a month long stint of a team playing in their bottom 25% range of outcomes and it’s difficult to tell when to fold and admit that a team “just doesn’t have it right now.” I’m grappling with that but we’ll touch more on that in the handicap below.

MAD Lions had a great tournament and the good news is that they were very much themselves. It didn’t take any kind of reinvention or meta in their favor or anything like that they just played their game. They were confident, aggressive, decisive, and individually played very well. They still have a few things to work on like cleaning up their opening sequences. If they can figure out how to make their early game more consistent this is one of the better teams in the world moving forward but until they fix that there will always be consistency questions. Still, this was a great showing by the young guns from the LEC and I look forward to seeing their progression in Summer.



#1 DAMWON Kia Gaming -104 (-1.5 @ +188, -2.5 @ +525, +1.5 @ -244, +2.5 @ -909)


#2 Royal Never Give Up -122 (-1.5 @ +184, -2.5 @ +530, +1.5 @ -250, +2.5 @ -909)


Map Total: 3.5 maps (over -333 / under +242), 4.5 maps (over +162 / under -213)

Kill Total: 26.5 (over -105 / under -122)

Kill Spread: +1.5 @ -115 / -1.5 @ -112

Team Kill Totals: 12.5 / 13.5

Time Total: OTB


RNG Tale of the Tape DWG
916.4 Gold Diff @ 10 min 1130.3
1746.0 Gold Diff @ 15 min 2277.4
1215.6 Gold Diff @ 20 min 2952.0
183.4 GPM first 20 min vs Avg 53.4
277.2 Gold Diff / min first 20 134.1
529.2 Gold Diff / min post-20 268.9
1986.0 Gold /min (GPM) 1908.0
207.9 Gold / min vs Avg 129.9
317.1 Gold Diff / min 268.9
4.3 Gold Percent Rating (GPR) 3.8
1681.3 Kill Agnostic GPM 1694.2
189.8 Kill Agnostic Gold Diff/min 185.2
2050.7 GPM in wins 1948.4
454.5 Gold Diff per min in wins 359.0
1662.0 GPM in losses 1732.9
-370.2 Gold Diff per min in losses -121.8
367.3 Adjusted Gold Diff / min 319.1
92.4 Win-Adjusted GPM -9.9
121.0 Win-Adjusted Gold Dif/min 25.5
55.6 Dragon Control % 64.0
75.0 Herald Control % 54.8
68.4 Baron Control % 65.2


 (Numbers from just this tournament)


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


Quantitative Analysis:

If you go strictly by just MSI statistical performance then this is lined more or less exactly on market. Book Duplicate Model says book with 6.54% juice would line this at -116 to -111 per map and that’s what it came out as before a quick bump to -122 we have now. (see below). All projections in the derivatives markets use this data set.

RNG Series Outcomes
Wins Losses Probability
3 1 19.099%
3 2 18.921%
2 3 18.572%
1 3 18.401%
3 0 12.852%
0 3 12.154%
(Series Win): 50.872%

As I’ll discuss more below, I wanted to know what this looked like with a lot less noise involved.



 * RNG / DWG Right


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



I was curious about comparing these teams with the bad teams filtered out to get a more concentrated sample without the noise of blowouts against bad teams in the mix. Below is the Tale of the Tape with that in mind. For RNG I only pulled games against top nine LPL teams as well as non-Pentanet Rumble stage teams from this tournament (C9, MAD, DWG, PSG). For DAMWON I pulled just the other top four LCK teams (T1, HLE, Gen.G) as well as the same filter for this tournament.

RNG Tale of the Tape DWG
-255.1 Gold Diff @ 10 min 411.8
-538.0 Gold Diff @ 15 min 945.3
92.5 Gold Diff @ 20 min 1246.4
-10.0 GPM first 20 min vs Avg 11.7
-18.5 Gold Diff / min first 20 10.9
329.8 Gold Diff / min post-20 122.5
1826.4 Gold /min (GPM) 1843.4
68.6 Gold / min vs Avg 85.7
41.2 Gold Diff / min 122.5
0.6 Gold Percent Rating (GPR) 1.7
1625.6 Kill Agnostic GPM 1656.7
30.6 Kill Agnostic Gold Diff/min 82.5
1938.9 GPM in wins 1914.9
263.7 Gold Diff per min in wins 267.7
1638.7 GPM in losses 1676.5
-329.5 Gold Diff per min in losses -216.2
129.8 Adjusted Gold Diff / min 211.1
-6.2 Win-Adjusted GPM -30.2
-44.2 Win-Adjusted Gold Dif/min -40.2
46.7 Dragon Control % 62.7
45.0 Herald Control % 50.0
66.7 Baron Control % 73.2

With these considerations the model makes this series a 56-44 series in favor of DAMWON which makes sense considering they’ve performed much better against “strong” competition. I’ll post below the series outcome projections if fuller data sets are your preferred method for handicapping this.

DWG Series Outcomes
Wins Losses Probability
3 1 23.469%
3 2 20.463%
3 0 17.944%
2 3 15.817%
1 3 14.021%
0 3 8.286%
(Series Win): 61.877%


Conclusion: No plays. If you prefer fuller data set against quality opponents then DWG are a solid value.


Qualitative Analysis:

Just like it’s been all tournament this is a matter of whether or not you want to bet on DAMWON regression or not. It’s been long enough now (a few weeks) that it’s fair to consider that they just aren’t in good form and we should be grading this team as a fraction of what they’ve been throughout 2021.  I won’t be doing that but I could understand if that’s the perspective you want to take on handicapping this match.

I do want to caution people about overreacting to “how” a team wins or loses because it’s one of the biggest traps that exist in both traditional sports and esports. That’s not to say that it doesn’t matter BUT generally speaking it’s lazy to just be something along the lines of “oh this team spanked and this team barely won” because it doesn’t really tell you anything other than how that team looked against that opponent on that day. It’s more about looking at technique, fundamentals, etc and looking for red flags.

RNG have been the better team in this tournament mostly because they’ve made far fewer mistakes than DAMWON have. They also won both games in the Rumble Stage although I’d argue that DAMWON probably should have taken the second and botched it badly. That said, the underlying numbers tell a much different story and one of two teams that are, essentially, evenly matched. My concern with backing RNG in this spot is that you’re essentially betting on DAMWON continuing to play poorly and that’s not a place I want to be personally. It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see one team just be better or flip a light switch tomorrow and it could be either of these teams.

All-in-all I think this price is roughly accurate. If you look at the full body of work for these teams against “good” teams in the full 2021 calendar year then DAMWON are worth a play (model makes them 56%-44% favorites with that data set). Otherwise this is just a pass unless you strongly weight current form. I do not.

Conclusion: No play


A quick note on my futures positions:

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

I have a very large position on LCK region of winner that I’ll be letting ride here. Given current form there is a strong case for a hedge but I’d essentially be cutting losses and taking a small negative. In most cases I’d do this but I do think DAMWON have the stronger body of work over the season so I’m going to stick to my guns.

Other Markets:


Kill Total Model Projections:

Combined AVG kills per game: 27.196

Odds-Weighted: 27.512

Time-Implied: 27.099

Underdog Win: 23.563

“Gelati” Total Projection: 27.281

Combined % of Games OVER Kill Total: 49.31% (RNG 61.11% / DWG 37.5%)

Volatility Rating:  RNG 0.2774 / DWG 0.29165 (Tournament Avg: 0.2873)

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



Team Totals:

DWG OVER 12.5 @ -104 (VERY strong)**

RNG OVER 13.5 @ -114 (VERY strong)**


RNG League Average DWG
Combined Kills / game 29.642 28.27 24.750
Combined Kills / min 1.026 0.94 0.803
Kills per win 19.127 18.27 15.897
Kills per loss 7.667 10.34 12.333
Deaths per win 9.53 8.90 7.54
Deaths per loss 22.67 19.17 19.33
Average Margin of Victory (AMOV) 10.53 9.27 7.69
Average Margin of Defeat (AMOD) 15.00 10.29 7.00


**based heavily on frequency

No plays here. You’re basically guessing game to game. If money piles into RNG and it suppresses this total down to like a 10.5 for DAMWON then maybe.



Time Total Projection:

Combined AVG Game Time: 29.645

Odds Weighted / Rating Weighted: 30.83 / 30.84

Combined % of Games OVER Time Total: OTB

Volatility Rating: RNG 0.18657 / DWG 0.19207 (Tournament Avg: 0.1589)

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


Average Game Time 27.92 31.37
Avg Game Time (in wins) 27.52 30.42
Avg Game Time (in losses) 29.894 35.483


These are off the board most places I’ll update this post if they are posted. I’m likely going to land on the over if it’s 31:00 at anything better than -140.


Other Derivatives:

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

UNDER 4.5 dragons @ -106 (VERY strong)

all the firsts are essentially even for both, biggest edge on RNG first blood @ -115 (moderate)**

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

A lot of the close games have gone under the neutral totals in this tournament so while the under dragons looks very tempting, DAMWON in particular are exceptionally “graceful losers.” What I mean by that is that their economy metrics in losses are actually extraordinarily good. They do a very good job of keeping the income flowing from any kind of deficit. They’re by far the best team on the planet in this metric and it’s not particularly close they have a more than a 100g per minute differential advantage in this over a sample. Basically they’re tough to close against so I’d expect these games to be on the longer side despite both teams being adept closers. No plays from me.

My Picks:


No wagers


Sometimes it’s like that. If the time total comes out 31:00 at a nice price I’ll take the over there. I think this market is fairly tight unless you prefer larger data sets which I do and that’s why I’m letting the futures ride instead of hedging out.


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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