Wednesday, January 27th Recap
Invictus Gaming vs Rogue Warriors (Net: +3.0 units)
This one actually looked like a vintage Invictus Gaming series from a few years ago. I normally hate these kinds of games but I never felt like Invictus were in any danger of losing even in game two. Not because they were playing particularly well, far from it they were clowning around, but because you could tell Rogue Warriors just had no idea how to deal with TheShy or the problems in the bottom lane. We discussed yesterday the three ways to beat Invictus. Rogue Warriors opted for the “camp Rookie” option and sufficiently punished him in game two but never really got anything out of it while the outer lanes were getting completely dominated.
I wasn’t nearly as optimistic as other on ZWuji who had a poor sophomore campaign after an excellent rookie season. Betty is currently in quarantine/visa limbo and they really REALLY need to get that resolved because the bottom lane has been a massive liability. Ever since Kelin’s one solid series it’s been an absolute trainwreck.
eStar vs FunPlus Phoenix (Net: +1.0 units)
This was an absolute blowout and there’s not really a whole lot to take away from it. Threatening swaps between Nuguri and Doinb wasn’t really an option with GimGoon (it was for Khan) so that’s a potentially new wrinkle other teams will have to consider.
I’m starting to come around a little bit on Irma who has actually been performing really well this season despite the dumpster fire happening elsewhere. Perhaps eStar are a two man show with ShiauC playing lead to Irma’s rhythm guitar.
Hanwha Life Esports vs Fredit BRION (Net: +0.35 units)
It sucks that it somewhat ruined our team total play, which missed by the hook (landed 14) in the second game but I’m really glad to see Hanwha Life reel it in and show us a clean end-to-end win here. Brion look like they’re going to keep it simple and play two-core every game which I think is a fine approach but they’re going to have to learn to take certain things off the table if they’re going to do that. Camille, globals, and Pantheon who can completely railroad a game and its remarkably easy to execute. They were simply outclassed here though.
DAMWON Gaming vs Gen.G (Net: +0.53 units)
The match of the day and week!
Game one was a wild 50+ minute ride. Gen.G had a massive gold lead with a dedicated split push composition but DAMWON were able to stabilize starting around the fourth dragon and it looked like they had turned the corner with their 5v5 deathball composition stacking dragons and barons in their favor. It took a super late positioning error from Ghost for Gen.G to strike and miraculously pull out this win after it had slipped away. Super impressive of DAMWON to actually manage to stabilize this and impressive that Gen.G found the window on Ghost’s mistake to steal this one back.
Game two was the kind of shellacking we’re all used to DAMWON handing out to people. A nearly perfect game. Game three was a textbook stomping as well.
I can’t emphasize enough how difficult it is to grind out the work of stabilizing against all odds in a game like the first one and one mistake ruining the 45 minutes of work prior. It’s tilting. I’ve experienced this in my own tournament play multiple times. Especially for teams that are so used to winning, that kind of adversity is weird and sometimes can cause a complete loss of cool for the rest of the series. It didn’t here. DAMWON were laser focused and took care of business against a world class team after a tilting loss.
People can question DAMWON’s start to this season but I’ll remind everyone that context matters. We are hyper critical of DAMWON because we expect perfection from them and they’re so insanely good that anytime they’re remotely mortal flags pop up and people start losing their minds. Look at the underlying numbers. This team is still completely ridiculous and one of, if not the best that I’ve ever seen. In fact, some of their rate statistics are even better than during Summer season. I was actually more impressed by this performance than a lot of them because they had to face some adversity against another elite team and seemingly flipped a switch into domination mode. That’s very difficult to do, especially early in the season in lower leverage situations. Bravo DAMWON, bravo.
A quite note on Flawless who made his first start for Gen.G in this series. I thought he was the MVP of game one and was the main facilitator in Gen.G’s enormous lead. He also kept his cool in what would become an absolutely wild first game back on the rift in 2021. Gen.G is by far the best team he’s ever played for and he showed that he can be quality depth in this series. The second two games obviously left a little to be desired but keep in mind that he was facing Canyon/DAMWON. Again, context matters.
LPL Net Total: +4.0 units
LCK Net Total: +0.88 units
Daily Net Total: +4.88 units
A nice day that could have been a great one. On to the next one.
LOL Pro League (China)
Week 4 – Day 4
LGD Gaming +289 (+1.5 maps @ -119, -1.5 @ +715)
BiliBili Gaming -400 (-1.5 maps @ -108, +1.5 @ -1429)
Total Maps Played: 2.5 (over +130 / under -167)
Kill Total: 26.5 (over -114 / under -115)
Kill Spread: +7.5 @ -112 / -7.5 @ -116
Team Kill Totals: 9.5 / 16.5
Time Total: 32:00 (over -120 / under -109)
(Individual player model positional ranking in paranthesis, living number)
LGD – Cult (17), Kui (17), Uniboy (13), Kramer (20), Peace (debut)
BLG – Biubiu (6), Meteor (18), Zeka (12), Aiming (9), Mark (12)
BiliBili had an incredibly frustrating outing against LNG on Tuesday that I chronicled in great detail in yesterday’s recap. As annoying as it was it’s too early to make that my baseline for how I’m evaluating my team. I made an assessment early in the season and a lot of the mistakes I’m seeing are fairly easy fixes. Simply put, they’ve just been really dumb and I know for a fact that this crew of veterans knows better than what we’ve seen so far.
LGD have looked better than what I thought they would with this ragtag crew but better than terrible isn’t really saying much. We’re going to get to see Peace, who studied under LvMao in the JDG system make his debut. There’s a chance that this bottom lane, who was already the avenue through which they’ve played, get a big upgrade here and they make some noise but Aiming and Mark are all too familiar with Kramer and are a pretty solid lane themselves despite the rough start to the season for BLG overall.
The last time BiliBili played what I’d call a bad team they dropped game one to an absolute hero performance from ShiauC and then swiftly obliterated them in the next two with back-to-back 4000+ gold leads at 15 minutes. I think that’s more likely what we’ll see here. The question is whether or not BiliBili warrant this price tag.
LGD have faced an extremely difficult schedule to open the season with matches against TOP, EDG, and Victory Five. They had a nearly 4000 gold lead against EDG in game two before things went completely south. Other than that and a game win against V5 in that series, they’ve looked completely toothless. There’s a chance this is just the difficult competition but there’s also the fact that they’ve been extremely predictable in how they want to approach the drafts in much the same way that OMG has. Once teams got some film on them it’s been easy sledding.
I’m going to be on BiliBili here. I also think BiliBili have faced a somewhat difficult schedule which might be clouding people’s judgement of them a bit. I’m confident that this team is better than their performance so far this season.
BiliBili have played a few slobberknockers already this season which is exaggerating their per game kill totals. Simply put, this total looks really high to me especially since I see this as likely to be a clean BiliBili win. I’d lean toward the under time total as well but much prefer the kills in this situation.
Moneyline: BiliBili -400 (3 units)
Map Spread: BiliBili -1.5 maps @ -108 (0.54 units)
Kill Total: Map 1 UNDER 26.5 @ -115 (1.15 units)
Kill Total: Map 2 UNDER 26.5 @ -115 (1.15 units)
Kill Total: Map 3 UNDER 26.5 @ -115 (1.15 units)
OMG +407 (+1.5 maps @ +128, -1.5 @ +1104)
Suning Gaming -588 (-1.5 maps @ -167, +1.5 @ -5000)
Total Maps Played: 2.5 (over +162 / under -208)
Kill Total: 26.5 (over -114 / under -115)
Kill Spread: +7.5 @ -104 / -7.5 @ -125
Team Kill Totals: 9.5 / 16.5
Time Total: 31:00 (over -175 / under +134)
(Individual player model positional ranking in paranthesis, living number)
OMG – Alielie (debut), AKi (14), Wuming (16), Eric (4), Cold (11)
SN – Bin (13), SofM (6), Angel (5), Huanfeng (1), ON (13)
Alielie originally came from the JoyDream system a few years back and has spent the majority of the past two seasons in BiliBili’s system before coming to OMG this week. He’s been a prospect that people have been high on for a number of years and he’s finally getting his chance here. Speaking of OMG…
This season has been a real struggle for them but they have had a few bright spots. The bottom lane, Eric in particular, has performed on a level akin to his impressive Summer debut. AKi has has his moments and while OMG haven’t been winning, it’s fairly obvious just watching the film that this kid has a good head on his shoulders. He’s been very intelligent about keeping up and knowing when the best chance to take a shot to get back into the game is. Similar to LGD, OMG have had a bit of a nightmarish schedule to start the season and I think that may be slightly clouding our judgment of them. They took a game off of EDG on opening day and played a competitive game one against RNG but they lost to eStar in one of the lower quality series we’ve seen in any region so far this season. They also got whooped by FPX. Strictly going with the eye test OMG have looked slightly better than teams like LGD and TT, enough so that I’d probably put them a tier above them and say it’s rather definitive. Other than the eStar series they’ve looked ok given their talent level.
Suning have been an absolute mess. After an opening day sweep over TOP Esports they dropped six of the next seven albeit to challenging competition in FPX, RNG, and RareAtom. Again, a fairly difficult schedule. The thing with Suning is that they’ve looked bad it’s not just the level of competition. They’ve had a really weird trajectory. Over the past six to eight months they went from criminally underrated to severely overrated by the market. I’ve discussed Suning’s lack of “quality wins” during Summer as a cause for concern and hoped that they could progress past that and get cleaner. That hasn’t been the case at all.
Bin against a rookie, even though he’s been cutting his teeth in the LDL, is the matchup I think most people would point to here. Wuming hasn’t been all that impressive to me either. My model has him as the third worst mid to play so far this season although realistically I think he’s probably been the worst just based on his film. If the bottom lanes wash in this series it’s difficult to see the top side for OMG getting any kind of edge in this series.
It’s tough to look past the overall player quality advantage here. I’m just not sure exactly the method with which Suning will get it done considering their current form. This could very well be a “get right” spot for them but I wouldn’t sleep on OMG either. I’ll be taking a small OMG position because the numbers overwhelmingly suggest it but it wouldn’t surprise me to see a complete stomp by Suning either.
This match is challenging because Suning have a propensity to play split push compositions and they’re sort of the hot thing popping up at the moment to abuse counterpickable top lane matchups. Suning also tend to play very VERY sloppy games. One of those things suggests very low kill totals, the other very high. Suning tend to be on the longer game time side with 7 out of their first 9 games (wins and losses) going beyond the 32:00 mark. Again, feeds into the lack of clean, quality wins from them.
I’m abstaining from the prop markets here. Still waiting on more data before diving into firsts. If you need a play consider OMG first blood.
Map Spread: OMG +1.5 maps @ +128 (0.5 units)
Moneyline: OMG +407 (0.25 units)
Map Spread: OMG -1.5 maps @ +1124 (0.1 units)
LOL Champions Korea
Week 3 – Day 2
DRX +111 (+1.5 maps @ -333, -1.5 @ +312)
KT Rolster -135 (-1.5 maps @ +244, +1.5 @ -455)
Total Maps Played: 2.5 (over -122 / under -104)
Kill Total: 23.5 (over -118 / under -111)
Kill Spread: +0.5 @ -119 / -0.5 @ -110
Team Kill Totals: 11.5 / 12.5
Time Total: 34:00 (over +101 / under -132)
KT Rolster look like they’ve shaken the cobwebs off completely abusing some really arrogant play from the T1 youngesters in their last series. Doran has been a complete maniac since being embarrassed by Rascal in their opening match and grades out as the #1 top laner in the LCK at the moment in my individual player model. He’s been utterly dominant. He won both sides of counter matchups outright against Canna in the T1 match and tremendous performances against Sandbox and Hanwha as well.
DRX continue to pull upsets, their most recent against Sandbox but I don’t think this is sustainable. By my evaluation, DRX have only engineered a single game win on their own. The rest have been more about their opponents severely misplaying. DRX get credit for grinding these games out but this isn’t a consistent strategy the longer the season goes and the more polished everybody becomes. In other words, DRX are fraudulent. This is a bogus record. I’ll give props to the coaching staff who have a strong read on the metagame and are drafting simple to execute compositions that can do this more “slow-and-steady” style but that becomes much harder to pull off when other teams develop more polish and know how to cleanly close out games.
I’m all over KT Rolster every which way here. I was high on this roster before the season and while they had a bit of a rocky start, they look significantly better in their past two series. KT are rounding into form. DRX can’t keep getting away with what they’ve been doing and I think the correction starts here.
The trends and evidence so far don’t suggest this it’s purely a gut read. I think DRX are going to be completely run over in this series. I think the best way to attack that is the team total under.
Moneyline: KT Rolster -135 (2.7 units)
Map Spread: KT Rolster -1.5 maps @ +244 (1 unit)
Kill Spread (alt): Map 1 KT Rolster -3.5 kills @ +123 (0.5 units)
Kill Spread (alt): Map 2 KT Rolster -3.5 kills @ +123 (0.5 units)
Kill Total (team): Map 1 DRX UNDER 11.5 kills @ -114 (1.14 units)
Kill Total (team): Map 2 DRX UNDER 11.5 kills @ -112 (1.12 units)
Kill Total (team): Map 3 DRX UNDER 11.5 kills @ -115 (1.15 units)
Time Total: Map 1 UNDER 34:00 @ -132 (1.32 units)
Time Total: Map 2 UNDER 34:00 @ -132 (1.32 units)
Time Total: Map 3 UNDER 34:00 @ -132 (1.32 units)
T1 -435 (-1.5 maps @ -116, +1.5 @ -2500)
Liiv Sandbox +329 (+1.5 maps @ -110, -1.5 @ +883)
Total Maps Played: 2.5 maps (over +132 / under -169)
Kill Total: 21.5 (over -120 / under -109)
Kill Spread: -7.5 @ -114 / +7.5 @ -114
Team Kill Totals: 14.5 / 7.5
Time Total: 32:00 (over -137 / under +105)
This is a weird one.
First of all, before diving into this handicap, are T1 the best 5-7 team you’ve ever seen? I was discussing this with a friend and obviously it’s early in the season but I can’t remember the last time a team that looked this good started off with such a bad record. Maybe Liquid last Spring? G2? Either way, the young guns still have some growing to do and I think that match was exactly the kind of punch to the mouth you need sometimes when you start smelling yourself.
Speaking of that, I think there’s a reasonable chance we see Faker and the return of Teddy tonight because, quite frankly, Clozer and Gumayusi both deserve benchings after some of the cocky plays they tried to pull off in this one. Just super lazy play.
Sandbox have had a tumultuous start. They’ve looked really good individually but have had a few BIG TIME throws, most recently in their last series against DRX. Summit had an absolute hero performance in the last matchup, completely dominating a game three matchup where he was hard counterpicked as Gnar by Irelia and won the lane outright. He was visibly frustrated after the loss and I can’t disagree with him. Sandbox have been rough around the edges but the individual skills are clearly there. Croco has actually graded out as the #2 jungler in the league even with a losing record. Effort (#3), Route (#7), Leo (#6), FATE (#5), and Summit (#5) have all had great performances indicative of what I’d anticipated with this team, they’ve just struggled to put it together so far.
There is some concern for Summit here. He has a history of “tilting”, mailing it in, or even just overplaying because he feels he needs to carry when he gets frustrated and he was clearly that after the last series. Given that he’s now multiple years into his career I’m confident that he can turn this into a motivational spot. As a matter of fact, I think Sandbox in general got a wakeup call from that series and I’d expect them to come out sharp here.
To me this is a tricky handicap because T1 look really REALLY good even in their losses. They should have beaten DAMWON and I don’t think the last series was anything more than the reality check the rookies might have needed. I’d expect the coaching staff laid into them this week about that match. I think T1 are one of the elite three teams in the LCK, they just had a few hiccups and a really REALLY difficult schedule (KT, Gen.G, DAMWON, Hanwha Life). That’s arguably two of the best teams in the world in their opening three. Considering they’ve been playing the young kids half the time I think it’s more than reasonable to call that challenging.
This is going to be a live betting opportunity. First of all, if T1 start Faker I like my underdog position a fair amount less. I wouldn’t rule out seeing Teddy here. That said, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Clozer and Gumayusi again and they’re just sharper after being punched in the mouth like that. If T1 come out looking extra sharp after being embarrassed like that then this could get ugly for Sandbox really quick but this Sandbox team is tremendously talented individually and I think this price is a little too rich even given my bullish opinion on T1. Small position on the underdogs.
This kill total is very VERY low which naturally makes me at least consider the over but I think underdog kill spreads and favorite team total under are stronger plays. I think Sandbox will be scrappy in this series and T1 have tended to win lower scoring contest anyway with totals of 14, 14, 13, and 12 and 24 (vs Hanwha) who have been rather bloody this season.
Map Spread: Sandbox +1.5 maps @ -110 (0.55 units)
Moneyline: Sandbox +329 (0.25 units)
Map Spread: Sandbox -1.5 maps @ +883 (0.1 units)
Kill Total (team): Map 1 T1 UNDER 14.5 kills @ -115 (1.15 units)
Kill Total (team): Map 2 T1 UNDER 14.5 kills @ -115 (1.15 units)
(map 3 is 13.5, I’ll be opting for the Sandbox kill spread in map 3, obviously a push if it doesn’t get played)
Kill Spread: Map 3 Sandbox +7.5 @ -118 (1.18 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.
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(all lines from Nitrogen unless noted otherwise)