Wednesday, June 16th Recap

 

KT Rolster vs Gen.G (Net: +1.0 unit)

This was an outstanding series to watch. You had a few bizarre ending sequences, both teams had excellent opening scripts in all three games, close fights, smite steals… it had it all. I even took to Twitter to mention how much I liked this new look KT Rolster team and their confidence and decisiveness. However, right as I said that there were a few spots in game two where they were timid about forcing the issue at a dragon soul/baron dance and Gen.G nearly pulled the game back from the brink of defeat. They actually started the comeback but could finish it.

We saw a few similar things in game three from KT but overall I’m impressed with the progression of this team, even for someone who expected the bottom half of the table to make a marked improvement in the Summer split. KT legitimately look pretty good. I don’t think they have league winning potential or anything like that but taking DAMWON and now Gen.G to competitive series is a statement to the rest of the league that they’re here to stay. I just wish they went with this iteration of the roster last season. Harp and Noah have been outstanding so far.

I’m not forgetting about Gen.G either. They were also very good in this series. Life in particular has been on point so far this Summer and generally he’s the weak link on this team if you had to pick one. I know people have some questions regarding BDD’s champion pool and such but I like a team that has conviction in their read on things and is willing to hard commit to a concept in the draft. The reasonon I have for saying this meta is good for Gen.G isn’t champion or style specific as much as philosophical. You don’t want to dilly dally in drafts or get cute with things in this metagame. Pick a style, hard commit to it, and execute well. It’s rewarded on this patch much more so than others.

This was a great series, a lot of high level stuff to go along with the imperfections but a really fun one to watch.

 

DRX vs Nongshim RedForce (Net: no action)

We’ve been seeing the impact of hexflash being disabled with picks like Soraka and Lulu getting a lot more play now.  Nongshim ran Soraka+Ezreal in game one to counter the poke/harass lane of Varus+Tahm Kench.

Game one went south for DRX pretty quickly off the back of Peanut and Gori just completely taking over the middle of the map and winning a handful of skirmishes. DRX identified that their only win condition here was to get Kingen’s Gwen fed and Pyosik intelligently identified this to keep things close. DRX even used the priority to pick up a few dragons to buy themselves time for the Gwen to scale up. The game turning fight was at the fourth drake where DRX awkwardly wedged themselves between pit and the bottom side river. This was a huge injection of gold and NS flipped it into a baron and eventually the game.

Game two was a more standard looking draft for this patch besides Nocturne swapping to jungle. Strangely enough it felt over the second SOLKA picked up a kill at a huge fight for the first herald. This turned into a transition solo kill upon returning and the Akali was off to the races and Nongshim were NOT equipped. The mid game sort of stalled out with a lot of handshaking and posturing with not too much action going down, at least of consequence. The sixth dragon fight ended up being pretty bloody and started a cascading effect that lead to a baron and Nongshim trying to “rat” the game out splitting with Twisted Fate. This got a little chaotic but eventually the double soul point seventh drake fight resulted in a weird positioning by Nongshim that got them caught on a perfect Rumble ult in the jungle and resulted in an eventual ace from a teleport flank thanks to SOLKA.

Game three was a slow start but got blown open by a huge team fight win for Nongshim at the third drake fight and it got out of hand from there.

Competitive series here. Neither of these teams have really wow’d me yet but are basically what I expected them both to be, at least so far. Gori has been the person to keep monitoring and he’s been pretty good so far. He and Peanut work well together. Let’s see if they can take the next step.

Team WE vs V5 (Net: +1.0 units)

I had to sweat game one here and it took a fairly big melt down over the course of a few big mistakes from Victory Five for WE to really work their way back into this game and eventually win it. Game two was a more convincing victory as expected.

Victory Five continue to perplex me. I think there is some talent on this roster and I hope that it can progress over the course of the season but you can also just tell the “rookie” mistakes when you see them. They get a little too overzealous at times and at others just looked a little confused on what to do with a lead. There isn’t a lot of structure here but the individual players are ok, just need the team to come together and improve their macro game.

WE were not great in game one but Mole was just on a mission today. He was not going to let this team lose. Guy played out of his mind.

BiliBili Gaming vs LGD Gaming (no action)

Unfortunately all three of these games were more or less stomps one way or the other. Not too much to say besides Zeka was maybe the best individual performance in both the LPL and LCK. This kid had a ton of hype coming out of KT’s academy system when he joined RareAtom/Vici with Kkoma last season and we saw glimpses of it. Overall he was very good (graded above average in the model) but not particularly great outside of a few games. I studied a lot of Zeka film when I was learning Leblanc in a lot of detail many years ago and any time you get to see him on assassins is a real treat. He understands his role, how to create space and advantages, and map leverage to a level that most players, even the elite ones, don’t utilize on these types of champions so enjoy it while we’re in this metagame. (Not saying that he can’t play control mages but he’s gifted on Leblanc and others)

I don’t want to knock LGD for this series because they were three really snowbally games but Garvey turned back into a pumpkin after a rough game one. It was only a matter of time. Hopefully I’m wrong and he can be closer to what he’s been so far this season because that’s the best he’s been in his career but if we see a return to his “normal” level then I’ll be concerned for LGD.

 

Daily Net Total: +2.0 units

 

 


 

LPL Summer 2021

Week Two – Day Four

 

 

ThunderTalk (TT) Gaming +973 (+1.5 maps @ +256, -1.5 @ +2300)

vs

TOP Esports -3333 (-1.5 maps @ -357)

 

Map Moneyline: TT +576 / TOP -1000

Kill Total: 25.5 (over -112 / under -115)

Kill Spread: +10.5 @ -116 / -10.5 @ -111

Team Kill Totals: 7.5 / 17.5

Time Total: 30:00 (over +157 / under -208)

Eco/Obj Model Projected Line:  +264 / -359 (map), +443 / -734 (series), +116 / -150 (+1.5 / -1.5 maps)

Model Suggested Play: TT +1.5 maps @ +256 (double digit edge)

Starters:

TT – Langx, Xiaopeng, Ye, SamD, Patch

TOP – Qingtian, Karsa, Knight, JackeyLove, Zhuo

 

Based on what we have so far this season as well as priors from the last season this would still be a value on ThunderTalk. Considering that TOP have a new player on their roster and that I think TT’s roster changes are upgrades there is enough reasonable doubt here that I think you just want to take a small play on the underdogs and hold your nose. This number is way too large for a TOP Esports team with at least a few questions. They played JDG competitively and obviously that’s stiff competition, particularly the rookie against Zoom, but I had a feeling TOP might be a slow starter if Qingtian is the long term solution here. I’m still not sure what’s going on regarding this situation.

TOP should absolutely smash this series but the price we’re being given implies a 91% chance of victory and I don’t really think you can give any team besides Rogue Warriors, a true “worst of the worst” team, those kind of odds. TT have good, serviceable LPL players and this is just a disrespectful.

TOP were actually exceptional against big kill spreads last season with a 9-2 record against kill spreads of 9.5 or greater during the Spring split with the only two covers for underdogs occurring in that week one weird loss to Rogue Warriors. TT were only 6-8 in these greater than 9.5 kill spread situations but there were also, on average, much higher scoring matches during the Spring split than we’ve gotten in most games (with a few outliers) this season. There’s a good chance TOP just completely steamroll this in a “get right” spot after losing to JDG but I think those could be low scoring affairs.

 

My Picks:

Map Spread: TT +1.5 maps @ +256 (1 unit)

Kill Spread: Map 1 TT +10.5 kills @ -116 (1.16 units)

Kill Spread: Map 2 TT +10.5 kills @ -114 (1.14 units)

Kill Spread: Map 3 TT +10.5 kills @ -114 (1.14 units)

 

 


 

LNG +216 (+1.5 maps @ -139, -1.5 @ +606)

vs

FunPlus Phoenix -286 (-1.5 maps @ +109, +1.5 @ -1111)

 

Map Moneyline: LNG +171 / FPX -222

Kill Total: 25.5 (over -106 / under -122)

Kill Spread: +7.5 @ -119 / -7.5 @ -109

Team Kill Totals: 9.5 / 15.5

Time Total: 30:00 (over +118 / under -154)

Eco/Obj Model Projected Line:  +115 / -145 (map), +130 / -165 (series), -248 / +188 (+1.5 / -1.5 maps)

Model Suggested Play: LNG +1.5 maps

Starters:

LNG – Ale, Tarzan, Icon, Light, Iwandy

FPX – Nuguri, Tian, Doinb, Lwx, Crisp

 

I mentioned it before their last match, which ended up being a huge upset win over JDG, but LNG have been absolutely dreadful against the top teams in the LPL through the entirety of the 2021 season besides that match. Their last win against a top nine team? Week two of Spring vs Invictus. There are actually lower tier teams that had better performance metrics against the top nine than LNG did.

With that in mind, you have to make a decision for yourself on this about whether you think they’ve progressed enough or “turned over a new leaf” so to speak. If you just take strictly their overall performance and averages then there is a short value on LNG at this number. I’m going to “meet in the middle” on this and make an adjustment that they’ve improved enough that I’ll consider this closer than the previous “LNG vs top nine” iteration by at least a few percentage points. I’ll post the Tale of the Tape for these two teams (FPX side is missing their most recent series)

FunPlus Tale of the Tape LNG (vs top 9)
-392.0 Gold Diff @ 10 min -587.5
465.0 Gold Diff @ 15 min -1138.6
-38.6 Gold Diff @ 20 min -1117.3
103.5 GPM first 20 min vs Avg -41.0
87.8 Gold Diff / min first 20 -114.4
612.9 Gold Diff / min Rest of Game 118.4
1920.9 Gold /min (GPM) 1670.6
126.5 Gold / min vs Avg -126.9
152.5 Gold Diff / min -295.5
2.0 Gold Percent Rating (GPR) -4.0
1683.6 Kill Agnostic GPM 1551.6
110.1 Kill Agnostic Gold Diff/min -182.4
2039.6 GPM in wins 1901.7
375.1 Gold Diff per min in wins 257.3
1677.0 GPM in losses 1641.8
-304.9 Gold Diff per min in losses -364.6
167.6 Adjusted Gold Diff / min -280.8
75.9 Win-Adjusted GPM -61.3
47.2 Win-Adjusted Gold Dif/min -66.2
51.1 Dragon Control % 39.8
58.2 Herald Control % 34.3
65.8 Baron Control % 11.1
17.0 Quality Wins? 1.0
45.9 % of wins as Quality 50.0

I’m going to be eating the chalk and taking FPX here for a few reasons. First, they’re coming off of extended rest. This isn’t always a “thing” in esports but LNG have played three series since FPX last played and that’s a lot of film to digest and a lot more getting acquainted with the patch. Second, this team is just way way better than LNG and I really can’t see them losing this series more than the implied ~25% of the time. A game? Sure, but FPX make very good adjustments and they’ll be very well-prepared coming into this match. Third, is recency bias and overreaction. LNG just came off of a huge upset win over JDG and people are starting to get excited about a team that had a VERY SIMILAR opening to last season. They simply haven’t performed to that level in months against the top teams. If you think it’s a sign of things to come then take the other side in this contest but I’m fading the hype.

 

My Picks:

Moneyline: FunPlus Phoenix -286 (2.86 units)

Map Spread: FunPlus Phoenix -1.5 maps @ +109 (0.5 units)

 


 

LCK Summer 2021

Week Two – Day Two

 

 

T1 -714 (-1.5 maps @ -167)

vs

Fredit Brion +454 (+1.5 maps @ +129, -1.5 @ +1100)

 

Map Moneyline: T1 -455 / BRO +312

Kill Total: 22.5 (over -125 / under -104)

Kill Spread: -7.5 @ -116 / +7.5 @ -112

Team Kill Totals: 14.5 / 7.5

Time Total: 32:00 (over -102 / under -127)

Eco/Obj Model Projected Line:  -749 / +462 (map), -1133 / +628 (series), -195 / +151 (-1.5 / +1.5 maps)

Model Suggested Play: T1 map moneyline (strongest edge of three)

 

Brion have looked pretty good, particularly in the early game which is very different than what we saw the majority of the Spring split. Their opening scripts have been intelligent and well executed in their win against Sandbox and against Afreeca despite the match loss. Notably Afreeca are an excellent early game team so it’s worth keeping in mind.

T1 have looked incredibly good and probably should have won their match against DAMWON if not for some wizardry in game three. They completely steamrolled Hanwha Life in their opening match. This iteration of the roster is clean, controlled, and experienced. They’re also playing very confidently right now.

So obviously this is a big number and a bit of a weird situation. A lot of how you bet this match depends on whether or not you’re buying this new look Brion or if you think it’s just a flash in the pan. Generally, the bottom half of the LCK has looked better than Spring split strictly considering the film. They look like they’re all aware of how the game is played, mimic what the top teams are doing well, and overall I think the league has improved from what I’ve seen so far. The catch here is that Brion have showed us flashes of brilliance before followed by long droughts where there was just nothing good to say about them. I’m concerned that that could happen here as this is a huge step up in competition level. I also think T1 look sharper than they did at any point last season.

I’m backing the favorites here.

 

My Picks:

Map Spread: T1 -1.5 maps @ -167 (1.67 units)

 


 

Afreeca Freecs +466 (+1.5 maps @ +124, -1.5 @ +1100)

vs

DAMWON Kia Gaming -769 (-1.5 maps @ -159)

 

Map Moneyline: AF +328 / DWG -476

Kill Total: 23.5 (over -106 / under -122)

Kill Spread: +8.5 @ -119 / -8.5 @ -109

Team Kill Totals: 7.5 / 15.5

Time Total: 30:00 (over -149 / under +115)

Eco/Obj Model Projected Line:  -220 / +169 (map), -1143 / +624 (series), -195 / +151 (-1.5 / +1.5 maps)

Model Suggested Play: DAMWON -1.5 maps @ -154

 

Comparatively it’s a little weird that you have to pay less on the spread for a larger moneyline but money has come in on the Afreeca spread to push this down without the moneyline market adjusting.

I’ve got to be honest because it’s now been an extended period of time between MSI and the first couple of matches in Summer. DAMWON’s bottom lane have been a liability. If ShowMaker and Canyon weren’t as good as they are (and Khan to a lesser extent) then this team would look pretty bad in their current state.

I can’t help but think that at some point, maybe in this series, DAMWON get out of this weird funk they’ve been in. Ghost and BeryL have been playing so poorly and this team is still winning games against teams like T1 and  the MSI representatives. Losing to KT, as we’ve seen from this morning, is maybe not as embarrassing anymore as they look to be in confident form right now. It’s interesting.

Afreeca smashed DRX as the numbers have been suggesting since… well, early Spring and they finally delivered a decisive victory. Their series against Brion was far less decisive but as I mentioned in the previous series, Brion’s opening scripts have been impressive thus far in Summer and Afreeca threw a very different “slow and steady” approach compared to their Spring early game dominance.

This is a challenging handicap. My gut tells me DAMWON “get right” and completely destroy Afreeca but when you look at recent form, performance metrics vs expectation, and the number it’s really hard to justify a position on DAMWON right now. I suppose you could argue that DAMWON still beat T1 despite this poor performance but there is enough doubt at the moment that I’d rather take a “wait and see” approach, especially as such prices with DAMWON for the time being.

I do think this number is good enough to bet Afreeca though and the model DEFINITELY likes this number quite a bit.  There’s a reasonable chance that all of this play season after season with limited time off is finally catching up to DAMWON sort of like Spring G2 in 2020 and they’ll just slump for a few more weeks before inevitably turning it on for playoffs. I’m not ruling out that possibility at all.

 

My Picks:

Map Spread: Afreeca +1.5 maps @ +123 (1 unit)

Moneyline: Afreeca +466 (0.25 units)

Map Spread: Afreeca -1.5 maps @ +1100 (0.1 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)

 

 

 

 

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