Monday, February 22nd Recap

 

Suning vs JD Gaming (Net: -1.62 units)

Game one of this series was a great opening by Suning followed by a ton of really awful decisions by both teams. JDG had the better scaling team fight comp (Twisted Fate vs Azir) and Suning just kept trying to team fight into it instead of pull the map apart. After 25 minute mark this was just going to be hard for them no matter how you sliced it.

Game two was a bit of a weird opening that ended up turning into a JDG snowball, mostly off of some more questionable decisions by Suning’s bottom lane and SofM not being on the same page.

One thing you could always rely on Suning to do was play to their win conditions last season. Sometimes they got themselves into weird situations and they played a lot of sloppy, bar fight style games where they had to get creative, but they always found their outs. This version of the team looks completely lost even after getting a good start. It’s a major concern. The players are still very very good but they’re going to struggle against the macro of the top teams.

To be perfectly honest this series wasn’t a good look for JDG either, at least in my opinion, which is why I presume you’re here. They had a lot of really weird decisions in game one, what looked like a few misclicks as well (Yagao’s Azir E was clearly an accident), and got outmaneuvered in the opening minutes even when it was very obvious what Suning were going to do. They got the job done here by identifying what they had to do but it wasn’t to the level we’ve come to expect from this team.

I’m not upgrading JDG on this series and I’m putting a notch in the downgrade column for Suning who just look a bit lost right now. Maybe it’s just the rust of the first match back for both of these teams but it’s reasonable to downgrade both. Don’t let the 2-0 fool you, this was a bad match with a lot of stupid choices by both teams.

FunPlus vs Team WE (Net: +3.757 units)

With news now coming out about why Bo sat (news here) it now makes more sense why we saw Tian who took a leave of absence due to stress-related health issues back so soon. Different topic, hit up the Discord for more discussion on it.

Game one was a back-and-forth, fairly close game where the gold was even but WE had control of the neutral objectives and were stacking dragons. With Rumble you live and die by the ultimates and Doinb just couldn’t find them in the mid and late game and that was the difference. Shanks played a hell of a game on his trademark Cassiopeia. We haven’t seen him on it in the LPL but it’s what he was known for in the LDL and solo queue.

Game two, in my opinion, was a massive situational draft difference in favor of Team WE. If FPX didn’t jump out to a massive lead with their counterpicks. Ryze, Lucian, Samira are all low range and going to struggle mightily against Azir+Tristana basically any time three items or later. FPX were on a clock to effectively end the game before 30 minutes. It was totally possible but when WE picked up the first couple of dragons this game was more or less over.

There were a few spots where FunPlus were not on the same page in game one but there weren’t really any gamebreaking errors that had to do with that it was just a little here and there which could just as easily be attributed to rust. A lot of people are going to jump on Tian and point to FunPlus absolutely tearing it up as soon as Bo joined the roster and now losing with him in. I don’t think that was the reason they lost this series. Team WE straight up played really well on the day and that should be the main takeaway rather than all this Tian/Bo nonsense. FPX are going to be fine. They’re still one of, if not the best team in the world right now and one loss to a good team playing great on the day doesn’t change that.

LPL Net Total: +2.137 units

 

Daily Net Total: +2.137 units


 

 

LOL Pro League (China)

Week 6 – Day 2

 

BiliBili Gaming +318 (+1.5 maps @ -104, -1.5 @ +784)

vs

EDward Gaming -417 (-1.5 maps @ -122, +1.5 @ -1667)

 

Map ML Price: BLG +233 / EDG -312

Total Maps Played: 2.5 (over +141 / under -182)

Kill Total: 24.5 (over -119 / under -110)

Kill Spread: +8.5 @ -123 / -8.5 @ -104

Team Kill Totals: 8.5 / 16.5

Time Total: 32:00 (over -116 / under -112)

 

 

 

(Individual player model positional ranking is a “living” number comparing individual performance against other players at their position)

 

Suggested Model Plays: BiliBili +1.5 maps (strong), moneyline (moderate)

If you’re looking for big picture thoughts on the LPL as it returns from the break see my post yesterday for a breakdown of against the market performance overall.

I like this EDG team a lot and even have futures on them to win the league but let’s take a look beneath the hood at what’s working and what might be more luck-based with this teams.

First, I think it’s fair to say that EDG have been playing a much more “adult in the room” style. They’re a very intelligent team that sees the big picture and makes savvy, efficient decisions. They tend to draft for mid game spikes or late game. They’re a dragon team not a herald team and are more than content to scale, in fact they prefer it. Those numbers should line up with that so let’s see how they perform against the league in a few key metrics using a distribution.

The number listed in parenthesis is a “z-score” and measures standard deviations from the average. The vast majority of results will fall between -1 and +1. We do this to compare strength relative to average performance.

Gold Differential Per Minute: +1.18 (very good, #2 slightly ahead of a handful of teams near it but not close to FunPlus)

Overall Objective Control%:  +0.6 (#4 in the league)

Early Game Economy (Gold Differentials at 10, 15, 20): +0.38 / +0.99 / +0.96 (#4 in the league)

Post-20 minute Gold differential per minute: +0.424 (above average with a handful of the top half teams)

 

EDG also rank #2 in Kill Agnostic Gold Per Minute but are far behind FunPlus and around the same as a handful of other teams like RNG, WE, BiliBili, and RareAtom. They are doing an excellent job at denying their opponents gold with the #2 opponent kill agnostic gold per minute. Only 42.29% of their wins grade out as quality wins.

EDG are the type of team that aren’t necessarily going to pop off that stat sheet with the way they play and yet they still do. They’re very good, but a lot of these underlying metrics suggest that a very slight regression is in store. That’s not exactly a surprise given that they’re 7-0. I’m not exactly Nostradamus here…

 

BiliBili have been a frustrating team this season. They’re clearly pretty good but they’ve had some awful decision making in high leverage, spots that stick out like a sore thumb and perhaps more importantly, in people’s memory. This team is good, they just do dumb stuff sometimes. Their game-to-game performance is significantly better than what most viewers would think when just looking at this roster and record.

With that said, BiliBili are still a good, not great team and are right about where they deserve to be at the moment. They’re in the middle of the table for a reason and that’s about where my model’s expectation has them as well as my own via the eye test. They could make a lot of improvements in the second half. This is a very experienced and accomplished veteran team that shouldn’t be making the kinds of mistakes they’ve been making and I fully expect them to be better moving forward. They’re capable of beating anybody if they don’t beat themselves, almost like a very different looking version of Invictus.

Something I didn’t talk much about yesterday in my post but did in the Discord is that I give a slight bump to teams that were struggling before a break and a slight downgrade to MOST (not all) teams that were riding high. There’s a handful of reasons I do this but the primary one is it gives times for teams in the middle to fix and make minor adjustments to come out more polished. They also get some extra time to review film and plan for their first opponents out of the break where they’ll likely be at an increased focus level. I don’t give much credence to momentum as a quantifiable thing (although some people do), but this is another idea that makes sense here with teams having a hot run disrupted, and others having a break when they needed it in the middle of a rough patch.

For this spot EDG are being overrated and BiliBili underrated. You’ve got the time off effect, BiliBili being better than the market is pricing them this week, and to top it off, EDG are being overpriced. My model makes this a 72% / 28% (tack the vig on and it’d look like -295 / +235). BiliBili are being priced as a shade under 23% which gives us a nice edge but the real value is in the +1.5 maps which is surprisingly cheap compared to normal for LOL markets. Putting my map price into a series distribution we get BLG covering the +1.5 maps a little over 57% of the time which is significantly better than the ~51% asking price here.

 

Other Markets:

 

Kill Total Model Projections:

Odds-Weighted: 23.961

Time-Implied: 26.641

Underdog Win: 26.146

“Gelati” Total Projection: 25.468 kills

Combined % of Games OVER Kill Total: 50.45% (EDG 43.75% / BLG 57.14%)

Volatility Rating: EDG 0.26156  / BLG 0.30871 (League AVG: 0.2985)

Suggested Model Plays: none

 

At a juiced 24.5 or reasonable 25.5 this is close enough to the number. Pass.

 

 

Time Total Projection:

Combined AVG Game Time: 33.215 minutes

Odds Weighted / Rating Weighted:  33.51 / 33.52

Combined % of Games OVER Time Total: 76.34% (EDG 81.25% / BLG 71.43%)

Volatility Rating: EDG 0.12424 / BLG 0.16850 (League Avg: 0.18328)

Suggested Model Plays: OVER 32:00 @ -116 (heavy, double digit edge on market)

 

For a team that tries really hard to be the an uptempo, jungle-centric team, and are half decent at accruing those necessary leads, BLG really struggle to close games out. EDG have been taking their sweet time even in wins with more than 81% of their games going over the 32:00 mark (BLG 71.43%). Even the projections like an over here. This is way WAY too cheap a price and this should be a 33:00 juiced to the over or even a 34:00. Slam dunk.

 

 

Other Derivatives:

Suggested Model Plays:

OVER 4.5 dragons @ -123 (strong edge)

BLG first herald @ +152 (moderate edge)

BLG first blood and first dragon (small edges)

EDG first tower (small edge)

 

The over 4.5 drakes correlates with our time total over nicely but I do prefer the time total so I’m not going to double dip there but I will play the BLG first herald as they’re a “herald team” while EDG are a “dragon team.”

I don’t hate the BLG team total over but since I’m playing them outright I’ll stick to that market.

 

My Picks:

 

Map Spread: BiliBili +1.5 maps @ -104 (1.56 units)

Moneyline: BiliBili +318 (0.5 units)

Map Spread: BiliBili -1.5 maps @ +784 (0.25 units)

Time Total: Map 1 OVER 32:00 @ -116 (1.74 units)

Time Total: Map 2 OVER 32:00 @ -110 (1.65 units)

Time Total: Map 3 OVER 32:00 @ -110 (1.65 units)

Prop: Map 1 BLG first herald @ +152 (1 unit)

Prop: Map 2 BLG first herald @ +152 (1 unit)

Prop: Map 3 BLG first herald @ +152 (1 unit)

 


 

TOP Esports -370 (-1.5 maps @ -105, +1.5 @ -1429)

vs

LNG Esports +287 (+1.5 maps @ -120, -1.5 @ +713)

 

Map ML Price: TOP -270 / LNG +205

Total Maps Played: 2.5 maps (over +128 / under -164)

Kill Total: 25.5 (over -111 / under -118)

Kill Spread: -7.5 @ -110 / +7.5 @ -119

Team Kill Totals: 15.5 / 9.5

Time Total: 33:00 (over +154 / under -204)

 

(Individual player model positional ranking is a “living” number comparing individual performance against other players at their position)

 

Suggested Model Plays: LNG +1.5 maps (moderate), LNG moneyline (small)

Ale (formerly Natural) gets the nod and I’d imagine he will moving forward. I’ll briefly comment on his #4 top lane rank in my individual model. He did an absolutely absurd amount of damage per gold in those two losses to the point where it was 2+ standard deviations above that’s warping his overall average a lot. I don’t put too much weight on the player model until we get a larger sample size but it’s there nonetheless.

Onto the handicap…

As many of you know, I am NOT a buyer of LNG stock. This is a team that does nothing except herald control exceptionally and for the most part they do nothing much than league average. In fact, their overall grade as a team in my economy/objective model is -0.004 which is essentially “The Average Team.” So the question becomes how that average is derived. Are they a high volatility team with spikes up and down or is this more of a steady as she goes squad? I think it’s the former. This team was heavily overrated after they opened the season with a win against Invictus. The combination of high pre-season “hype” expectations and that opening win inflated their stock price to such a degree that it’s only just now coming back down to reality. LNG are fine. They’ll probably whoop on the bad teams but they’re going to have a lot of trouble beating the good teams in the LPL.

TOP are a team I’m “buying the dip” on to keep our stock analogies going. Their statistical performance VASTLY exceeds their record. In fact, my model STILL has them graded as the #2 team in the LPL even at a 3-3 (7-6 in games) record. TOP have the #2 early game economy rating only to FunPlus, the #2 overall objective rating, the #2 overall economy rating, and they’ve maintained all of this with a roughly .500 record. For what it’s worth, they’re also the “most graceful losers” with the best gold percent rating in losses which is typically a sign of teams that are keeping games competitive. TOP aren’t getting blown out.

So what gives? Why is TOP sitting at 3-3 with all these accolades? They’re relying a little too much on kills for my liking. Their overall economy grades are excellent but their kill agnostic metrics are just above average and not up to par with the “elite” teams. TOP have also thrown a handful of games badly. A brief look at their gold graphs on GOL will show you that.

Not only do I think their number suggest that this team is significantly better than their record, but I happen to think that they’re a much better team than they’ve been so far under the new coaching staff. With a few extra weeks to prepare and refocus, and a more refined approach without 369 and Karsa playing a million different champions, I think TOP are going to start rolling once they settle in.

Remember I mentioned giving a bump to teams that were quiet or struggling before the break? Well, relative to their expectation both statistically and amongst fans, TOP have been a candidate for underperformer. Call it a hunch but it’s also supported by the data, I think this team is going to come out of the holiday on a complete war path and unfortunately for LNG they’re the first people in the way. I’m going against my model and backing TOP Esports here.

 

Other Markets:

 

Kill Total Model Projections:

Odds-Weighted: 24.969

Time-Implied: 26.256

Underdog Win: 27.833

“Gelati” Total Projection: 26.1 kills

Combined % of Games OVER Kill Total: 43.27% (TOP 61.54% / LNG 25%)

Volatility Rating: TOP 0.37372 / LNG 0.32339  (League Avg: 0.2985)

Suggested Model Plays: none (few very small edges on unders)

TOP are on the higher end for volatility in the kill markets. LNG have been under machines but I could easily see TOP either running the score up or stomping this 15-2. No plays.

 

 

Time Total Projection:

Combined AVG Game Time: 31.574 minutes

Odds Weighted / Rating Weighted: 31.48 / 31.45

Combined % of Games OVER Time Total: 44.23% (TOP 38.46% / LNG 50%)

Volatility Rating: TOP 0.16319 / LNG 0.14607 (League Avg: 0.18328)

Suggested Model Plays: OVER 33:00 @ +154 (moderate edge)

 

The model likes this mostly just because of the number relative to the results so far. I personally think TOP could absolutely blow out LNG so I’m staying away and I’m not laying the -200 for the under this time around.

 

Other Derivatives:

Suggested Model Plays:

LNG first tower @ +121 (very strong)

LNG first herald @ +111 (very strong)

TOP first blood @ -149 (strong)

UNDER 12.5 towers @ -286 (strong)

OVER 1.5 barons @ +167 (moderate)

This mostly lines up with the firsts. The towers and barons overs are conflicting and mostly due to outliers. In one of the weirder stats in the world, LNG have played a lot of multi-baron games. A LOT. 62.5% of their games have had more than 1.5 barons taken. Pretty wild. They are a proponent of early baron sneaks, they’ve done it a handful of times this season so this actually lines up, as weird as it is. If I didn’t think TOP smash this series I’d actually consider taking a shot on this. It correlates with the model’s suggestion of the over 33:00 as well. Intriguing but pass.

I’m not playing any of these derivatives because I strongly feel TOP will smash this. LNG have been good at the tower game but not from behind. Game script will be different than model suggests I think.

 

 

My Picks:

 

Moneyline: TOP Esports -370 (3.7 units)

Map Spread: TOP Esports -1.5 maps @ -105 (1.05 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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