Monday, January 18th Recap

 

OMG vs eStar (Net: -0.95 units)

Game one of this series was the lowest level game of professional League of Legends that I’ve seen in the major leagues so far this season. It legitimately looked like a solo queue game. A friendly game of tossing the leverage back-and-forth. Nobody had any idea when not to fight. Just a complete clown fiesta that OMG happened to win.

eStar stomped game two both in the draft and in play. Wuming lost first tower solo to a Galio as Orianna…. that shouldn’t happen in any universe.

Game three, OMG stacked the first two dragons and had an early 2000+ gold lead and looked well on their way to an easy victory but they botched the third dragon fight, Rat picked up a few kills on his Vayne and the lead was erased. Cold had a sick play at the fourth drake to set up a perfect Galio ult and ace the fight. eStar started baron, got it stolen but they won the fight. AKi got caught warding ahead of dragon but got aced and eStar won the game off of it. Another complete fiesta.

I don’t listen to the broadcasts that much these days but one of the English LPL casters said “I don’t think anybody won this series” and I couldn’t agree more. I’m downgrading both of these teams. Once in awhile you just get a weird series and both teams are just out of character on the day but to me this was more telling of systemic issues with both of these teams than just “a weird series.”

Other than Rat popping on Vayne a little bit and H4cker actually delivering on the super simple and really broken Pantheon (that’s going to banned against them from here on out), eStar have no real redeeming characteristics other than ShiauC. OMG’s bottom lane is hot and cold (no pun intended) but Wuming has been absolutely dreadful just like he was last year. I think it might be time for OMG to look to an academy player because this is likely not going anywhere.

This was the single worst series of League of Legends gameplay I’ve watched so far in the majors this year. Just so many problems with both squads.

 

BiliBili vs Victory Five (Net: -3.4 units)

BLG had a great dive top early that V5 way overcorrected for and handed another kill over on the teleport. Shout out to BLG for actually diving the Gnar, it’s about damn time. However, they then overreached almost immediately to throw their lead back to V5 around their red buff shortly after. BLG made a smart pick on ppgod as he was on his way to ward for the third drake and what looked like it was going to be a free dragon based on the pick turned into a jailbreak situation. BLG ended up with the dragon still. The next 5-10 minutes was a lot of posturing with V5 looking for poke and Bard ult opportunities and BLG looking for windows to Twisted Fate ultimate. BLG kept building a gold lead and kept picking on Gnar in the side lane with Twisted Fate. It took awhile but eventually they were able to leverage their gold advantage and take this game down.

Aiming and Mark tried the Kalista+Taric bottom lane in game two, got first blood, but then went a little too overaggressive which lead to two kills for Weiwei’s Lillia. He’d add to that with a gank top. Aiming and Mark tried to dive knowing Weiwei was top but botched the dive. V5 were off to the races and we know this team rarely screws up with a lead but in this one, BLG actually managed to punch back and keep this one close. There was a very close, extended, multi-minute baron dance that V5 eventually picked up and won the game with.

I loved this game three draft from BLG with the Camille+Galio+Pantheon combo. Game three started fast and furious with a lot of action around top side and top river. This type of thing tends to favor the kind of comp BLG had but not when it’s against Lillia+Zoe who can kite out and punish overextensions. This game was very competitive. Most of these fights could have gone either way but V5 just got the better of a few of them.

This was far from perfect for either squad but this was a much more competitive series than the first. I know that’s not saying much but I have a lot of hopes for both of these teams. They play the game the way you should be playing it right now. They were the same last season. With some cleaned up execution these teams are going to be very competitive and likely stomp all but the top of the table this season.

The pace of these games was very fast but it wasn’t as lopsided for one team or the other as I expected with both teams playing this very close. That kind of blew up our wagers on this one.

 

LPL Net Total: -4.35 units

 

Daily Net Total: -4.35 units

 


 

LOL Pro League (China)

Week 3 – Day 2

 

Rogue Warriors +406 (+1.5 maps @ +131, -1.5 @ +707)

vs

FunPlus Phoenix -625 (-1.5 maps @ -169, +1.5 @ -1429)

 

Total Maps Played: 2.5 (over +172 / under -227)

Kill Total: 25.5 (over -114 / under -114)

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

Team Kill Totals: 8.5 / 16.5

Time Total: 32:00 (over -114  / under -114)

Starting Lineups:

RW – Ziv, Haro, Forge, Michi, Reheal

FPX – Nuguri, Tian, Doinb, Lwx, Crisp

 

While I’ve had some concerns with FunPlus and Nuguri not always being on the same page, I’m confident that that will be worked out with more time. And really, FunPlus are still winning these series even with that happening. FunPlus were hyper aggressive, as were EDG, in their last matchup and there were a few situations where this could have bit them. One thing we know about Rogue Warriors is that they’ll bring the aggression to the party.

I mentioned in my last recap on Rogue Warriors that “I’ll continue to like them as a punch up underdog but seriously doubt their consistency over a full sample.” That still holds true. They just fight everything at all times good or bad. Disciplined teams can punish this but part of why I like Rogue Warriors against good but not quite disciplined teams is that a lot of times they can drag teams into the mud with them.

Haro has a gift for introducing variance to games. Going against Rogue Warriors can be infuriating because you know they’re not a good team but the best times to fade them are with fundamentally sound teams that won’t opt into the bar room brawls they like to play. We just saw this team beat TOP Esports and then lose to a poor eStar team. That’s the spectrum you’re dealing with.

I like taking Rogue Warriors at big numbers like this. This roster is still a substantially upgraded version of last years’ lineup and if they can clean a few things up I actually think they could be a pretty good team. FunPlus have been far from perfect so far and have shown some signs of miscommunication that I think Rogue Warriors could capitalize on.

I’ll mention that a vastly inferior Rogue Warriors lineup actually went 3-2 against FPX in 2020.

Quick note on the RW marksman situation. We’re seeing Michi again here after Kelin started the first couple of series. They’re also mixing it up at support with former Invictus substitute Reheal. Reheal was decent when he stood in during Baolan’s first absence last season but that Spring version of IG had a lot of chemistry issues so he was stepping into a bit of a rough situation. I’m not sure what’s going on with the RW bottom lane. I’m guessing this means that they’re moving on from ZWuji altogether. Whatever the reason for that may be, it’s clear that they’re trying to find the right combination. I like doing this early in the season like this and it doesn’t seem to have disrupted the team very much as they’ve more or less been exactly what we’ve expected them to be. It’s also fairly annoying for enemy teams who might have put more time in to studying film for other players. Just something worth monitoring. It doesn’t really change my opinion of Rogue Warriors who are more defined through their top trio than bottom lane at this point.

Other Markets:

Favorites in the LPL have failed to cover their team kill total (average: 16.05 kills) in almost 61% of matches this season. Part of this is because overall totals have come in under just short of 59% of the time and we’ve had a lot of underdog victories. If you think FPX stomp this series there’s a very good chance they do so under their high total of 16.5. If you think Rogue Warriors are live in this that under also plays. If you think FunPlus are going to rough and tumble like Rogue Warriors wants them to then this could end up going way over. Most of Rogue Warriors games have gone over 25.5 kills this season (71%).

I’m going to opt for the FPX team total under of all of these options. I’ll also be taking RW first blood.

 

My Picks:

 

Map Spread: Rogue Warriors +1.5 maps @ +131 (1 unit)

Moneyline: Rogue Warriors +406 (0.5 units)

Map Spread: Rogue Warriors -1.5 maps @ +707 (0.25 units)

Kill Total (team): Map 1 FPX UNDER 16.5 kills @ -114 (1.14 units)

Kill Total (team): Map 2 FPX UNDER 16.5 kills @ -114 (1.14 units)

Kill Total (team): Map 3 FPX UNDER 16.5 kills @ -114 (1.14 units)

Prop: Map 1 RW first blood @ +115 (0.25 units)

Prop: Map 2 RW first blood @ +115 (0.25 units)

Prop: Map 3 RW first blood @ +115 (0.25 units)

 

 


 

EDward Gaming -714 (-1.5 maps @ -175)

vs

LGD Gaming +445 (+1.5 maps @ +137, -1.5 @ +1000)

 

Total Maps Played: 2.5 (over +174 / under -227)

Kill Total: 23.5 (over -120 / under -108)

Kill Spread:  -8.5 @ -111 / +8.5 @ -118

Team Kill Totals: 15.5 / 7.5

Time Total: 31:00 (over -122 / under -108)

Starting Lineups:

EDG – Flandre, Jiejie, Scout, Viper, Meiko

LGD – Cult, Kui, Uniboy, Garvey, Chance

 

As I referred to it in my recap, it took a complete “Ringling Brothers circus” opening to the first game of LGD’s series against Victory Five for them to manage to steal one before getting utterly steamrolled in the next two games. I was not a fan of this roster going into the season, now they’re starting Garvey in a new roll, a substitute level top laner, and ad just saw them get completely rolled by V5. I was high on EDG before the season and if they hadn’t have gotten a little ahead of themselves or they would have swept FPX.

These two teams are on opposite ends of the expectation spectrum. I’m going to keep this one simple. I think LGD are probably going to be the worst team in the league, maybe OMG will challenge them. They have very few redeeming characteristics at all and are starting multiple non-starters. EDG are going to be competing for a title.

I’ll keep this handicap simple. Unless you think the lack of film is a huge advantage for LGD, EDG are going to stomp this. It’s just a matter of how we want to attack the market.

 

Other Markets:

As I’m looking through the derivative markets for this one I’m not really seeing a lot of tremendous values. LGD firsts are worth considering but I’m just going to keep this one simple and stick with EDG map spread. The total is fairly low so that’s worth a look. 58% of games have gone over that total so far this season across the LPL with 66.6% of EDG’s games in the small sample.

 

My Picks:

 

Map Spread: EDG -1.5 maps @ -175 (3.5 units)

 

 

 

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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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