Tuesday, April 6th Recap

 

TOP Esports vs Suning Gaming (Net: +6.98 units)

They happen every so often, perhaps more so in the LPL than any other league (more on that another time), but this was one of those series that was simultaneously awful League of Legends, incredible League of Legends, frustrating to watch, and yet extremely entertaining.

Make no mistake, the first two games and really most of the fourth game of this series were filled with some absolutely terrible decision making by both individual players AND the teams as a whole. The third game was quite literally a 19 minute stomp where TOP had a 6000+ gold lead at 8 minutes. This series really had it all.

Game one got off to a typical TOP Esports start where they were building leads across the board, picked up first blood, first herald, and first tower. This made sense with the Quinn pick punishing Renekton. There were only five kills through the first 25 minutes or so of this game. After the fast start TOP sort of stalled out and lost momentum against the Hecarim/Zilean/Jinx/Tahm which was going to make things extremely difficult in the late game. Their scaling wasn’t too bad themselves but I think it was safe to say Suning probably had the scaling advantage so things were not looking good for TOP. JackeyLove got picked off defending mid tier two and it turned into a baron attempt by Suning that was just straight up stolen by Karsa on a 50/50. TOP got a huge injection of gold and it actually felt like the momentum had turned enough that TOP might be able to close this out but the next twelve minutes were an absolute circus with so many mistakes. Karsa managed a steal on the fourth drake, multiple people caught way out of position. Suning just letting TOP take a baron because they were way out of position and lacking vision…. just a mess. It appeared the Suning had turned the game back on its head. They were up 11-4 and the 4000 gold lead didn”t really matter with the way their comp was set up (all money on the carries). While sieging the base Bin made a boneheaded decision to slice and dice over the wall but leave himself no way out and managed to get himself killed without popping ult or flash. TOP would ace the fight and steal the game from the clutches of defeat.

Game two was just an absolute solo queue fiesta for the first 20 minutes where once again, LPL Kassadin, you know, that champion that ALWAYS GETS FED NO MATTER WHAT in this league… apparently, managed to get ahead early with a few kills. This game was constant fighting and TOP were simply better at it throughout most of it. They held their phalanx, had incredible target selection, and great direction and movement as a team. Suning were disjointed the entire time in this game and it looked like, despite Kassadin getting a few early kills, that their phalanx was simply going to be too strong to deal with as they stacked dragons towards an infernal soul. There was some BEAUTIFUL team fighting by TOP in this game. TOP would eventually get the soul, stop Suning’s baron sneak attempt, pick up elder dragon and baron and start their siege. They even picked off Huanfeng in the process and this game was done and dusted but instead of trying to end it they decided to run after ON in the bottom lane …. they eventually walked into a four man Magnet Storm, got aced and the game ended. This was one of the weirdest endings I’ve ever seen in professional play. I’ve seen a few of these trolly endings in solo queue when people don’t hit the Nexus, get aced, and lose but this was just a whole other layer. They didn’t even look at the Nexus or it’s towers… weird one….

Game three was maybe the most lopsided stomping in a professional game that I’ve seen in the four majors this season. TOP had a 6000+ gold lead at 8 minutes.

Game four was a back-and-forth affair with a lot of errors by both teams and individuals across the game but this ultimately came down to some really REALLY close, knife’s edge kind of team fights that TOP just came out ahead in. TOP just out teamfought the Seraphine comp. To me, the game changing fight was an incredible Gragas ultimate by 369 to pick off Huanfeng to grab the third dragon and an ace. TOP would get a baron off of this and a huge amount of gold. The TOP carries played these teamfights beautifully. Knight’s Sylas navigated this extremely tough to play against Suning comp very well and Jackey was just excellent.

Like I said at the top, this was not a “good” League of Legends match. In fact there was a lot of very VERY poor League of Legends played. I’m usually the wet blanket in these situations. As a former coach and critical viewer that just wants to see quality play above everything else I’m just not a fan of these complete shit shows, for lack of a better term, like most people are… but this one was hilarious and fun and I think we were all having a little “was it good for you too” moment after this.

I don’t sweat games anymore, it’s a job, but if I had to pick one, this was a good sweat. Fun series!

 

Daily Net Total: +6.98 units

 

 

Last Week (March 29th to April 4th):  +30.69 units (+14.26% ROI)

 

 

 


LOL Pro League (LPL)

Spring Playoffs

 Round 4 – Day 1

 

 

#1 Royal Never Give Up -159 (-1.5 @ +140, -2.5 @ +394,+1.5 @ -345, +2.5 @ -2000)

vs

#5 FunPlus Phoenix +122 (+1.5 @ -189, +2.5 @ -588, -1.5 @ +265, -2.5 @ +798)

 

 

Map ML Price: RNG -156 / FPX +122

Total Maps Played: 3.5 maps (over -323 / under +236), 4.5 maps (over +169 / under -222)

Kill Total: 25.5 (over -120 / under -109)

Kill Spread: -3.5 @ -123 / +3.5 @ -105

Team Kill Totals: 14.5 / 11.5

Time Total: 33:00 (over -110 / under -118)

(last series was the first time FPX were underdogs all season)

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

Royal Never GU Tale of the Tape FunPlus
210.1 Gold Diff @ 10 min 1817.5
1097.0 Gold Diff @ 15 min 934.5
719.0 Gold Diff @ 20 min 168.5
0.2 GPM first 20 min vs Avg 119.0
71.5 Gold Diff / min first 20 131.2
573.3 Gold Diff / min Rest of Game 748.5
1908.4 Gold /min (GPM) 1960.0
115.9 Gold / min vs Avg 167.5
207.1 Gold Diff / min 208.8
2.8 Gold Percent Rating (GPR) 2.8
1681.7 Kill Agnostic GPM 1700.9
125.6 Kill Agnostic Gold Diff/min 137.3
1985.4 GPM in wins 2079.3
349.2 Gold Diff per min in wins 418.4
1629.3 GPM in losses 1699.6
-308.0 Gold Diff per min in losses -248.3
227.6 Adjusted Gold Diff / min 229.4
26.8 Win-Adjusted GPM 120.7
31.5 Win-Adjusted Gold Dif/min 100.7
59.7 Dragon Control % 49.7
48.6 Herald Control % 60.0
76.4 Baron Control % 68.1
21.0 Quality Wins? 13.0
72.4 % of wins as Quality 54.2

 

(These numbers use a composite blend of trending and season long performance)

 

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

FPX -1.5 maps @ +265 (moderate)

FPX +1.5 maps @ -189 (moderate)

FPX series moneyline @ +122 (moderate-light)

FPX map moneyline @ +122 (moderate-light)

FPX -2.5 maps @ +798 (light)

OVER 4.5 maps @ +169 (miniscule)

 

 

Quantitative Analysis:

Series Outcomes
Wins Losses Probability
1 3 19.521%
2 3 19.120%
3 2 18.349%
3 1 17.979%
0 3 13.288%
3 0 11.744%
(Series Win): 48.071%

(RNG projected series win % via model)

 

 

 * RNG Left / FPX Right

 

  • Gold per minute in wins: 4th / 1st
  • Gold Differential per minute in wins: 7th / 1st
  • Gold per minute in losses: 10th / 1st
  • Gold Differential per minute in losses: 7th / 2nd
  • Win-adjusted gold per minute: 4th / 1st
  • Win-adjusted gold differential per minute: 7th / 1st
  • Kill-agnostic gold per minute: 2nd / 1st
  • Kill-agnostic gold differential per minute: 1st / 3rd
  • Opponent kill-agnostic gold per minute: 2nd / 1st
  • Overall Objective Control: 1st / 6th
  • Regular Season Record vs non-LNG playoff teams (other top 9):  RNG 14-5 / FPX 12-8
  • Overall Team Rating: 3rd / 2nd
  • RNG won the regular season meeting 2-0 in week six, two fairly close games

 

Both teams have good records against the top nine and both had a strong “quality wins” number against the top nine teams. FPX are the more explosive team while RNG have much preferred to scale and sometimes have to get creative in the macro game to figure things out but usually do.

 

Now let’s take a look at it with both teams only against other top nine teams.

 

 

* RNG Left / FPX Right

 

  • Gold per minute in wins: 8th / 1st
  • Gold Differential per minute in wins: 11th / 5th
  • Gold per minute in losses: 15th / 2nd
  • Gold Differential per minute in losses: 7th / 2nd
  • Win-adjusted gold per minute: 8th / 1st
  • Win-adjusted gold differential per minute: 11th / 5th
  • Kill-agnostic gold per minute: 5th / 1st
  • Kill-agnostic gold differential per minute: 4th / 8th
  • Opponent kill-agnostic gold per minute: 5th / 3rd
  • Overall Objective Control: 1st / 7th
  • Regular Season Record vs non-LNG playoff teams (other top 9):
  • Overall Team Rating: 3rd / 5th

 

Royal Never GU Tale of the Tape* FunPlus
-512.6 Gold Diff @ 10 min 1573.4
145.7 Gold Diff @ 15 min 593.5
-125.1 Gold Diff @ 20 min 50.8
-71.5 GPM first 20 min vs Avg 97.4
20.7 Gold Diff / min first 20 99.2
542.3 Gold Diff / min Rest of Game 536.0
1871.5 Gold /min (GPM) 1901.0
84.6 Gold / min vs Avg 114.2
144.5 Gold Diff / min 123.7
1.9 Gold Percent Rating (GPR) 1.6
1650.0 Kill Agnostic GPM 1674.0
71.6 Kill Agnostic Gold Diff/min 78.2
1964.3 GPM in wins 2043.0
301.5 Gold Diff per min in wins 359.4
1611.5 GPM in losses 1688.1
-295.1 Gold Diff per min in losses -229.8
173.8 Adjusted Gold Diff / min 153.0
9.1 Win-Adjusted GPM 87.8
-9.8 Win-Adjusted Gold Dif/min 48.0
56.8 Dragon Control % 46.7
47.4 Herald Control % 57.5
78.1 Baron Control % 60.0
9.0 Quality Wins? 6.0
64.3 % of wins as Quality 50.0

 

(* Tale of the Tape with all non-top 9 matchups filtered out for both teams)

 

FunPlus did extraordinarily well against the other top LPL teams across a range of categories with RNG only leading in overall objective control (very important) and kill-agnostic gold differential per minute (very important). This is a bit tricky. RNG are “getting it done” where it matters and in the win column but FPX are actually fairly dominant all things considered and their numbers are arguably the best in the LPL when filtered to only be against the top nine teams scoring first in more than any other team including the metric superstars like TOP Esports and WE.

 

 

Post filter adjustments the model likes RNG 51.91% to win the series which somewhat shifts our series value prices below:

 

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

FPX series moneyline @ +122 (moderate-light)

FPX -1.5 maps @ +265 (light)

FPX +1.5 maps @ -189 (light)

FPX map moneyline @ +122 (light)

FPX -2.5 maps @ +798 (miniscule)

OVER 4.5 maps @ +169 (miniscule)

 

Conclusion: Slight advantage to FunPlus overall

 

Qualitative Analysis:

The biggest factor at play in this series is that FunPlus have played two rather testing series against RareAtom and then JDG on Monday. They now have to turn around and face RNG who have not only watched them play two best-of-fives but have also had off since Sunday, March 28th (9 days rest/preparation). RNG were a team that wasn’t afraid to try new things out either and have pretty deep champion pools to begin with so they could have a handful of unique approaches and strategies prepared for this match.

A preparation advantage is extremely powerful, especially in combination with extra film on the patch. While RNG will be playing their first games on stage on 11.6 in this series, they’ve had a chance to watch the rest of the playoffs unfold and obviously two series worth of FPX on 11.6. I personally think FPX are actually a very slightly better team but if RNG can utilize this advantage then they deserve to be favorites in this situation.

With that in mind, I don’t think it’s an automatic massive edge either. We’ve seen plenty of teams come out “cold” out of long rest like this, most notably high seeds in the former LCK gauntlet-style playoff that had to sit on the sidelines for a week or two before their first games against a team running hot.

To me, RNG are very VERY good and they play the intelligent kind of League of Legends that I like but I don’t think they’re quite as good as their final record. They’re very good at figuring their way out of bad situations but I don’t like teams that get into those to begin with and will side with the team that’s in an advantaged position more consistently almost every time unless I have a good reason not to. In this case that’s FPX. Still this is very close.

Both of these teams are incredibly intelligent in how they approach the game no matter how unorthodox they look sometimes. They’re very creative, can improvise better than anybody in the LPL, and are extremely individually talented. This is essentially a coin flip for me with the most notable “gap” in the series being between Nuguri and Xiaohu. Nuguri wasn’t tremendous in his last series (that’s the expectation) but he should have the edge here.

I’ll be taking a position on FunPlus in this series because the price is right. I also think FPX can be better than they’ve played in their previous two series. The extra preparation time/fatigue for FPX is the strongest angle RNG have working in their favor which is my only real concern. FPX had strong performance metrics despite the record not turning out that way and that was with the jungle carousel going on. Generally when I think a series is a coin flip or close to it I’ll stick with the underdog if the price is past a certain threshold for value. In this case it meets that.

This should be an absolute slobberknocker. I’m really looking forward to the final four in the LPL. I think the four best teams in the league ended up making it there and we get double elimination now which is AWESOME!

Conclusion: No edge except preparation time advantage for RNG.

 

Other Markets:

 

Kill Total Model Projections:

Combined AVG kills per game: 28.264

Odds-Weighted: 29.598

Time-Implied: 29.598

Underdog Win: 29.119

“Gelati” Total Projection: 29.135 kills

Combined % of Games OVER Kill Total: 55.91% (RNG 43.24% / FPX 68.57%)

Volatility Rating:  RNG 0.28817 / FPX 0.28794 (League Avg: 0.3066)

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

(alt) OVER 24.5 @ -145 (moderate-strong)

(alt) OVER 26.5 @ -101 (light)

OVER 25.5 @ -120 (very light)

—-

Team Totals:

FPX team total OVER 11.5 @ -119 (VERY strong)

RNG team total OVER 14.5 @ -105 (moderate)

RNG League Average FPX
Combined Kills / game 26.998 26.19 29.530
Combined Kills / min 0.856 0.87 1.084
Kills per win 17.955 18.27 20.094
Kills per loss 9.125 8.88 11.923
Deaths per win 8.31 8.21 9.21
Deaths per loss 18.38 18.07 19.55
Average Margin of Victory (AMOV) 9.79 9.52 9.92
Average Margin of Defeat (AMOD) 9.13 9.84 9.64

(above full season / below only “vs top nine”)

RNG League Average FPX
Combined Kills / game 28.227 26.33 30.575
Combined Kills / min 0.854 0.87 0.985
Kills per win 19.960 18.36 19.521
Kills per loss 8.638 8.91 12.781
Deaths per win 8.86 8.27 9.67
Deaths per loss 17.20 17.92 18.25
Average Margin of Victory (AMOV) 10.64 9.53 9.25
Average Margin of Defeat (AMOD) 8.60 9.74 8.38

 

Unders have hit in 13 out of 23 playoff games thus far.

These two teams are fairly consistent in their combined kill frequency. RNG just below, FPX quite far above. RNG’s games against other top nine teams are significantly bloodier, so are FPX’s. I think this is going over despite the high tension playoff spot. There’s a chance RNG come in a little rusty or cold here but FPX are averaging 26.9 combined kills per game in just the playoffs and that includes a series against the fairly low kill RareAtom. I’ll take the over. I think this is going to be an absolute slugfest. I don’t usually like to pay down but in this case the value gap based on frequency is strong enough to do so.

 

Time Total Projection:

Combined AVG Game Time: 30.509 minutes

Odds Weighted / Rating Weighted: 31.16 / 30.86

Combined % of Games OVER Time Total: 30.35% (RNG 37.84% / FPX 22.86%)

Volatility Rating: RNG 0.16602 / FPX 0.18738 (League Avg: 0.16006)

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

UNDER 33:00 @ -118 (VERY strong)

RNG FPX
Average Game Time 32.08 28.94
Avg Game Time (in wins) 32.32 27.08
Avg Game Time (in losses) 31.202 32.994

(above full season / below only “vs top nine”)

RNG FPX
Average Game Time 33.40 31.32
Avg Game Time (in wins) 34.06 28.83
Avg Game Time (in losses) 31.553 35.050

Time totals have gone UNDER in 13 out of 23 playoff games with an average time total of 31.83 minutes.

RNG tend to be much slower in their wins for a few reason, first because they take their time, and second because they sometimes get themselves in precarious situations and they need time to work through it. FPX are an extremely stubborn loser but absolutely dominate in wins even against top nine competition (28.83 minute avg game time in wins). The under feels right here, the numbers say it’s obviously right. Something tells me that with these two stubborn losers that we’ll get two or three really close games here. The thing is, close games don’t need to be long games. The under is the correct play even though it feels a little odd.

 

Other Derivatives:

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

UNDER 12.5 towers @ -175 (VERY strong)

FPX first tower @ +103 (VERY strong)**

UNDER 4.5 dragons @ +110 (moderate)

FPX first blood @ -105 (light)**

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

What’s interesting is if you filter this most of the edges are actually similar or better in this specific matchup. FPX first tower is a decent play but RNG have a 63%+ first herald rate against top nine teams (FPX 50%) so I’ll pass there. The under tower total looks good. Even against top nine teams only 26.32% of RNG games go over the total and only 15% of FPX games.

 

My Picks:

 

(these changed slightly while writing, doesn’t impact my position though)

Map Spread: FPX +1.5 maps @ -189 (3.78 units)

Moneyline: FPX +124 (1 unit)

Map Spread: FPX -1.5 maps @ +261 (0.5 units)

Map Spread: FPX -2.5 maps @ +789 (0.25 units)

Kill Total: Map 1 OVER 24.5 kills @ -139 (1.39 units)

Kill Total: Map 2 OVER 24.5 kills @ -154 (1.54 units)

Kill Total: Map 3 OVER 24.5 kills @ -152 (1.52 units)

Kill Total: Map 4 OVER 24.5 kills @ -147 (1.47 units)

Kill Total: Map 5 OVER 24.5 kills @ -145 (1.45 units)

Time Total: Map 1 UNDER 33:00 @ -118 (1.18 units)

Time Total: Map 2 UNDER 33:00 @ -114 (1.14 units)

Time Total: Map 3 UNDER 33:00 @ -114 (1.14 units)

Time Total: Map 4 UNDER 33:00 @ -114 (1.14 units)

Time Total: Map 5 UNDER 33:00 @ -114 (1.14 units)

Prop: Map 1 UNDER 12.5 towers @ -256 (2.56 units)

Prop: Map 2 UNDER 12.5 towers @ -250 (2.5 units)

Prop: Map 3 UNDER 12.5 towers @ -250 (2.5 units)

Prop: Map 4 UNDER 12.5 towers @ -238 (2.38 units)

Prop: Map 5 UNDER 12.5 towers @ -238 (2.38 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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