Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Betting: August 1st (LCK, LPL)

LOL Champions Korea 8/1 Schedule:

Gen.G eSports (-455, -1.5 @ -145)
@ Over/Under 34:00, Total Kills 18.5
BBQ Olivers (+311, +1.5 @ +115)

SK Telecom (-110, +1.5 @ -333)
@ Over/Under 35:00, Total Kills 18.5

Afreeca Freecs (-115, -1.5 @ +241)

Handicapped: Gen.G -1.5 maps @ -145 (4 units)

Gen.G are coming off of a bit of a disappointing loss against an SKT but it was by no means a bad series. SKT played one of their best series of the year in a "must win" situation. I'm not going to give too much credence to that but it's not negligable either. Anyway I think Gen.G are one of the best teams on the planet. They know who they are, they don't waste time pretending to be other things, and they're exceptionally good at what they do. BBQ, while piling up a couple wins recently, are still the worst team in this region, or second worst if I'm being generous. Gen.G need this to keep pace with the other teams fighting for playoff seeding in the LCK. I expect business to be taken care of in two clean games. I'm not going to take the over or under here because 34:00 seems right but this will likely be a more slow paced, controlling game as Gen.G likes to play that way.


PROP: Over 2.5 maps played @ +104 (2 units)

I can't get a feel for this one. I think it's the closest to even match we've had in weeks. Both teams absolutely need this win, both have been excellent and poor at times in the past couple weeks. I'd lean toward Afreeca because I think they're the better team and this is the exact kind of spot that we're reminded why SKT aren't likely a playoff team this year but they could also start Faker and he just pops off out of nowhere. Even with Pirean playing I think this is an even matchup so I won't be betting either side unless the line looks right for one but I do think we get a three game series here. Both teams have shown some inconsistencies so I could see both dropping games. The 2-1 for both sides is at +265 in this so if you have a feeling one way or the other that's not a bad route to take either.


LOL Pro League (China) 8/1 Schedule:

TopSports Gaming (-263, -1.5 @ +123)
@ Over/Under 34:00, Total Kills 24.5
Vici Gaming (+200, +1.5 @ -161)

JD Gaming (+125, +1.5 @ -250)
@ Over/Under 34:00, Total Kills 24.5

EDward Gaming (-159, -1.5 @ +185)

PROP: Exact TopSports 2-1 @ +215 (1 unit)

If I thought TopSports was even a mediocre team I'd probably slam the -1.5 here but they're just not and even with how poor Vici is I just can't trust this team to not drop a game for any big amount of money. I might come back and fire one or two units at the -1.5 later on but for now we'll just try the exact prop.


Moneyline: EDward Gaming -159 (4 units)

Handicapped: EDward Gaming -1.5 @ +185 (1 unit)

JD Gaming have been on fire this season with a 9-2 match record. EDG have been "slouching" relative to their expected performance but are still 7-4. Both have impressive wins but I actually think that despite their 9-2 match record, that JD have had more "weak" losses. A 1-2 loss to TopSports, a game dropped to WE, FunPlus, LGD, and a BiliBili team that during week one looked abysmal. The tough part about this is that JD have also defeated Rogue Warriors, RNG, and Snake so it's tough to pin them down. To me there are four elite teams in the LPL, Rogue Warriors, Invictus, RNG, and EDG. JD are the best of the rest but I do think EDG is a tier better than they are despite the match record. Both teams are similar in metrics like gold per minute and damage per minute, first tower % and JD have an edge in first blood %. EDG SHOULD be the better team and to me they are but haven't been performing like an elite team through the middle of the season. EDG have a lot less to fear in their conference with only Snake to really challenge them for the #2 spot. There are only two good teams in the West Region while the East has 4.5-5 to me depending on your thoughts on BBG. What all this means is that I think EDG have been coasting a bit. This team is better than their record and JD, while good, isn't on the same level as EDG to me. All the numbers would tell you these teams are even which would be reason to go with the underdog in a situation like this but I think EDG "wake up" here and show everyone the difference. They also have side selection which matters quite a bit on this patch.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Betting: July 31st (LCK)

LOL Champions Korea 7/31 Schedule:

Griffin (-909, -1.5 @ -303)
@ Over/Under 32:00, Total Kills 17.5
Jin Air GW (+541, +1.5 @ +217)

Kingzone DragonX (-238, -1.5 @ +129)
@ Over/Under 34:00, Total Kills 18.5

Hanwha Life eSports (+180, +1.5 @ -169)

Handicapped: Kingzone -1.5 maps @ +129  (3 units)

Kingzone appear to have finally hit their stride after beating both KT Rolster and Afreeca back to back. Hanwha on the other hand have struggled with BBQ and Jin Air back to back after losing 0-2 to SK Telecom. So here's the deal. HLE need this game but I think there's a certain element to them being "figured out" at play here. They've not only been messing with their roster, something I don't think they'll do tomorrow, but even the starters have been relatively inconsistent. For a team that's done well based on consistency, competitiveness, and coaching/strategy they haven't looked any of those characteristics recently. They're like the Diet Afreeca Freecs. Steady, competitive, but lacking the high ceiling some of these elite teams have so they can only be so good.

Hanwha do NEED this series win as both Afreeca and SK Telecom are breathing down their necks their 5th seed is no longer secure. However Kingzone need the victory as well. With the top of the table so competitive in Korea playoff seeding is going to be crucial and Kingzone could potentially still take 1st place. Both teams should show up for this match. To me the difference is that Kingzone are one of those elite teams and are currently playing at a higher level than Hanwha are. Not only that but they have a much higher upside and could potentially perform even better. You're welcome to hedge this as the KZ 2-1 exact score sits at +228 currently but I'm going to just run the naked handicap bet out there for a few units.


Griffin vs Jin Air GW

(UPDATE: This line has grown to obscene numbers I'm willing to throw half a unit at the +1.5 and a quarter unit on the ML)

Handicapped: Jin Air +1.5 @ +217 (0.5 unit)

Moneyline: Jin Air +541 (0.25 unit)

Yesterday this line was at Griffin -667 but it's currently locked. I've got a funny feeling, much like the MVP bullet we dodged the other day, that this won't be a sweep which is the only way to bet it in my opinoin. Griffin should win but I have a hunch that they'll drop a game. Jin Air have looked better. Not good, but better. The metagame also favors their playstyle a lot more. I'm just dodging this one outside of some big parlays involving Griffin ML. The juice is too much and I'm not feeling the sweep. If the odds are sub -200 though knock yourself out.

Betting: July 30th (LPL)

LOL Pro League (China) 7/30 Schedule:

BiliBili Gaming (-175, -1.5 @ +165)
@ Over/Under 34:00, Total Kills 23.5
FunPlus Phoenix (+136, +1.5 @ -222)

Rogue Warriors (-833, -1.5 @ -185)
@ Over/Under 32:00, Total Kills 23.5

Vici Gaming (+486, +1.5 @ +140)

PROP: Exact BiliBili 2-1 @ +237 (1 unit)

I don't particularly think either of these teams is good and this line is a big enough spread that the right place might actually be the FPP moneyline but I think BiliBili took a game off of Rogue Warriors last Wednesday and beat EDG before that. Similarly, FunPlus have had a few "spike" performances as well. The question here is who are these teams really. I think FunPlus have shown their best performances and they were outliers. BiliBili I think has the potential to at least be a stable, mid tier team. Last season they were arguably the top of the mid tier of LPL teams. So they got smashed by OMG but were competitive with Rogue Warriors in a game and beat EDG straight up as their last three. I'm willing to bet on the BiliBili ceiling being slightly higher, especially if Athena starts more than a game. These are, however, two similar teams that are both inconsistent I just think FunPlus are trending down and BiliBili SHOULD be trending up at least a little. Like I said though, smart money might actually be on FunPlus just for line value if you consider these two teams even and both inconsistent. FunPlus also play relatively well early one which is how you beat BiliBili since they do a poor job absorbing pressure.


Handicapped: RogueWarriors -1.5 maps @-185 (10 units)

PROP: Map 1 UNDER 32:00 @ -114 (1 unit)

PROP: Map 2 UNDER 32:00 @ -114 (1 unit)

This isn't just a first vs last. Rogue Warriors utterly smash low tier competition. Outside of a single game loss to BiliBili, who I'd consider top of the low tier until proven otherwise, RW have dismantled every single team in the bottom six in convincing fashion. Vici are more than likely the worst team in the LPL. They have only six game wins, five of which are to bottom six teams, the exception being a single game win vs mid tier Suning. Rogue Warriors are a prideful team that doesn't sleep on their foes. Much like Invictus they don't take these "free" games off, they use them to style and pump their stats. With the hyper confident (or arrogant, your choice) leader DoinB at the helm, Rogue Warriors do their best to set game time records every chance they get. It honestly wouldn't surprise me to see this series over in under 50 total minutes. I'm taking the under on both games as well.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Betting: July 28th (LCK, LPL, EU LCS, NA LCS

LOL Champions Korea 7/28 Schedule:

Kingzone DragonX (-120, -1.5 @ +261)
@ Over/Under 36:00, Total Kills 18.5
Afreeca Freecs (-105, +1.5 @ -370)

Griffin (-769, -1.5 @ -217)
@ Over/Under 34:00, Total Kills 17.5

MVP (+463, +1.5 @ +165)

Moneyline: Kingzone DragonX -120 (5 units)

Handicapped: Kingzone -1.5 maps @ +261 (0.5 units)

Kingzone vs KT was one of the better series this year in any league and I'd highly recommend watching it over. It's what super high level series' look like. Both teams next leveling each other constantly, on the same page, coherent compositions and draft strategies and the ebb and flow that elite teams display when going back and forth with in game adjustments to one another. It was a real joy to watch. So what did we learn? Well, first of all, I picked a bad time to abandon my faith in Kingzone but secondly, and perhaps most importantly, Kingzone won both games against KT playing standard 2-core compositions. I sure hope they take that as a clue to "not fix it if it ain't broke" moving forward because they look so much better that way. If you asked me that a year ago or even last split I would've called you crazy but hey, things change and this team looks so much better playing "traditional." KT was also excellent but Khan just popped off in game one and game three had a few tremendous outplays (I'm talking the kind you see once in a hundred matches) or that likely would have gone their way with Azir and Kaisa scaling. KT also seem to be realizing that they should just play to their strengths and play "traditional." It looks like a lot of the top teams are having more success sticking to their bread and butter than trying to mimic non-standard picks we've seen this season especially since a lot of them have been toned down in power.

Afreeca had a weird loss to BBQ Olivers where they were more or less experimenting in champ select in all three games and got punished for it. They then lost 1-2 to Gen.G, who look like one of the top three teams right now and punted a game one before immediately smashing MVP in two 26 minute stomps. This is a team that played a competitive series with KT Rolster and 2-0'd Griffin. They're a good team but to me a cut below the elite teams in Korea. If I had to tier list Korea it'd be Gen.G, KT Rolster, and Kingzone (yes I know ....) at the top based mostly on recent performance and where I project them to end up. In the next tier I have Griffin and Afreeca, the teams that are great and a cut above the middling teams in a deep LCK but to me aren't quite on the same level. I'm going to get a lot of flack for Griffin being this low but I'm not disrespecting this team. They're excellent and have shown remarkable poise for such a young roster. We're also trending toward a meta that is more like the one they dominated in the Challenger scene with but they also weren't facing the top teams in the world who also mastered and won world championships with that disciplined, scaling style. To me it just has to do with ceilings. Griffin have shown vulnerabilites and while a lot of teams have failed the test, the answers are right there and with time will be figured out. Griffin are very one dimensional... anyway I digress this isn't about them directly.

Kingzone just beat KT Rolster in one of the higher level series of the year and I think that that win will cement them in the style that won them those games. This is a team with an atmospheric ceiling that finally looks like they have found the lane to drive in. Even with all the ups and downs this season Kingzone are STILL 9-5 and only a win out of first (two if you assume Griffin beats MVP). Seeding is going to be crucial in such a competitive region. As always it's sad that Korea only gets to send three teams to worlds but it is what it is. I like Kingzone a lot here. That sounds crazy and I've been burned by them all season but watch that last series and tell me this isn't a team that looks primed for a run. You'd have a hard time doing that. It's not just the KT win. It's been a long season of Kingzone often winning a series despite not looking great or not looking comfortable or themselves. They were winning series just based on raw talent and experience. Not only did they just play an insanely high level series against KT and win but they looked damn good and confident doing it. I think this is Kingzone's moment to arrive. They looked invigorated and I'm going to ride with them here. I just think Afreeca have been slowly trending downward. It doesn't mean they're bad just trending the opposite direction, even if slightly.


Griffin vs MVP: No action 

I know this team is different, I know they're actually good, and I know MVP are terrible but I've just got a bad feeling about playing this match at all. -217 isn't out of range for the -1.5 but I have this feeling that even showing the poise they've shown this season a rookie team isn't invulnerable to pressure and this feels like a classic upset situation to me. I don't think it's likely MVP win a map but I'm uncomfortable enough with it to avoid this one. -217 isn't good enough for me to take a shot on even with the bad feeling.


LOL Pro League (China) 7/28 Schedule:

BiliBili Gaming -256 (-1.5 @ +126)
@ Over/Under 34:00, Total Kills 25.5
OMG (+192, +1.5 @ -164)

Rogue Warriors (-435, -1.5 @ -130)
@ Over/Under 34:00, Total Kills 24.5
LGD Gaming (+307, +1.5 @ +100)

Invictus Gaming (-217, -1.5 @ +148)
@ Over/Under 35:00, Total Kills 24.5
EDward Gaming (+165, +1.5 @ -196)

Handicapped: BiliBili -1.5 maps @ +126 (0.5 units) 

I've been getting utterly destroyed in the LPL and am now officially under .500 on my picks for the season there but I like a "we've found ourselves" story and it appears BiliBili have hit a bit of a stride. OMG, while gusty and scrappy are just not that good of a team and just got completely smashed by LGD who are, in my opinion, one of the two worst teams in the LPL. I'm talking like 51 minutes total game time smashed... OMG admittedly played Yasuo bot which is about as good as it sounds (I know it's not that bad but come on...). OMG also struggled to beat Vici, who are the other worst team in the LPL. I thought for a few weeks that this team might be separating themselves from the muck at the bottom of the lake here but it looks like they were just trying to pick themselves up out of it and failed. 


Handicapped: Rogue Warriors -1.5 maps @ -130 (3.5 units)

I'll admit to being gunshy here because I've been horrid in the LPL the past couple weeks but in all but one series my logic was sound and teams just punted a game and immediately smashed so it stands to reason that things will correct. I'll likely add on to this tomorrow. This is simple. Rogue Warriors are one of the elite LPL teams. Top four, perhaps three with RNG in their current situation. LGD are the worst or second worst team in the LPL. I think this line is only at -130 because LGD just won a series agains the similarly horrible OMG as we just discussed. This should probably be a -200 or more line. Feel free to be less timid than I am and smash this.


Invictus vs EDG: (pending)

I'm leaning on taking the Invictus -1.5 @ +148 or the exact IG 2-1 @ +217 but I'm not sure how much yet, probably light like a unit or two. Invictus are a god damn machine and while they've been dropping a game here or there to middling teams I still think they're the best team in China and they'll play up to their opponents here. The counterargument here is that EDG is the strongest team they've faced in nearly four weeks (RNG on 6/30) so there's reason to go with the underdogs here. I think this is one of those weird bets where you just need to plant your flag and go with that one. You're either in on the underdog for the upset or IG for the sweep because the value isn't there at the +1.5. 


EU LCS (Europe) 7/28 Schedule:



NA LCS (North America) 7/28 Schedule:


Thursday, July 26, 2018

Betting: July 27th (LCK, LPL, LMS, EU LCS)

LOL Champions Korea 7/27 Schedule:

Hanwha Life eSports (-323, -1.5 @ +103)
@ Over/Under 34:00, Total Kills 18.5
BBQ Olivers (+237, +1.5 @ -133)

SK Telecom (-323, -1.5 @ +103)
@ Over/Under 34:00, Total Kills 18.5

Jin Air GW (+237, +1.5 @ -133)

Handicapped: Hanwha -1.5 @ +103 (3 units)

Hanwha had a few really bizarre games this week and last. The full sub lineup got some time and when that wasn't the case they were getting really really wonky with funneling and swapping strategies that ultimately resulted in throwing a game to Jin Air and a match to SK Telecom. With SK Telecom not too far behind them and both teams in the hunt for that last playoff spot still it's pretty weird to see these teams throw in the proverbial towel. There is a pretty clear difference in the top five teams but it's not impossible for either of these teams to go on some sort of miracle run, they have the talent and history to do so which makes these decisions so odd to me.

Anyway I think we need to look at this match two different ways; with and without the starters playing. To me, Hanwha's sub squad looked pretty awful and got completely obliterated when they played. When they're only half a series behind Afreeca I can't see them marching that lineup out again until they're statistically eliminated. I'm going to place this wager under this assumption for the best value but you're more than welcome to wait until game time for a likely weaker line.

I'm not going to look into BBQ's recent surge, if you can call 2-2 in your last four series a surge. Afreeca refused to play an ADC as if to try things out when they easily could have sat back and let BBQ beat themselves. Both BBQ wins were off of unforced errors in my opinion so I'm going to call that win a fluke. The Jin Air series they looked decidedly better in all three games to me but just got out scaled by Anivia Gangplank in game one. So what's all this mean? They're still the worst team in the LCK and to me it's not particularly close but at least they've shown some fight. In the middle of the season they looked defeated and like they didn't care so it's nice to have the spicy, scrappy BBQ back.

I'm going with Hanwha to 2-0 for 3 units. Not only are they a substantially better team with better individual talents and drafting but they need the game wins and more importantly the series with such a heated race for the 5th playoff seed. I have no idea why they were messing around with the sub lineup but I just can't see them doing the same here with so much on the line. Then again this is BBQ so maybe they'll think they can get away with murder.


Handicapped: SK Telecom -1.5 @ +103 (1 unit)

PROP: Map 1 total time OVER 34:00 @ -114 (0.5 unit)

PROP: Map 2 total time OVER 34:00 @ -114 (0.5 unit)

I can't believe I'm saying it but Pirean has been quite good for SK Telecom. I'm not sure if Faker is going to start this series or not but Pirean has been good enough that I'm going to treat this mostly the same and look at the full lineups. The last meeting between these two was a 2-0 by SKT with a 25 minute win and a long, for that patch, 46 minute slugfest win in game two. It was SK Telecoms first match win of the season. Jin Air didn't exactly look good going into that series either. Both teams have improved, SK Telecom a bit more so if you ask me, but are still on the outside looking in at what we'd consider playoff calibur in the LCK. SK Telecom played a decent series against KT Rolster in the Telecom War and then took care of business against the HLE subs but then punted a game to BBQ because they're insistent on making Bang play non-marksmen. I think if this team cares at all about staying in the hunt they'll do what they're good at and play scaling, protect the carry compositions. A lot of Korea has been trending back toward that this past week anyway and that style suits both of these teams. 

There's a lot to like for both squads here but I'm going with SK Telecom who have more to play for in this series than Jin Air do as well as the better overall lineup even without Faker playing. I also think if you put both of these teams in a slower paced, controlled, Korean style game like I'm expecting Teddy and Bang can match each other at which point I think SKT have the stronger "other four." Thal and Pirean have been good recently and Grace is very underwhelming. I also think that UmTi is significantly more likely to make a game ending mistake either early or late. He's not a good control jungler and I expect these to be longer, slower paced games. 


LOL Pro League (China) 7/27 Schedule:

FunPlus Phoenix (-233, -1.5 @ +136)
@ Over/Under 33:00, Total Kills 24.5
Vici Gaming (+176, +1.5 @ -179)

Royal Never Give Up (-417, -1.5 @ -123)
@ Over/Under 34:00, Total Kills 23.5
Team WE (+292, +1.5 @ -105)

Handicapped: FunPlus -1.5 maps @ +136 (0.5 units)

This FunPlus Phoenix team really doesn't impress me but Vici are just so bad that I can't say no to any kind of plus line against them. We'll keep this light because I think it's more of a bet on the bad team to stay bad. I'm not looking too much into FunPlus' win against RNG or their game win against JD. This is just Vici being terrible. 


Handicapped: RNG -1.5 maps @ -123 (1 unit)

RNG just punted a series to FunPlus Phoenix because they were, simply put, messing around. If you don't believe me then watch the games. Instead of closing game one they let FunPlus stall to almost an hour and split them out. They immediately thrashed them in 23:12 the next game. Game three they were well on their way after securing a dragon and an easy gank mid they then converted on a dive top and took top tower. LetMe then got caught before both of the next dragons to allow FunPlus to get two Infernal drakes. It looked as if he wasn't even talking to Xiaohu who was in the vicinity each time. Walking away from him to try to outplay the 2v1. Lwx got a few kills on Xayah and seemingly out of nowhere RNG lost. I'll give credit to FPP for that game three but not for the series win. Team WE are coming off of a hard fought 2-0 win against Suning in which they trailed in both games before scaling with bot lane Orianna. Suning have been better than this but the fact still stands that WE were behind in both of these games and RNG, even without Uzi are a whole other level in comparison. This should be a 2-0 for RNG. I can see it being sloppy for game one, perhaps the OVER 23.5 kills in map one is the play here... hmmm 


League Masters Series (Taiwan) 7/27 Schedule:

Machi eSports (+175, +1.5 @ -185)
@ Over/Under ??, Total Kills ??
G-Rex (-250, -1.5 @ +127)

AHQ eSports (+247, +1.5 @ -137)
@ Over/Under ??, Total Kills ??
J Team (-385, -1.5 @ -104)

Handicapped: J Team -1.5 @ -104 (2 units)

Disclaimer, I haven't watched a lot of the LMS, mostly just sticking to J Team and Flash Wolves games but J Team have been solid. They're firmly in control of the #2 spot in the LMS to me even if it doesn't look like it. HKA aren't as good as their record. Anyway we get J Team against an AHQ team that is tied for last place with Team Afro who were by far the worst team in the league last split. I mean what a fall from grace for the former Worlds representatives but we aren't going to look a gift horse in the mouth here. AHQ's only wins are against 5th place G-Rex and tied for last with them Team Afro. That's it.... Like that's their only game wins. They've even been swept by 6th place Machi. This line actually seems too good to be true but I'm going to limit action due to my lack of complete awareness of the LMS.


EU LCS (Europe) 7/27 Schedule:

Misfits -417 @ Unicorns of Love +297
ROCCAT -238 @ H2K +180
Team Vitality -217 @ Giants Gaming +166
G2 eSports -208 @ Splyce +159


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Betting: July 26th (LCK)

Weird day yesterday where we had a predictable slate but got hard punished on the handicap plays. That being said I think this was a brush with variance. We had three out of our four handicap plays appear to be the better team being lazy, taking the game off, or totally disrespecting their foe. Oh well, at least we dodged MVP and hit a few moneyline parlays.


LOL Champions Korea 7/26 Schedule:

Kingzone DragonX (-101, +1.5 @ -313)
@ Over/Under 35:00, Total Kills 18.5
KT Rolster (-127, -1.5 @ +222)

Gen.G eSports (-108, +1.5 @ -333)
@ Over/Under 35:00, Total Kills 17.5

Griffin (-118, -1.5 @ +235)

Moneyline: KT Rolster -127 (5 units)

Handicapped: KT Rolster -1.5 maps @ +222 (0.5 units)

KT Rolster have somewhat quietly won eight of their last ten series including victories against Gen.G and Griffin twice each, and Afreeca as well. Their two losses were to HLE and SK Telecom. I don't think it's unreasonable to call KT the best team in the world currently, as a matter of fact I would. The fear is that the KT Rollercoaster inevitably ebbs and flows. I'm actually going to plant my flag here and say that KT aren't going to go on a downturn the rest of the season. They've settled into the drafts and compositions that work well for them and until the metagame drastically changes I can't see this team not being a favorite against anybody. I'd consider Gen.G and Griffin the next best teams in Korea right now the thing they all have in common is that they know exactly who they are and they aren't trying to copy or imitate they simply do what they're good at which is something I think Kingzone and SK Telecom (although this team isn't going to worlds this year) should take note of. Their game one victory against Gen.G took a Ruler misplay but both of those teams were just throwing haymakers back and forth at each other and both teams elevated. That was one of the higher level individual games this season not because it was strategically perfect necessarily but because of how both teams reacted to the changing situations in game and how quickly they did so. That's a characteristic of great teams.

Kingzone... man oh man. So I've felt pretty strongly that this is eventually going to be the best team in the world this season but they certainly aren't that right now. They're still a top five Korean team with tremendous upside but they look a bit lost right now. I haven't liked many of their drafts since Rift Rivals and that's been one of the major problems. This team could easily make some adjustments and return to form but I've been saying that "they've got this one" for two weeks now and it hasn't been the case. Yes they've won matches but they haven't been drafting well in those situations and against the level competition in Korea this season you can't just play your way out of a paper bag of a draft. This could end up being an absolute slugfest of a series if Kingzone actually stick to what they're good at which is more traditional team compositions. As a matter of fact they should look at what KT is doing, maybe they'll learn a thing or two.

I like KT Rolster quite a bit here. While they haven't been completely dismantling good teams left and right they have been adapting to situations within game, clearly identified who they are and what they're good at, and are playing to their win conditions regardless of the opponent. Mata and Score have also been particularly good in this run and Smeb has looked like his peak form in the most recent matches as well.


Gen.G vs Griffin: Slight lean on Gen.G right now, check back later

I think for as good as Griffin have been Gen.G have been just as good with a couple boneheaded exceptions. Gen.G had the exact right gameplan for taking down Griffin and it's been used since to beat them. I also think Gen.G have looked the best they've looked since Worlds last year in the past few weeks. This to me is a poor stylistic matchup for the Griffin we've seen in the LCK. They've been winning but in their past couple series they've shown a lot of vulnerabilities. I think Gen.G will take them down this time. I'm not sure how I'm going to play this but I'm leaning Gen.G for sure. Going to wait to see if there's any line movement in our favor here.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Betting: July 25th (LCK, LPL)

LOL Champions Korea 7/25 Schedule:

SK Telecom (-345, -1.5 @ -115)
@ Over/Under ???, Total Kills ???
BBQ Olivers (+248, +1.5 @ -116)

Hanwha Life eSports (-333, -1.5 @ +103)
@ Over/Under ??, Total Kills ??

Jin Air GW (+242, +1.5 @ -133)

Afreeca Freecs (-1111, -1.5 @ -233)
@ Over/Under 33:00, Total Kills 18.5

MVP (+583, +1.5 @ +172)


Handicapped: SK Telecom -1.5 maps @ -115 (4 units)

If you look at the last five matches for both of these teams you'd see two teams on the rise but context is important so let's dive into this a bit. 

  • SK Telecom: 2-0 win vs HLE (subs in game 2), 1-2 loss to KT Rolster, 2-1 win to MVP, 1-2 loss to HLE, 2-0 win vs BBQ
  • BBQ Olivers: 2-1 win vs Afreeca, 2-1 win vs Jin Air, 1-2 loss to MVP, 0-2 loss to Jin Air, 0-2 loss to SKT
Both teams have had one impressive win; SKT defeating the rock solid Hanwha Life 2-0 and BBQ defeating Afreeca 2-1. The devil, as they say, is in the details. First, a reminder that SKT faced the HLE B-Team in game two so considering it a 2-0 stomping isn't appropriate but they did so with Pirean playing instead of Faker. BBQ Olivers are coming off back to back wins, both of which are their only two wins THIS ENTIRE SEASON. I'd also argue that, while impressive, Afreeca was both experimenting and clearly not entirely focused on that matchup. I'll give credit where it's due, when a team gives you a win all you can do is take it but let's be real here folks, BBQ are the worst team in the LCK and I, for one, don't think it's close. If there was going to be any of the "bad" teams that were to take advantage of the bizarre metagame we've seen this season I'd put my money on BBQ but they've been terrible. For most of the season they looked defeated the second something went wrong, they've shown an inability to come back and have botched half the leads they've had despite that not happening very often. I'm not saying SK Telecom are an elite team and prime to stomp this matchup like, for instance, Griffin or KT Rolster for example but BBQ are eliminated while SKT still have chance at a playoff berth. SKT have shown steady improvement and while they're not the legendary squad they once were this is still a team that's miles ahead of BBQ. This is essentially a must win for SKT and with teams finding success on traditional team compositions more and more frequently I think we can expect SKT to go back to their calm and controlled style because that's where they're comfortable and not only that but it could insulate us from "let's try this" types of drafts that have burned us quite a bit this season.

If SKT were a stronger team and more stable lineup I'd double this but considering they're only a mid tier team I'm going to limit this to four units. This is still a MASSIVE gap. Particularly if the game is going to slow down and seesaw back toward traditional play. SKT were one of, if not the best of all time at the slow-paced, controlled style and BBQ haven't even been able to thrive in a meta where they should be able to. Don't overthink BBQ winning their last two matches. Afreeca didn't care and MVP are not much better than BBQ are. 


Handicapped: Hanwha Life -1.5 maps @ +103 (3 units)

Jin Air have showed some signs of life but they've also struggled with other bad teams. HLE just lost to SKT subbing out Faker and then started all five subs for game two against SKT. Before that they had losses to Griffin and Gen.G, two of Korea's top teams this season. Unless you want to count this most recent loss to SKT, Hanwha haven't dropped a single game to a bottom three team yet this season. As a matter of fact they've convincingly 2-0'd with only one game going longer than 35 minutes against ANY of the bottom teams. 

That said, there is a shift beginning to occur in the LCK metagame. More teams are finding success with traditional ADC's again and slowing the game down. It's like Korea is going back to playing Korean League of Legends again. That sort of situation should favor ADC superstar Teddy so you'd think "boy Gelati, shouldn't we bet the sneaky Jin Air +1.5 here because of that?" That's level two logic and it's not unreasonable to expect that Jin Air could find success playing around Teddy again but HLE are a well-coached and well-prepared team that will have a plan for this so I'm not buying the whole "meta shifting in Jin Air's favor" argument here however I'm also not completely ignoring it.  


Afreeca vs MVP: No action

If Afreeca didn't just come off of a "wake up call" loss to the BBQ Olivers I'd consider a light play on MVP here to catch Afreeca sleeping but as it stand's we'll be taking no action. This MVP squad has struggled more and more as the season has gone on and if it weren't for a 2-1 victory against the bottom dwelling BBQ they'd be at 8 match losses in a row with only two game wins outside of that series (against Jin Air and SKT). This line is just a tad too rich for me to feel good about "free money." If this was closer to -200 I'd maybe take the gamble with that kinda juice but -233 is too rich for me and I don't think it's outside the realm of possibility for MVP to randomly spike a game here. This is fairly close to a "free win" so if you're following the Gelati of last season you could smack 10 units on this thing and call it a day but I'm gonna let this ship sail and not feel bad about it.


LOL Pro League (China) 7/25 Schedule:

Invictus Gaming (-556, -1.5 @ -132)
@ Over/Under 34:00, Total Kills 26.5
Snake eSports (+366, +1.5 @ -102)

Rogue Warriors (-556, -1.5 @ -154)
@ Over/Under 34:00, Total Kills 26.5
BiliBili Gaming +368, +1.5 @ +118)

Handicapped: Invictus Gaming -1.5 maps @-132 (5 units)

I'm not going to look too much into Invictus dropping a game to TopSports and a game to Team WE. This is the best team in China and you could argue the best team in the world with Uzi sitting out the remainder of the season for RNG. Even with Snake showing signs of a return to form recently (and immediately ruining that as well) the numbers tell the story here. Invictus are doing an absolutely absurd 1956 damage per minute with 1943 gold per minute as a squad while Snake are averaging merely 1666 damage per minute with 1812 gold per minute. In other words Invictus are not only accruing the resources given to them, but also taking a lot away AND doing more per gold than almost every other team in the world. Flandre is the only player that could make this a real series and it'd be disrespectful to say that's not possible but Snake have only recently been getting into form and even then have dropped games to BiliBili and a series to TopSports before the RR break, granted they looked pretty poor before the break. Outside of a win against EDG in late June this team has no worthwhile wins to their name. You could argue that's a reason to like the upset here but I'm going to go with the other side. 


Handicapped: Rogue Warriors -1.5 maps @ -154 (4 units)

It's kind of hilarious to me that BiliBili FINALLY appear to have figured out how to play the non-ADC metagame just as it appears to be ever so slowly dropping in power level. They were late to the party but that's not to say they can't rally to catch up to everyone. To me, that was BiliBili's only worthwhile win this season. In these situations it's difficult to parse whether or not this is the beginning of a new trajectory upwards or simply an outlier. EDG is no joke and they don't take games off. BBG squarely beat them in those two games, it wasn't a poor draft or any real fluke plays or a roster swap. I'd say the win over Snake meant something but they haven't really been theirselves either until recently and even that's debateable as they immediately went back to losing so this BiliBili team is definitely tough to figure in this spot. The metagame should be shifting back toward their style again but often times when a team "finally figures it out" they want to stay there, as if proud, and I could maybe see that happening here but I digress.

All of this said I still think Rogue Warriors utterly roflstomp this game. This team has dropped 5 games TOTAL this season. Two to JD Gaming, two to EDG, and one to Suning. The "worrying trend" is that three of those five losses are to other "mid tier" teams and you could argue that BiliBili were a mid tier team but that was also last season. This just looks to me like an all you can eat buffet for DoinB. Mole has been the starter this season but has been fairly underwhelming in the replacement of Athena who was arguable this teams best player last season. I'm not sure they can draft around it either.