Friday, October 26, 2018

Betting: October 27th and 28th (Worlds 2018 Semifinals)

Invictus Gaming (-238, -1.5 @ -110)
vs Over/Under 33:00, total kills 22.5
G2 eSports (+179, +1.5 @ -123)

I wrote a retrospective regarding my thoughts on what I couldn't have seen and should have seen in more of a picture way about the rise of the Western teams this year but I didn't really talk a lot about China specifically. Maybe it's because it was it was the furthest match away in our memory but Invictus Gaming did end up beating my favorite to win the tournament in KT Rolster. Was this a surprise? Sort of. I had Invictus as the third best team going into this tournament and was, frankly, not surprised that people were sleeping on them. Unless you watch the LPL you would be totally unaware of just how dominant they were over the course of this entire calendar year. Not one split, not one playoff run, but the entire year. As I've said a million times already, if they hadn't lost two best of fives to RNG we probably would have been hyping them as the best team in the tournament going in. With that said I still thought KT would win this match but I'm somewhat less surprised that a great team like Invictus were able to do it so this one wasn't really as big a shocker to me as some of the other matches in these quarterfinals. I aboslutely loved Invictus' drafts in this series. They had almost the exact plan of attack I'd take against KT Rolster which is taking Mata and Score's primary playmaking champions out of the pool and refusing to allow them to camp bot. Nocturne and Thresh were banned all five games as well as Alistar in three of them. IG pushed KT onto good but not great picks like Leona and had the Alistar themselves against picks like Rakan when they got through. While I know they almost lost this series anyway with a 2-0 lead I really loved their plan of attack here and think they'll be similarly prepared for G2.

G2 vs RNG was, much like Cloud 9 vs Afreeca, a surprisingly lopsided affair that I'm not sure anybody in their right mind could have seen coming. I've got to give a lot of props to G2 here. They were utterly destroyed in game one by RNG but had the mental fortitude to bounce back and punch RNG right in the mouth as punishment for their beyond arrogant draft in game two. Akali, Irelia, AND Tahm Kench? Are you kidding me? RNG were clearly disrespecting G2 and they got punished badly for it. After those two games though this becomes a three game series and honestly G2 just outplayed RNG pretty badly in two of the next three games. I didn't like RNG's drafts at all in this entire series. I understand that you have Uzi and you can kinda do whatever you like but the Lucian priority was just weird to me not because he is a weak pick, quite the contrary against the metagame, but because they would pick him to bookend their 2-core compositions. RNG's calling card this tournament was a carry jungler like Taliyah + ADC and 2-3 tanks to front line. A bit of a different take on the classic 2-core which uses the mid laner but by utilizing Aatrox, Galio, and Urgot they were able to use a tanky mid laner and carry jungler to get the job done. G2 saw right through this and had the answers. You put stress on EITHER of those carries and the 2-core falls apart with a weak scaling carry such as Lucian. So they picked a strong early jungler and camped bottom or camped the jungle. It seems so simple right and it kind of is but RNG have managed to deal with this all year long and G2 simply outplayed them anyway.

With all that said I think the truth is, that while G2 deserve a lot of respect for this monumental upset, perhaps the greatest in League history (IMO), I can't help but think I'm not alone when I say that RNG lost this just as much as G2 won it. The disrespectful punted draft in game two, the weird reliance on a strategy that G2 already beat you in two games on and lack of adjustment to it in both the draft AND in game, and uncharacteristically weak jungle play with a clearly telegraphed strategy by G2 showed me that perhaps RNG were not as prepared as they should have been for thie match and they were punished by a G2 team that I honestly thought would struggle to do so even in such favorable positions. Props to G2.

To me Invictus are a different beast than RNG. Sometimes they play similarly and they both have blazing fast closing speed but Invictus draft AND play for early while RNG will sometimes just outplay their way to early wins with mid to late game comps. I think Rookie is superior to Xiaohu, I think both IG tops are superior to LetMe, Ning I like more than MLXG but similarly to Karsa, and while I won't go so far as to say this is a worse matchup for G2, I think the individual player advantage goes to IG by a fair margain. I also think that G2 revealed a lot more of their picks than IG did which means there's a good chance we've seen all that G2 has to offer in terms of champion picks. That said, G2 have shown that ability to flex a ton of champions between top and mid which can be a great way to defend against the fact that another team might know your pool and get a favorable matchup anyway. Information advantage is slightly in IG's favor but not by much.

I'm going with Invictus for a couple of reasons here.

  • My initial read was that Invictus were one of the best teams in this tournament and it more or less has come true. I'm not ignoring the Fnatic losses. As a matter of fact I think Fnatic look like one of the stronger teams now and the fact that IG played them competitively despite losses gets repsect from me. 
  • G2 are a good deal weaker than Fnatic to me.
  • G2 won because they caught a disrespectful team off guard and took the fight to them and they weren't ready for it. Invictus WILL NOT make the same mistake.
  • Invictus will always take the fight to you, it's their modus operandi. (another reason they won't be caught off guard by aggression)
  • Invictus have better individual players.
  • Rookie is the best player in this series and arguably the world.
  • G2's greatest strengths are Perkz and Wunder and IG's solo lanes (all 3 of them) are better which will at worst cancel out G2's strengths and leave it to the bot lane and jungle play. 
  • Invictus have the top lane curveball of TheShy to throw if they wish to.
  • (heavily opinionated): If you believe in regerssion to the mean I think it's reasonable to expect that G2 had the series of their life AND needed RNG to play terribly to beat them. Invictus beat KT Rolster straight up. KT didn't even look that bad. That's higher honors from me.

This is a wild match to pick because these are both teams that beat what many considered to be the top two teams in the entire tournament in five game series. This is unprecidented territory we're in so it's difficult to get a read. Ultimately I think Invictus are NOT going to lose the same way RNG did and that's why I like them in this series because G2 have yet to show me they can beat superior teams another way. Could they? Absolutely. If this Worlds has shown us anything it's that crazier things can happen but I just don't see it here. I'm sticking to a combination of my pre-tournament read as well as what I saw from these two in quarters and groups and taking Invictus. I'm going against momentum and a lot of public money here but I think this will be a 3-1 Invictus win and these games are going to be very fast unless Invictus decides to show a wildcard slow game, which I don't expect knowing this teams attitude. 

(UPDATE: More specific to odds talk but this line has moved all over the place. As of this writing it's -238 but I've seen it as low as -200 and as high as -270. Not a lot of value picks here it's more or less who you think will win.)

Handicapped: Invictus -1.5 @ -108 (3 units)

Prop: EXACT Invictus 3-1 @ +243 (0.5 units)

Prop: Map 1 UNDER 33:00 @ -110 (0.5 units)

Prop: Map 2 UNDER 33:00 @ -110 (0.5 units)


Fnatic (-217, -1.5 @ -102)
vs Over/Under 33:00, total kills 23.5
Cloud 9 (+162, +1.5 @ -133)

Never thought I'd see the day but here we are with an NA vs EU semifinal. Cloud 9 looks unbelievable against Afreeca. We're talking like a completely different team than even earlier in this tournament level of unbelievable. They had their Wheaties that morning! For real though Cloud 9 really took it to Afreeca and even the most optimistic C9 and NA fanboys couldn't have seen a 3-0 coming. So which Cloud 9 are we going to see here? The Cloud 9 that was struggling against wildcard teams, refusing to play anything other than slow, controlled team compositions or are we going to see the team that took it to Afreeca? I'd think the latter. Typically I'm the wet blanket guy that trusts regression or progression to the mean over running hot and that's served me well in predicting over the years but I think Cloud 9 are feeling really confident right now. The question is whether or not that confidence is enough.

Fnatic did a good job bouncing back from a weird game one draft against EDG and proceeded to dominate games two and four and win a 47 minute slugfest in a hilarious game three. Fnatic also handled Invictus Gaming in their groups before this quarterfinal. Quite frankly, Fnatic have impressed me and greatly surpassed my reasonable expectations of them (#8 in my pre-tournament rankings). They're so clean in every aspect of the game and other than that weird game one draft against EDG have shown a clear and decsive game plan in every single one of their games this tournament. They've stood toe to toe with what many would call superior individual players with no problems as well. Honestly, Fnatic are just plain good and should be considered one of the favorites of the four remaining teams to take this tournament down.

So how do we size this up? I'm leaning toward an absolute domination by Fnatic here and I'll explain why. 

  • Cloud 9 really took the aggression to Afreeca in their quarterfinal and I don't think Afreeca expected that based on a lot of the reasons I discussed in my retrospective post about Korea.
  • (heavily opinionated) Cloud 9 looked significantly better in their quarterfinal but still, in my opinion, completely lucked out of their group with both RNG and Gen.G underperforming and Vitality punting a game they should have won against them. TL:DR - They wouldn't have even been in the quarterfinals if other teams didn't severely underperform.
  • I don't trust teams coming off of back to back bouts of opponents underperforming. Props to them for taking care of business but their wins carry less weight to me.
  • Fnatic saw an entirely different angle from Cloud 9 while Fnatic didn't show anything stylistically new in their EDG series. They won't be caught off guard by anything.
  • Cloud 9's only individual advantage is in top lane with Licorice who has been incredible this tournament. You could argue Svenskeren here and I'd concede on that if you feel that way but I think Caps, Rekkles, and Hylissang are all superior players, especially if we're looking at this tournament specifically.
  • If Fnatic was able to handle Invictus' aggressive, fast-paced style in groups even an aggressive Cloud 9 isn't going to execute on the same level as IG who I consider to be the uptempo team in the world.
  • I said it in the last series and they proved me wrong but to me Cloud 9's bot lane is still a huge liability. They're going to have to make so many draft decisions to get them priority lanes or they're just going to get run over and I just can't see that being a strategically advantageous with a player like Caps in the game pulling bans.
  • Caps is the best individual player in this game.
I keep trying to come up with a logical or strategic reason for Cloud 9 to do well in this series and I just can't do it. I don't think there is anything other than meme's and magic that they do better than Fnatic and unlike in the Afreeca series where I severely overrated Afreeca's ability to adapt to aggression and underrated Cloud 9's ability to play aggressive, I don't think that will be the case here. Cloud 9 looked great against Afreeca and they deserve mad props for absolutely mollywhopping a Korean squad but the truth is that Afreeca had never seen anything like what Cloud 9 threw at them and because of that they just ran them over. Fnatic played domestically against a variety of styles including a domestic team in Vitality that was exceptionally aggressive, handled arguably the most aggressive team in the world in Invictus in groups, and can also play better late game macro than any other Western team. Fnatic have little to no weaknesses. I could see them maybe punting a draft like they did in game one against EDG while feeling out what their opponents plan is but if I didn't have that slight hesitation I'd absolutely slam the straight up 3-0. I know that sounds bold but Fnatic look like a legitimate candidate to win worlds this year and Cloud 9, sorry to say, had a much easier road to get here than we would have initially thought if you told me they'd get out of that group and play Afreeca in quarters. I tend to bias toward pre-tournament reads but this has been a weird tournament and while it feels strange I think we need to look at Group B (the initial "Group of Death") and Afreeca (ill-prepared for aggression) as "weaker opponents" than we initially thought. Never in a million years did I think I'd say that but at this tournament they just were. So really Cloud 9, while impressive, haven't had the hardest road to get here and haven't faced a team as good as Fnatic has looked this tournament outside of maybe RNG. . I give props to Cloud 9 for cleaning up the trash but I think their road ends here. As I said I just can't think of anything Fnatic doesn't do better.

Handicapped: Fnatic -1.5 @ -102 (6 units)

Prop: EXACT Fnatic 3-0 @ +268 (0.5 units)

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

What did we just witness?: A Retrospective on the "Surprising" Quarterfinals at Worlds 2018

Before diving into the upcoming matches I wanted to take a good bit of time to discuss the absolutely insane quarterfinals, what went wrong in our predictions, and what we could have seen or couldn't have seen coming. First I need to make something clear, if it wasn't obvious. Korea is my "home team." No I'm not Korean or a Western League of Legends hater, I watched all but a couple games of the NA and EU LCS this year and every year but the LCK is the league I pay the most attention to, rewatch the most, and have followed for the most years so to me these losses have been a bit of a shock. Think of me as the League of Legends version of a New England Patriots fan; I don't know what losing feels like because I haven't experienced a lot of it. It's not that I'm completely devastated or anything but it's important to know that that is the lens through which I'm viewing this and it's important for you as the reader to know my perspective.

A little less than a year ago I was discussing strategy for the upcoming season after they announced the preseason changes with some friends of mine, the team I've played with off and on for years in LAN events, leagues, and solo/duo queue. We all watch the professionals in some capacity and one of the topics I brought up was that the changes to vision and other changes would either push the game in a scrappier, more aggressive direction or would create hyper conservative games in professional play. We quickly came to realize that aggression and higher kill games would become the norm. From this I extrapolated that this would be a huge "buff" to the Chinese/LPL style of League of Legends. This was the level one thinking of impact on the professional scene. The level two thinking, which I never got to, was that this would severely hinder and potentially end the vision heavy style that every Korean team has played with over the years.

So why bring up preseason changes 9-10 months later? Now that we've seen Korea's worst performance at Worlds and the "Rise of the West" taking place it has made me look at the sort of plate tectonics of the competitive scene and how important it can be. If you figure vision was reduced by a good amount, let's say 20% just for the sake of discussion here, that would affect the region that prioritizes vision the most right? This isn't the sole reason Korea lost this year. The reason Korea is out of this tournament is that they failed to adapt while Western teams did.

If you have 10-20 LCK and Challenger Korea teams scrimming each other (throw Flash Wolves in there too) and they're all still playing the old way but just a lesser form of it because of reduced vision/knowledge then you get a very imbred metagame. Micro-meta's develop all over the place every year and it's one of the most fascinating things about bringing it all together at international events but I think this year Korea was it's own worst enemy. If the only thing you practice against isn't optimal anymore like it's been in years past then you don't have the mental fortitude or the flexibility to adapt when a curveball is thrown your way. In this case the curveball was an optimal read on the metagame, something Korea has never struggled with. "Strength of competition" which has so frequently been Korea's strongest asset became it's weakness.

I can sometimes sound like an elitist when talking about this stuff and I definitely did when discussing these matchups as I assumed, for the most part, that the East would return to their normal form and take care of business. Most analysts and coaches would have said the same thing. What I failed to see was that there was a bigger story underneath all of the team storylines and that was that the East flat out wasn't prepared to face this kind of decisiveness and aggression because they simply were not practiced enough against it.

Cloud 9, Fnatic, and G2 eSports all 100% earned their spots here. Do I think G2 and C9 got a little bit lucky to get out of their groups? Yea. I think their groups sort of self destructed around them, I didn't think they even played particularly well and their opponents were horrid but you know what? In these quarterfinals these three teams absolutely destroyed their Eastern counterparts and it wasn't even that close. They played with no regret and had no fear whatsoever and that psychological edge along with a Korea weakened by it's own ability to adapt internally created a script for "upsets" that, in hindsight, I should have seen coming. I say "upsets" in quotes because really, if I had thought to the sub-surface level on this I could have seen this freight train coming and they weren't even really upsets.

Is this a bigger picture shift toward an era of Western dominance? Was this just a weird, flukey tournament and things will return back to normal? Was it the metagame? Was it the pressure of playing at home for Korea? Were these teams just really bad and shouldn't have been here? Ultimately we won't know until we see some data points from next year for perspective. I, for one, am curious to see how Korea responds to this. There is a bit of a changing of the guard happening in Korea right now. Some of these young teams like Griffin, who we saw this year, and Damwon are showing a lot of potential and some of the old guard might shift to younger rosters. One thing is for sure, a showing like this will not sit well in the hearts of Korean fans and players and the world can expect a hungry, vengeful LCK come next season.


I know I didn't discuss much about RNG and EDG in this because it was mostly focused on Korea but I'll quickly mention them. RNG smashed game one against G2 and got cocky handing over three power picks without banning them to G2, who took advantage for the game win and eventually the series win. I'm not sure what the fascination with Lucian was here, It's good against stuff like Kaisa but with limited scaling on the rest of your team you're more or less forced into dominating or you lose. RNG lost both in drafts and in execution as G2 took it to them. They were simply outplayed and while it's shocking to me that it happened given the year RNG had, it also doesn't surprise me to see their arrogance be their downfall. EDG and Fnatic I think was similar to KT vs IG in that it was going to be a close match regardless of the amount of respect you had for either side. Fnatic were just the better team and are looking like a favorite to make the finals at this point.

I'll be releasing my semifinals picks either tomorrow or Friday.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Betting October 20th and 21st (2018 Worlds Quarterfinals)

KT Rolster (-323, -1.5 @ -141)
vs Over/Under 33:00, total kills 21.5
Invictus Gaming (+229, +1.5 @ +104)

I'd argue that these are the two best early game teams on the planet and when those styles collide it can create really high variance games so this matchup honestly has the potential to go any direction depending on how these teams decide to play it. The main difference here is that KT do everything well. They're strategically versatile, have the individual talent, experience, coaching, and depth of champion pools to do literally anything they want at the highest level. Invictus are a bit more narrow but are in that exceptional tier of early game-centric teams, possibly the best there is right now. I'd give a very slight edge individually to KT Rolster simply because we're talking about four hall of fame caliber players and a rookie in UCal that is honestly one of the best mid laners on earth even this early on in his career. He's done more for this team than be a role player on a super team, he's hard carried them at times when they've struggled, he's the real deal and not just because he's on this team.

How you bet this matchup is how you think these teams will play it. What I mean by that is that if, for example, you think KT are going to use their individual prowess and excellent game planning to try to deflect the initial salvo from Invictus and then scale into mid or late game where they're also incredibly good, then you might think these are medium to longer length games and maybe KT botches one of those defenses and you end up with a 3 to 1 kind of series. Another example would be that both teams try to outpace each other and we have a fast and furious, coin-flip kind of series where the team that executes better simply wins. Another possibility is that this starts one way and ends another and for me personally I think that's kind of where this series goes.

This feels to me like these teams will come out and challenge each other early in this first game and possibly the second game before things settle down. Both of these teams have been excellent in longer series (I know IG lost to RNG but watch those series they were good). I'm thinking the most likely outcome for this series is a KT 3-1 with the next most likely a KT 3-2. IG could win this and you could argue that they're a value here with these odds so if you're strictly a value better the play is to bet the Invictus moneyline straight up or to bet the KT -1.5 because there isn/t a lot of value otherwise. I wouldnt fault you for either but I like KT to win here and I expect most of these games to be close. This KT handicap isn't a smart wager but it's the one I'm making. Feel free to tail at a lower amount as I still think it's the correct bet it's just not if you're into systems/value.

Handicapped: KT Rolster -1.5 maps @ -141 (4 units)

PROP: Map 1 UNDER 33:00 @ -116 (1 unit)

PROP: Map 1 UNDER 33:00 @ -116 (1 unit)

PROP: Exact KT 3-1 @ +214 (0.5 units)


Royal Never Give Up (-667, -2.5 @ +128)
vs Over/Under 30:00, total kills 21.5
G2 eSports (+408, +2.5 @ -175)

I think people are going to be a bit overexcited about "EU looking good" and RNG actually losing some games and will overreact here. Sure, if you want to buy into the hype and toy around with the idea of G2 making this a series be my guest but I can't agree with you. This looks like total bait though right? Like the +2.5 seems like an absolute lock but to me it isn't. I'd be utterly shocked if G2 took a game here and that's even keeping in mind all the upsets that have happened this tournament. So let's talk for a bit about how that would happen because to me the ONLY way it happens is if we get a hard carry performance from Wunder or RNG opt to not ban Heimerdinger out of pride. Both of things are possible but to me they're extremely unlikely. This just feels like a complete stomping and a reality check kind of situation. I know EU has a history of doing well in situations like these but RNG are just so damn good and with G2's deficiencies early without the crutch of Heimerdinger that leaves a standout performance by Wunder as their only real out. G2 have some players but I just think they're too outclassed here. Even with the mistake prone MLXG as a sub option to come in and have one of his blunder type games I still think RNG would beat G2 nine times out of ten. To me this series projects to be RNG reality check G2 in game one, G2 flounders and tries something weird in game two that RNG just beats anywy, and then the full tilt in game three. I'm hesitant to lay huge money on a -2.5 but I'll put 3 units on it with these odds that could be a big payoff for us. To me this is as simple as a Tier 1 team against a Tier 3 team and usually in those situations it takes a stylistic mismatch to even have a shot at taking a game or two. RNG are simply too good and I'm not buying into the upset narratives or the hype. It took a wild and whacky group for G2 to get here and while I think they've slightly overperformed my exepections I think we've got to be real here.

Handicapped: RNG -2.5 maps @ +153 (3 units)

PROP: Map 1 UNDER 30:00 @ -116 (1 unit)

PROP: Map 2 UNDER 30:00 @ -116 (1 unit)


Afreeca Freecs (-417, -1.5 @ -238)
vs Over/Under 34:00, total kills 19.5
Cloud 9 (+286, +1.5 @ +171)

A lot of you know how I feel about Cloud 9 escaping this group based on my writeup yesterday. I respect that Cloud 9 actually did it and they've vastly overperformed my expectations of them but putting all the NA hopes and dreams memes aside for a second and looking at this paints a bleak picture. I actually think Afreeca have slightly underperformed this tournament but I was relatively high on them (perhaps not high enough as I had Gen.G ahead of them in my rankings by half a tier). Afreeca had a bad read on the metagame in "week one" and I didn't like their drafts and if you're going to bet on Cloud 9 it's because Afreeca "lost to the terrible Flash Wolves and dropped a game to C9." Personally I think they sured up a lot of their draft mistakes and looked significantly improved in the second round robin taking all three of their games that day. For those of you that didn't watch Korea this year, Afreeca were sort of like the LCK version of 100 Thieves. Excellent against their domestic competition and a collection of good but not great players (besides Kiin). Their strength was their preparation and ability to quickly adapt to metagame changes and make the correct read. They had the wrong read in week one and as soon as they corrected that looked a lot better. You could point to the C9 game as an omen or whatever but after watching both of these teams all season I think C9 are playing at or near their ceiling while Afreeca are just playing at close to their average level. Afreeca are steady.

I like Afreeca for a few reasons

  • Licorice is C9's strongest asset and Kiin is arguably the best top laner in the world so they'll likely cancel each other out and that's if you're extremely optimistic about Licorice (I'm giving him some benefit of the doubt but Kiin could very well just smash him). 
  • Afreeca's other four players are all individually stronger, more experienced, and more versatile than C9's other four.
  • Afreeca, as with most Korean teams, are incredibly good at using the information you give them and C9 have pulled out a lot of stops to be here. They'll be well-prepared. They don't play with fire in drafts they put you in a situation where you have to beat them straight up.
  • Afreeca have the single best player in the matchup and have the only truly elite, best in the world caliber talent in this matchup in Kiin.
  • To me, C9 at their best doesn't beat Afreeca on an average or mediocre day in a best of five.
I could go on about how I wanted some other, better teams here from Korea but Afreeca are still an excellent squad and are a good margain better than C9 to me. I like Afreeca 3 to 1 as the most likely outcome with 3 to 0 as the next most likely. I'm not entirely sure how Afreeca are going to do it, with 1-3-1 or team fighting or uptempo or slowed down or maybe something they have prepared so I'll be staying away from over/under wagers on this but I like Afreeca a lot here and they'll be my biggest wager for group stage.

(UPDATE: This line has moved a couple times already. I tacked on another unit at -1.5 @ -175 but I already liked this at -196. I'm not going to expose myself too much more than this unless it drops to something obscene but feel free to wait. I think maybe we'll get some square money from the dreamers on G2 and we could eke out some more value here.)

Handicapped: Afreeca -1.5 maps @ -196 (5 units)

ADD ON: Afreeca -1.5 maps @ -175 (1 unit)


Fnatic (-213, -1.5 @ +102)
vs Over/Under 33:00, total kills 23.5
EDward Gaming (+159, +1.5 @ -139)

For as good as I think Fnatic are I don't think it's out of line to say EDG could steal this. We've seen stranger things happen. EDG playing at their ceiling are remarkably tough. They have a way of jumping on you and they have the individual players to beat you that way but Fnatic showed us that they can rumble in this uptempo style against a team that I'd argue is one of the few teams on the planet that are better than them at it in Invictus. I'm going to take this time to remind everyone that we saw Fnatic look great against Invictus but it was also only a few games. Invictus was DOMINANT all season long with their only losses coming to RNG. Before going into this tournament everyone would have had a lot more respect for it. Fnatic have been incredibly good, they lead in almost every metric and are dominating gold ratio even above KT but that is somewhat boosted by high kill games in a six game sample size. I think Fnatic look great but I'm definitely not writing them a free ticket here. EDG could definitely beat them. Ultimately this comes down to which EDG you think shows up and whether or not they can break serve for a game without side selection. Teams that play this fast and furious style rely a lot on draft advantages to get lane advantages to facilitate their attempts to speed the game up and they won't have that here. EDG beat teams that were better than they are in their regional gauntlet to get here, as many of you remember I've called them the 5th best team in the LPL coming into this tournament but I'm certainly not going to rule out an EDG "upset" here.

TL:DR - Fnatic looked better than I've seen them all year, and EDG haven't looked quite at their best this tournament (they've looked good not great). Fnatic I think are the better team but EDG can certainly win this. If you think the good EDG shows up I actually slightly favor them. If average or worse EDG shows up I like Fnatic.

I'm going to wait for line movement here and act accordingly. If the EDG +1.5 gets to a spot I like then I might take a gamble on them. If not I like Fnatic ML but it's not a great value. This is bettors choice but the true value I think is on EDG.

PROP: Exact Fnatic 3-2 @ +372 (1 unit)

Others pending line movement

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Betting: October 17th (2018 Worlds Main Event Group Stage Day 8)

I talked a lot about this on Twitter yesterday with a bunch of people but I'll put it here as well. I'm guilty of lazy analysis. I've done it before. I try not to. If I don't know enough about something I usually won't toss my hat in the ring and in betting every single time I haven't done all the research this year I've been punished for it.

Lazy analysis came up because a lot of people were spouting a lot of garbage about Team Liquid today. I want to set the record straight on a few things. Team Liquid are NOT one dimensional. Their most common thing to fall back to is scaling team fighting sure but just because that's what they prefer doesn't mean they aren't good at multiple styles. Over the course of the year they've dominated in every single meta, with a number of styles and strategies. They are a versatile and well-rounded team. So when poeple start saying that Team Liquid needed to "take more risks" in the draft or anything like that against teams like KT and EDG I don't think it could be further from the truth in a best of one. If you are SEVERELY outclassed in every possible way you need to do this. I'm thinking of a matchup like wildcard teams against major region teams. In those situations they are multiple tiers lower and they need to do some out of the box thinking to get any edge they can. Team Liquid are AT WORST a 1.5 tiers lower than the very best teams in the world like KT and probably even closer to EDG. And that's if you're down on them.

Team Liquid played two close games against the best team in the world. Don't look at the final stat lines. Watch the games. They played close games, punched back, appropriately counterpunched and made proactive attempts to get back into the game. This narrative that they just rolled over and died is simply wrong. They played them straight up and if it weren't for the fact that KT made some absolutely incredible outplays and brilliant setups these games easily could have gone to TL.

I think people are way too swift to call a team bad just because they're disappointing. Sometimes truly great teams and players just make unbelievable plays. There are times when a team plays badly and teams when a team plays well and another team plays better and I think that was the case with Team Liquid in this group. It's the opposite of the Cloud 9 situation where Cloud 9 just picked up the mess that other teams left them. Credit to them for that but anybody saying Cloud 9 are a better team than Liquid are out of their minds.

Watch the games. Don't do analysis based on narratives.

(To be clear not everybody was like this, there was a lot of awesome, civilized discussions on the days games but it just drives me nuts when people are lazy)

Anyway on to the final day of group stage...


Fnatic -313 vs 100 Thieves +230
Invictus Gaming -556 vs GRex +372
Fnatic -345 vs GRex +252
Invictus Gaming -556 vs 100 Thieves +363
100 Thieves -103 vs GRex -123
Invictus Gaming -222 vs Fnatic +171


Fnatic vs 100 Thieves

I think this matchup boils down to one factor and that's whether or not 100 Thieves can get Ssumday going or isolate him to see if he can take over this game. Regardless of whether we see Soaz or Bwipo I think Ssumday is the key to this game. 100 Thieves are outclassed in all three lanes and jungle and in mid the difference is drastically in favor of Caps as I think Ryu is likely the worst mid in this tournament and Caps is one of the best. Can 100 Thieves do this? I think there's a chance. Do I think that chance is greater than the implied odds here? I don't so I'll be staying away from this games moneyline. I'm not really sure how Fnatic are going to choose to play this game and for that matter how 100 Thieves will but I think if we consider how controlled Fnatic like to play and if we assume 100 Thieves will try to set up a split with Ssumday as their best option for a win, then I think it's safe to take the under on total kills which is relatively high for these two teams in my opinoin at 22.5.

PROP: UNDER 22.5 total kills @ -114 (1 unit)


Invictus vs GRex

I said coming out of group stage and last week that I was impressed with GRex throughout this tournament. They're aggressive and their set plays can be creative. Unfortunatley for them Invictus are just so damn good at off the cuff skirmishing and blowing out early game leads that I think GRex's greatest strength is in some ways thwarted here. For that reason I won't completely rule out a win over Invictus here but I can't bet them. I'd be betting more on an Invictus botched early game than I would be sincerely betting GRex. I do, howver, actually think this is a better underdog bet than 100 Thieves. I think the implied odds on this game are maybe a tad off so a light wager on the underdogs isn't completely out of line. Stylistically speaking this is the type of matchup that could produce an upset with both teams focusing so heavily on skirmishes. I think the gap here combined with the styles these teams play and GRex having side selection lends itself to an underdog victory more than 100 Thieves vs Fnatic but I won't be betting against Invictus.



Fnatic vs GRex

In similar fashion to GRex vs Invictus I think this is almost a better bet for an upset than 100 Thieves just because of how proactive GRex can be if they want to be. I won't be touching this game either.



Invictus Gaming vs 100 Thieves

I think Invictus are just about the worst possible matchup in the entire tournament for 100 Thieves. 100 Thieves are a great macro team with excellent decision making mid and late game. It's how they won games domestically and were so consistent but individually this team is so far outclassed individually outside of Aphromoo and Ssumday that it's a really difficult gap to close and they're not a team that plays aggressively or has shown a willingness to cheese. Earlier in this post I was talking about how Team Liquid didn't need to cheese against KT because they were good enough to play them straight up. 100 Thieves aren't good enough to play this straight up and will have to get creative. I'm not ruling out that they won't try something odd but for a team that hasn't showed us anything like that even once this entire year I'm going to go ahead and bet that even when they do they won't be good enough or practiced enough at it against teams of this caliber that they could steal one. I'll be taking the under on both time and total kills in this game as I expect it to be an IG rout regardless of whether 100 Thieves try something weird or not.

PROP: UNDER 21.5 total kills @ -114 (1 unit)

PROP: UNDER 29:00 @ -114 (1 unit)


100 Thieves vs GRex

This game is damn near a toss up and without either team getting plus odds it's not even really a value play on either side. I do think GRex can jump out to an early lead and with both teams likely eliminated already at this point this game could get ugly and potentially fun depending on how these teams like to carry themselves. This game has the potential to be one of those "instalock Teemo" bloodbaths for fun. I also think this could go over 22.5 kills even if both teams are playing seriously in this game as I think they're relatively evenly matched. Personally I think GRex are going to win this so I'll be putting a unit on them for the moneyilne but it's a very slight lean that I'm playing because I just feel like it. I like a unit on the OVER 22.5 kills.

Moneyline: GRex -123 (1 unit)

PROP: OVER 22.5 total kills (1 unit)


Invictus Gaming vs Fnatic

This is perhaps the best underdog to bet today. Fnatic are a really good team. I'm not sure if they're better than Invictus but this should be close enough and combined with side selection you can totally justify betting Fnatic here. Is it a value? I don't think so. The implied odds here I actually think are pretty spot on for this matchup. Fnatic is definitely good enough to beat Invictus here but I don't know if it's more likely than the odds we're getting here. If you believe in side betting and the Western momentum we've seen this tournament then this is a good spot for a multi-unit wager but I'll be staying away from this one and just enjoying what I'm guessing will be a great game but an Invictus win.


Monday, October 15, 2018

Betting: October 16th (2018 Worlds Main Event Group Stage Day 7)

(UPDATE: I should have that statistics bars updated in the next couple days. I haven't been home while recovering from surgery but once I do I'll put everything into my sheets and have updated numbers for you all.)

This tournament just keeps delivering on excitement! It's been one of the more entertaining World Championship Group Stages in my memory and while I actually think the level of play has been oddly lower on average than the last two years I do think it has been supremely entertaining to watch.

It's funny I gave Flash Wolves (and Gen.G for that matter) the benefit of the doubt going into this tournament when my gut definitely told me I should have had them both lower than I put them. I fell into a bit of the narrative zeitgeist this year on these two. Flash Wolves simply didn't have the strength of competition and while I talked a lot about how much weaker Taiwan has become than it has been historically I didn't represent that in my Flash Wolves pre-tournament ranking because I wanted to give them credit for doing all they could domestically. It's not their fault if their region sucks kind of thing, similar to the Patriots in the NFL but my gut was 100% right. I should probably listen to that slightly more than I do but that's risky... anyway I digress. Flash Wolves were punished for only having one pitch and unlike Mariano Rivera, it wasn't a bonafied knock-out weapon, it was predictable and fairly easy to counter. Props to the teams that punished them. They didn't deserve to make it out of groups but I gotta be honest I didn't expect G2 to show as well as they did. Respect.

I quickly want to address what some people are calling a "trend." Just because there have been more longer game times is not an indication of a trend. You need to look at the teams in these groups, their playstyle, and the drafts to determine whether it's actually a shift or not. MOST of the teams in the groups we've watched the last two days have been teams that prefer to slow play so a lot of these games have gone OVER. Group C has three teams that prefer to play fast, two of them are two of the four fastest closing teams in the world in EDG and KT. Team Liquid is the odd man out but even they are capable of executing uptempo, early game centric compositions. DON'T BE FOOLED BY THE LAST TWO DAYS. THIS GROUP IS VASTLY DIFFERENT.

Now onto the picks.....


Team Liquid +332 vs KT Rolster -476
MAD Team +338 vs EDward Gaming -500
MAD Team +238 vs Team Liquid -323
EDward Gaming +193 vs KT Rolster -256
EDward Gaming -250 vs Team Liquid +190
KT Rolster -833 vs MAD Team +509


Team Liquid vs KT Rolster

I actually wouldn't fault you for taking the +332 here because TL are a good team, better than some of the teams that have pulled upsets this tournament but I'm not going to bet against a KT Rolster team that I expect to 6-0 this group and win this entire tournament eventually. To me KT Rolster have been the best team in the tournament and while it's not by much, it's by enough for me to feel fairly confident in the 6-0. KT are playing aggressive and attacking which, to me, is when they're at their best but they're also capable of playing the long game. They do both better than TL does. I'd like the upset a bit more if I thought TL had the edge in one or the other but I don't. I do think this game could be close though but I still think a swift KT win is still the most likely outcome. We'll be doing a light half unit wager on the UNDER 33:00 since I feel that's a reasonable time even for a close game when there is an uptempo team involved.

PROP: UNDER 33:00 @ -114 (0.5 units)


MAD Team vs EDward Gaming

I really don't have a lot of faith in this MAD Team lineup. I know they played a close game but they just look lost when behind and even in the limited time they've had edges. We saw how one dimensional Flash Wolves and if that team completely dominated that region without challenge you can see why I was down on the LMS this year. GRex impressed me and have overperformed my expectations thus far but MAD are worse than they are and this is an even tougher group in my opinion. MAD are going to be an 0-6 unless KT decide to throw the final game of the day for fun. EDG need this win and I don't see any way MAD can challenge them here. I've been wrong on a lot of underdogs this week but hear me when I say that I confidently think 100 Thieves and MAD are at least a tier below every other team in the Main Event. They simply lack the players to keep up at this level of play.

PROP: UNDER 33:00 @ -114 (1.5 units)

PROP: UNDER 22.5 total kills @ -114 (1 unit)


MAD Team vs Team Liquid

I feel very confident in Team Liquid but this is exactly the kind of game NA teams lose if you look back through the past few years of Worlds. I wouldn't fault you for taking MAD at these odds on that hunch/trend but I think TL is different. (I thought that about TSM last year so take that with whatever grains of salt you want). I'm not touching this game because I'm not sure how TL will choose to play it and the straight up moneyline spread is too far out of range for me.



EDward Gaming vs KT Rolster

If you're a believer in the level of competition and upsets this is also not a bad one to predict. EDG have the players to at least sort of hang with KT Rolster if both teams decide to go early game centric. I think KT have the edge but it's not outside the realm of possibility for EDG to play their lane kingdom style and it work. I just don't see it happening from blue side allowing KT to counter. This is also still likely going to be a clinching game for KT Rolster and unless they try something weird to experiement against a good team under the assumption they'll just clinch against MAD next game I can't bet EDG to win in good conscience. (It also conveniently sets up my narrative for the day! :-)



EDward Gaming vs Team Liquid

This pick is half founded in logic and half in straight up gut feeling so tail accordingly. There are a few reasons this is going to be my largest bet of Worlds so far.

  • The Schedule: This is shaking out to be another potentially topsy turvy kind of day. If KT beat TL in the first game of the day that puts KT to 4-0 and TL to 1-3. If MAD loses both of the next games which I fully expect, that would move things to TL 2-3 and EDG 3-1. I think KT is going to beat EDG which would clinch the #1 seed for KT Rolster at 5-0 and would also move EDG to 3-2. TL are then set up to tie EDG and potentially create a tiebreaker situation. I'm not overreacting to the results of the past two days. I actually think this group is perhaps the most predictable of the bunch because I think MAD is the worst team in the main event with 100 Thieves close by. In the past two days the "worst" team in the group was at least a competitive team (Phong Vu and every team in Group B). 
  • The Schedule (part 2): Momentum could potentially be in TL's favor. They'll likely lost to KT Rolster but then recover against MAD Team and get a game break to rest/watch/whatever they do ahead of thei match against EDG while EDG will likely be losing to KT who will be hungry to clinch the #1 seed as soon as possible..If you believe KT will just assume they'll win against MAD then feel free to disagree with this point but this KT team isn't the same as previous years. They don't play up and down, they're on a mission and done screwing around.
  • Adjustments: To me Team Liquid now know that they can't risk the scaling style against EDG and KT without consequence or adjustments to early defense. Every game so far they've attempted a heavy scaling composition and this team is more well-rounded than that they just had their read and stuck with it through "week one" but I feel they'll adjust now. EDG have stubbornly played uptempo most of the year regardless of whether it was right or not. I fully expect them to do so again. "Don't fix it if it isn't broken" mentality is strong and I feel EDG will stick to their guns. 
  • Side Selection for Team Liquid
  • Team Liquid are much better than they showed in week one and people are overreacting: Consider how dominant TL were during this calendar year in NA. I know every group is different but you're going to tell me that if Cloud 9 can get out of that clown fiesta with a Top 8 and TL can't? Sure Gen.G didn't show up but EDG has just as many if not more weaknesses as Gen.G does. Actually Gen.G and EDG are similar in that they're one dimensional, great at the one style, but unwilling to adapt and stubborn. Now it just so happens that one plays fast while the other prefers slow but the idea still stands. Teams that stick to their guns are potent but also exploitable. EDG's macro is horrific at times and if they don't jump out to leads on people they struggled even domestically. Team Liquid are a great macro team and I think with a better game plan and more information and experience than they had in week one we'll see a very competitive game here.
  • Team Liquid could play better defense OR better offense their choice: EDG are rather set in their ways while TL could choose one or the other and have shown over the course of the year a willingness to do both and competency in multiple styles albeit not often. This combined with side selection means they get to dictate how this game will be played which is very effective against a tempo based opponent.
There's also just the straight up gut feeling side of this bet for me. I've always been an NA hater but I had these two teams relatively close in my pre-tournament rankings and while one as delivered exactly what I thought they would, the other has vastly underperformed. I'm willing to bet the regression to the mean and I KNOW Team Liquid are a better team than this. They've expressed confidence, much more so than Cloud 9 did, and with the bevy of upsets we've seen in the past few days they have to feel even more so. Unless EDG show a complete change of heart in their first few games I feel VERY confident that Team Liquid will win this game enough so to make it my largest wager of the tournament so far.

Moneyline: Team Liquid +190 (5 units)


KT Rolster vs MAD Team

Unless you believe KT Rolster will troll after clinching the #1 seed and throw while doing so this is a slam dunk win for KT Rolster. In all sincerity this is the best team in the tournament vs one of the two worst teams. I think even while experimenting or trolling KT would win this match. Subs included. I'll be taking the UNDER 29:00 but not touching kills as they could want to play with their food a bit.

PROP: UNDER 29:00 @ -122 (1 unit)



Once again I'll be doing mixed, low wager parlays on the favorites discussed here and probably some with the over/unders and TL to beat EDG as well. Tail on risk tolerance but I'm not going to list them all. You get the idea.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Betting: October 15th (2018 Worlds Main Event Group Stage Day 6)

First of all wow.... What an insane day of upsets yesterday. It wasn't a complete disaster betting wise as at least a few of our over/unders hit but we missed on every parlay. I got pretty lucky I didn't put more down on those because my book actually stopped taking parlay wagers on certain games yesterday (might be a bug who knows). Anyway, bank error in my favor, don't lose too much!

Going into today we need to resist the urge to assume constant upsets. Yesterday was an outlier, not for this tournament specifically, but just in general. I alos think the inconsistency of three of the teams in that group really showed through. I should have maybe given more credit to possible variance as the variety of outcomes for that group was pretty wide open. I probably should have thuoght about this but hey, hindsight is 20/20.

I'll take a moment to say to that this is why I was so mad when Gen.G got this spot. Griffin and Kingzone died for this? Seriously? Gen.G are infuriating and while I don't think they're a bad team or anything they are a frustrating team. I've lost a ton of money to them this year and they've eliminated teams that are both better and that I like more multiple times in the past two years. I probably should have put them in a tier with Afreeca and EDG, they were too inconsistent and one dimensional to be put into the tier one like I put them in. The top three teams in this tournament to me are KT, RNG, and IG. IG has inconsistencies but their style is much more suited to this tournament. These three are better than Gen.G and I should have tiered them as such.

Is Cloud 9 this good? I honestly don't think so. Their bot lane is extremely weak and they've had their pick of tier one champions the entire tournament and still haven't done well. Licorice has been a candidate for tournament MVP so far, he's carried this team almost by himself and it's incredibly impressive. I think come best of five time Cloud 9's drafts will be exposed. Sneaky is too much of a liability over a five game series and while I think their win over RNG was not a fluke I do think that this is a hosue of cards just waiting to fall and nobody in this group exposed their shaky foundation. I'm happy for the Cloud 9 faithful but as it stands right now, unless something drastic changes, I can't see them winning a best of five against ANYBODY that could conceivably make the Top 8.

One more thing I'd like to mention is that the new format with no breaks between days one through four and week two perhaps should have been factored in more going into this. Korean teams historically have been the best at using information and making adjustments for week two, it's why they almost always bounce back in week two even when they have had rough starts. It's almost every LCK team that has done this too not just specific ones. I think that mattered a lot more for this specific day than others. I'm not making excuses for Gen.G just mostly commenting so that I can remind myself that I maybe should have given this more consideration.


Afreeca Freecs -125 vs Flash Wolves -101
G2 eSports -200 vs Phong Vu Buffalo +153
Flash Wolves -222 vs G2 eSports +171
Afreeca Freecs -714 vs Phong Vu Buffalo +452
Flash Wolves -625 vs Phong Vu Buffalo +413
Afreeca Freecs -250 vs G2 eSports +191


Afreeca Freecs vs Flash Wolves

The hip thing to do here would be to go with the Flash Wolves because "the gap is closing" and I feel people will overreact to the results of yesterday but unlike Gen.G who have a history of "playing down" to their competition, Afreeca are almost always well-prepared and have the correct read on the metagame to make the adjustments. Flash Wolves came in with a strategy that was sort of the opposite of how they played all year domestically but now that the cat is out of the bag with this bruiser/tank composition they've been running I'm trusting Afreeca to make the correct adjustments.

Additionally I'll just say it now, I expect Afreeca to win out in this group. IF you think that Gen.G being knocked out might scare them or the psychological edge of having all the pressure of the home crowd on them is something you believe in then bet against them tomorrow but I'm trusting Korea to be itself. Even though we don't have a true "Week 2" Afreeca are likely to use the time off they've had to make the right adjustments because they've had a couple days and have seen how teams might choose to attack them.

Moneyline: Afreeca -112 (2 units) (I got this at -112 and it immediately moved to -125 I'd still take this at -125)

PROP: UNDER 35:00 @ -114 (1 unit)

PROP: UNDER 18.5 (I'd like this more at 19.5 so I'm going to wait to see if it goes there, if it does 1 unit)


G2 eSports vs Phong Vu Buffalo

Similar to Cloud 9, G2 have really blatant draft flaws that haven't really been too exposed yet. They've been punished more than C9 but still not much. Phong Vu just seem kinda bad to me I'll be honest. Ignore the win/loss record and just look at the numbers and overall play. It's really unorganized and statistically you'd think they had to get lucky to get a win. Did they outplay G2? Yea but I don't think that will happen again. At -200 I'm actually going to play this for a unit.

Moneyline: G2 -200 (1 unit)


Flash Wolves vs G2 eSports

This is another situation where people are going to want to slam G2 and ride the upset momentum from yestesrday. I don't think that's a good reason to bet G2 but if you want to look at the previous game between these two you could see some reasons to like G2. If you're going to bet an upset tomorrow I think this is the window to do so. Do I think G2 is a better team than the Flash Wolves? Not at all but I do think Flash Wolves have only shown one strategy and with some time to prepare I could see teams cooking up aw ay to beat it. That said, Flash Wolves could next level this and come out with something more aggressive and in the style that they played most of this calendar year. It wouldn't surprise me. I'm avoiding this game but if you believe in value you can put a small wager on G2 because I think this is probably closer to 50/50 than not.



Afreeca Freecs vs Phong Vu Buffalo

Like I mentioned earlier, after watching the film from these Buffalo games again I honestly feel like they were gifted their win and in their losses they looked lost and had no sense of how to get back in. If I spotted this then I'm assuming Afreeca, who have a history of great preparation and coaching, will have seen it coming too and have the right plan in place to easily win this one. That said the line is too rich for my blood but the under 18.5 and 29 minutes might be a bit too much of a push for how Afreeca like to slow down and 1-3-1 sometimes so I'll wait until I see better numbers, otherwise I'm avoiding any wagers that aren't including this in a parlay.



Flash Wolves vs Phong Vu Buffalo

Similar to last game, I just don't see it. Going into this tournament I didn't expect much from Phong Vu but then some people I respect insisted they could be a sleeper. I was willing to respect that but from what I've seen I don't think this team is going to do anything. They're not used to this level of competition and they don't appear to be a team capable of effectively playing from behind. Flash Wolves are the strongest early game team in this group if you look at how they've played all year and if you look at the first meeting, I'd expect something similar. I expect a fast, clean blowout here.

PROP: UNDER 20.5 total kills @ -114 (1.5 units)

PROP: UNDER 30:00 @ -114 (1.5 units)


Afreeca Freecs vs G2 eSports

I love Afreeca in this game already and unless they're eliminated in the same fashion that Gen.G was then this could be a slam dunk play. -250 is a bit rich but I might actually put a couple units on it anyway. I'm going to wait until we see the games tomorrow to see how these odds move. If G2 loses their first game or two this line could get out of hand but if they win and Afreeca lose one of their earlier games this could approach 50/50 and we coudl collect some value on Afreeca.

NO ACTION (waiting on any unexpected results to see if we can get value)

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Betting: October 14th (2018 Worlds Main Event Group Stage Day 5)

Royal Never Give Up -909 vs Team Vitality +543
Gen.G eSports -455 vs Cloud 9 +318
Gen.G eSports -313vs Team Vitality +232
Royal Never Give Up -769 vs Cloud 9 +482
Cloud 9 -116 vs Team Vitality -109
Royal Never Give Up -244 vs Gen.G eSports +187


Royal Never Give Up vs Team Vitality

With odds like this I wouldn’t fault you for taking a shot on Vitality but with RNG still playing for 1st seed I don’t think I’d put more than a half unit on Vitality. If Vitality were to win this it’d either be through a split push or with an early snowball in bottom lane. The most likely outcome being a swift RNG victory through winning lanes, second most likely a slightly slower RNG victor, and third and fourth most likely being a Vitality swift win or split win that gives us two outcomes that could conceivably come under 29:00. I personally think RNG will continue their stomping spree. A fourth win guarantees them through to the Top 8 while getting to five wins guarantees a #1 seed out of groups, I expect they’ll be showing up to play.

PROP: UNDER 29:00 @ -103 (1.5 units)

PROP: UNDER 22.5 total kills @ -114 (1.5 units)


Gen.G vs Cloud 9

Will Gen.G stomp Cloud 9 in under 25 minutes again? Usually after a whooping like that you can expect more fight the next time around, especially considering Cloud 9 NEED to win out but I think, unfortunately this will be the end of the road for the boys in blue. Gen.G are also in a situation where they need to win out (spoiler alert: something I expect them to do). Gen.G are just too good in the right places and if they, a notoriously slow playing team, were able to obliterate C9 that fast in the first meeting I can’t help but expect it again. CuVee is able to defeat Cloud 9’s best player this tournament in Licorice and the bot lane matchup is so hilariously lopsided it feels like Alabama playing against a Division 3 school in college football. I like the UNDER in kills and total time here.

PROP: UNDER 33:00 @ -152 (juice is crazy high on this, so weird but 1.5 units)

PROP: UNDER 18.5 total kills @ -109 (1 unit)


Gen.G eSports vs Team Vitality

Next target on the Gen.G warpath will be Team Vitality who I believe are slightly better equipped to challenge here than Cloud 9 is but also likely to fall short. I like the double under here too even though Vitality tend to play bloodier games.

PROP: UNDER 33:00 @ -137 (1.5 units)

PROP: UNDER 21.5 total kills @ -114 (1.5 units)


Royal Never Give Up vs Cloud 9

As I mentioned before I think it’s important to take a look at the situations we think are likely to develop going into this before we lose all the value when they actually come to fruition. If we think Gen.G are going to win back to back games then RNG are going to be in a situation where they need this win to secure the #1 seed coming out of groups. They’ll be playing hard while Cloud 9 will essentially be done and just playing spoiler. Not to say the spoiler can’t get it done but there’s a lot less urgency than when your tournament life is on the line. I like C9 a little more here if they manage to beat Gen.G because then they could still be alive and RNG will have already potentially secured the #1 seed but I don’t see that happening so I like the double under yet again here.

PROP: UNDER 30:00 @ -114 (1.5 units)

PROP: UNDER 22.5 total kills @ -114 (1.5 units)


Cloud 9 vs Team Vitality

This is always a tricky spot to call ahead of time because in this match both teams could potentially be eliminated from Top 8 contention already. Obviously if one wins one of the earlier games I like that team a lot more but the line will reflect that once the early win happens so there won’t be much value in it. If you’re going to bet this game with an early win assumed and one of these teams having something to play for then decide which you think is more likely to happen now and place your wager accordingly. I for one think both will have nothing to play for in the tournament but Vitality will want vengeance for the previous loss, a game in which they screwed their draft up and still almost just outplayed Cloud 9 to a win anyway. I think with how well Jiizuke has been playing and how poor Jensen has been along with superior jungle play from Vitality and overall attitude and cohesiveness I think I like Vitality to win this one but only for a unit. I’ll be excluding this from MOST of my favorite stack parlays but will include it in some.

Moneyline: Team Vitality -109 (1 unit)


Royal Never Give Up vs Gen.G eSports

I’m not going to say RNG mail this game in as this is an opponent they could potentially face but with the #1 seed already secured from their previous wins they’ll have a little less urgency and perhaps an unwillingness to show anything strategically so I expect they’ll play this very bland and vanilla and not show anything new. Gen.G on the other hand will be able to secure #2 seed with a win almost regardless of the earlier circumstances unless by some miracle Vitality or Cloud 9 upset. They’ll need this game to avoid tiebreakers. I also think Gen.G are looking better and figuring things out after a rough start. I love a good team, in a heavy underdog situation against a team that will have nothing to play for and will either avoid showing anything or will pick something risky to attempt to show it as a possible ban target for Bracket stage teams to see before playing RNG. I LOVE Gen.G here even though I think RNG can win playing vanilla against them. Not slamming this but going two units on the underdogs here.

Moneyline: Gen.G eSports +187 (2 units)

Once again did well with our parlays even though I sorta forget to put some G2 cycles into those even after putting a half unit on the upset yesterday. I should have split them but I was lazy! I’ll be doing the same thing this time around except I’m excluding the C9/Vitality game since it’s potentially volatile. I’ll be mixing in some Gen.G and RNG wins for that Gen.G/RNG match into them as well to cover bases.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Betting: October 13th (2018 Worlds Main Even Group Stage Day 4)

Afreeca Freecs -500 vs Phong Vu Buffalo +346

G2 eSports +243 vs Flash Wolves -333

Team Liquid -270 vs MAD Team +204

KT Rolster -222 vs Edward Gaming +171

Invictus Gaming -526 vs 100 Thieves +359

G-Rex +198 vs Fnatic -263

Afreeca Freecs vs Phong Vu Buffalo

I said it on Twitter yesterday and I’ll say it again here. Afreeca will 4-0 the rest of the way in this group stage. They’re making the correct adaptations and this team is too good at preparation and too well-coached to perform as poorly as they have been. Phong Vu looked better than I thought they’d be but I’m not sure they’re going to be able to beat Afreeca. If Zeroes is this best player and he has to face Kiin then that nullifies a huge portion of their advantage and I like the rest of Afreeca’s lineup a lot more than PVB. I’m probably going to stay away from this game entirely as Afreeca are capable of playing an uptempo or a slower game and it’s tough to tell which they’ll do here but depending on the number I might take the under in total kills as I expect Afreeca to get back to the 1-3-1 that they’re so good at and keep this controlled and low in kills.

PROP: UNDER 22.5 total kills (1.5 units)

G2 eSports vs Flash Wolves

This is a weird matchup to me. It seems really obvious that Flash Wolves should win this but I have a few thoughts on both of these teams and it has to do with their drafts and potential lack of depth of strategy. Flash Wolves have been playing with this 3.5 tank comp usually aiming to get Urgot + Aatrox/Galio, a bruiser jungle, and some sort of engage support like Rakan or Alistar and a hyper carry like Kaisa. We haven't really seen anything else from them so Im curious as to whether or not teams will continue to let them have this or not. Perhaps banning Alistar, Aatrox, and Urgot, forcing them to take Kaisa or Rakan or Irelia with the first pick and possibly countering with the remaining two of these or something along those lines. I'm sure they have more prepared but I think teams should probably try to take them off this game plan and "make them show you" that they have something else. I think Flash Wolves look good and are almost a shoe-in for Top 8 at this point but whether or not they can really compete with the very top of the table has a lot to do with whether or not that have more than this. Similarly G2 have been a significantly different team without Heimerdinger and I'm curious whether or not it's just based on strength of opponent or if they really are that one dimensional. I'm thinking it's more the former but I still don't know. This feels like it could be an upset if G2 actually challenge Flash Wolves in the draft which nobody has done yet. I'm kind of blindly trusting them to do that so this bet is going to look kind of insane but I think G2 could force Flash Wolves to show more and falter while doing so. I'll be parlaying Flash Wolves but for the straight up bet I like putting a half unit lottery ticket on the upset here.

Moneyline: G2 eSports +243 (0.5 units)


Team Liquid vs MAD Team

Team Liquid tried the Flash Wolves style team comp in this game and got punished really hard while scaling by one of the best early game teams in the business in EDG. It was a risk they took and that's about it. I'm not going to put too much stock into that loss because they played right into the teeth of a superior team. Liquid have had to face the other two strong teams in this group so far in EDG and KT Rolster and while I thought they had a reasoanble shot at winning against EDG yesterday they played it risky. To me this is a combination of "must win" and MAD being substantially weaker than both opponents TL have faced so far. This should be an easy win but if you are thinking about the underdog the reason you'd take them is that MAD also are an early game team similar to GRex when they are playing in their comfort zone. They want to play it fast and loose and end the game fast so if TL play into that again they could potentially get run over again. I'm betting on that not happening mostly just on strength of team overall being weaker and think TL will be able to either hold out or play early and win as well. I kind of want to take the UNDER 22.5 total kills here but I honestly don't know if TL will get sucked into playing MAD's game with them. I'll stay away from this one for now and perhaps revisit it later.



KT Rolster vs EDward Gaming

Perhaps the most intriguing matchup on tomorrows slate is the two "speed run" teams. KT and EDG have been crushing people very fast with their blazing, uptempo drafts (or even without early game drafts in some cases). The problem is that EDG have shown domestically that they struggle if teams can withstand their initial salvo. They have poor decision making mid to late game and without a lead they often struggled to find any wins at all. KT Rolster not only have the individual players to actually stand up to EDG individually but also the better decision making and macro to win either early or late. This game is bound to be fun but I think KT will have all the answers to EDG. It feels like we should take the OVER 20.5 kills but I'm actually going to go under that number. To me this game is going to be won quickly by one side or the other with the third most likely outcome being KT neutralize and then stall for a win late in which case we'd probably lose that. If the two most likely outcomes equal that we're going to bet it. I like the UNDERs in both total time AND total kills even with 20.5 being a lower number.

PROP: UNDER 20.5 total kills @ -114 (1 unit)

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


Invictus Gaming vs 100 Thieves

100 Thieves pulled one out yesterday. Aphromoo really is a world class player and it's a shame he cant get on a better team. He's one of the best support players in the world and you could make an argument for him being the best Western player right now besides Caps. It's impressive how good both he and Licorice have been at this tournament so far. Anyway long story short I don't think 100 Thieve can handle this. Invictus are an absolute nightmare matchup. IG are better in almost every position and this game is going to be over in lane phase before 100 Thieves macro and decisive shot calling will matter. The draft is also going to be a huge problem with Rookie presenting a potential multi-ban requirement. I give 100 Thieves less than a 10% chance to win this game even in a best of one, IG are just too good. This should be a swift and decisive IG victory and the only way I don't see that happening is if they decide to show the rest of the tournament a weird pick or a late game style just to threaten that they can do it. Honestly they could win this in under 30 minutes even if they pick to scale.

PROP: UNDER 23.5 total kills @ -114 (1.5 units)

PROP: UNDER 30:00 total time @ -116 (1 unit)


G-Rex vs Fnatic

This should be an interesting matchup with both teams approaching "must win" territory. I think Fnatic are the superior squad though. I don't like the whole transitive property style comparison in best of one formats because styles matter and it's a small sample size but if you consider that Fnatic smashed 100 Thieves and 100 Thieves beat G-Rex you can kind of tie this together. Really I think it's simpler than that. Fnatic are just a really good team and I think a good amount better than both G-Rex and 100 Thieves. I'm not going to be discouraged by the lashing IG put on them this morning. IG are not only one of the best teams in the tournament but exceptionally good in uptempo situations like that and Fnatic made a few correctable mistakes early in that game that would have made it more interesting. This should be rather one sided.

If you're looking for the pro-GRex argument it's that I think they're going to start Empt2y, the jungler they looked so good with in play-ins here. Baybay started most of their games throughout the year so it was a bit unexpected but honestly Empt2y looked better and if they're going to start beating superior teams they're going to need to up the aggression level instead of playing into what other teams expect. They're a different team with him playing so if you think they can turn it around with him starting that's a reasonable concept to build on for an upset here.

I'm sticking with Fnatic regardless of which jungler starts even though I think Empt2y would be a better idea for GRex right now. I don't really know how this is going to play out so I'll be avoiding this game. IF we hear that Baybay is playing again I like the UNDER on total kills but if not this game could get bloody and I'd lean the over. As it stands I'm staying away.



Once again I'll be running parlays and I've been absolutely killing it with these this tournament so lets keep it rolling. Mixed 2-6 piecers on the favorites, mix the unders I'm betting in too if you want higher risk/higher reward.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Betting: October 12th (Worlds 2018 Main Event Group Stage Day 3)

Yesterday we hit on almost half of our small and larger parlays as well as all but our Vitality pick which looked like we had in the bag. Great day for us let's keep it going!

KT Rolster -1111 vs MAD Team +615
Team Liquid +141 vs EDward Gaming -182
Invictus Gaming -213 vs Fnatic +164
100 Thieves +135 vs G-Rex -172
Royal Never Give Up -714 vs Team Vitality +453
Cloud 9 +273 vs Gen.G eSports -385


KT Rolster vs MAD Team

By now you know how I feel about KT Rolster. MAD Team had an admirable showing but this team just isn't quite up to the rest of the field. I don't think they're particularly bad but I can say with close to certainty that we would have rather had any number of other teams here. I'll be taking the under for kills and total time here as this should be a complete shallacking.

PROP: UNDER 29:00 @ -114 (1 unit)

PROP: UNDER 20.5 total kills @ -122 (1 unit)


Team Liquid vs EDward Gaming

Call me crazy or an optimist but I actually think Team Liquid have a reasonable shot at taking this game down. EDG are potent and intimidating but they're far from perfect and their biggest weakness is that they aren't a particularly good macro team. I think Xmithie is a smart enough jungler and the individual players on TL are strong enough to sustain the early aggression by EDG and wait for EDG to make a fatal mistake. Secondarily I actually think Team Liquid could win this as the proactive squad too if they have the right game plan. I'm expecting some sort of pocket pick here potentially. Maybe a Tristana or something along those lines but EDG have shown fault even when they haven't been styling on people and I think TL will take at least one of the games in this head to head.

Moneyline: Team Liquid +141 (1 unit)


Invictus Gaming vs Fnatic

Fnatic looked great in their win yesterday while Invictus looked a little shaky so it might come as a surprise (or not) that I'm siding with Invictus here. Fnatic haven't really faced any teams with a mid laner that is actually better than Caps often enough to know what to do when he loses. Jackeyboy can also hang with Rekkles so that other secondary advantage is also nullified. I think this is going to come down to Invictus just running Fnatic over. From a betting standpoint the CORRECT side here is to take Fnatic at these odds since I think the actual matchup is closer than these odds but I'm actually going to put a unit on both Invictus -213 (usually a number a bit rich for my liking), as well as the UNDER on both kills and total time. I'd caution you not to tail me on this one but I'm being transparent where my money is on this one for you all. This is greedy and a tad arrogant. I think Fnatic will have a much better shot the second time around once they experience just how inane Invictus' blitz is.

Moneyline: Invictus Gaming -213 (1 unit)

PROP: UNDER 34:00 total time @ -125 (1 unit)

PROP: UNDER 21.5 total kills @ -114 (1 unit)


100 Thieves vs G-Rex

I know NA fans don't want to hear it but I think 100 Thieves are either the worst or second worth team in this main event. They simply lack the players to hang at this level in my opinion and perhaps I was too high on them. Teamwork and macro game matters but when you just get run over individually there isn't much you can do sometimes. G-Rex looked aggressive early in their game and just made a few crucial errors one of which you could argue was unlucky being spotted by the red trinket for a fight that would eventually win the game but they had the early lead to potentially run away with and just botched it. By this logic you could say "Oh well 100 Thieves does that all the time they wait for you to mess up!" and that's true but G-Rex did this against Invictus yesterday. That's right they actually hung around pound for pound with Invictus for a good chunk of that game before breaking down. I think G-Rex jump out to a lead and can close it this time around. I like the UNDER as well as the G-Rex moneyline for a unit each. I'll like 100 Thieves more the next time around I think once both of these teams are potentially eliminated from contention and once 100 Thieves get a feel for how fast this could be.

Moneyline: G-Rex -172 (1 unit)

PROP: UNDER 33:00 @ -114 (1 unit)


Royal Never Give Up vs Team Vitality

Vitality lost a heartbreaker yesterday that they almost stole from Cloud 9 after, in my opinion, a botched draft. Anyway the long and short of it here is that I don't really think they've got a chance against RNG. I've got a collegue that's been spamming every single underdog this tournament and doing well so far and he's hyped on this game but unlike Gen.G, RNG can actually hang early in a game and probably even run Vitality over if they care to. Just too big of an individual to individual mismatch here as well as the superior jungler.

No Action


Cloud 9 vs Gen.G eSports

Gen.G looked A LOT better against RNG this morning and perhaps the Vitality upset was the only warming up or wake up call that they needed. So what's the argument for Cloud 9? If you're going to bet Cloud 9 the logic has to be that it appears that Gen.G are going to try to play through CuVee and Licorice is actually a world class caliber player. If they can get him a favorable matchup he could carry. That said I think the Cloud 9 bot lane has shown that they just can't hang when they face a real, world class bot lane. I know everyone gets smashed by Uzi but Ruler and CoreJJ are fairly close to that tier of bot lane. One of the best in the world. They're going to just obliterate the C9 bot lane and even if Licorice gets himself going I don't think they have the tools across the rest of the map to make this work. That said the line is too high here and I actually don't think Gen.G can close this early reliably just by the nature of how they play. I do like the UNDER on total kills in this match as well but only for half a unit since it's such a low number. This is going to be a boring split push game or a slower macro game.

PROP: UNDER 18.5 total kills @ -114 (0.5 units)


Just like yesterday I'll be running a lot of mixed 2-6 piece parlays mostly on the heavy favorites and underdogs as well as a couple on the whole slate to see if we can hit.