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.

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