Monday, September 30, 2019

World Championships 2019 - Futures

World Championships 2019 - Futures

The World Championships are here and that means it's time to unveil all of the futures I've put in over the course of the year. These numbers have significantly changed but as always I try to be as transparant as I can be so without further adieu.... my futures selections for Worlds 2019.

(NOTE: I'd recommend checking out John George's articles over at He did an outstanding writeup on the general idea when approaching futures as well as a few he liked that are more current odds than these.)


To Win the World Championship:

DAMWON @ +4000 (1.5 units)
Afreeca +7000 (1 units)
Afreeca +8000 (0.5 units)
EDward Gaming +8000 (0.25 units)
FunPlus Phoenix +1050 (1 units)
FunPlus Phoenix +1000 (0.5 units)
Griffin +700 (0.5 units)
G2 eSports +700 (0.5 units)
SK Telecom +650 (2.5 units)**
GigaByte Marines +25,000 (0.05 units)
Unicorns of Love +30,000 (0.125 units)
Fnatic +1600 (0.25 units)
Fnatic +2100 (1 unit)
Griffin +700 (2.5 units)*added 10/25 before quarters)

Total Investment: 12.175 units
Already Lost:-10.13 units
Remaining Exposure: 2 units

As I mentioned, a lot of these were put in earlier in the year. As you can see by the misses, I tend to check on futures from time to time to see if I can spot value, particularly in the 3rd seeds in the LPL and LCK as those representatives have historically been competitive. If you can time a futures wager before that team is qualified or even looks like they're going to qualify, like I did with DAMWON when I put my first wager on them on July 16th, then you can have some nice hedge options available or significantly higher payouts if one hits for significantly less risk. 

Obviously futures aren't for everyone but it's a fun way to potentially hit big. Currently I stand to gain the most from a DAMWON Worlds victory. I consider them one of the eight strongest teams at the tournament and I think they have tremendous upside especially with so much downtime. As it currently stands I would more than double up my total investment with an SKT victory, slightly less than that on a FunPlus victory, triple up on a Fnatic victory, and would cover half my losses on a G2 or Griffin win.

I'm contemplating some other options, such as more exposure to G2, Invictus and RNG but this it for now, this will be updated.

**UPDATE 10/25/2019: I've added 2.5 units to Griffin in advance of a quarterfinal matchup against Invictus that I think they'll win. MY main question about Griffin going into this tournament was whether or not they would look the same on the big stage. They do and at this point they're a tournament favorite to me. I think they've performed slightly better than SKT based on the small sample. I think Griffin are going to win this tournament.**

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Betting: September 8th (LPL Regional Qualifiers Round 2, LEC Grand Finals)

LPL Regional Qualifiers
Round 2

TOP eSports -175 (-1.5 @ +130, -2.5 @ +335)
Invictus Gaming +155 (+1.5 @ -160, +2.5 @ -460)

Over/Under: 27.5 total kills

It's kind of weird to phrase it this way but both of these teams behaved almost exactly like I thought they would and neither of them impressed me. I was looking for one to impress and neither did. I honestly thought JDG should have won four of these five games but they're just so boneheaded sometimes and don't know a fight they won't take. Invictus weren't good outside of TheShy and that's really concerning especially with how it took JDG straight up not knowing how to close a game in order for them to win.  The thing is... with these players I can't help but respect the spike performances. Their style could also throw TOP off.

This feels like an avoid and that's something I haven't been doing as much as I should be this year so I'm going to do just that. If this was closer to even money I'd maybe take a shot on TOP but I also don't think we're getting good enough odds on IG as dogs... weird spot we're just going to avoid this.

No wager


LEC Summer - Grand Finals

Fnatic +246 (+1.5 @ +125)
G2 eSports -351 (-1.5 @ -159)

I know Fnatic almost did it and I know Fnatic looked great today but just ask yourself if G2 won game one of that first series do you feel confident that Fnatic takes a game? I know I don't. It's no disrespect to Fnatic. As a matter of fact I think they're the only team in Europe that's even in the same ballpark as G2. Fnatic are extremely good and have a good chance at making it out of groups at Worlds this year but I just can't see them beating G2 in a best of five again (yes they effectively did last week in my eyes). That's one of those once in a dozen type outcomes. G2 shouldn't start off nearly as sluggish in this series. Wouldn't surprise me to see Fnatic take a game, they're more than capable of that but I think G2 stomp this.

I'm going to be on G2 -1.5 and probably a small amount on the -2.5 but I'm going to wait to see where the line goes and when other books release theirs.

Spread: G2 eSports -1.5 maps @ -159 (2.5 units)

Friday, September 6, 2019

Betting: September 7th (LCK Regional Qualifiers, LPL Gauntlet, LEC Playoffs)

LCK Regional Qualifiers 

Kingzone +124 (+1.5 @ -180)
DAMWON -153 (-1.5 @ +140)

Over/Under: 23.5 total kills

I've been completely burned all gauntlet long by midranged favorites. Am I giving the favorites too much credit? Is momentum a factor? Maybe. Kingzone looked much better against Sandbox than they did against Afreeca but I personally think DAMWON present a different set of challenges and they've also had the opportunity to see two sets of film on this new look, uptempo Kingzone. The question here is whether or not I trust DAMWON to develop and execute a gameplan to attack it and the truth is I don't HOWEVER, I do think DAMWON have the ability to potentially just manhandle Kingzone. 

Kingzone haven't shown anything that's particularly exploitable in these series. As a matter of fact they've all played six or more different champions in just eight games, except for Deft who has played four. Different styles, different angles of attack. Kingzone have also earned first blood in all eight games so far in the gauntlet. I'm not sure there is much of a strategic edge here unless DAMWON have something spicy cooked up while lying in wait which I'd almost certainly bet they do. 

This series comes down to whether or not you think Kingzone have rediscovered themselves and you want to ride the hot hand or if you think DAMWON, with information advantage and individual player advantage showed you enough in the first two games of the SKT series to garner an amount of respect considering how dominant SKT was in playoffs. I'm going to admit that this is a gut feeling bet and I'd actually advise against tailing me unless you're willing to take on that risk. There's not really any logic or reason to it other than I'm trusting my gut. If you consider just how good SKT looked in playoffs playing two relatively close games against them has to mean something and I can't pass that up. DAMWON haven't shown that they're a team that abuses information like some others but I think they have the horses to present a different set of challenges to Kingzone. Their solo lanes could absolutely run away with these games. 

No result would honestly surprise me here but I'm trusting my gut and going with a light wager on the DAMWON moneyline. I might look into the over/under the kill total as well but check back later.

Moneyline: DAMWON -153 (2 units)

Spread: DAMWON -1.5 maps @ +140 (0.5 units)


LEC Summer 2019 - Playoffs

FC Schalke 04 +380 (+1.5 @ +177)
Fnatic -595 (-1.5 @ -232)

Over/Under: 29.5 total kills

We went over this one quite a bit on the podcast but the TL:DR here is that Schalke looked pretty bad against Rogue and Rogue isn't a good team. It was a sloppy, clown fiesta of a series in which they managed to luckily take two games they should have lost. Fnatic were on the cusp of 3-0'ing G2 and while you could argue G2 didn't show up for the first game, it's still impressive. Europe is still G2 and Fnatic and then a huge gap between everyone else. Quite frankly it wouldn't surprise me to see a 3-0 here. Fnatic should stomp this. They're a team that I could reasonably see making the top 8 at Worlds this year with how they're currently playing and the line says the same. I'm undecided on whether or not I'll lay the -232 but I probably will. I'm going to  be looking at kill spreads on this one as well but check back later.

Spread: Fnatic -1.5 @ -224 (4.5 units)

Spread: Fnatic -2.5 @ +170 (0.25 units)


Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Betting: September 5th (LCK Regional Gauntlet Round 2)

LCK Regional Gauntlet - Round 2

Sandbox -112 (-1.5 @ +167, -2.5 @ +416)
Kingzone -112 (-1.5 @ +165, -2.5 @ +416)

This is extremely bizarre. Either the book corrected it's initial line, and did so incorrectly I'd say, or a TON of money came in on Kingzone. We spoke on The Gold Card Podcast last night about how none of us were particularly impressed with Kingzone in their win and that it was honestly more of an awful Afreeca performance but we discussed this line at -156 for Sandbox and we all liked it there. I was going to be light on it, Kalvin liked it for a moderate amount and Chris/John both leaned Sandbox as well. I thought -156 was fairly accurate and at -112 this is an great value. Would I be surprised if either of these teams wins? Not particularly. We've seen this mid table LCK teams all take turns beating each other with seemingly no pattern or trend to it but I think Sandbox are a stronger team overall than Kingzone and almost strictly on the value we're getting alone I'm going to up this to a moderate Sandbox wager.

I know I've discussed abstaining in spots like this and that's likely what I would have done at -156 but I think a juiced up pick 'em is good enough value for me to fire.

Moneyline: Sandbox -112 (3 units)

Spread: Sandbox -1.5 @ +167 (1 unit)

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Betting: September 3rd (LCK Regional Qualifier Round 1)

LCK Worlds Regional Qualifier Gauntlet
Round 1

Afreeca Freecs -172 (-1.5 @ +154)
Kingzone DragonX +131 (+1.5 @ -204)

Over the course of the Summer season these two teams had entirely different trajectories. Kingzone started strong and after a good performance at Rift Rivals appeared to be stepping into a roll as one of the elite Korean teams before a somewhat abrupt crash back down to earth. It wasn't any one thing that brought Kingzone down but a combination of many. To call their solo lanes subpar would be an injustice to the performances of both Naehyun and Rascal who far exceeded the expectations many of them had going into the split but the truth is in a region with such high level solo lane talent they just didn't measure up. Rarely could they take over games. 

Another thing missing from Kingzone's game later in the season was the outstanding uptempo play we saw from them early. Kingzone were a very versatile team capable of adapting to their opponent and we saw a lot less of that in the second half. Perhaps it was the patches and their focus on Corki and Karma and Azir that did them in but that variety in Kingzone's strategy was lacking. After failing to make playoffs after the middle of the table really elevated their play and Kingzone fell off I think a lot of people are left wondering what to expect here.

Afreeca are a much more linear team that also struggled throughout the season to adjust to patches but unlike Kingzone they had the solo lane talent to steal games from time to time and continued to master their uptempo, priority focused playstyle. Afreeca were eliminated by SK Telecom in the first round of the playoffs and after the tremendous run they put together I'm not sure you can fault literally anybody for losing to this SK Telecom team in their current form. The thing that's worth noting is that they were able to take a game from SKT in that series after losing the first and they did it with a wild Yasuo/Draven composition. Afreeca know who they are and aren't ashamed of it and they're damn good at it.

So that brings us to this series. I feel fairly strongly that Afreeca will win this but with so much preparation time and Kingzone not having to play a playoff series I have to think they're at somewhat of an edge but Afreeca have had plenty of time to prepare themselves and I think stylistically this is a nightmare matchup for Kingzone. During the season I took Afreeca against Kingzone both times they faced each other with the justification that Kingzone struggle not only against talented solo laners which Afreeca have in spades, but against really linear teams as well. Kingzone, much like Sandbox, take a jack of all trades, masters of none approach and try to remain versatile which gives them game against anybody on any given day but they tend to struggle with the hardline linear teams like Afreeca.

I'm going to be on Afreeca here but I can't help but have a weird feeling about it. I'll be placing a moderate wager on the moneyline as well as a smaller one on the Afreeca 2-0 (which I think is the most likely outcome here). I'm going to be waiting a bit on line movement but I'm going to fire on the -1.5 right now and lean toward a moderate wager on the moneyline if it stays under -180.

Moneyline: Afreeca -174 (4 units)

Spread: Afreeca -1.5 @ +154 (2 units)


Parlay (2): Afreeca ML + FunPlus ML @ +139 (1 unit)