Friday, October 11, 2019

October 11th (Worlds 2019 - Main Event Group Stage Day 1)

Worlds 2019 - Main Event Group Stage Day 1

(listed odds are from Bet365/Nitrogen, obviously shop around as availability varies)

SK Telecom -300 vs Fnatic +225

SK Telecom enter this tournament as one of my elite three, the three co-favorites to win the tournament but one thing I've mentioned time and time again here and on The Gold Card Podcast is that I think this tournament is more or less any of the top eight or nine teams' ballgame. I also think Fnatic are flying under the radar and are underrated by the public here. I'm not saying Fnatic are better than SK Telecom but I don't think they deserve to be underdogs by this large of a number.

If we want to dive into the "tale of the tape" so to speak we'd find that Fnatic actually have vastly better economy metrics and do more damage as a team but are outclassed in overall vision metrics by SKT. You could argue that SKT have a significantly higher strength of competition which I'd agree with but I still think these numbers are telling. Try to imagine what kind of metrics SKT would put up in Europe and you'll find they wouldn't vary too much from what Fnatic have.

In a best of one on the very first day of a tournament where we haven't seen the majority of these teams in a month almost anything can happen and, especially on the first day, I would cap most of these games at very close to 50/50 unless one team is many levels better than another. Give me the dogs to upset in game one or at least keep it close and interesting as these teams feel each other out.

Moneyline: Fnatic +225 (1 unit)

Kill Spread: Fnatic +6.5 @ -111 (??? units)


Royal Never Give Up -450 vs Clutch Gaming +300

Unlike Fnatic who I group into the top eight teams, I'm less confident in Clutch to upset RNG but that's not to say I don't think it could happen. As a matter of fact Clutch are a single pop-off game from Huni from winning a game here but I can't help but think Karsa keeps things bottled up. I do think RNG are perhaps the "weakest" of the top two tiers of teams. They simply don't have the tools, that we've seen, to play the mage bottom lanes that are a nice strategic edge you can get in certain scenarios. This tournament is going to be an interesting exercise in whether or not it matters that Uzi hasn't played them. RNG are exploitable but I'm not sure Clutch are the ones to do it. I'm leaning towards the Clutch +7.5 kills since RNG played a lot of close spread games against inferior teams in LPL Summer but I can't help but think that was partially due to experimentation or malaise due to the long season. Something tells me they'll take care of business here in an orderly fashion.

No wager (lean Clutch +7.5 kills)


Invictus Gaming -1000 vs AHQ +550

I'm putting a small wager on AHQ here for a number of reasons. Invictus drop single games to vastly inferior competition ALL THE TIME. It's part of why Invictus map spreads have been my biggest loser over the past two years. We also don't know which Invictus we'll be getting here. They've announced a starting lineup but what I mean is are we going to get the underperforming, sloppy IG we saw in early and mid Summer or are the World champs going to be back in form and elevate for this tournament. I'd definitely think the latter is more likely and I do think they'll elevate but I'm willing to put a wager on the uncertainty. We also don't know exactly how the LMS is going to measure up to the major regions. I don't think they're as good as they've been in previous years but I could also be wrong. Similar to our process in the Fnatic wager, a best of one on the first day of the tournament when neither of these teams has been seen or played in awhile and Invictus tend to be a high variance team anyway makes me love betting a huge dog but I also think AHQ are likely much worse than Fnatic so we'll cut back to a quarter unit.

Moneyline: AHQ +550 (0.25 units)


DAMWON -188 vs Team Liquid +137

I feel like I should have a side here but I'm going to pass this one. I have these two in the same tier but I'm also very high on DAMWON, just not high enough to pay this kind of premium for them. I will, however, lay the -4.5 kills for DAMWON at the more reasonable price. I doubt there is a situation with these two teams where we get a close kill total. One or the other is going to run away with this. DAMWON sometimes have sloppy openings or early setups to dig a hole for themselves but when they turn the corner it tends to be swift and decisive and they rarely punt leads. As I said I think this will be fairly one sided, one way or the other.

Kill Spread: DAMWON -4.5 @ -114 (0.5 units)


FunPlus Phoenix -1000 vs JTeam +550

FunPlus used to be a higher variance team but during the Summer they really cleaned things up and their consistency, considering their playstyle, is actually remarkable. As a matter of fact it's one of the reasons I rate them so highly. Typically teams that play with the often overzealous style they do get themselves into trouble and punt games but FunPlus rarely do somehow. JTeam are an unknown to me not because I haven't watched them much but because I'm not entirely sure what 12-0 in the LMS means relative to FunPlus' dominance in the superior LPL. It could mean more than I thought and that I'm disrespecting this team. Given FunPlus' consistency this split I'm less confident in this dog than I am in AHQ but I'm also intrigued to see the comparison here because JTeam were so dominant and the talented FoFo could potentially give leader DoinB problems in the mid lane. FunPlus have also struggled in "big moments" at times in the past and on opening day at their debut Worlds they could have some nerves.

Moneyline: JTeam +550 (0.25 units)


GAM eSports +137 vs Splyce -188

If this line was posted when we recorded the podcast it would have been my pick of the week. I discussed the bizarre Group B quite a lot there but one of the things I mentioned was that GAM are exactly the type of team you don't want to open the tournament against. They're absolutely wild. They play at breakneck speed regardless of whether it's correct to or not, play weird champion combinations, and are generally very aggressive. GAM are just a strange team to play against compared especially with what the West and Korea are used to and without the ability to experience that they have a huge edge specifically in spots like this even if the other team knows what's coming. There's just a level of comfort you need to have against them before you figure it out.

I absolutely love GAM here and I have them getting out of this group almost purely based on how weird they'll be for teams like Splyce and JTeam to adjust to in just a six game group stage. Splyce also somewhat disappointed me in the play-in stage. Getting behind is one thing but failing to close with a lead amongst other fundamental strategic mistakes against wildcard region competition is alarming. I almost feel bad for Splyce because GAM are likely the worst overall of the four teams in this group but they're so unique that the edge they get based on the format could propel them to the top eight. I'll be laying my best of one maximum three units here.

Moneyline: GAM +137 (3 units)



"Double Dog" Parlay (2): FNC ML + GAM ML @ +572 (0.1 units)

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