Monday, October 14, 2019

October 15th: Worlds 2019 - Main Event Group Stage Day 4

Day 3 Takeaways:

Another day, another set of data points. Some things I think were relevant takeaways.

1) Griffin are borderline unbeatable if you don't disrupt them.
People will say "Oh it's only HKA" but I'm not entirely sure people realize just how difficult it can be to dig yourself out of that kind of mistake at level one in a professional game ESPECIALLY given the composition, anticipated game script, and opposing composition. Getting that Sion ahead of the Jayce was just about the worst possible thing that could have happened in this game for Griffin. Their intent was to dominate lane with Jayce and either continue to split to keep the Sion away from 5v5ing or just get such a huge lead that it didn't matter. Those were off the table now so Griffin had to do make adjustments. They immediately recognized their new win condition, put the piecs in place to enact it, and executed nearly flawlessly. You could critique them for walking into Sion at level one (yea you shouldn't do that and most people know that...) but that's about it. The boa constrictor analogy continues to prove true.

2) FunPlus flawed but intimidating.
Everyone is saying FunPlus look off but to me this isn't so far out of the ordinary it's just amplified because we're in a best of one situation. FunPlus do that old SKT thing where you can have a lead on them but you just know they'll find a way back into it. It's not like other teams that you know will be fine either, those teams usually have sneaky gold leads while kills are happening early (see G2) but FunPlus it's an actual feeling of inevitability. This team imposes their will almost regardless of situation. They're the biggest, strongest, meanest person in the room and they don't care if they're ahead or behind they're going to test you. You could feel Splyce sweating through the monitor. Just look at the movements of these two teams in game. One is surefooted, the other afraid. I know I keep making these weird existential analogies with FunPlus but there's just something inexplicable about this team. They're not the best strategic or even technical team. It's almost like they're playing with another dimension of League of Legends; the psychological one. Hard to explain but rewatch this game and you'll just see points where FunPlus just brute force. Splyce had a creative draft and an excellent opening. They even had a comp that should prove challenging for FunPlus later in the game and it honestly felt like it didn't matter. FunPlus are only going to lose to the absolute best teams in this tournament. I can't explain why there's just some sort of fire there.

3) I still don't know what to think of DAMWON.
.... I don't know if Nuclear had a better game or one that was even remotely close to this all calendar year. So that was a bit out of character but honestly it's terrifying if the "role players" in the bottom lane suddenly become this kind of threat. That said, this game was the most DAMWON game... Snowball hard, look like this insane powerhouse that's absolutely dumpstering another powerhouse team like it's nothing, then nearly punt the game way, and then win anyway. If that's not DAMWON I don't know what is. This team is still an enigma. They might have the most potential of any team in this tournament but whether they realize that is a different story. Canyon is playing out of his mind. Nuclear/Beryl popped off today. The solo laners are just doing their thing. If they can eliminate the dumb mistakes this team could challenge for a title.

4) SKT weren't the cleanest in that game at all and still won.
It was so weird to me that SKT didn't setup their split push sooner. They continued to try to team fight with AP Twisted Fate into a full team fight RNG comp. They still pulled it out regardless which emphasizes SKT's strength. RNG couldn't really do much once that got started but they looked pretty solid too. Two disciplined teams that look solid. Just looking for SKT to recognize their win conditions and play to them more deliberately.

5) That's more like it GAM but I'm not sure what to think of this group now.
I was expecting this sort of thing yesterday but they drafted themselves into a corner. Frankly it's hard to assume the VCS will adjust to that kind of problem. Tough to give them the benefit of the doubt but sure enough they corrected their issue. Was it pretty? No. It never is. I rarely like Phreak but one of the things he said stuck with me today as a good way to describe GAM's style "Keep flipping coins and eventually it'll come up heads" in regards to the repeated baron bait, force with Nocturne/Kled OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER. I think JTeam could have scaled this one out but GAM are weird. I'm not sure what to think of this group still.

6) G2 are really damn good at League of Legends.
... serioulsy just enjoy this witchcraft we're watching.


Worlds 2019 - Main Event Group Stage Day 4

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

Fnatic +149 vs Royal Never Give Up -181

 Before this tournament started I had these two teams evenly matched and even gave a slight edge to Fnatic because I valued their versatility quite a bit. RNG played a slugfest game against SKT that a lot of people think might be the best game of the tournament so far. It was certainly a good one. Fnatic actually looked pretty sloppy at times against Clutch even though they weren't really in that much danger of losing with the scaling advantage.

This is really tough. RNG have looked more like themselves while Fnatic had a rough game against one of the weaker teams in the tournament in Clutch (not saying they're bad...). I still think what RNG is doing is exploitable. There are bottom lane matchups that you can punish a player that seemingly refuses to play the mage bottoms in. I also think there's a really good chance that we see a Xayah ban against Uzi and a blue side takeaway of Kaisa to more or less test what Uzi will play. I'm sure he has other stuff but it might be worth taking some risks elsewhere in the draft to see what he's got. There's a pretty sizeable drop off after those two ADC's in the current meta and unless he's been cooking up a Syndra or a lane swap or something he'd be forced onto something much weaker from a situational standpoint.

So the question is whether or not we think Fnatic can solve this puzzle for a game and just how likely that is to happen. +149 is roughly 40% implied odds. Do you think that's accurate? I think we're getting at least a little value in Fnatic here. This will be the first time these two teams specifically have seen each other and while you could easily look at what we've seen so far I tend to think Fnatic are better than they've shown and that RNG are about the same as they've shown. I also think Fnatic's versatility and ability to play uptempo could cause a lot of problems for RNG because unlike some of the teams we've seen, Fnatic actually know how to close a game with a lead. Gimme the dogs for a half unit.

Moneyline: Fnatic +149 (0.5 units)


Clutch Gaming +473 vs SK Telecom -654

We've seen a few really REALLY shakey early games from good teams in this tournament but they've almost always prevailed anyway. I'm not even sure if that will happen here. I know this is the Huni revenge game and all but just look at these teams top to bottom. I love ya Clutch but SKT look like they're ready to win this entire tournament and after some of the nervous mistakes and mental ticks we saw in the Fnatic match I question whether or not Clutch could even close if they got a lead. 9.5 is a pretty hefty spread but I'm going to lay it here. SKT smash and walk off stage like businessmen. Another day at the office.

Kill Spread: SK Telecom -9.5 kills @ -106 (2 unit)


FunPlus Phoenix -741 vs GAM eSports +444

GAM managed to GAM and unlike JTeam and some other squads at this tournament, FunPlus aren't going to back down from a fight. For this reason I can totally understand why some people are on the underdogs here. You're getting +444 and you know that FunPlus are going to scrap with GAM when presented the offer. I'm actually going to go the other way here though. It goes against the logical approach in this situation a bit but hear me out. Typically with these smaller region teams we see a lack of depth of strategies. FunPlus know what beat this team and know that they have this weird obsession with Kled and Nocturne. Coincidentally Kled is something of a speciality for a certain monster mid laner named Doinb. FunPlus are going to get blue side here and while they tend to prefer red I think they're going to get to dictate how this draft goes based on GAM's limitations. I also just think that there is some degree of the eye test for me here. FunPlus are more than likely going to perform better than they did in their first two games while GAM I think is somewhere between what they did on day one and what they did today.

Given how volatile both of these teams are and how heavy this line is I'm going to keep exposure light here but I think FunPlus are going to completely dumpster GAM. I know, it's a lot of kills to lay in a match that's bound to be full of fighting but I think this could end up looking a lot like the G2 vs Cloud 9 match we saw today. I think FPX are going to be able to rack up the kills because I think they just do exactly what GAM do but they're more or less the best team to ever play that style and we're going to see a world of difference.

Kill Spread: FunPlus -9.5 kills @ -117 (0.25 units)


Splyce -154 vs JTeam +120

Two teams that want to play the same game. Two teams that I rate very similarly. I think it's too easy to simply say "one of them beat GAM the other didn't" because GAM drafted themselves into a pretty serious hole in their match against Splyce making it look really easy for Splyce. I'm going to keep this one simple. I rate these teams as more or less equals. Give me the underdog.

Moneyline: JTeam +120 (1 unit)


Cloud 9 +243 vs Griffin -313

I spoke a lot about Griffin in the Day 3 Takeaways above but not much about Cloud 9. You saw today what I've been warning people about for about two calendar years and it's suddenly surprising. Sneaky and Zeyzal are god awful laners. Granted this was against G2 but man that was some shameful shit. Not surprised but still. Licorice and Nisqy did their best here and actually got off to a good start but it weirdly never felt like Cloud 9 were going to win this at any point. G2 had massive leads in lanes almost on farming alone and once they started chipping away were perfectly fine. What G2 did today and what Griffin did today are very similar situations but with very different opponents. These are two of the best teams in the world putting on a masterclass on how to erase a deficet and establish your new win conditions. They constantly evaluate the game state and make excellent adjustments. G2 tend to do it in a bit more of a bloody fashion than Griffin's controlled methods but the concepts are the same. I'll call it the Four "E's."Equity, economy, evaluation, execution. Cloud 9 threw their curve ball and while I'm sure they have another one I wouldn't be surprised to see them try the same thing against Griffin. What we saw today was one of the best outcomes against G2 that C9 could have wished for and G2 still smashed them. It wouldn't surprise me AT ALL to see Griffin not even let it get to that point. Not saying Griffin is better just that Cloud 9 doing that well early against great teams twice in a row would be impressive and EVEN THEN I still don't think they'll cover their kill spread or win. Give me Griffin to cover this surprisingly small spread and dismantle Cloud 9.

Kill Spread: Griffin -5.5 @ -123 (3 units)


Hong Kong Attitude +531 vs G2 eSports -885

Hong Kong Attitude were gifted three kills and a comp that could abuse that three kills on exactly the person they wanted to shutdown what Griffin was doing and they still got dismantled. This team sucks. G2 roll but 11.5 is a lot of kills... A LOT... They could win a fight or two and close it, they could clown around before surmounting a big enough advantage to cover that but the more I look at it the more I actually think G2 are more than likely to cover this number. If you look at their margin of victory in the LEC this Summer excluding the troll game against XL in the last game their kill differentials were: -15, +6, +16, +11 (vs FNC), -13, +18, +8 (vs SPY), +22, +9, +17, +10, -16 (vs FNC), +13, +11, +13. If you look at their two series against Fnatic in Summer Playoffs their margins of victory were +17, +12, +13, +6, +12, and +20... against Fnatic....

I'm laying the -11.5. I know it's crazy but G2 are going to embarass this HKA team.

Kill Spread: G2 eSports -11.5 @ -104 (2 units)

(ADDON) Kill Spread: G2 eSports -9.5 @ -115 (1 units)(5Dime)

(ADD ON) O/U: G2/HKA OVER 26.5 kills @ -140 (0.5 units)



Favorites have won 11 out of the last 12 matches. I might post something later. Nothing for now.

"Favorites" Parlay (4): SKT ML + FPX ML + GRF ML + G2 ML @ +110 (0.5 units)

(Degens Only) "Exact Slate" Parlay (6):
FNC ML + SKT ML + FPX ML + GRF ML + G2 ML + JTeam ML @ + 1110 (0.1 units)

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