Saturday, January 18, 2020

January 19th: LPL (China)

LPL Spring 2020

Week 1 Day 6 Recap

Spread: JDG -1.5 maps @ -101 (1.5 units)
Kill Total: Map 1 UNDER 26.5 kills @ -107 (0.5 units)
Kill Total: Map 2 UNDER 26.5 kills @ -108 (0.5 units)Spread: BiliBili +1.5 maps @ -147 (2.94 units)
Moneyline: BiliBili +180 (1.5 units)
Spread: BiliBili -1.5 maps @ +432 (0.5 units)
Kill Total: Map 1 UNDER 27.5 kills @ -115 (0.5 units)
Kill Total: Map 2 UNDER 27.5 kills @ -116 (0.5 units)

Net: +7.5 units

Quite a good day for us!

After a rough game one that kind of got away from BLG they were able to bring it all the way back after a ridiculously long game two chess match. Meteor made up for an odd game one with a stellar game three performance and proved why he's one of the best at his position in the world. BLG and, to a lesser extent, RNG are very disciplined teams in the vein of TOP. They rarely make game ending mistakes unless it's a calculated risk, establish control of vision, properly set up objectives, and understand and play to their win conditions at a high level. It's a sight for sore eyes especially early in the season when a lot of the mediocre teams are still finding their footing.
Team WE forced an invade level one in game one and got first blood but walked directly into a five man Sett AOE that ended up turning the fight in JDG's favor 3-1. This game started off at brisk pace as WE looked like they were starting to get control landing the first two dragons but JDG took over this game with a massive team fight win at the third dragon. Zoom's Sett ultimates were downright fight enders! Weird start for JDG but once they settled this game down it wasn't in question. Game two was a complete obliteration. JDG are almost certainly an elite team as we anticipated but WE just looked so slow to react or set up anything.

The WE/JDG match reminded me of an angle from last year that I wanted to briefly mention. The LPL plays some games before the Chinese New Year break but a lot of the teams sometimes aren't as focused as they should be before the break and sort of treat it as an extended preseason. I think this is a huge error but it's understandable given the long season and weird two week layoff. Team WE looked incredibly slow in this game but you can expect them to be improved coming out of the break especially after opening with a loss. That said, we also see some teams come out of the break slow. A holiday hangover if you will. I'll talk more about this in the next couple weeks but it's just something to keep an eye on.

Week 1 Day 7

Dominus +157 (+1.5 @ -149)
Vici Gaming -216 (-1.5 @ +143)

(UPDATE: Dominus is starting Xiaowei, formerly Twila, and Vici is starting Aix instead of Chieftain)

I had these two team a tier apart with Vici ranked #9 and in my B tier and Dominus ranked #13 and in my C tier but both teams haven't given me a lot of reasons to be optimistic.

Dominus unfortunately look a lot like they did last year, a team with the right idea and flexibility but lacking in overall talent. It doesn't matter if you can flex your solo laners around if they lose individually no matter where they end up. I had Dominus in my C tier almost entirely based on continuity and team chemistry being consistent from last year but I'm almost immediately regretting that rating because they simply don't have the players to hang in the LPL. I know Invictus' solo laners are utterly ridiculous and I don't want to entirely hold that against Dominus but I still feel like #13 is probably their ceiling and their floor is certainly lower. I anticipated a decent start and eventual fall-off for this team but I'm not sure we can even expect that now.

Vici's issues are much simpler. Forge is a liability. I was willing to give the benefit of the doubt from last season as stepping in as a sub on an execution based style like Invictus' is incredibly challenging for someone in their first stage games but between Demacia Cup and their first series against BLG Forge has made so many unforced errors and fundamentally poor decisions that I'm beginning to question whether or not he can function as a starter in the LPL. It's not that he's being outplayed either he's simply making egregious decisions or just not thinking about his actions. Maybe this changes but Forge is officially in time out for me. Combine that with the fact that iBoy is a relatively high variance carry and you have a really bizarre situation for Kkoma to coach up. Vici did take a game off of BiliBili on the back of iBoy and Cube and I think if they can find a way to hide Forge this team will likely be pretty good, especially as the season goes on. I'd maybe lean to downgrade them from my B tier rating to a B- for now but I'm still somewhat optimistic. I want to see Zeka play in mid lane.

This matchup is about which team can take advantage of the opponents weaker players. Xiye is an experienced veteran with the champion pool to expose another weak mid laner even if he's not exactly as explosive as he used to be but iBoy and Maestro should be able to abuse the unexciting bottom lane of Gala and Mark. I'd give the edge to Chieftain over both Dominus junglers. Top lane is interesting because I think both Cube and Natural are underrated players that are both stronger on carries. 

I think Vici are the better team and take this series but the price we have to pay is a bit too steep for my taste. I also don't trust Vici enough yet to think they reliably 2-0 and the odds we're getting are good but not great. The "value" is probably on Dominus moneyline but I just don't think the players on that team besides Natural are very good at all. This series probably ends up 2-0 Vici or 2-1 Vici as the most likely outcomes but I don't think we're getting a good enough number to bet a side.

I am going to look to the OVER kill totals if we get a low number maybe in the 25.5-26.5 range. I think when you have two middling teams that haven't shown a lot of clean play so far you can expect messier games and with both of these teams being somewhat shutout in their last matches against premium quality teams their kill totals are heavily suppressed so we might get some value there. The only resistence to this is that both teams may want to try to split push with their carry top laners but I'd think this early in the season and with the break coming up they want to just keep things simple. I'd expect bloody games but check back for a total later today/tonight.

Map 1: OVER 26.5 kills @ -105 (1 unit)

Map 2: OVER 26.5 kills @+107 (1 unit)


TOP eSports -201 (-1.5 @ +162)
EDward Gaming +148 (+1.5 @ -169)

TOP look just like themselves against an improved LNG squad with former TOP jungler Xx and while I think the loss of Loken will eventually matter against other elite teams their core identity of top trio domination remains intact. Karsa, 369, and Knight are going to make magic happen and it's going to be a real joy to watch this year. EDG swept Victory Five who, quite frankly, look like the worst team in the league if you're judging their first match but EDG did have some trouble closing in game two with their lack of consistent physical damage and tower sieging due to the Senna in the bottom carry position.

These two teams are remarkably similar in construction and allocation of player quality that it makes this matchup quite intriguing. Both have tremendous top trios and questions about the marksmen position. TOP tend to be a bit on the cleaner side with arguably the best macro in the LPL (along with BiliBili) but EDG are no slouches either. I think TOP are the better team but a lot of their strength is that their top trio outclass their opposition by a mile in almost every game. EDG are one of the few teams that can actually hang in that department.

I want to take TOP. They're exactly the kind of team I like and they're already playing at a high level dispelling any questions about rust. They've also played against a much stronger opponent in LNG than EDG who faced one of the worst teams in Victory Five. You don't want to judge heavily based on a one game sample size but it's good to get at least some context. TOP are, simply put, the better version of EDG but I don't want to pay this kind of premium for the side or the +1.5 for EDG. This line is just about right. If anything there is probably a little value on EDG but I'm just going to pass on a side here.

The UNDER kill total is something I'm interested in. EDG ran up their score against a terrible Victory Five team which will likely inflate their number and TOP had games of 29 and 19 kills in their first series. If we get a 27.5 or 28.5 I like the under quite a bit. This season has been a bit weird so far. I thought we'd be seeing much bloodier games because of the nature of the losing team having to force fights before falling further behind with the current iteration of the game favoring the leading team but that hasn't been the case as much as I'd thought it would be. We've seen matchups between good teams, especially the more disciplined ones, come in on the under quite frequently as both teams don't want to be the one to make the first huge error and more or less lose on the spot. These are both good teams that I expect to be in the playoffs and both tend to play a more controlled game anyway. I also think there's a good chance we see a split push strategy with both top laners being well versed in that style. When the unders come out I'll likely be on those for a unit each in maps one and two.

Map 1: UNDER 26.5 kills @ -101 (1 unit)

Map 2: UNDER 26.5 kills @-101 (1 unit)



Will update this post later if I'm on any.

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