Thursday, January 30, 2020

January 31st: LEC (Europe)

LEC and LCS Week One Recap

NA LCS: 3 - 3 (+0.04 units)

EU LEC: 2 - 7 (-3.6 units)

One of the bad things about our Pick of the Week segment on the podcast is that, given this is time sensitive material, the line isn't always what it was when we record. This was the case with SK vs Vitality. On the show we had +150 at multiple books, by the time I did my writeup for last weekends matches it was down to +100 and turned into a no wager for me. As always I remind you to keep the context and reasoning in question when looking at a significantly different number. Part of the reason I liked it was because of the line value. When that's gone it's a lot less appetizing. As always you can reach out to me on Twitter (@GelatiLOL) for my thoughts if you see something different but know that my blog writeups are the closest thing to the real time of my actual wagers.

Anyway, our week one dogs approach wasn't necessarily bad although our results say otherwise.  A lot of these games could have gone either way. In Europe and, in the case of SK coincidentally, we got lucky! Vitality should've had that for sure. It took three steals and a botched close for SK to get there. North America treated us quite a bit better although it would have been nice to see EG take care of business in their first match. You can see why I wanted to avoid all the heavy favorites now right? A team like TSM is a good example. I'm fairly confident that they'll get it together and be one of the stronger teams by season's end but a rough start is never out of the question even for a crew of experienced veterans.

We did a 15-20 minute recap of our week one takeaways to open the show this week so I'll direct you there for those as well as mention a few while going over this weeks slate.

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LEC Spring 2020
Week 2 - Day 1
(all lines from Nitrogen but obviously shop around for the best you can find)

Friday January 31st - W2D1

Origen -207 vs Rogue +147
SK Gaming -167 vs Misfits +118
Vitality +444 vs G2 eSports -885
Excel +160 vs MAD Lions -234
Fnatic -422 vs Schalke 04 +271

As I talked about extensively last week, early in the season I like to fade favorites. The other thing I've had success with is fading week one overreactions. A number of games on both the LEC and LCS slates this weekend are gross overreactions to week one results. Part of the reason we do pre-season power rankings is to give us a compass to guide us through variance early in the season. Early on I lean heavily on my pre-season evaluation of teams more than results. Unless I see something absolutely horrendous I don't want to overreact to the first week, particularly in best of one regions like Europe and North America.

With that said there were a few assumptions that I used that were potentially incorrect. While the game is tremendously snowbally it can have this weird affect of impacting the game in the opposite way. When metagames are extremely punishing to mistakes the first level of thinking is to assume that teams will attempt to punish mistakes but what we often forget is the next level; that teams play to avoid mistakes. We saw a lot of this in North America this weekend but not so much in Europe. I think with many of the players' first week on stage under their belts I think we're going to get much more comfortable, relaxed, and loose play especially in Europe. 

So how can we use this? With deflated kill totals and more comfort across the board I think there is an opportunity for some value here. It's a bit theoretical for a lot of people but when you have kill totals that went from 27.5 and 28.5 down to 23.5 and 24.5 I'd be inclined to look into it on line movement alone. In 2019 Spring in the LEC we saw and average of 20.8 kills per game in week one. Week two was an average of 23.3 and that number includes two "outlier" games that were 7 kills and 9 kills. If we take those out it'd be 27.1 kills per game on average across the other 8 games. Every metagame is obviously different but with a week of film, some teams that feel desperate after a rough start, comfort on stage and releasing of some nerves, and numbers being deflated due to week one results I'm going to be absolutely enamored with over kill totals in Europe this week once they're posted on my books. CHECK BACK FOR AN UPDATE TO THIS POST LATER TONIGHT!

In terms of sides there's a few underdogs I like tomorrow. Misfits looked like the worst team after week one but SK weren't exactly impressive either and should have been completely routed by an inexperienced Vitality team if not for a few lucky objective steals. Consider this more of a fade of SK than an endorsement of Misfits but I think these two teams are similar and likely end up toward the bottom of the table. 

Moneyline: Misfits ML @ +135 vs SK (1 unit)(5Dimes)

MAD Lions are still being priced as if they're Splyce from last year and while they showed pretty well to open against G2 it's alarming to me that they still couldn't close that game. I know it's G2 and all but a team like Origen is going to cleanly close. There is a chance that because they're so young MAD Lions improve by a lot and very quickly but Excel looked pretty sharp and in midseason form to me last week. This line is mispriced pretty badly and should probably be even money.

Moneyline: Excel ML @ +160 vs MAD (1.5 units)

I had Fnatic as the #2 team but we did see this team start off slow last Spring AND Summer. After a dude on day one, albeit against the good looking Origen, they did get it together and stomp their second game, albeit against the bad looking Misfits. Fnatic are a tough team to read. I'm going to trust my pre-season power rankings and assume they'll be fine but I had Schalke in that next tier down and not that much different. Schalke wasn't particularly good or bad to me but their solo lanes were great in their first set of games while Forg1ven is catching back up to professional speed (hopefully). Fnatic probably win this but this line is WAY out of whack. An A tier vs B Tier team shouldn't have a gap this large especially in best of ones and especially this early in the season.

Moneyline: Schalke ML @ +300 vs Fnatic (1 unit)




"Barking Dogs" Parlay (3): MSF ML + XL ML + S04 ML @ +2100 (0.1 unit)

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