What an awesome day of LoL! The two most recent world champions slugging it out for the chance to go to Worlds this time, Fnatic finally getting over the hump, and C9’s shocking elimination. I thought the TSM ML was too big, but I really only thought they had something like a 38% chance of winning (how’s that for a humble brag?). They did it because C9 lost their playstyle and couldn’t adapt. Blaber is currently a very linear kind of player. He will get better, but for now, C9 is very beatable when he doesn’t get massive early leads. That combined with Nisqy regressing into an average mid laner when he could not get his patented roams off spelled doom for C9 this time around. It feels a little harsh for how dominant their spring was, but that’s sports! On to tomorrow..
Invictus Gaming (-213) vs. LGD Gaming (+165)
- Top- IG TheShy vs. LGD LangX The Edge: IG
- Mid- IG Rookie vs. LGD Xiye The Edge: IG
- Jungle- IG Ning vs. LGD Peanut The Edge: LGD
- Bot lane duo- IG Puff and Baolan vs. LGD Kramer and Mark The Edge: Even
I still can’t believe that LGD won 3-0 against IG in the playoffs. At times, it legitimately looked like IG was trying to lose. They did some similar things in this morning’s series against FPX and I thought I was finally done betting on them. Then, they pulled me back in with game 5. In Game 5, they put TheShy on Ornn, Rookie on Zoe, and kicked FPX’s ass playing standard League of Legends. It’s enraging to know they have that in their playbook and are only willing to pull it out when they absolutely have to.
They absolutely have to again here in this series. They have the better players, they have the better stats, and should be the better team. The question is all about their minds. Is TheShy mentally capable of not going 0-11 if Peanut decides to camp him? Will Rookie save himself instead of following up on whatever dumb shit his teammates are doing? Will Puff get hit by every Ashe arrow available? It’s the kind of questions you should never have to ask about a team as good as IG, but still you do.
LGD will win if Invictus hard loses in the early game like they did in their first series, but don’t have a lot of other win conditions. To me, this all comes down to how IG decide to play. If they try to match early aggression and fail, they will tilt out of the World Championship. I’m more inclined to believe they’ll show us a little more of what we saw in game 5 this morning. They’re too good to miss Worlds, I’m closing my eyes and betting IG one more time.
The Picks: IG ML (-213) 2u, IG -1.5 Maps (+124) 1u, IG -2.5 Maps (+339) 0.5u
DRX (-105) vs. Gen. G (-130)
- Top- DRX Doran vs. Gen.G Rascal The Edge: Gen. G
- Mid- DRX Chovy vs. Gen. G BDD The Edge: Even
- Jungle- DRX Pyosik vs. Gen.G Clid The Edge: Even
- Bot lane duo- DRX Deft and Keria vs. Gen.G Ruler and Life The Edge: Even
Both of these teams deserve to be at Worlds. I hope that whoever loses this match can make the run through the gauntlet because it would be a shame to have a World championship that didn’t include Chovy and Deft or BDD and Clid. Korean LoL, for all its flaws, still produces the best players in the world.
For betting purposes, I’m counting the individual matchups as a wash here. Unless there is a glaring spot like in today’s C9-TSM matchup, I try not to put too much stock into laning matchups anyway. Every single player in this series is good enough to win games for their teams and no one has extremely exploitable weaknesses on an individual level.
On the team level, DRX has a glaring weakness: their draft. There have been multiple times this season that they have drafted themselves such a bad composition that the game is nearly unwinnable. I would like to say that’s just regular season stuff, but we saw with Cloud 9 and Invictus that these things can rear their ugly heads in the post-season too. This matchup is just way too close for DRX to do anything like that.
Their team stats have suffered because of drafting too. They are a distant fourth in the league in GSPD (my singular favorite stat for measuring a team’s actual strength), despite having the second best record. Gen. G now sits comfortably in second in that stat behind Damwon. They’re just the more consistent, mistake-free team. That means everything in a best of 5.
The Picks: Gen.G ML (-130) 2u, Gen.G -1.5 Maps (+155) 1u
Mad Lions (-165) vs. Rogue (+129)
- Top- MAD Orome vs. Rogue Finn The Edge: MAD
- Mid- MAD Humanoid vs. Rogue Larssen The Edge: Even
- Jungle- MAD Shadow vs. Rogue Inspired The Edge: MAD
- Bot lane- MAD Kaiser and Carzzy vs. Rogue Hans Sama and Vander The Edge: MAD
Mad Lions put up a legitimate fight against G2 by trying to meet them in draft flexibility and aggression. Rogue rolled over and died against Fnatic when Fnatic dared them to play any other way than the one slow, scaling style they are good at. One could argue that’s an oversimplification, but I think the truth is in there. Mad Lions are confident and talented enough to change and adapt mid series, I don’t think Rogue has anything else.
The problem for Rogue is the only position they have a legitimate argument for the better player is in the mid lane. Larssen on a back-line hyper carry is the only way they’ve won this split. I don’t think they trust anyone else with this kind of responsibility. When Fnatic played multiple assassins and safe, pushing mids, Rogue’s whole plan completely collapsed. Even if Rogue tried to make someone else carry, could they? I certainly don’t trust Finn to carry, it’s never really been in Inspired’s range, and Hans Sama is a fine, safe player.
I mentioned in my breakdown of G2-FNC that I think Fnatic and Mad Lions are similar teams because of their rock solid top laners, explosive mid laners, and flexible bot lanes. This is pretty much a nightmare matchup for Rogue. Give me the kids.
The Picks: Mad Lions ML (-165) 3u, Mad Lions -1.5 (+136) 2u, Mad Lions -2.5 Maps (+406) 1u
Flyquest (+175) vs. Team Liquid (-245)
- Top- Fly Solo vs. TL Impact The Edge: TL
- Mid- Fly Powerofevil vs. TL Jensen The Edge: TL
- Jungle- FLY Santorin vs. TL Broxah The Edge: Even
- Bot lane- FLY Wildturtle and Ignar vs. TL Tactical and CoreJJ The Edge: TL
I’m going to keep this short and sweet: these teams are very similar except for the fact that TL is just better at everything. They both draft standard teamfight scaling compositions every game. They both focus on trying to get mid lane ahead early and transitioning that into an early drake. Then, they grow that lead by minimizing mistakes across lanes and setting up vision control for objective takes. Is it the most exciting style to watch? Depends on your definition of exciting. Is TL much better at it than Flyquest? Undoubtedly yes.
I want to see what happens when someone pushes TL out of their comfort zone, but I don’t expect to see that here. Flyquest has not shown that kind of range in all of 2020, so it would be very surprising to see in a semi-final. It’s much more likely to me that TL pushes Flyquest out of their comfort zone. Santorin has had an MVP-type season essentially playing 2 or 3 champions. What kind of player is he when he’s pushed off of Trundle and Graves? Or what kind of player is he if the team builds their strategy around knowing he’s going to play one of those two champions?
I do have a pending futures bet on TL to make the final at +500 for 2 units so that will effect how I’m going to bet this. I hedged with a 2 unit bet on the Flyquest money line at +225 to guarantee some profit either way in this matchup. If I didn’t have that bet, I would do what I did with the other bets in this article: 3u on the TL moneyline, 2u on the TL -1.5, and 1u on the TL -2.5. I’m still confident enough in a TL sweep that I’m going to play the last two.
The other clear edge in this one is the kill total is set at 21.5. Team Liquid games almost never go over 20 kills for multiple games in a row. They’re just too good at choking out their opponents in other ways and almost never die themselves. I will be going under the kill total in every game it’s available.
The Picks: TL -1.5 Maps (-110) 2u, TL 3-0 (+250) 1u, Under 21.5 kills on every map (-115) 1u each