Only 11 more sleeps until Worlds! If you’re interested in my thoughts about the Winner odds amongst some guys who are much sharper than I, I was on the Gold Card Podcast last week and we discussed who we liked there. After the group draw, I will be writing a mega preview and probably betting quite a few futures positions on group winners, teams to make the final, teams to win the final because futures have easily been my most profitable venture in LoL betting. Before Worlds mania begins though, let’s get into my second favorite tournament–the European Masters.
Vodafone Giants (-181) vs. Team GamerLegion (+165)
- Top- GIA Th3Antonio vs. GL Phones The Edge: GIA
- Jungle- GIA Lamabear vs. GL Rabble The Edge: GIA
- Mid- GIA Pretty vs. GL Nite The Edge: GIA
- Bot lane duo- GIA Atilla and Erdote vs. GL Hjarnan and Visdom The Edge: GIA
Considering I gave the Giants the talent edge in every single lane, you can probably see where I’m leaning here, but talent isn’t why GamerLegion has been winning. They qualified for the quarterfinals ahead of a team that is inarguably more talented than them in Movistar Riders and they did it for one reason–this team is pure, stinky, limburger cheese. In their 8 games at Eu Masters, this team has played Neeko bot, Swain bot, Galio Bot, and Rengar Jungle. Their ability to create compositions that their opponents are unpracticed against is unmatched in the tournament, but what happens in must-win situations where teams are more likely to pull out stock-standard, two frontliners and two backliners, easy to execute compositions? We got a little glimpse of that in their game against AGO Rogue.
In that game Rogue picked two back line carries–Ezreal and Orianna– to pair with two front line tanks –Volibear and Skarner– and had a clear plan to execute against GamerLegion’s ultimate dependent composition centered around a Vel’Koz. Instead of opting into bad dragon fights at level 6 where Hjarnan could spread his poke and ultimate, they waited for their two carries to scale up and out-ranged and out-damaged their opponents en route to an easy win. It takes discipline and practice to beat teams like GamerLegion, but there is a reason that teams don’t typically play the champions that they are playing. They have clear, counterable flaws.
Giants are good enough to expose those flaws. Through 6 games they have a GSPD of 12.5%–the best mark in the tournament– despite only the third best kill to death ratio. To me, that’s telling of a smart team who knows how to play the map without needing kills to drive their advantages. That’s exactly the kind of team GamerLegion is going to struggle with because the compositions they are playing require their opponents to take suboptimal fights.
In talent, there’s a matchup nightmare for GamerLegion as well. Giants have been winning off the strength of their mid-jungle duo of Lamabear and Pretty who have gotten the better of their opponents in every game. GamerLegion’s clear weakness is their mid laner Nite who likes to be ahead for outplays and struggles to maintain control when he’s behind. There have been multiple situations in the tournament where Nite tries to outplay from a losing position and puts his team further behind. Pretty has not been significantly behind anyone in the tournament, I don’t expect him to be behind Nite here.
The odds have Giants winning the series 62% of the time, I think over the course of 3 games where cheese is less effective, their odds are closer to 80%. Most of the time in this tournament, I take value on the dog, but Gamerlegion is a pretty ugly dog in my opinion. I will be laying the juice here.
The Picks: GIA ML (-181) 3u, GIA -1.5 Maps (+157) 1u
Gamersorigin (-235) vs. LDLC (+155)
- Top- GO Shemek vs. LDLC Bando The Edge: GO
- Jungle- GO bluerzor vs. LDLC Tynx The Edge: LDLC
- Mid- GO toucouile vs. LDLC Vetheo The Edge: Even
- Bot lane duo- SMILEY and HustlinBeast vs. Yellowstar and Exakick The Edge: GO
There’s not a lot separating these two teams: they are from the same region, they have similar stats in the tournament, they both went 4-2 in groups with some concerning performances, and both believe they can win it all. Gamersorigin has had the better of their recent head-to-heads which has given them heavy favorite status here, but I think it’s a lot closer than these odds imply.
LDLC’s top laner, Bando, is my least favorite player in recent memory. I’m beginning to think that this guy checks who I have bet on in his games and decides how he’s going to play based on trying to spite me. He can play Gangplank and go 0-7 with a 100 CS deficit one game and then play Camille and absolutely stomp the game in the next. There may be a little “Theshy-itis” developing with him: when his coach asks him to play safe, weak side laners he will check out of the game, but when he’s put on a big carry champion he’s engaged and winning. I’m hoping that version of him shows up against Shemek, who is a solid, reliable weakside player. When LDLC has been at their best, Bando has been at his best, he will most likely be the key to this series.
I called the mid lane even here because of Vetheo’s ability against matchups of similar quality in this tournament, but it is worth noting that toucouile has come out on top most of the time in the teams’ head to heads. Vetheo prefers to play safe farming, AD mid laners like Corki, Lucian, and Ezreal right now, which can neutralize talent discrepancies, but if the two end up contesting power picks like Akali and the control mages, Toucouille could be an issue for LDLC.
LDLC’s strength is jungler–Tynx– who was easily the MVP of the last EU Masters and has a good argument for it again. He can fill every role on the team and is seemingly always ahead. It will take a very good day from him for that to be the case against Bluerzor who is also a top-5-jungler-in-the-tournament, but Tynx plays Graves and Hecarim to a level that makes them near must-bans. He is the rare kind of player who teams have to make their entire gameplans around and makes the draft a nightmare for his opponents.
As you can see, I think you can make legitimate arguments for either team winning this which makes LDLC’s +155 price tag pretty appealing to me. I’ll be on the former champs here.
The picks: LDLC ML (+155) 2u, LDLC -1.5 Maps (+425) 1u