Riot Games announced the format and schedule for the Mid Season Cup between the top teams from the LPL and LCK this morning. Giving out a single pick to win a tournament is a difficult and kind of crazy thing to do. Especially in a tournament like this where there is a lot of parity at the top. So, rather than take a single shot and most likely lose, I thought it would be useful to put the teams in tiers ranked from bottom to top of the value on their odds to win the tournament.
Each team in each tier has about the same chance of winning the tournament in my opinion.
The Futures Odds (according to Bovada):
JD Gaming +425
Top Esports +475
FunPlus Phoenix +500
Gen. G +550
Invictus Gaming +700
The “Just Happy to Be Included” Tier: Damwon Gaming (+1400)
Damwon’s main victory in this tournament will be seeing their names listed among the other teams. I imagine the conversation when they received an invite went something like this:
“Hi! We want to invite you to play in a lpl/lck showdown!”
“Hell yes, we’re in! Who are we playing?”
“IG, JDG, SKT, GEN.G, FPX, and DragonX”
“uh…. we’ll have to check our scrim schedule”
In all seriousness, Damwon had a great second half of the season and played a great series against a good DragonX team to end the season. They just don’t have the individual talent to compete in this tournament. Their best player, Top Laner Nuguri, is not even a top 3 Top Laner at the tournament. They also own one of the worst Gold Spent Differentials in the tournament on oracleselixir.com , one of my favorite metrics for determining a team’s relative strength. They could pop off an upset in the group stage, but I would not expect a lot more.
Gambling Bottom Line: Don’t bet on this team
The “Why do these teams kinda suck?” Tier: Gen.G, Invictus Gaming
- Gen.G (+550)
Perhaps, this tier is a bit harsh for Gen. G. They only really suck against one team, T1, but holy crap do they suck against them. Gen. G won the regular season in LCK with absolutely insane stats. They sported a tournament-best Kill to Death ratio of 1.59. Then, they got the LoL equivalent of the Scottie Pippen-Patrick Ewing dunked on in the LCK finals by T1. It was kind of dumbfounding. Which usually would lead me to think it was a bad day, and that they could rebound in this tournament. However, with a little digging into the stats, record, and film on Gen. G you start to see signs of a team that beats up on the bad teams and loses to the good teams. Against T1 and DragonX this season, they have 1 series win and a 4-10 game record. That does not bode well for a tournament where I slightly favor the top LPL teams over the top LCK teams.
- Invictus Gaming (+700)
What is there to say about this team? If you made a list of the best players in League of Legends over the past two years, TheShy and Rookie would be auto-includes. Not a lot of other teams can say they have players like them. They are game breakers. They can win all by themselves. TheShy can also lose all by himself. They are probably the most frustrating team to handicap in all of League of Legends because you just never know when they are going to get their shit together. I wouldn’t count on it being in this tournament. As good as TheShy and Rookie are, their jungle situation is that bad. Leyan and Ning have been consistently outclassed by even lower level LPL junglers. In a tournament with Clid, Kanavi, and Cuzz, I will be staying away from Invictus Gaming.
Gambling Bottom Line: The reason I ask “Why do these teams kinda suck?” is because both won the regular season in their respective leagues and at times have looked elite. Is there a world in which one of these teams has a good weekend and wins the tournament? Probably. Is that a world I would put any of my money in? Hell no.
The “Legit Shot” Tier: T1, FPX, DragonX and TES
- T1 (+350)
Most of the time in LoL, you can count on everybody plays everybody and T1 wins. I’m not so sure about that in this tournament. They are still one of the most disciplined and best late game teamfighting teams in the world. However, they showed some definite cracks in the early game this split. Sporting low numbers in all the early game indicators like First Drake %, First Tower %, First Blood %, and overall Early Game Rating on oracleselixir.com. With early game monsters like JDG, TES, and even to a lesser extent Dragonx in this tournament, I see very serious reasons to fade T1. However, if the game is 6-6, even gold at 25 minutes, give me faker and co. 100 times out of 100.
- FPX (+550)
The reigning world champions had a bit of an up and down split that culminated with a close at times, but not really, 3-0 loss to JDG in the playoffs. They really struggled to recapture that roaming mid and smashing side lane style that made them so special last year, especially against the best teams. Their Game 1 in the semi-finals against JDG was particularly concerning, where they allowed the other team to gain a nearly 10k gold lead without a single kill. If you were going to make the case for them though, it would be what they showed in game 2 and game 3 of that series and their subsequent 3-0 of IG in the 3rd place match. That was DoinB at his best: Carrying team fights and being in the right places at the right time on signature picks.
- DragonX (+900)
If you’re looking for a dark horse, DragonX is it.
They have everything you would want in a championship contender: experience: Deft, one of the best players in the world: Chovy, Versatility: Deft’s champion pool, Impressive statistics: best GSPD in the tournament, and they have never looked scared to me the way Gen. G have. They lost to T1 in the playoffs, but not by playing scared. Losing in winnable mid game and late game team fights is what teams have been doing since the beginning of time to T1, no shame in that. DragonX could be very motivated to show they are one of the world’s best here and I think they just might be.
- Top Esports (+475)
April 3rd will be an organizational holiday if Top Esports go on to win Worlds this year. That was the date JackeyLove joined Top Esports and they started to look like the best or second best team in the world. Frankly, the transformation has little to do with JackeyLove’s in-game play. Rather, improved drafting and decision making throughout the game by the other players and draft. The veteran whipped this team into shape quick. That, and the play of the best player in the world, Knight. Knight styled all over the LPL playoffs against some of the other best players in the world. He will be styling again in this tournament and could easily carry his team to victory.
Gambling Bottom Line: Put a small size on each of these teams. I’m going 1u on each, except for T1. I just don’t think there’s any value in that number. They will, of course, go on to stomp this tournament now.
The Favorites: JD Gaming (+425)
Remember when the Warriors had the best Point Guard, Shooting Guard, and (arguably) Forward in the NBA in 2017? JD Gaming have the Best Top Laner, Jungler, and (arguably) bot lane duo in the world in 2020. The Warriors went on to easily win a championship. I would guess we’re looking at the same thing here with JDG. They are hungrier, more talented, and statistically better than any team in the tournament. Having JD gaming as anything but the favorite is a bit bonkers to me. We will absolutely take it though.
Gambling Bottom Line: Value Town! I’m going with 2u on JDG.
FPX (+550) 1u
DragonX (+900) 1u
Top Esports (+475)1u
JD Gaming (+425) 2u