Worlds Play-ins Semi Finals

An overall great week of betting last week! When it comes to LoL betting, the early stages of tournaments or leagues can be very volatile. It is where game knowledge and talent evaluation becomes basically the center of your handicapping. Being a proud member of the Silver league myself, it doesn’t come natural to me, but I worked hard to try to identify what makes teams good in LoL and it’s exciting to see a few results pay off on that hard work.

On the soccer side, I’ve had more demonstrable success in betting there before putting out my bets on Twitter, so I have some confidence that as data gets deeper and I watch more, results will come.

Futures Check-In

The Team Liquid lose play-ins bet is a loss and is already marked as so in my tracker. They have shown up in a way that I probably should have seen coming. When they are on comfort picks, they are a consistent and smart team. It feels like it’s easier to get comfort picks in best of 1s and could mean good things for them in groups. I still worry about them in Best of 5s, but for now, impressive showing by them.

The “MAD Lions to lose play-ins” bet is still very much in play. For them to get out of the play-ins, they will have to win two Best of 5s in a row against solid LoL teams. MAD has never won two Best of 5s in a row in their history.  Still, I will be hedging against that bet in their matchup with SME.

Rainbow7 (+425, +2.5 -170) vs. LGD (-750, -2.5 +125)

Let’s keep this short: If LGD were to lose this, it would be one of the largest upsets in the history of the LoL World Championship. If there was ever a team from China or Korea who could lose in play-ins, it would be this LGD team who win off of individual skill alone and are downright terrible from even the smallest of deficits, but I still can’t see it. 

Rainbow7 has some promising talent, particularly Jungler Josedodo, but their players are several tiers removed from being able to compete with LGD in a series. Can they have their day and get a one-off? Yes, they already did. But can they compete with the sheer force of LGD’s talent over 5 games? It’s an unfortunate no. Often analysts talk about how mechanical, micro play is similar across regions and that the gap has essentially closed there. I’m unconvinced. Players in EU Masters miss more CS and spells than players in the LCS just like players in the LCS miss more than their counterparts in Korea and China. The gap between these two teams in that regard is enormous. There’s not a lot more to say here.

The picks: LGD -1.5 (-271) 2u, LGD -2.5 (+141) 1u

SuperMassive (+140, +1.5 -150) vs. MAD Lions (-195, -1.5 +110)

Mad Lions are favorites here on name alone–on their own names and on the name of the league they come from. It is the only way someone could justify saying they think this team will win nearly 65% of the time against SME. If you tried to make an argument for them based on what we’ve seen from them at Worlds so far, it would be laughable. They have been, frankly, awful. 

Shadow has gone from a carry win condition to a liability. He looks completely uncomfortable and, at times, arrogant on the current set of meta junglers. His Evelynn in the first two games was the stuff of solo queue nightmares. I’m not sure if he’s nervous or thought they would have an easy path in play-ins, but he has not adjusted to the way the game is being played at the World Championship and Mad desperately needs him to shape up.

Somehow Shadow hasn’t been the worst performer on Mad Lions, that dubious honor belongs to Humanoid. He is the kind of player that drives me up the wall. He has all the talent in the world, but consistently uses that talent in ways that lose his team the game. Instead of saving his mechanical outplays for necessary moments in late game teamfights, he will try them at every opportunity he can and often give over unnecessary kills to the other team. It is the kind of selfish play that you hope he outgrows so that he can live up to his potential, but I don’t think that will be happening in this World Championship. 

SME is not the kind of team you want to be against when your mid and jungle duo has a tendency to overstep and throw the game away. Not only are they rock solid at those positions, but they are the kind of smart macro team that can turn one kill into a 3k gold lead through map play. In their first two games, they were completely dominant in getting Kakao and Bolulu small leads and then snowballing those into easy wins. Then, they played a tough matchup with Team Liquid that was a lot closer than the scoreboard showed. Finally, they played a somewhat concerning game against Legacy in which they made some uncharacteristic macro mistakes that looked like maybe they weren’t taking their opponents as seriously as they should.

Both of these teams have flaws, but to me, SuperMassive is the team that has shown a better understanding of how the game should be played right now. They have the better stats and film against the same competition. The only point against them is the strength of the league they come from. Against Mad Lions, I’m not sure how much that matters. Mad Lions doesn’t know any other way to play the game and I don’t think they can reign it back and win on talent alone here. If I were making a bet on this game without any hedges, I would bet 2u on the +1.5 for SME and 1u on the SME ML. I think they should be more like +110, but for me I’ll be doing below:

The Picks: MAD Lions ML hedge (-195) 1.5u, SME +1.5 (-150) 2u

If Mad Lose, Win 5.57u

If Mad Win 3-2, Lose 0.93u with potential to still win Lose Playins Future bet

If Mad wins by another score, Lose 4.925 with potential to still win Lose Futures bet

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