Worlds Play in Finals

Yesterday’s Recap:

My premise for play-in bets was that one of Mad Lions or Team Liquid was going to go down to SuperMassive. Before I break my hand patting my own back, I definitely thought it would be TL, but still SME is a legit team that was treated like a total longshot to make the group stage. They are the kind of controlled, macro-focused team that thrives against other underdogs and the borderline pychopathic play from Mad Lions in this tournament. They’re not quite to the groups yet, but this team can hold their heads high either way knowing that they showed very well at this tournament. On the Mad Lions side, I hope they step back and learn from what led to their collapse here: undeserved arrogance. Shadow seemingly never learned the ins and outs of the new meta champions, Humanoid did what he did, and Orome still needs to level up. The confidence that brought them early success turned into arrogance that doomed them at Worlds.

There was not a lot to learn in the LGD and Rainbow7 matchup. Neither of these teams really belonged in this game and it showed.

Legacy (+475, +2.5 -155) vs. LGD (-850, -2.5 +110)

These numbers are almost identical to LGD’s matchup with Rainbow7 yesterday. LGD is infinitely ahead of R7 on talent, I’m not sure that’s the case with Legacy. Is LGD the more talented team? Easily. Does Legacy have at least a couple win conditions or a player who could show up better than his opponent on the day? Absolutely.

Legacy’s expectations and statistics are being weighed down by two beatdowns from the best team in Play-ins, Team Liquid. There is no shame in losing to them and TL is the kind of team that when they win, they generally win big. The rest of Legacy’s games were quite impressive. They were able to rely on a different role to carry in every game splitting between mid, top, jungle and bot. They showed a multitude of ways to win, but one theme emerged: their top laner, Topoon, is legit. 

That could spell bad news for LangX and LGD. I am generally pretty low on LangX. He is an acceptable weak side top laner, but has never been particularly impressive to me. Topoon pulled out a Camille in Game 1 against INTZ that didn’t show up in the stats, but essentially won the game for his team with split push pressure. Do you trust LGD to have a sense of control or macro gameplan if he gets ahead on a split pusher? I certainly don’t.

LGD isn’t suddenly fixed because they beat a team made up of players who couldn’t make it in the third tier of Chinese LoL (no shade to R7, but this is true). They still have tons of macro issues and often make calls that make no sense at all. Legacy is good enough to punish those mistakes.

Yet, I still could easily see an LGD sweep. This team has no ceiling when their players are on like they were in the LPL playoffs. If they get 3 early leads again like against R7, they will sweep. So, for me, rather than play too much with the Legacy map handicaps, I’m going to play their kill spreads in the first 3 games and the over 3.5 maps. With the kill spreads, there’s always the chance that they cover in their losses and the odds for the over map total were slightly better than the handicap.

The picks: Legacy +8.5 kills on Maps 1,2, and 3 (-115) 1u each, Over 3.5 Maps (-135) 1u

SuperMassive (+148, +1.5 -144) vs. UoL (-175, -1.5 +128)

Put some respect on SME’s name! Or don’t and I’ll keep betting on them. To me, this game is a -115 esports coinflip. Both teams come from lesser regions, both teams showed great at times and concerning at other times in the group stage, and both teams are filled with players with Worlds experience. So what’s with the -175 price tag for UoL?

It’s a price tag I can’t pay for this team, even though I have been impressed. They seem  perfectly fit for this meta: they pick winning, pushing lanes backed by a farming jungler who can carry and tower dive. It has pushed them to huge leads in the early game in their wins. The question becomes: “What happens to this team when they can’t get those kinds of leads?” I think the answer to that question can be found in their tie breaker game with  Talon. 

Talon, in that game, were able to neutralize UoL’s Boss with a go-even top laner in Gangplank. This was crucial, because in all of UoL’s wins it was Boss who was getting most of the attention of the jungler, getting a big lead for himself, and then transitioning it to other lanes. 

Supermassive could easily follow that game script. Their top laner, Armut, has been easily the best weakside player at the tournament so far. He reminds me of a Zoom-lite. They can safely put him onto something like a Mordekaiser or Shen, and expect him to take Boss out of the game. 

If they survive lanes, it’s where SME, like Talon, thrive. Supermassive is a controlled, scaling team who is comfortable in the late game teamfights even with small deficits. Their goal in the early game is about getting small lane advantages to then transition over to objectives and teamfights. It’s something they’ve been successful at in the World Championship with a +861 GD@15. If you don’t see Boss pushing Armut over and over again or Nomanz abusing Bolulu, I think the Turkish team will see themselves back in the group stage. 

The Picks: SME +1.5 (-144) 2u, SME ML (+148) 1u

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