The curse of TSM puts us a little bit behind in Week 1 of Worlds again. They are one of the most difficult teams to handicap because they are mostly held back by their own mental fortitude. They actually have laned well enough to put them in advantageous positions in two out of the three games so far, but if one of their players dies once early on you can count on them to mental boom. It was BrokenBlade against Fnatic and then it was Doublelift against LGD.
The good news is I have quite a few futures bets that I feel pretty good about going into the rest of the games. Check me out on twitter as I will probably be trying to hedge a little bit.
For this article, rather than go through every matchup and tell you that Damwon and JDG are massive favorites to win every game besides against each other, I’m just going to give you my general thinking about Group B and the picks I’m on because of those thoughts.
Group B thoughts
It’s pretty simple: I expect Damwon and JDG to stomp both Rogue and PSG in. The talent chasm that exists between these teams is just too much for either to overcome. Showmaker and Nuguri have won every single lane they’ve been a part of for pretty much all of the Summer Split. They will be toying with Larssen, Tank, Hanabi, and Finn again. JDG, then, is better at the style of game PSG and Rogue got through their region playing: two tank, two carry teamfighting. They may not outclass as heavily as Damwon in the laning phase, but watch what they do when they are setting up around objectives and how controlled each player is in teamights and you’ll see they are a cut above. Even when JDG and Damwon are behind in kills in their games, they’ve typically been ahead on gold from the sheer force of their superior skill.
The conundrum for betting those games is: the moneylines reflect two heavy favorites and the kill spreads are numbers that can be hard to cover. Especially with these two teams who can choke you out with macro play, trying to get them to cover 11 kills is a risky proposition. So, rather than get too deep in the hole with those kinds of bets, I think all the unders are in play here.
As mentioned before, Talon and Rogue are the “teamfight around objectives/map play” teams in their region. That style of play tends towards lower kills in losses. Rather than the wild skirmishing style of G2 or TES, if Rogue or PSG gets behind they generally try to minimize damage and concede everything they don’t absolutely have to contest. I expect JDG and Damwon to both get sizable leads in the early game and then easily choke the game out with map play.
Finally, in the Rogue-PSG matchup, it’s the same story in my book. I expect Rogue to get ahead early with their superior mid-jungle duo and then choke the game out with map play like they have all season long. In short: my projections say these totals should be set somewhere around 21.5, but they’re all much larger than that. Take the under across the board.
The Picks: DWG-Talon Under 23.5 (-115) 1u, Rogue-JDG Under 26.5 (-115) 1u, DWG-Rogue Under 24.5 (-115) 1u, JDG-Talon Under 25.5 (-115) 1u, Talon-Rogue Under 24.5 (-115) 1u, Unders parlay (+2184) 0.25u
Damwon Gaming (-195) vs. JDG (+140)
Now this is a matchup worthy of a breakdown! This will almost certainly decide if the two teams play a tiebreaker for first place or if Damwon wins outright after a thorough domination of JDG the first time around. After that game, I wrote this on Twitter:
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Turns out maybe Damwon Gaming is just the best team of all time like their stats say they are.</p>— Allen Heffelfinger (@lcspicks) <a href=”https://twitter.com/lcspicks/status/1312424098358792195?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>October 3, 2020</a></blockquote> https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
If you were to argue that they are the best team of all time, I couldn’t argue against it. They have a nearly +19% GSPD in a group that includes a team I picked to win the whole thing. Just think about what that stat means for a minute: they are ON AVERAGE absolutely demolishing their opponents. One could say “small sample size!” and I do think that’s reasonable, but Damwon did this all split long in the LCK. At some point, we just have to trust our eyes with this team and call them the GOATs they may be, but I can’t help but still hold out hope for JDG as the team to contest them.
In some ways, JDG feels like the perfect team to beat DWG. Although Canyon and Beryl have been outstanding this season, Damwon is best when Nuguri and Showmaker are putting relentless pressure on their lanes and carrying the game. Zoom should be the anti-Nuguri. He is an excellent weak-side player who seemingly comes out ahead of even the worst matchups. Then, in the mid lane, Yagao seems perfectly fit for a meta game that de-emphasizes the mid laner. He has played that way for a long time with JDG who are best when Kanavi is their main focus. Yet, in game one, Damwon put the solo laners of JDG in the dumpster after a nightmare level one from JDG.
I am calling that game an aberration. Damwon with a gifted early lead is invincible, but what happens if JDG doesn’t get uncharacteristically wild with early game skirmishes in Game 2? It’s a question I hope we get to see the answer to. I want to see the teams in even, mid game teamfights going blow for blow. I lean towards JDG in that scenario, but it’s difficult to know because Damwon so rarely has to play in that stage of the game. With JDG on the blue side and the ability to control who has Nidalee, this feels like a closer game to me. JDG covers and the game goes over.
The Picks: JDG +5.5 (-115) 1u, Over 28.5 Kills (-115) 1u