With Suning coming through for a +12 units last weekend, the LoL World Championship is all but guaranteed to be my most profitable LoL gambling venture this year. When I set out posting plays on Twitter in January, I did it mostly to find a community to talk about this stuff with. I wasn’t using a model, I wasn’t seriously studying the game, I mostly was betting off “feel” and trends. Doing that for a couple months got me about where you would expect: in the hole with motivation to improve at what I was doing.
There are no guarantees of success when you work hard at something and in the short term, randomness takes control. But over the long term, I feel my process has undoubtedly improved (mostly by actually having a process). At this point, it is pretty rare that I bet against the numbers. If I do, there has to be a very good reason like Fnatic and G2’s historical form in the LEC playoffs. So, to have the hours of compiling and staring at data in sheets, SQL, and Tableau pay off feels pretty great.
I do find that side of things fun and I want to be as sharp as possible. I like winning. I like money. But moreso than either of those, I like being able to share my passions with other people. In that regard, this year has been an unbelievable success for me and I am extremely grateful to anyone who reads this, shares this, or just interacts on Twitter. I love those game days where everyone is getting their takes off on Twitter, raging about some DFS outcome, or talking about some jaw dropping play that Caps just made. I’m going to miss that for the next couple months. But it will be back before we know it and when it is, I hope you’ll check out The Esports Department and join the community over there where I’ll be a part of a LCS/LEC-centric DFS show, The Infinity Edge (if you end up joining use the code: IEDGE, for a 10% discount and to help me). Another way you can help me out, is read my work on Line Movement as well.
My other sports love is soccer. After tonight, I’m going to transition into “MLCS Picks” mode, and start writing about betting on my other favorite league: MLS. I have a couple of TBD things in the works on that front as well that I hope you’ll check out if it interests you. Most of my previous success in sports betting has come from soccer and it’s something I feel comfortable saying I have a longterm small edge at.
All of this is a long way of saying: Thank you so much for reading and sharing this with me.
Enough of the sap, let’s get into the degenerate action:
Suning (+175) vs. Damwon (-250)
Every single LoL sharp I know has money in one way or another on Damwon and the line has only marginally moved. I have no idea what that means, but I am not going to be the one to tell you to go another way. In fact, I would be slightly surprised if Suning won a game. It’s no disrespect to Suning and what they’ve done, Damwon is just a cut above every other team in the world right now.
Coming into the tournament, the two areas where they were quite obviously the best team in the world was in the Early Game and their objective control. They had the highest Early Game Rating in the world partially because they are always faster at setting up early drakes and tower takes than their opponents and partially because their solo laners just always win their lanes in CS, gold, and experience. It means they are almost always ahead when they enter into the first teamfight of the game.
The questions I had for them were: what happens when you don’t get that early game lead and what happens when you fight against great micro teamfighting teams? Well, the answer turned out to be they are uniquely great in those situations as well. They beat G2 by just being better than them. It wasn’t some great gameplan, it wasn’t a better read on the meta, it was just a pound-for-pound, skill-for-skill beatdown. They beat them with better map control, better laning, and better control of the movements their champions made. It was a scary sight for a team that already had great gameplans and great meta reads. To me, there’s no style that they’re not the best in the world at, making them unbeatable.
Especially against Suning though– who won against Top Esports by playing mid and late game teamfights better than their opponents–I think Damwon is favored. First, Suning is going to need to survive the early game lanes against superior players in Mid and Top, and then they are going to have to outplay them in teamfights which is something no one has done at the tournament. It’s just not going to happen. Some championships are won with great coaches and team systems (FPX), some championships are won by great players being great (Invictus), and some championships are won by having it all (SKT). I think this is one where the team has it all. Damwon feels like the 2018 Golden State Warriors. They have 3 superstars who can win by themselves, their coaching staff is elite, and oh, by the way, they execute team concepts better than everyone else too.
I could waste a paragraph here telling you about Suning’s strengths, but here’s what I’ll tell you: Damwon’s better than them at all of them. So, let’s get into the gambling picks. I have a futures bet that will net 8 units if Damwon wins and I am just going to let that ride, but like I said before, I am feeling a Damwon sweep coming so I’m going to bet the -1.5 and -2.5 too. You can also gather that I don’t think these games will be particularly close either. Games that are not close favor the under, because only one team is getting kills. Combine that with the fact that Damwon and Suning play lower kill total games generally, I will be going under on every map. Then, I am taking the First Tower and First Baron for Damwon on every map because it is essentially a bet on them to win each map and has been a consistent part of their game plan this split.
The Picks: Damwon -1.5 (-110) 2u, Damwon -2.5 (+275) 1u, Under 27.5 kills on each map (-115) 1u each, Damwon First Tower and First Baron on each map (-165) 1u each