Group B and Semi-Finals Recap: 10-5 for +4.175u
Group B largely went according to plan for us, outside of Gen.G. IG picked the rarely seen melee range 0-10 Lucian, DragonX should have been favored against IG and Gen. G and showed it, and JDG largely looked like a top 2 team in the world. Gen. G definitely surprised me. They played completely unafraid in the group stage after looking terrified of T1 in the LCK finals. They were proactive, had solid gameplans, and picked winning comps. Then, came the semi-finals.
Gen. G were still not afraid playing against Top Esports, but they should have been. They were completely outclassed lane by lane and in team play. Trying to keep up their early-game centric compositions against TES turned out to be a total disaster. Not a lot more to say about a stomp like that. The Gen. G results we expected to see in the group stage, we saw in the semi-final.
The other semi-final was significantly more interesting and well played. We got to see why Kanavi will never be allowed to play Nidalee as long as she is in the meta during Game 1. Then, FPX 2019 showed up. DoinB got three straight games of lane pressure on highly mobile champs with reliable CC. When that happens, FPX is the best team in the world. Yagao got a bit exposed in this series. He’s still a very solid player, but not up in the DoinB/Chovy/Knight tier yet. Time and time again through the final 3 games, Doinb was able to get lane pressure and be faster to every play on the map. Can’t wait to watch these two teams play again. On to the Final:
Remaining Futures Situation: FPX (+550) 1u, TES (+475) 1u
With -3u on the JDG and DragonX futures, we stand to profit with either team winning. Which is lucky for us, because I’m not really in love with either ML for these teams or the game line. I will probably pass on both of those, but I am leaning towards a TES 3-1 or 3-0 victory. This series is going to be won and lost in the mid lane. Both of these team’s entire identities are built around what their mid laner does. Doinb tries to push in every wave he can so that he can get out and gank other lanes. Knight tries to gain a tsunami of small individual advantages in CS, in solo kills, in gank pressure, and has been known to get out of lane and carry other lanes too. If I had to lean towards one of them having the individual skill and getting the pressure necessary to win, it would be Knight. His play so far in this tournament has spoken for itself.
In their group stage match, FPX got a Senna-Sett bot lane and early drakes that snowballed the game out of control. I wouldn’t take a ton away from that game because I don’t expect FPX to get both those champs again. I expect this to closer resemble their regular season series on April 20, in which Knight fairly successfully forced Doinb to stay in lane or was able to gank and counter gank when he left. Everywhere else on the map is about as tossup as it gets, with slight lean on TES’ bottom lane.
Bottom Line: Lean TES ML(-150) and Game Line -1.5 Games (+135). Not betting either.
The 3-1 Yahtzee bets: Under 4.5 Total Maps (-205) 2u, 3-1 TES (+356) 0.5u, 3-1 FPX (+490)
As fun as it is, this thing ain’t going 5 games. A few things make me feel this way:
1. In the past 3 splits of LPL playoffs, Worlds 2019, and MSI 2019 the knockout stages have seen 7 full 5 game series out of 26 total series. That’s about 26%. At -205, we’re getting an implied odds of 67% when recent history of more important tournaments says the under 4.5 Maps is closer to 75%. The only final 3-2 we’ve seen in that time was this spring between JDG and TES.
2. Fatigue is becoming a factor. This was a lot of games packed into four days. The sharper teams definitely won and won handily yesterday. When one of these teams gets down 2-0 or 2-1, it’s going to take a lot of mental fortitude to convince themselves they can win 2 or 3 in a row. I, generally, try to avoid investing in the mental fortitude of 19 year olds.
3. These teams feel like rhythm teams to me. Feelings are tricky. Momentum exists and doesn’t exist depending on who you ask. With these two teams, my inclination is it exists. You could see both teams click in last night and never look back. They know what they are good at and when that is clicking both rarely lose. I think one will get clicking and rip off a few games in a row.
4. The 3-1 numbers are attractive to me. It is historically the most likely result of a 5 game series and I think both teams have too much pride to get swept. We hit one of the teams to win 3-1 and scream Yahtzee in the streets of my new neighborhood at 5 in the morning.
Live Betting Opportunity to watch for:
Knight on Syndra. Knight has a better than 80% win rate on this champion. Syndra doesn’t have any devastating counters. Knight is the best player in the world. If you see Knight on Syndra, find live odds for TES win. Bet those odds up to -150. Make money.