There was a lot of turnover in the LPL between splits. I am not going to break down every roster move. Mostly, because that’s already been done here by Gelati of The Esports Department in great detail (keep in mind this was written on Monday, TeacherMa will be starting for WE) and is worthy of your reading if you want to win money betting on the LPL this split. TL;DR: A lot of shit changed, but not really. I say “not really” because I think with one or two exceptions we could see a very similar finishing standings for the LPL in the Spring. Here’s my power rankings following the off-season and Mid Season Cup:
1. Top Esports
2a. JD Gaming
2b. Fun Plus Phoenix
11. Vici Gaming
14. Rogue Warriors
16. Victory 5
You could honestly convince me of any order of 5-14 and 1-3. LPL has real parity and that’s what makes it the best league in the world. You can probably already see where I’m leaning on some of the games in week 1 based on that ranking. I like some value opportunities on V5 with a new roster and am quite high on EDG and low on WE. That will definitely shape how we attack this weekend:
6/5/2020: EDG ML vs. WE (-180) 2u, EDG -1.5 vs. WE (+165) 1u
EDG finished their season in a 3-1 loss to FPX in the playoffs. That series was a lot closer than that score line suggests. They were very close in 3 out of 4 of those games and had a few things gone their way, they would have been at MSC. We saw how good FPX is in the playoffs and MSC. EDG weren’t that far off. They also carry the statistical profile of an elite team. They sported the 4th best Kill:Death Ratio in the LPL’s Spring split. Like in all sports, the best teams in LoL blow bad teams out. EDG blow bad teams out.
MSC might as well have stood for Mid Lane Season Cup, with Chovy, Knight, and Doinb all making the semi-finals. Sometimes LoL is as simple as “mid diff”. If that’s the case here, EDG has got to like their chances with a star in the mid lane, Scout. Bottom line: EDG is a better team than WE. They should be motivated to show that in their first series.
6/6/2020: Victory 5 +1.5 Games (-120) 1u vs. Dominus, Victory 5 ML (+270) 0.5u
Both these teams suck. Like, I would parlay them to be the bottom 2 teams in the league if it were available kind of suck. That’s why getting near even money on a +1.5 and a +270 ML are valuable plays. It has very little to do with the play or moves of either team. V5 will start a whole new roster, so you can throw last split out essentially. Dominus will stick with the roster that went on a little run at the end of the split in the spring with nothing to play for. That might make you lean Dominus, not me. New rosters have done some interesting things lately in LoL. With the success of Estar, MAD Lions, and even Excel to a lesser extent, I think Victory 5 could upset some people with no ability to scout them. If that’s true, Dominus has to be one of the teams they’re going to upset.
6/7/2020: Suning (+160) 1u, Suning +1.5 Games (-195) 2u
I have these teams right next to each other making this series a coin flip. Getting +160 on a coin flip is too good to pass up. Suning had a gold differential per minute of -8 in the LPL regular season. That would have put them at 8th. They were unlucky at times and bad at times, but this team is definitely closer to WE than the +160 says. This will be as must-win a Week 1 matchup can be for both teams. That makes me believe it will go 3 games, a result we’ve historically seen a lot of in the LPL.
6/7/2020: BilliBilli Gaming ML vs. Vici (+130) 1u
Another week 1 must-win in this matchup between BilliBilli and Vici. BilliBilli steadily improved over the course of the LPL spring split and ended with a statistical profile of a team that looked like a playoff team. You could say similar things about Vici. Both teams made lateral offseason moves in my opinion. I just believe BilliBilli were the better team last split and will build on their end of split form here. I have already established that I’m taking plus money on all matchups I have as tossups. I have this as a tossup.