Nice start to the weekend with Mad Lions finally bringing Schalke back to Earth. It was an incredible run from them and although I think they always had exploitable flaws, they played better than I ever could have imagined. A quick note before I get into the rest of my picks: my actual betting strategy for these games will probably change quite a bit because I have a few large futures bets from here and here that I will probably be hedging on. I only like to give out picks that I’m going to bet myself (only fair in my opinion) so I will breakdown the matchups say who I think will win, but the picks portion will probably be a bit different for the playoffs in LEC and LCS.
Invictus(-166) vs. Fun Plus Phoenix (+138)
- Top- IG TheShy vs. FPX Gimgoon or Khan The Edge: IG
- Mid- IG Rookie vs. FPX DoinB The Edge: IG
- Jungle- IG Ning vs. FPX Tian The Edge: Even
- Bot Lane Duo- IG Baolan and Puff vs. FPX Crisp and LWX The Edge: IG
There’s not a worse feeling in esports betting than putting in a bet on IG. They are the most two-faced team I think I’ve ever bet on. Every single time I think they’ve turned a corner and are ready to take the game seriously, they do something like get 3-0’d by LGD playing insanely disrespectfully. It’s absolutely maddening.
I hate it, but I’m going to be on IG again. FPX is not an elite team anymore. They can’t survive the individual talent deficits with this roster. Tian has fallen all the way to the point where I can’t decide if I would rather have him or Ning, their bot lane is easily the worst bot lane to make LPL playoffs, Doinb is much closer to average LPL mid laner than anyone cares to admit, and their top lane is splitting time because both players have consistently underperformed. FPX doesn’t have the individual talent to compete with IG.
FPX has never been about overwhelming individual talent though, rather their superior objective control and team play. That, too, has disappeared. Their Baron percentage of 43% coming into the playoffs was one of the worst numbers of any teams anywhere. Then, in their playoff series they were able to get more Barons, but let V5 get the first 3 turrets in 100% of the games. That is inconceivable for how dominant FPX was in that department in 2019. It’s just not going to happen for FPX this year.
The loser of this series is not going to Worlds. If there was ever a time for IG to reign it in a bit, this is it. They are the more talented team. They are in better form. They should, quite honestly, 3-0 this.
The Picks: IG ML (-166) 2u, IG -1.5 Maps (+122) 1u, IG -2.5 Maps (+381) 0.5u
G2 Esports(-403) vs. Fnatic (+287)
- Top- G2 Wunder vs. FNC Bwipo The Edge: Even
- Mid- G2 Caps vs. FNC Nemesis The Edge: G2
- Jungle- G2 Jankos vs. FNC Selfmade The Edge: Even
- Bot Lane Duo- G2 Perkz and Mikyx vs. FNC Rekkles and Hiiysang The Edge: Even
When it comes to G2 and Fnatic, I could spend a thousand words breaking down the individual matchups,the statistics, the possible draft angles, etc., but frankly all that matters is the history. The history is: G2 dominates Fnatic. When it comes to a big match that matters, G2 is always better prepared, plays better, and seemingly holds Fnatic under some sort of spell. Technically, this one does not fully matter. Whoever loses will likely get another shot at the winner in a week or so after dispatching Mad Lions. Both teams are already qualified for Worlds and just playing for bragging rights and the LEC title. If there was ever a team who would treat a chance at a title as a chance to limit test, it’s G2, but I expect both teams to be approaching this seriously.
In that scenario, I give the edge to G2. I think all the lanes are too close to call except for the one that really matters: Mid. Caps is one of the best players in the world. Nemesis is an above average EU mid laner. There’s a significant gap between the players to me. Caps can seemingly play whatever, however, whenever. Nemesis needs a very specific kind of champion and matchup to be effective. I think he will probably have a game or two in that kind of matchup in this series, but not enough to win the whole thing.
Season-long stats have been proven to be essentially garbage for these two. Neither team was playing at their best or making a consistent effort to find their best playstyle until playoffs came along. You can pretty much throw Summer Split away. With that in mind, I think it would be better to look at their form in the playoffs to see who has an edge in the team play.
Fnatic was easily the more dominant of the two in their first round series. They jumped all over Rogue with draft diversity, aggressive play, and Selfmade as one of their main carries. Over the 3 games they averaged a GSPD of 10% against a very good team. That is no small feat. However, G2’s opponent, Mad Lions, is seemingly the better team. Rogue gets lost when they can not play the one style that they are good at, Mad Lions is a flexible, adaptable team that plays a bit like Fnatic. G2 passed that test already. I can’t help, but think they’ll do it again against FNC.
For my own gambling purposes, I’m staying away from the sides though. I have an aforementioned futures bet on Fnatic to make and win the final that I would rather hedge on live or in their next matchup. More than that though, I don’t have a strong enough feeling either way at these numbers and would rather just watch. I don’t hate playing the G2 -1.5 Maps or -2.5 Maps though if you’re looking to get involved.
The one place I do seem some value to play with is the kill totals. When these two play in the playoffs, it’s almost always a bloodbath. Last split the totals were set in the mid 30s. This split we get a very bettable 29.5. These are two of the higher total teams in the league and are not afraid to put on a show in playoffs.
The Picks: Over 29.5 Kills Map 1, 2,3 (-115) 1u each
Cloud9 (-368) vs. TSM (+266)
- Top- C9 Licorice vs. TSM BrokenBlade The Edge: C9
- Mid- C9 Nisqy vs. TSM Bjergsen The Edge: TSM
- Jungle- C9 Blaber vs. TSM Spica The Edge: C9
- Bot Lane Duo- C9 Zven and Vulcan vs. TSM Doublelift and Biofrost The Edge: Even
The two titans of the LCS facing off for NA’s last spot at Worlds. Does it get better than this? As far as LoL gameplay, the answer is undoubtedly yes, but for a North American with full investment and knowledge of the history between these teams it’s tough to beat. For a bettor, I don’t see a lot to like in the sides here.
Cloud9 is clearly the more talented team here. Licorice is easily the best top laner in the LCS and gets the better of BrokenBlade in every match the teams play. Blaber, despite struggles this split, should be very comfortable against Spica whose job is to not lose his team the game. The bot lane matchup pits Doublelift and Zven against each other after both players single-handedly put their teams in the loser bracket. Vulcan should have the edge over the TSM support, but has been playing a lot of non-playmakers in this playoffs. If he’s playing Karma or Yuumi, he can’t make a serious difference. TSM has the edge in the most important spot, the mid lane. Nisqy has been a below average LCS mid laner for the better part of two months. Powerofevil quietly abused him in their series with Flyquest. Bjergsen has put up another league MVP type season. I have no doubt that he will be getting sizable advantages on Nisqy in this series. If the rest of TSM can execute around him, he could easily carry a game or two.
Cloud9’s stats in the back half of the season are bad, like middle of the table bad. Before I explained their stats away, believing that the immensity of their talent would carry them through in the playoffs, but that Flyquest series has me on red alert for this team. There seems to be a pretty clear script that works against this team: neutralize Licorice and Blaber with a weakside top and a farming Jungler, go even in the bot lane, and abuse Nisqy. Doesn’t that script look very possible for TSM? It couldn’t certainly fall apart with mistakes by BB or Doublelift, but I think there’s a world where the better mid wins here. The better mid is on TSM.
The Picks: Over 3.5 Maps (-240) 1u, TSM +1.5 Maps (+109) 1u, TSM ML (+266) 0.5u, TSM 3-1 (+750) 0.25u, TSM 3-0 (+800) 0.25u