League of Legends (4/12-4/14): LPL Semifinals and LCK Finals

League of Legends (4/12-4/14): LPL Semifinals and LCK Finals article feature image

Although the Tools at FantasyLabs and The Action Network don’t yet include eSports, this weekend there are several matchups that should be highlighted. If you’re new to eSports, that’s not a problem: Check out my League of Legends introduction.

Last week we had the North America and Europe League of Legends finals. This week we head over to Asia for the Chinese LPL semifinals and Korean LCK finals. I recommend looking around for the best possible odds.

Also, since stacking is so important in daily fantasy eSports, the information in here can be applied to this weekend’s DFS competitions.

LPL Match No. 1: Royal Never Give Up vs. Team WE (Apr. 12 at 5:00 am EST)

  • Royal (RNG): -700
  • Team WE: +375

Royal Never Give Up

  • Top: Zzitai/Letme
  • Jungle: Karsa/Mlxg
  • Mid: Xiaohu
  • ADC: Uzi
  • Support: Ming

Team World Elite

  • Top: 957
  • Jungle: Magic/Condi
  • Middle: Xiye
  • ADC: Mystic
  • Support: Celestial/Ben

This is a best-of-five match with Royal Never Give Up starting up a game. Unfortunately this match probably would’ve seemed a lot more exciting a few weeks ago before we saw the current states of these two teams. Now, this probably won’t be very exciting. RNG won their early-season matchup 2-1, but we might want to ignore that contest given that both teams were in very different form before making their respective playoff surges. Although they have looked vulnerable at times, RNG has looked like the much better team in recent weeks, boasting a 7-3 record to WE’s 5-5. It’s hard to take -700 odds against a team like WE, but they recently lost to a floundering Snake team and an awful OMG unit that is similar to RNG in style. If WE started on even footing, the +375 would probably be a slightly profitable bet given the emotional nature of the RNG roster and WE’s ability to show up on any given day, but since they start down a game it’s hard to trust them.

Rather than bet on the contest, I will probably pivot to the props. In their earlier matchup, RNG secured 2-of-3 first dragons against WE. In their recent separate matchups, RNG has secured 7-of-10 first dragons and 7-of-10 first bloods to WE’s 4-of-10 first dragons and 5-of-10 first bloods. Given RNG’s propensity for aggressive early-game play and WE’s weakness to it, RNG looks like a good bet at -150 for first dragon and -135 for first blood. Also, because both teams are volatile (they have lost to some of the worst teams and beaten some of the best in the league), whichever team wins Game 1 might be a good bet to take Game 2 as well, with RNG at -225 and WE at +150.

Prediction: Royal Never Give Up 3-0

LPL Match No. 2: BiliBili Gaming vs. JD Gaming (Apr. 13 at 5:00 am EST)

  • BLG: -275
  • JDG: +180

BiliBili Gaming

  • Top: AmazingJ
  • Jungle: Chieftan/Sks
  • Mid: Mole/Athena
  • ADC: Jinjiao
  • Support: Road

JD Gaming

  • Top: Zoom
  • Jungle: Clid
  • Mid: Yagao
  • ADC: Loken/RD
  • Support: LVmao

This is the most exciting series of the three, which doesn’t say a lot for the competitiveness of this weekend’s matches, as this one might not be particularly close either. BLG has the edge in skill at every individual position over JDG, whose only advantage in the matchup might be BLG’s arrogance. It’s not something that rears its head every week, but BLG’s confidence at times can cause them to make some overly aggressive roster compositions and champion choices. That is about all JDG can hope for. In their previous meeting BLG won 2-1, and they now start up a game, which feels like a lot for JDG to overcome. In the regular season both teams achieved the same number of wins, but BLG did it in four fewer games. BLG at -275 might be a little high but is probably a safe bet given that they are not only the better team but also up a game to start.

Most sites don’t post LPL props till closer to the match (if they post them at all), but I’ll be eyeing JDG to get the first dragon, given that they are at 55% for dragon control (seventh in the league) vs. 48% for BLG (10th). I’ll also keep an eye out on Game 1 and Game 2 bets for BLG, which should have odds under -200.

Prediction: 3-1 BLG

LCK Finals: King-zone DragonX vs. Afreeca Freecs (Apr. 14 at 4:00 am EST)

  • King-zone DragonX: -400
  • Afreeca Freecs: +250

King-zone DragonX

  • Top: Khan
  • Jungle: Peanut/Cuzz
  • Mid: Bdd
  • ADC: Pray
  • Support: Gorilla

Afreeca Freecs

  • Top: Kiin
  • Jungle: Spirit/Mowgli
  • Mid: Kuro/Ruby
  • ADC: Aiming/Kramer
  • Support: TusiN/Jelly

King-zone might have the worst name in eSports, but they are the best team in the world. Afreeca’s style is much more macro than KZ’s, but that might not matter in this matchup. In their previous matches, KZ won 2-0 and 2-1, so they have given up a game to AFS, but they finished the season on a nine-match win streak and lead the LCK in basically every category you could statistically come up with. Afreeca finished the season on a 7-1 run, and their only loss came to KT, and they revenged that defeat in the semifinals, so they are in good form as well, but KZ is just on a different level. They were 16-2 on the season while Afreeca was 13-5. The game score is even more telling, as KZ finished 33-7 while AFS was 28-13. Both teams boast very good stats, but (on a percentage-point basis) KZ has a 4% better baron rate, 15% better dragon rate, 14% better first turret rate and 4% better first blood rate. KZ averages an amazing +1060 gold advantage at 15 minutes. AFS’s +321, while respectable, isn’t comparable at all. Add in the fact that they got to watch AFS in a matchup with the tough KT Rolster last week, and KZ is an easy pick.

And as much as I like KZ at -400, I like the spread and prop bets for this match even more, especially these:

  • KZ -1.5 maps: -154
  • KZ -2.5 maps: +220
  • Under 4.5 Maps: -286
  • KZ 3-0: +200
  • KZ Game 2 winner: -223
  • KZ Game 3 Winner: -223

The -1.5 maps bet is pretty safe, as AFS has little chance of taking this to five games, and if you want the best team in the world at plus odds then you can take KZ at -2.5 maps and 3-0. The 3-0 bet in particular is a risk-seeking wager, but I think it’s sharp, as KZ should go 3-0 in this series at least 50% of the time (in my opinion). I might avoid KZ as the Game 1 winner at -223, as Game 1 might be when Afreeca is most likely to steal a win with a contrarian strategy, but I like Games 2-3 at the same odds. Under 4.5 maps is intriguing, but any money you’d invest in that you should probably redirect to KZ -1.5 maps, since the odds are better and those two props are basically the same unless you truly believe in AFS.

Prediction: 3-0 King-zone DragonX

Pictured above: Longzhu gaming, now King-zone DragonX