LOL Betting Odds and Picks: LCK Playoffs, LPL Regular Season Finale (April 20)
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Monday morning is the final day of the regular season in China’s LOL Pro League (LPL) and with it comes a win-and-in for the eighth and final playoff spot between two of the oldest franchises in Chinese eSports, Team WE and Oh My God! (OMG).
We also have Round 2 of Korea’s LCK gauntlet playoffs. DAMWON Gaming, fresh off of an upset victory over KT Rolster on Saturday, will take on one of the elite three in the LCK, DragonX.
LOL Champions Korea Betting Picks
No. 5 DAMWON Gaming (+235) vs No. 3 DragonX (-323)
- Kill Spread: DragonX -5.5
- Kill Total: 22.5
- Time: Monday, 4 a.m. ET
- Favorites are 81-47, 52-76 against the map spread in the LCK this season
- DragonX are 14-2, 6-8 ATS as favorites
- DragonX are 5-0, 1-4 ATS in their past five appearances as favorites
- DAMWON are 2-6, 4-4 ATS as underdogs
- DAMWON are 2-3, 3-2 ATS in their past five appearances as underdogs
- DAMWON are 0-2 in matches, 0-6 in games all time in best-of-five playoff play
After opening the playoffs with a surprising — and impressive — win over KT Rolster, DAMWON Gaming face the unenviable task of running through the elite three LCK teams (DragonX, T1, and Gen.G).
They haven’t fared well against the top of the table with a combined 1-5 match record and 4-10 game record against the circuit’s best three teams this season. Their only win came against T1 and even that result needs some context as T1 were starting their substitute jungler and limit-testing by allowing the frequently-banned champion, Senna, through in both drafts of the 2-0 DAMWON victory.
DragonX finished the season on a seven-match winning streak against a wide range of competition including a 2-0 victory over the No. 1 seed Gen.G eSports. DrangonX have lost just one match all season to a non-elite team, a strange 1-2 affair against Hanwha Life eSports who were fighting for their playoff lives back in late March.
DragonX’s economy statistics are outstanding. Their 1826 team gold per minute ranks highest in Korea and only behind Invictus Gaming, G2 eSports, Fnatic and Cloud 9 for the best amongst the world’s major regions. Their team CS per minute of 34.2 is the highest by far in the major regions.
DAMWON have mostly the same roster as last year, and while it isn’t the same team, the current mid, top and head coach for DragonX were a part of a Griffin team who had a 3-1 match record and 6-2 game record against DAMWON in 2019. DragonX also own the Spring 2020 matchup 2-0 (4-1).
Coach Kim “cvMax” Dae-ho and his players have seemingly had DAMWON’s number in all but one series over the past 18 months.
DAMWON have been a wildly inconsistent team this season. In some series they look fairly fundamentally sound and in the next they’ll commit a lot of unforced errors. This is the kind of team that will beat a top team and then lose to a bottom team in embarrassing fashion. They haven’t been able to string together more than a couple of steady performances all year.
Their close series against KT Rolster was a consistent performance but it’s difficult to trust them to keep that going against DragonX.
Best-of-5 matches are a significantly more challenging test of both strategic depth and consistency, neither of which DAMWON have shown a particular affinity toward. DragonX will have an off-game here or there but they’ve been able to reel it back in and make quick adjustments throughout the season even with two rookies in their lineup.
Spike performances can happen and DAMWON have the players to deliver them but they rely entirely too much on individual outplays and against cream-of-the-crop individual talent those happen much less frequently.
In a previous article I discussed the Gold Percent Rating (GPR), a metric that measures the average amount of the game’s total existing gold controlled by a team and how DAMWON have a very middling +0.16. KT Rolster had a GPR of +0.35. DragonX are an absurd +1.08, the best in the LCK by far and one of the best on the planet. Even more impressive is that their economy isn’t reliant on kills and is near perfection in terms of vacuuming up resources on the map in an efficient manner.
It was a great showing against KT Rolster, but DragonX are a higher class team and deserved favorites over DAMWON in this spot. Their consistency, strategic depth, advantage in statistical comparison, and overall quality, along with the other elite Korean teams, are far superior to that of the variance-reliant DAMWON Gaming.
There’s also the added benefit of more preparation time as well as an extra match of film for DragonX to use to their advantage. Upset victories are much less common in a best-of-5 series, particularly when the gap in quality between teams is this high.
Picks: DragonX -323; DragonX -1.5 maps (-125)
LOL Pro League (China)
Team WE (+104) vs Oh My God! (OMG)(-132)
- Kill Spread: OMG -2.5
- Kill Total: 25.5
- Time: Monday, 6 a.m. ET
- OMG are 4-1 and 4-1 against the map spread as favorites this season
- Team WE are 5-5 and 6-4 ATS as underdogs this season
- Team WE are 3-2, 4-1 ATS in their past five appearances as underdogs
It hasn’t been pretty for Team WE, who nearly punted away their playoff opportunity with a loss to LNG eSports on Friday, but after getting some help from the other middle-of-the-pack teams and picking up a big win against EDward Gaming on Sunday, they end up with the win-and-in matchup against OMG that many anticipated.
Team WE are in the midst of an unprecedented happening in professional League of Legends. Due to the condensed schedule because of the pandemic, Team WE will be playing their fourth match in just five days. No other team on in the LPL or any major region has had to do this. Additionally, their previous three matches all went to three games. Preparing for so many matches in such a short window is daunting and exhaustion has to be considered in this unique circumstance.
By comparison, OMG have had off since Wednesday with this matchup their only remaining game on the schedule. Although they’ve lost their previous three series, OMG have had a number of days to prepare for just this match as well as watch film for two additional series from Team WE. This is a tremendous advantage for the favorites.
Stylistically, I prefer the way Team WE prefers to play the game in 2020. They’re the instigators, preferring to get out of lane and out onto the map to gain advantages through playmaking and pace. OMG are very much the opposite.
Colloquially dubbed a “lane kingdom” team, they prefer to gain advantages with their superior individual talent and laning capability. This style has proven particularly effective against these “lane kingdom” type teams.
Team WE have bested teams that play a similar style to OMG but at a much higher level such as TOP eSports and taken games against the best-of-the-best in the style such as Invictus Gaming.
You could do worse for an underdog in this position but the high variance inherent in Team WE’s play-style has led them to go to three games in all but one of their past nine series. I see that happening again.
Typically, the opposition can find a way to stifle their early efforts, particularly specialist mid-laner Jiang “Teacherma” Chen in at least one game in a series. With extra time to prepare as well as limited time for Team WE to prepare, OMG should put themselves in a position to take at least a game even if I think that they’re stylistically mismatched in this position as favorites.
Combined with the extra film, rest, and potential fatigue for Team WE and I have a tough time backing the underdogs but I do think this will be a competitive three-game series.
Given the style in which both of these teams win and lose games, playing kill and time totals is high risk. OMG tend to win low scoring, slower games while Team WE are one of the highest combined kills+deaths teams in any region particularly when they win. I’ll be staying away from those markets and instead sticking to the map total and OMG +1.5 map spread.
Picks: Over 2.5 maps played (-112); OMG +1.5 maps (-435)