Starting Friday, the League of Legends European Championship (LEC) will enter the first round of the 2020 Spring season playoffs. A six team, double-elimination bracket with each series a best-of-five. The winner will represent their region along with winners from around the world to compete in the 2020 Mid-Season Invitational (MSI).
** indicates a selection I like a lot
G2 eSports vs MAD Lions
Friday, April 3 – Start Time: 12pm Eastern on Twitch
Back-to-back LEC titles, 43-13 in the past three seasons, and a World Championship Finals appearance. They haven’t lost a playoff series since 2018. Hell, they haven’t even lost a playoff game to a non-Fnatic team since 2018. G2 have completely dominated the LEC.
MAD Lions have been a weird team to handicap this season. Early on they were highly fraudulent with a number of come-from-behind wins that they had no business taking. They were consistently behind in games and, for lack of better terms, getting a bit lucky. That said, they’re also a young team with a ton of potential that I expected to grow over the course of the season and they certainly have winning five of their final eight games.
The regular season games against these two went one win to each.
With such massive moneylines I prefer to look at prop and spread markets for value.
MAD Lions have been beaten bad when they lose with a below league average margin of defeat of 11.0 kills. G2 have been winning by an average of 10.72 if you exclude their wild 28 kill win in the final game of the season. If you think G2 3-0 or even 3-1 this series the kill spreads are the way to go over the map spread.
I actually expect MAD to take a game here. They’re a good team and G2 tend to screw around and play with their food once in awhile. Their disrespect will occasionally lose them a game.
Power numbers say MAD Lions is the value play but I’m not getting cute with this one.
Pick – G2 kill spread -7.5 @ -133 on maps one, two, and three
Fnatic vs Origen
Saturday, April 4 – Start Time: 11am Eastern on Twitch
Origen are a structured, by-the-book style of team. They play low-risk, death-by-a-thousand-cuts League of Legends. Think of them like a classically trained musician. Fnatic and G2 eSports are more like jazz. Creative, aggressive, improvisational, high-risk, and prefer to introduce variance to the game so that their exceptional chemistry and players can exercise their abilities to outplay people.
Over the past few seasons, Origen are a combined 6-16 against Fnatic and G2. They did win a playoff series last Spring 3-1 against Fnatic but it was a severe underperformance by the orange and black in that instance.
Origen are a very good team, the best-of-the-rest in Europe. They’d probably whoop on every team from North America besides Cloud 9 but Fnatic is the play here. Numbers will tell you to play Origen but they struggle with the top two teams from a stylistic standpoint.
**Pick – Fnatic ML @ -200, Fnatic -1.5 maps @ +120 (1/2 stake)**
Misfits vs Rogue
Sunday, April 5 – Start Time: 11am Eastern on Twitch
Both teams mailed it in for the final week of the season because they had already clinched playoffs.
Rogue dropped their final four while Misfits dropped four out of five with their only win coming in a close game against the last place Team Vitality. Rogue won both regular season meetings between the two.
To me, Rogue have significantly higher upside but they just haven’t been playing at that level this season. We’ve seen flashes, including a 20-2 shellacking of MAD Lions as recently as week seven but they’ve been very hot and cold. Misfits are a very predictable but fairly consistent team.
This series should be even money so I’m going with the underdog Rogue in this spot. Something tells me they get up for this match and if they’re playing at even 80% capacity they’re the significantly better team and would be the moderate favorites here. While individual advantages haven’t mattered as much this season, they have the edge at every position except jungle as an added bonus and went on a sick playoff run to end the season last year.
**Pick – Rogue ML @ +117**