The 2017 League of Legends World Championship Series
The most important League of Legends tournament of the 2016-2017 competitive season is right around the corner. “Worlds”, as it’s often called by League of Legends fans around the globe, is in its seventh edition this year. With a new format, 24 participants and a prize pool of $2.1 million (plus fan contributions), the competition for the championship title is fiercer than ever.
Worlds 2017 takes place between September 23 and November 4. The competition will be held in 4 locations from China, with the Grand Finals being played in Beijing. Unlike its previous editions, it features more teams (24) and an additional stage (called the Play-In Stage), which precedes the Group Stage.
Half of the 24 participants will be fighting for their tournament lives in this initial stage, and only 4 of them will make it through. They will be placed in 4 groups of 3 teams, with the top 2 teams in each group moving forward and playing a match against a randomly assigned opponent from the remaining 7 teams. The winners of each of these 4 matches advance into the Group Stage of the tournament, where 4 groups of 3 teams each will be waiting for them.
The 12 teams that will be playing in the Play-In Stage are the following:
- Group A: Team WE, Gambit.CIS, Lyon Gaming.
- Group B: Cloud 9, Team oNe Sports, LG Dire Wolves.
- Group C: Fnatic, Young Generation, Kaos Latin Gamers.
- Group D: HK Attitude, 1907 Fenerbahce, Rampage.
The other 12 teams that will be waiting for them in the Group Stage are:
- Group A: EDward Gaming, SK Telecom T1, ahq e-Sports Club.
- Group B: Longzhu Gaming, Immortals, GIGABYTE Marines.
- Group C: G2 Esports, Samsung Galaxy, Royal Never Give Up.
- Group D: Flash Wolves, Misfits, Team SoloMid.
The competitors come from all over the world: Korea, China, Europe, North America, Latin America, Japan, Southeast Asia, Oceania, Turkey, CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States), Turkey, Taiwan, Macau, Hong Kong, and Brazil. Of course, the stronger regions (such as Korea and China) received more seeds that grant direct access to the tournament’s Group Stage. But thanks to the new system and the introduction of the Play-In Stage, every region was given the opportunity to send one or more teams to the most prestigious League of Legends tournament in the world.
Odds and Betting Tactics
Arguably, every team at Worlds 2017 is strong. Otherwise they wouldn’t be here. But even among the best one can usually spot the best of the best, based on current form and previous results. In our case, if you’re going to bet on this competition, keep an eye on Korean teams in general, as they are clear favorites to win it. These are SK Telecom T1, Longzhu Gaming and Samsung Galaxy. In particular, SK Telecom T1 have won the World Championship 3 times already and people are wondering whether or not they can do it for the 4th time in total and the 3rd time in a row. Together with Longzhu Gaming, they are given the highest odds to succeed by bookmakers such as Betway and Betspawn.
Betway puts the odds at 2.50, 2.70 and 5.50 for SK Telecom T1, Longzhu Gaming and Samsung Galaxy respectively. On Betspawn, the first two teams are considered to be perfectly equal in strength, while the third one is seen as a bit of a longshot. Here, the odds are 2.75, 2.75 and 7.50. Keep in mind however that Longzhu Gaming have recently given the impression that they have SKT’s number, winning their last 2 matches against them.
Apart from the Korean teams mentioned above, it’s also likely that the Chinese teams, who will be playing in front of their home crowd, will show strong performances as well. These are: EDward Gaming, Royal Never Give Up and Team WE.
- Double betting on the two most likely outcomes of a certain event. For example, Betspawn has a bet offer with regards to the group out of which the winner of the whole tournament will emerge. The odds on this event are the following: Group A – 2.60, Group B – 2.60, Group C – 5.50, Group D – 7.50. Given that in group A and B are the 2 strongest Korean teams and the strongest Chinese team, placing two individual bets of equal value on these two groups would yield a 30% profit regardless of which of these teams wins the tournament, in the event that one of them does actually emerge victorious.
- Taking into account the value difference between regions when placing bets on matches in which teams from different regions fight one another. Some teams seem to struggle when playing against the best opponents from their own region, while others seem to completely dominate their competition. But when matched against each other, the team from the more difficult or competitive region is usually vastly better than its opponent, even though it may have struggled lately against world class competitors.
- The new format of the League of Legends World Championship has allowed a lot of little known teams to take part in it. And these teams are given almost no chance at all to cause any kind of upsets, simply because people haven’t studied them enough to know what they’re capable of. But as you probably know, upsets are bound to happen in every important competition, and some of these teams might actually be really strong. This creates a unique opportunity to bet very little on outcomes that could yield very high returns. A careful study of a known team’s strength relative to an unknown team’s strength can sometimes reveal betting opportunities where you can risk extremely little and have a decent chance to get a high return. For example, Betspawn puts Fnatic’s odds to win their group during the Play-In Stage at 1.01. Their opponents’ odds are 21.00 and 34.00. If you were to place two individual $5 bets on these other two teams, you would make a profit of either $95 (21*5 – 10) or $160 (34*5 – 10) in the case of an upset.