Models and disclaimer
I’ll be using a couple different methods to break down the teams and matchups involved in these articles, so it’s important that you know what I’m talking about when I reference them. These models can be found here and are based on some of the basic matchmaking algorithms used in the world of competitive gaming.
The main model I’ll be using for betting matchups is called an “ELO” based model, which is a ranking system that considers a team’s wins relative to the skill of their opponents rather than in a vacuum. The ELO system is used in competitive environments around the world and is a much more accurate assessment of skill than traditional rankings based on wins and losses alone. My version of ELO rankings for esports is based on seasonal rankings and gives increased points for wins against quality opponents and bigger losses in ELO points to teams that lose against bottom-tier teams, as well as awarding extra points for sweeps.
I’ll also be using proprietary projections to give more depth to the players involved and their roles on teams, which can help us better assess what teams bring to the table if a substitution happens or if we are considering prop bets. These projections will typically be used over a 3 months sample and corrected for wins and losses.
Let’s get on with things!
London Royal Ravens
Although the Royal Ravens are one of the middle of the pack teams in this tournament, they frankly haven’t played like it. With Wuskin as the main rifle and the addition of Zer0 this season the Ravens currently sit 6th in championship points, but the ELO tech model has them as just the 10th best team over the whole course of the season. They’ve done simply “OK” against lesser opponents with a 53.49% win rate over 43 maps and have been uninspiring against better teams with a 38.71% win rate over 62 games. Those numbers are marginally better in the recent sample but the Ravens fit the textbook definition of a “gatekeeper” team and are the worst squad in their tier.
The Toronto Ultra started out the season in dire straits but turned on the jets about 5 weeks ago and haven’t looked back. Cammy is their best player, but this is a team that plays well together and isn’t so much carried by any individual. Their long-form is less than ideal, with a 51.16% win rate against lesser opponents, but their 44.26% win rate against better opponents is a really high rate for their tier. The recent form is phenomenal as well with a 54.55% win rate in 22 maps against better opponents. That’s the hardest schedule in the league in that time frame and the third-best win-rate! They are in fantastic form right now.
New York Subliners
The Subliners were a literally bad team through the first quarter of the season, and then they promoted MackMelts and instantly became a top notch squad that can compete with anyone. Mack plays SMG and maintains a torrid pace that has pushed NY into the top 5 in the league without question. They’ve been solid against bottom half teams all year with a 64.10% win rate, but their 40.85% win rate against top half teams speaks to the volatility of the squad as a whole. Those rates increase to 69.23% against bottom tier and 53.33% against top tier in the recent sample as the Subliners look to show that they aren’t just a bully team that picks on worse opponents and can actually win a championship.
Ah, Minnesota, a team with all the talent in the world and none of the closing power. They have multiple high level players like GodRx and Asim on the squad but have just been unable to perform with synergy as the season has pushed on. A 33.90% win rate against top half teams is decent for their tier but it drops to just 25% in the recent sample and they haven’t gotten to face a single bottom half opponent in weeks which doesn’t help their morale. They’ve got a really tough spot here against a well-oiled Subliners team and it doesn’t look great for their chances to make it past this weekend. Might be time for them to pack it up and assess the roster for next year.
London Royal Ravens vs. Toronto Ultra
It’s really hard to have faith in the Ravens to pull it out against this Toronto team that has just gotten better and better as the season has gone on and the fact this is essentially a pick’em at the Draftkings Sportsbook doesn’t make a lot of sense. If you look purely at the long sample these teams are more evenly matched in terms of win rate against lesser squads but the Ultra are obviously better in win rate against top half teams. In the recent form, Toronto is 16% better against top half teams and 9.5% better against bottom half teams. It seems way more in the favor of Toronto than the Ravens. These teams have faced off just once this year with the Ravens winning 3-1 all the way back in week 2 before multiple roster moves were made to both squads. Neither team are efficient at sweeping opponents, with each having just one sweep out of 25 and 24 matches respectively, so I would expect at least four maps in this one.
New York Subliners vs. Minnesota ROKKR
This one might get pretty ugly. It’s worth saying that the Subliners are an inconsistent team. Yes, they have five sweeps in their 28 matches, but they also have been swept four times and it’s obvious that the wheels can come off at any point. But the ROKKR are in a terrible form right now and haven’t had anything recently to boost their spirits and give them a fighting hope. With New York having a 69.23% win rate against bottom teams and Minnesota having just a 25% win rate against top teams (recent sample) we are looking at a huge difference in team skill levels. These teams have players two matches in this season with the Subliners dominating and securing six maps to ROKKR’s one, meaning one match was a sweep and the other was a 3-1 victory for New York. Subliners are big favorites and deservedly so.
Toronto Ultra Moneyline (-117, up to -175)
This line is just wrong to me and I think the Ultra are the notably better team in this matchup. Even if you are looking at longterm form this moneyline should be something like -125 Ultra and they just aren’t getting the respect that they deserve. The Ravens have a better individual player with Wuskin but the rest of the team just falls apart under pressure where Toronto has proven over the last couple weeks to be the real deal, or at least a more real deal than the Ravens in this tier of teams.
New York Subliners -1.5 maps (-125, up to -200)
This one is really easy to me and I don’t mind any bet you want to place on the Subliners to have a solid handle in this matchup. The ROKKR just aren’t good at this point in the season and don’t have the synergy necessary to keep up with the Subliners insane pace of play. Both the previous matchups have ended with the Subliners covering this handicap and I don’t think we see anything different here. Outside of some external force causing issues in the game, the Subliners should win easily and have a great chance to sweep.