Update to esportspools service for UK residents

Due to regulatory reasons beyond our control, we have decided that for the foreseeable future we will not be offering our free-to-play product esportspools.com to UK residents.

We are considering licensing options that would allow us to continue operations in the UK and we will advise you when there is a change.

We would like to thank you for your support in the past. If you have any questions about this, please get in touch.

ESP’S EPICENTER BREAKDOWN

Betting

When you have a roster that has stayed together as long as the Virtus.pro (VP) squad has, one is bound to see the team go through peaks and troughs in terms of performance. Without a doubt, the past few months has been a low one for the Polish squad. Following their semi-final finish at the PGL Major in Kraków, Poland, Virtus.pro put together a string of losses including to some tier-2 teams. This led to VP dropping to Premiere in the ESL Leagues and early exits in a number of tournaments such as the ELeague Premier Groups. They had even dropped out of the top 10 rankings for several months.

This air of a subpar Virtus.pro could be felt by any netizen of the CSGO community. The twitter feed of TaZ signalled a dark view Virtus.pro’s performance from even within the team. Below is a more sombre tweet by him following their loss to Immortals in the semifinals of the Kraków Major.

Taz from Virtus.pro unhappy with result against Immortals

It is in this setting that VP entered the arena of EPICENTER 2017 in St. Petersburg, Russia. With big names like Astralis or Faze, few had any high expectations for Virtus.pro at this event. And yet, the polish squad saw an incredible resurgence and all but claimed the trophy. In the Grand Finals, VP brought the eventual champions SK to the brink. The series reached all 5 games with several overtimes, including two in the final game. The road to the finals for VP was not an easy one either, having to face the current Major champions Gambit; Faze, the #1 ranked team going into the event; and a strong-looking G2 esports team. Virtus.pro was beginning to look like Virtus.plow again.

This polarization of expectation against performance is a better’s dream. The community’s skepticism of VP’s performance showed in the odds of any bets on ESP. For every match up, Virtus.pro was a huge underdog. In the graph below, you’ll see that the highest odds VP ever got was 38% in the Grand Finals — this was after showing some strong performances vs. Gambit, Faze, and G2.

 

Betting on VP for the matches they won would have resulted in staggering returns, with almost a 5:1 in their match against Faze. If you had bet €10.00 (€50.00 total) on all of the matches VP played at this event, including the losses, you would have won a total of €97.87 (a 95.74% increase). Looking specifically at the loss against SK in the Grand Final. Betting on VP with odds at 38% would not have been an unwise choice. With the series being as tight as it was, such skewed odds were clearly not indicative of how well Virtus.pro performed in the finals or at this event as a whole.


In many ways, Virtus.pro defied a lot of expectations with the outcome of this event. Still, in the long run, was it all that surprising? This is not the first time in the long history of the polish team that they have had a dip in performance. Yet in the past, they have always shown resilience and bounced back. Perhaps it was just a matter of time before the plow had its resurrection. Having a keen insight into the long-term track record of Virtus.pro could have led one to capitalize in big ways on the odds at ESP for EPICENTER 2017.

 

Fantasy

The other side of the Grand Final at EPICENTER 2017 saw SK Gaming claim the trophy. Like Virtus.pro, they also had had a few less-than-ideal results, which eventually lead to felps stepping aside into a sub role and bringing in boltz in on loan from Immortals. While boltz was previously on the squad in 2015 during the Luminosity days, there were a lot of questions as to how he would have meshed with the team.

Concerns over the performance of this slightly modified SK were quelled early into the tournament. Boltz seemed to have not miss a beat in rejoining his old teammates as SK claimed victory after victory, eventually resulting in the championship.

Despite the storyline of boltz’s return, coldzera’s performance stole the spotlight (as he often does). On the fantasy esports front, the numbers behind his performance were mind-boggling. His statline included 295 ESP Points, dwarfing the the 217 and 198 points that took up 2nd and 3rd place respectively. He also claimed the top spot on the points-per-game metric with 24.58, ahead of ELiGE’s 17.60 in second. Most importantly, he was also the second most salary-efficient player with 10.93 points/$100 salary, despite costing $2700 to pick. In almost every other metric, coldzera either continued his domination or hotly contested the first spot. Winning any of our fantasy pools for this event would have almost certainly required coldzera.

While Neo of Virtus.pro was unable to put up as many overall ESP fantasy points as coldzera, he was still one of the best picks in the tournament given how well he performed in relation to his statistical average. Despite only costing $1700 in salary, Neo garnered 198 points which was enough for third best. This combination meant that he had the highest salary-efficiency with 11.64 points/$100 salary. Selecting a cheaper but salary-efficient pick like Neo also meant that you could easily afford picks like coldzera into your lineup. The combination of these two picks was made by the majority of the players placing in the top 10 of our pools.

In Thorin’s Exclusive Pool for EPICENTER, the top set of picks went to Kaster34PT who scored 854 points. Along with the coldzera & Neo picks, Kaster34PT also bolstered his team with Fallen who also had a strong performance both in points and salary efficiency. Interestingly, however, of Kaster34PT’s picks, only 2 (coldzera & Neo) were also in the best possible team. That selection of players would have been as follows:

 

 

As seen above, there was a lot of room between the 1st place in Thorin’s Pool and the optimal set of picks. At 970 points, the ideal set of picks was 116 points ahead of Kaster34PT’s, which was a 13.5%~ increase.

Making the ideal fantasy team is about striking a balance between expensive and cheap players, of course. But picking the right ones within each category is where the difference between a great set of picks and a poor set comes in. Regardless of salary, it is pivotal that that pick gets you the best bang for your buck, regardless if they’re a star player or a stable one on a strong team.

What kind of insights do you have into esports betting and fantasy? We’d love to hear your thoughts. You can continue the discussion with us over on twitter!

LOL World Championships 2017

Starting this Saturday 23rd September, the 2017 League of Legends World Championships will be held in China. It will be the first time the country has hosted the event which was last held in the USA. In total, there will be 24 teams that will fight for the Summoner’s Cup, all of them from the 13 professional LOL leagues.

LOL Worlds 2017

The regions are:

  • Brazil (BR)
  • China (CN)
  • Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)
  • Europe (EU)
  • Japan (JPN)
  • Korea (KR)
  • Latin America North (LAN)
  • North America (NA)
  • Oceania (OCE)
  • Southeast Asia (SEA)
  • Taiwan
  • Hong Kong
  • Macau (LMS)
  • Turkey (TUR)

Schedule

The tournament will run over three months in multiple locations throughout China.

  • Play-In Tournament
    • September 23-26th & September 28/29th
    • Wuhan Sports Center Gym, Wuhan
  • Group stage:
    • October 5-8th & October 12-15th
    • Wuhan Sports Center Gym, Wuhan
  • Quarterfinals
    • October 19-22th
    • Guangzhou Gymnasium, Guangzhou
  • Semi-finals
    • October 28-29th
    • Shanghai Oriental Sports Center, Shanghai
  • Final
    • November 4th
    • Beijing National Stadium (Bird’s Nest), Beijing

Qualified LCK Teams (LOL Champions Korea)

The final of the Summer Split of the LCK was full of surprises. Most notably, Longzhu Gaming edged their way to first place, ahead of SKT T1 who found themselves in fourth place. Longzhu Gamings performance earned them the first seed for Korea at the Worlds. After accumulating the most championship points throughout Season 7, SK Telecom took the second Korean seed. Following their win against KT Rolster in the Gauntlet, Samsung Galaxy took the third seed which will make their second consecutive Worlds appearance and fourth time overall.

LCS EU teams already qualified (LOL Championship Series)

In Europe, the final of Summer Split was anything but dull. G2 beat Misfits in a stunning 3-0 Bo5 grand final. Even though both teams were already qualified for the Worlds before the final, this confirms G2’s number one seed, giving Misfits seed number two.

LCS NA teams already qualified (LOL Championship Series)

The North American LCS Summer Split 2017 resulted in Team SoloMid taking the title and thus, seed number one for the Worlds. Immortals took the second seed.

LPL teams already qualified (LOL Pro League, China)

On the Chinese side, Royal Never Give Up (RNG) and EDward Gaming (EDG) had already guaranteed their ticket to the Worlds. But it was left until the final of the Summer Split to decide who would inherit the first seed. After an incredibly close grand final, EDG edged over RNG to win 3-2 and will take top spot as the Chinese favourite on home turf.

LMS teams already qualified (LOL Masters Series, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau)

For the LMS, we know the two qualified teams and especially their seeds.

Following a 3-0 win against Ahq e-Sports Club, The Flash Wolves won the Summer Split and the first seed in the region.

GPL team already qualified (Garena Premier League, Southeast Asia)

Winners of the LPG Summer Split 2017, the GIGABYTE Marines qualified for the Worlds 2017. It should be noted that the LPG is the only region to see only one of its teams qualify directly for the group stage of the championships world.

Format

Play-In Phase

The Play-In Phase is a new addition to the Worlds 2017 tournament, with twelve teams fighting for their spot in the group stages. Of the twelve teams, only four will qualify for the groups.

  • Teams will be divided into four groups of three teams.
  • Teams in the same group will face the other two times in a Bo1.
  • The first two teams qualify for the next round (the third is therefore eliminated).
  • Four Bo5 matches will decide the first and second place of each group, and these four winners will qualify for the group stages of the Worlds.

Group stage

There will be 16 teams in the group stages of the World Championship 2017. Three will be from the Korean region, who are out of the opening phase, and at least two from each of the regions of China, Europe, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao and North America. There will also be a team from the MSI, which was held a few months ago in Brazil. Finally, there will be a further four teams from the Play-In stage.

Group A

  • Edward Gaming (LPL)
  • SK Telecom T1 (LCC)
  • ahq e-Sports Club (LMS)
  • Play-In Winner Qualification

Group B

  • Longzhu Gaming (LCC)
  • Immortals (NA LCS)
  • Gigabyte Marines (GPL)
  • Play-In Winner Qualification

Group C

  • G2 Esports (EU LCS)
  • Samsung Galaxy (LCK)
  • Royal Never Give Up (LPL)
  • Play-In Winner Qualification

Group D

  • Flash Wolves (LMS)
  • Misfits (EU LCS)
  • TSM (NA LCS)
  • Play-In Winner Qualification

Final Stage

The group stage will decide eight teams for the quarter-finals, which will be played from 19-22 October at the Guangzhou Gymnasium. The four teams that pass to the semifinals will move on to the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center in Shanghai, which will be held from 28-29 October.

The Grand Final, where the Summoner Cup will have a new owner, will be played on November 4th at the National Stadium in Beijing. The stadium is commonly known as the Bird’s Nest and was primarily built for the 2008 Summer Olympics.

ESL One NYC Preview

Eight teams will enter, one will be the victor! The point of that opening line was to sound Gladiator-esque, to convey how epic ESL One NYC is going to be! SK Gaming, Astralis, FaZe, Team Liquid, VirtusPro, Na’Vi, EnVyUs, and Cloud9 are in New York with $1000 worth of modern gladiator armor, in the form of CSGO’s finest Kevlar and Helmet!

Live from New York city, this year’s event is in the Barclays Center Brooklyn, where the aforementioned teams will compete for a share of $250,000 USD.

ESL One NYC 2017

The top 3 at ESL One NYC

Based on recent form, SK Gaming remains in the number one spot. They’re in a bit of a slump, and despite placing 3rd at ESG Mykonos, their last win was at ESL One Cologne. SK is hellbent on getting a result in New York.

In the number two spot and just by a hair, Astralis are expecting a top placement in ESL One NYC. Like SK, they have a stable roster for some time now, and the expectation for a win from these top two teams is immense.

FaZe is the new megastar lineup of CSGO. They recently benched kioshuma and allu was sent packing to OpTic, leaving spots for Olofmeister and GuardiaN. It’s just a matter of time before FaZe picks up a huge tournament win, will it be here in NYC?

ESL One NYC Contenders; Hot on their heels

Team Liquid tore up SK in ESG Mykonos semis only to lose 3-2 in the finals. Oskar was MVP in Mykonos, Liquid is on form, confidence is high and could pull off a result.

Virtus.Pro has played a lot of CSGO this year, two tournament wins and a handful of 2nd-4th places. They are overdue a win and are capable of going all the way, they did in 2016.

After winning PGL Krakow, Kane (Gambit’s coach) left with Zeus, now the in-game leader for Na’Vi. This is now a much stronger team and a huge contender, like Virtus.Pro above, they made it to the final last year and won it. Lighting. Strikes. Twice?

EnVyUs and Cloud9 made it here the hard way via qualifiers, it would make a great story, albeit unlikely if they were to pick up the big shiny trophy. Cloud9 have benched n0thing and shroud, have a stable in-game leader, and RUSH and Tarik are in from OpTic.

This is CSGO, anything can happen. Chickens with R8 fades n stuff…

Relive last year’s final