International Elo Ratings
The LCS Playoffs began this weekend with the Quarterfinals. The matches went more-or-less as expected with the higher rated team winning each time, the heavy favourites (Impulse and H2K) earning 3-0 sweeps, and the Unicorns going to 5 games in what was definitely the match of the weekend (at in the West).
In the LPL last minute campaigns by World Elite and RNG ended in failure; the teams that had been in the top-8 since Week 5 were the teams that made playoffs. That said WE pulled off an impressive upset over Invictus.
The bottom-tier Korean teams had a marquee week with IM and Anarchy taking games off of CJ and KT and even Jin Air managed to beat Koo.
Unfortunately due to some technical details I had to leave the IWC teams off this week, which is too bad as most just finished their playoffs. A brief description of the methodology is here. Updated playoff predictions for the LCS, and new ones for the LPL, are on the next page.
With Dignitas and Gravity locked into the 5th/6th spots (and DIG eliminated from the Regional Gauntlet) there is only 1st-4th to play for. The biggest winner this weekend in terms of 1st place probability was Impulse. Not only did they prove that they were a strong team with Gate replacing Xiaoweixiao, they actually over-performed and reached their highest rating ever and are now slight favourites to take 1st over Liquid. The other big winner was TSM who recovered from a pretty significant slump (Their performance over the last 3 weeks was the second worst in NA), and now look like strong contenders for 3rd, which is all they need to guarantee a spot at World’s. That said Gravity also looked pretty shaky during the last few weeks of the splits; it’s entirely possible that TSM is still being over-rated.
In Europe Fnatic remains the overwhelming favourite. H2K’s position is very similar to TSM’s: a historically strong team that until recently looked very weak; unfortunately their show of strength came against a much worse team and as a result their true strength is hard to gauge. It’s also worth considering that Origen, who guaranteed themselves a playoff spot several weeks ago, did not practice much near the end of the split which probably contributed to their mediocrity. In any case the ratings give a slight edge to H2K but, personally, I’d bet on Origen.
LPL playoff predictions on the next page.
LPL Playoff Predictions
After 11 weeks and a staggering 264 games the marathon that is the LPL has come to a close without real surprises. Neither RNG nor WE managed to make the playoffs, while EDG and QG easily secured the coveted top 2 seeds. The LPL Playoff system can be pretty confusing (and a hassle to simulate); an explanation of it can be found here.
Before delving into the precise odds that the elo-ratings produced I think it would be worth looking at a much simpler metric: recent win-loss.
Several things are made immediately apparent by this extremely informative chart. Firstly, EDG is extremely dominant; they’ve won every game since their teams injury/roster-experimentation induced wobble in the mid-season. Secondly, the LPL is an extremely close league. Every team has won at least a quarter of their games; no team but EDG has won even two-thirds; 9 of the 12 teams have winrates between 40% and 60%. Thirdly, Masters3 are one of the worst teams, if not the worst team outright, despite making playoffs. Indeed, they demonstrate the danger created by such a long season: a team that fades down the stretch could nonetheless coast into playoffs on their early success (See: Giants! and Dignitas for comparison).
The key to playoff success in the LPL is avoiding EDG at all costs. QG is a strong favourite to finish 2nd not because of their strength as a team but because they cannot face EDG until the final. But if you can’t get perfect seeding then strength as a team is the next best thing. That’s what LGD has.They’re the second most successful team over the last 5 weeks of the LPL and are the second highest rated. They’re a favourite to go far and, depending on how the seeding system works out, could well face EDG in the final; this would be a rematch of last split’s final.