International Elo Ratings (2015/08/23)
International Elo Ratings
An incredible week of League has come to a close with three fantastic finals in China, NA and EU. In the LPL LGD completed their phenomenal run by beating QG in the finals. In the EU LCS Origen managed to become the first team to defeat Fnatic this season, and even managed to take the series to 5 games.
But the most remarkable series was played out in Madison Square Garden (not that you'd have known the location from listening to the broadcast). Tears really were flowing after CLG over came years of failure to defeat arch rivals TSM 3-0. It was a dominating victoryand, despite the attempts of many to find a scapegoat on TSM, it was earned not by taking advantage of individual mistakes but by outplaying the other team at practically every stage and level except the individual level; TSM's laners were often ahead or close and there were many nail-biting team-fights even when CLG was far ahead. It's not a coincidence that CLG is now the only team besides C9 to sweep an LCS final.
A brief methodology can be found here. Remaining playoff and World's qualification odds are on the next page.
NA Regional Championship
The odds rely on current Elo ratings. But the underlying method can be used to pose counter-factuals. The most interesting of these is: what would C9's odds of going to World's as the 3rd Seed be if they were the 2nd/3rd best team in North America? This is an important question for two reasons. Firstly, an ideal seeding system for World's would be one that is maximally likely to pick the best three teams at that moment. If C9 were in fact the second best team then one would hope that they'd have a good shot at making it. Secondly, C9 improved dramatically towards the end of the split and, while they were far from perfect (they dropped a game to the similarly improved TDK, among others) it's not unreasonable to believe they have continued to improve as Hai grows into his new position. Meanwhile both Liquid and Impulse looked very shaky in their semifinal matches.
In any case the answer to the above question is simple: if C9 were as good a team as Team Liquid (the current 2nd ranked team) they would have less than a 30% chance of going to World's. This stands to reason; the final would be 50/50 and C9 could get upset. But, if C9 were as good as CLG they would only have about a 60% shot of running the gauntlet. On the one hand, that's pretty good given that it requires winning 3 consecutive B05s. On the other hand the possibility of an upset, an off day or an un-lucky pick would mean that the current format could leave even a very strong team at home come World's. Given this perhaps a double-elimination system more like the LPL's would be preferable.
EU Regional Championship
Origen are, despite their inferior seeding, strong favourites to qualify from the EU. While the thought of the Unicorns at World's may be pleasing (though it's not quite the same without Kikis tilting TSM) there really is a significant gap between the top-3 teams in EU (FNC, OG and H2K) and everyone else and it looks like those three will be competing at World's this year.
Chinese World's Seeds
EDG remains the 2nd highest rated team in China in spite of their recent collapse. The Elo system weighs their recent form against their past strength; and the long history of reversion to the mean in League suggests that it is correct to do so. In any case their odds of going to World's are quite good for two reasons: Firstly they're somewhat higher rated than their opponents; secondly, their seeding got them a a 1st round match against Snake, who are easily the weakest team in the qualifier. This means that not only are they more likely to make the winner's final, they're also slightly more likely than the other teams to hit Snake in the loser's final.
LCK Playoff and World's Seeds
The LC is the only league not to have finished their Summer Split Playoffs so I've combined the two routes to World's. The 1st seed goes to the playoff winner (KT or SKT), 2nd seed to the team with the most championship points (KOO or KT) and 3rd to the gauntlet winner. Given their history of gauntlet runs a similar question can be asked of Najin as was asked of C9; how good would they have to be to make it. The short answer is: significantly better than KT. SKT would have a difficult time beating both CJ and KT/KOO, although they'd be favourite to do so they would also be far from a sure thing. Any lesser team will likely fail at some point. It will take a Herculean effort (or a timely trade; Hojin has been looking a bit off lately) to get Watch to World's this year.