So, Counter Logic Gaming, in an attempt to shore up their league-lowest 5-13 Summer split record, has picked up Damonte! This is a fairly last-minute change, so obviously our predictions from a few days ago hadn't incorporated this information - but neither had the market.
Probably not worth getting more bets in, but our framework provides us with a pretty robust way to analyze the impact of such changes, so we thought it'd be worthwhile to just discuss this roster change from a quantitative standpoint and see how it affects CLG's chances this coming weekend.
Damonte v Pobelter
Damonte, as a midlaner, will be taking Pobelter's spot, so it would make the most sense to start with a direct comparison. We're going to take a look at both their individual strength overall, and how well they play with the other four members of CLG. While these are far from the only factors our model incorporates, they're the simplest to understand intuitively and should still be informative of the overall shift.
First things first, raw individual strength: as always, this is just each player's winrate in professional games, with more weight given to more recent games:
|out||Counter Logic Gaming||Pobelter||38.78%|
|in||Counter Logic Gaming||Damonte||54.66%|
Pobelter's looking quite weak (obviously driven somewhat by CLG's poor recent performance). Damonte isn't exactly phenomenal, but he's definitely above average. This bodes well for CLG (which is presumably why they made this swap...), they just need Damonte to perform at his typical level.
Of course, this is a team game, and individual performance is only one piece of the puzzle. Teams that stay together tend to learn each others' playstyles and mesh better, creating something that's more than the sum of its parts. We have a few ways of assessing this, but our simplest is what in other articles we've called the "player-teammate edge". In short, this is how much a player's winrate improves when playing with their current teammates, versus without them:
Damonte has no history playing with three of the four players, and just a couple of games with Smoothie, so there's really no interesting data here. Pobelter, on the other hand, actually plays worse with the CLG squad than his prior average. Again, this will be driven by CLG's recent losses, but the fact remains that for whatever reason, he isn't able to achieve his normal performance on this team. For Damonte, we're willing to just give him a blank slate and say he has neither an edge nor a deficit with this squad - on average, he should just perform at expectation.
Only time will tell if this is true, of course, but in the absence of data there's no reason to make guesses as to this team's synergy, that's just asking for emotional bias.
So, this swap looks like it should benefit CLG overall. Other managerial issues notwithstanding (yes, you know what I'm talking about), we should expect CLG to have higher probabilities of winning in all of its matches this week, just by virtue of having a stronger individual on their squad.
The market, strangely, disagrees - none of the lines have moved for any of CLG's three games, so their implied probability of CLG winning is exactly the same as it was before. This means that either they think this swap is just exactly even, or, far more likely, there just hasn't been enough activity to move odds around. Illiquid markets are (counterintuitively) actually good for us - there's usually more room for mispricing, and the market won't immediately rush to correct itself, so we have more opportunity to find value. And with so many matches going on right now, it's unlikely that odds makers actually update their models daily and keep an eye on all new information, they almost certainly just let public sentiment move things around and balance their books as necessary.
That's enough speculating about market maker motivations, here are the updated probabilities!
Counter Logic Gaming is still the underdog in all of its games, though we think it's actually pretty close to Immortals now. It's picked up anywhere between 4 to 6 percentage points of edge, depending on the exact matchup. This may not seem like much, but they only replaced one player!
If we just blindly assume that this swap is worth ~5% of a difference in each match, then this single swap should give CLG just shy of half an expected win over the last 9 matches of this season. That is, they should now win, on average, half a game more than they otherwise would. Which will make them... drumroll... still not great. Sorry, but they really will need a fundamental shift in strategy or coaching or something to keep up with the league going forward. They might not be last though! Golden Guardians might revert to its Spring split performance, or FlyQuest might lag a bit! Maybe all of their opponents will mysteriously get food poisoning, and CLG wins its next 9 games, and ends the season in a respectable 6th place, 19-26 record. Shoot for the moon, right?
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