With the LCK playoffs sending DWG KIA and Gen.G to Worlds, the four remaining teams with the highest Championship Point totals continue their fight for a spot on the international stage! We've simulated this bracket to see who's got the best shot.
T1, Nongshim RedForce, Hanwha Life Esports, and Liiv SANDBOX will face off in a seeded king-of-the-hill bracket, with the winner and runner-up getting a Main Event and Play-In qualification, respectively. All matches are best of five:
Teams were seeded based on total Championship Points, so T1 are guaranteed at least a Worlds Play-In spot already. HLE and LSB have a tough battle ahead, having to win at least two consecutive matches to make it. NS have to beat the winner of round one, but obviously has an incentive to beat T1 as well.
Before we can simulate the tournament, we need to establish matchup probabilities across every combination of teams:
The probabilities given are always from the perspective of the team on the blue side. For example, T1 has a 62.56% chance to beat LSB as blue, while LSB has a 45.14% to beat T1 - factoring in a somewhat sizable current advantage for the blue team. These probabilities are calculated for a single game; best-of-five matches will shift these odds somewhat (typically, they exaggerate the favorite versus underdog, so a 60% best-of-one favorite will win a best-of-five match around 62.7% of the time, and a 70% favorite will win 78.1% of the time).
From this grid, we can see that even ignoring their advantageous start position in the bracket, T1 are fairly dominant. They're about even with NS, and have a pretty significant edge over the other two teams.
Fighting for first
Here is each team's probability of winning the whole bracket, after 10000 simulations:
|Team Name||% 1st Place||Median Place|
|Nongshim Red Force||26.56%||2nd|
|Hanwha Life Esports||7.08%||4th|
Unsurprisingly, this basically just follows seed, or more specifically the number of rounds each team has to go through. All T1 have to do to secure first place is win their one match, and there is some outside chance that they get to face a relatively easier matchup for them if, for example, LSB make it through their first two rounds.
HLE are slightly more likely to win outright than LSB, in spite of having a lower median placement. LSB is favored over HLE in their direct matchup, so they're more likely than not to avoid fourth place. After that, however, HLE has slightly stronger chances against the other two teams, so their odds of winning all three matches are just slightly higher.
The second-place team also goes to Worlds (albeit in the Play-In), so a second place finish is still valuable. If we look at the probability for each team to place at least second:
|Team Name||% Top 2|
|Nongshim Red Force||60.17%|
|Hanwha Life Esports||19.98%|
As we'd mentioned above, T1 are guaranteed first or second. NS just have to win their first match, and they're favored over both lower teams. HLE and LSB have almost identical odds: LSB are slightly favored to win the first round, but have a tougher time against NS than HLE do, so overall these two factors even out.
Finally, here are the distributions for each team's possible placements:
Our favorite bracket
If each match was simply won by the favorite, the result should be pretty predictable:
|Nongshim Red Force||2nd|
|Hanwha Life Esports||4th|
This isn't quite identical to the initial seeding, as LSB and HLE have swapped places. As we've mentioned, LSB have a slight edge in that round one matchup, in spite of their lower initial seed.
This bracket is fairly likely to happen. This exact sequence of victories occurs 18.08% of the time, or almost one in five times. With only three matches, there are only eight possible brackets, so the average bracket has a 12.5% chance of occuring.
As always, we'll be giving our predictions for each match as the bracket plays out over the next three days. Make sure you keep up with our suggested bets, or catch our posts on Twitter and Facebook, to stay in the loop!
Our prediction on Hanwha Life Esports v Liiv SANDBOX is already up. We think that the market is slightly undervaluing HLE, but they're still the underdog and there isn't enough value in the payout to risk a bet.
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