While the LPL Playoff final hasn't actually happened yet, those two teams are already lock-ins for Worlds invites, so the four contestants of the Regional Finals have also been set. We simulated this bracket to determine who the most likely additions to China's international lineup are.
Royal Never Give Up, Team WE, LNG Esports, and Rare Atom go head-to-head in a two-round bracket with a unique twist: in the first round, the winner of the higher-seeded match qualifies to Worlds, while the loser moves on to the second round for the last spot. All matches are best of five:
The Regional Finals are comprised of the four teams with the most Championship Points that have not already qualified to Worlds, with the first two spots going to the winner of the Playoffs and the team with the most points at that moment. As it turns out, both FunPlus Phoenix and EDward Gaming have enough points accrued that a second place playoff finish will guarantee either team that top spot. While they've still got to play it out for first versus second seed, it allows us to jump the gun by a couple of days and get right ahead to the Regional Finals.
As the top two seeds going into this, RNG and WE are in a fairly good spot. The winner of their match takes the third Worlds slot, while the loser moves on in the bracket and has one last chance. LNG and RA, on the other hand, would have to win two matches in a row to qualify, so we'd expect their chances to be worse, all else being equal.
Not all else is equal, of course. These teams are not all on the same level, and may have some unique advantages or disadvantages against each other. Here are each team's odds of winning each possible matchup in this bracket:
The probabilities are from the perspective of each team on the blue side, and for a single game. Best-of-five matches tend to exaggerate the relative difference between the underdog and favorite.
RNG are hands down the strongest team here, with favorable matchups against all three other teams. WE will struggle in the first round against RNG, but have the upper hand against either of the other teams. LNG are most likely to lose against any opponent. RA have the highest spread of outcomes. They're weaker against RNG than LNG are, but are still favored against LNG and are close to a coin flip against WE.
With the unique setup of the bracket, where "first place" is only possible for two teams, we're going to jump straight ahead to show each team's chances of qualifying for either Worlds spot:
|% Top 2
|Royal Never Give Up
As expected, RNG would have to mess up pretty badly to miss out. They're favored in their first match against WE, and then very favored against either of the two teams they would have to face in round two. WE are in a similar position, but their disadvantage against RNG does hurt their overall probability. LNG and RA will have to really fight.
Here's each team's distribution of possible placements (treating the first qualifier as "first place"):
If the most likely outcome for each match occurred, the final placements would be:
|Royal Never Give Up
RNG would beat WE, taking first. RA would beat LNG, but then lose to WE in the second round, though that matchup is very close.
The probability that this exact sequence of events occurs is 23.76%. There are only eight possible variations of this bracket outcome, with three matches, but that's still almost a one in four chance that everything goes exactly according to expectation!
Matching the Market
Our predictions and bet suggestions for the first two matches can be found on our suggested bets page. Once those are played, we'll get our prediction for the round two match out as fast as we can. Check back at the suggested bets page, or follow us on Twitter or Facebook, to make sure you're up to date!
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