There’s a professional out there somewhere working in a room with the job that you, for many of you reading this, would absolutely love! They scour through LCS information; the roster changes, the recent performances, living situations, teammate communication, VISA issues! And from all this data they somehow calculate an odd for each match of the League of Legends Championship Series. And you know what? They win MOST of the time. That’s why they get paid to do what they do. How often do you win?
I placed bets all the way through the season of LCS Spring Split 2016 for both NA and EU. I watched most of the games, competed in the Fantasy Draft, had the player performance theories, and had the team performance theories. I’d bet across my three picks for that round that were all paying at least $1.33+ to minimise any losses and even when I lost one match I would still break even. I kept winning. Until I didn’t.
Someone out there is already doing what you’re doing. The difference is they’re doing it better more often. Don’t get me wrong! There are those of us who just like to place a big-win punt. But then there are some of us who are already vested in LCS and want to win most of the time over the whole season. Just like our professional. So why are you still trying to pick a favourite when it’s already been done for you?
Like any good aspiring millionaire (don’t laugh) I’m reading Tony Robbins’, ‘Money Master the Game’ (I said don’t laugh!). Amongst many things, Tony speaks about Stock Investment in Market Indexes and Asset Allocation – don’t worry, at first I didn’t know what the hell that was either! Now I’m sure Tony wasn’t thinking about LCS betting when he wrote his world renowned best seller but it did get me to thinking about what I’m passionate about. Let me explain.
Updates on Jordan betting strategy:
The next update on the strategy will come after week 5 of the LCS Summer Split (in the one week break for LoL Rift Rivals)
Coming up with a new betting strategy for 2017
If I was going to bet on LCS 2017 again this Spring Split, how do I minimise my risk and maximise my growth? Where do I hedge my bets? Let’s relate it back to what Tony educated me on. Market Indexes are a measurement of value in a section of a stock market that is intended to represent the entire market and its movement. There are many different Indexes for different industries and just like a public company you can invest stock in an Index. Bear with me!
The Index is the equivalent of betting on an odds favourite. Sure, you may not be that guy who invested in Apple when its shares were worth $5.00, but which tactic will give you the best performance overall? Tony found that over the course of a decade market-mimicking index funds outperformed active fund managers (people who look for that big-win punt for you) 96% of the time! I wondered what results I would see for our professional and how often the house really does win over the LCS season. What I found was surprising.
Analyzing the Results of last year
|Betting Favourite Win Rate||Betting Favourite Matches Won||Favourite Win Rate Minus Draws||$1.20+ Favourite Win Rate|
|LCS Spring Split 2016|
|EU SPR Week 1-2||9/20||45%||9/20||45%||–||–||1/1||100%|
|EU SPR Week 3-9||47/69||68%||47/69||68%||–||–||14/15||93%|
|NA SPR Week 1-2||11/20||55%||11/20||55%||–||–||0/0||–|
|NA SPR Week 3-9||47/70||67%||47/70||67%||–||–||11/12||92%|
|LCS Summer Split 2016|
|EU SUM Week 1-2||7/20||35%||22/40||55%||7/12||58%||0/0||–|
|EU SUM Week 3-9||25/63||40%||73/126||58%||25/40||63%||0/0||–|
|NA SUM Week 1-2||10/17||59%||24/42||57%||–||–||4/5||80%|
|NA SUM Week 3-9||50/60||83%||84/145||58%||–||–||19/20||95%|
|Total 2016 Regular Season|
|Total EU||88/166 | 53%||151/255 | 59%||32/52||62%||15/16||94%|
|Total NA||118/167 | 71%||166/277 | 60%||–||–||34/37||92%|
|Total||206/333 | 62%||317/532 | 60%||32/52||62%||49/53||92%|
In LCS NA Summer Split 2016, the BET365 odds favourite won their matches 78% of the time over the course of the season. But give me a moment to tweak that number. What I found was that in the first two weeks of every season for the past four splits even our professional had a hard time picking favourites. Consistently, favourites won their matches 10-20% less often than the rest of the split. Suddenly our 78% overall win rate for NA Summer 2016 becomes 83% for weeks 3 to 9.
The Best of 3 Format might make a huge difference
Now when it came to LCS EU Summer Split and both NA and EU Spring Splits for 2016, favourite match wins are MUCH less attractive. Wait a minute. Then how are we considering this a successful pattern? Because GAME win percentages for favourites all year round remained steady – around that 60% to 65% mark. So what was the significant difference between NA Summer and everywhere else? The format; best of 3 games instead of best of 1 or 2 paved the way for stronger teams to not just win games but win their week’s matches. Fortunately for us Riot will be adopting best of 3 rounds during LCS 2017 for both North America and Europe this Spring Split.
All in all it’s not bad guessing for our professional. I know what you may be thinking though, what about that 17% of the time that I lose? That brings me to the second thing that Tony’s book taught me.
Dividing the stakes to minimize the risks
Asset Allocation is dividing your investment up amongst various types of high and low risk opportunities to maximise growth while minimising your risk of losing it all. Once again, I’m sure Robbins wasn’t referencing betting on League of Legends when it came to spreading your investment but the principle stands. Much like I did in LCS Spring 2016 where I split my total kitty amongst my three picks each week, in this approach I thought ‘What would happen if I bet on every favourite of every day of every week?’
If our professional has been hitting the favourites over 80% of the time and we are winning four or five games each week, what would our growth be? Of course a different combination of odds will mean a different return on every day of LCS but when I ran it through testing generally speaking I found the following. Four wins was an incremental growth, three wins was an incremental loss.
The next step was determining how you decide to split your pot so that it efficiently achieves Robbins’ goal of asset allocation, maximise growth and minimise risk. The result was a formula that divides your kitty proportionately each betting day across each bet so that every win has the same potential return. Greater odds and riskier games hold less money than lower odds and safer games, minimising the risk, even though upon winning each of the games pay the same return, maximising growth.
Putting the Betting Strategy to the Test in 2017 LCS Spring Split
So does it work? I ran a simulation through LCS NA Summer Split 2016 and it did! The pot peaked at 200% of its starting size and would have been greater if it weren’t for some missing data on days where ALL FIVE favourites won on numerous occasions. I believe it will do even better this split when run side by side EU now that they have had format changes to LCS games.
There it is, my betting strategy for LCS Spring Split 2017. If you’d like to be part of the journey then follow this space as we give weekly updates on how the strategy is progressing, how closely it’s following the patterns of the past, and what improvements can be made along the way. Partnering alongside our professional we hope to continue to pick 80% or more of winning favourites this split. It’s important to note at this point that we bet on LCS for fun. Amidst the strategies, formulas, theories and ideas don’t forget to have your dream and fantasy punts. Dignitas for Summer Split 2017 win outright, anyone?
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About The Author:
Theories and formulas by Jordan Mackenzie, Business graduate and lolesports fanatic. Oceanic League player who belongs in ELO Hell. Follow Jordan on Twitter to get the latest updates on his strategy.