Review and Results – Jordan’s LCS Betting Strategy Spring 2017

The regular Season for LCS Spring 2017 has ended. Ten weeks ago we spoke about a professional who analyses the teams and their weekly match ups to provide us with an odd on each LCS match. That odd is aimed to represent the chance of any particular team winning their match. The betting strategy I laid out for this Spring Split was not based upon my own hot-tips and thoughts on who would beat who; rather, on the concept that if we followed the ‘advice’ of our professional and balanced our bets across all weekly matches then we would create a form of long-shot bet that SHOULD have a positive return over the course of the season, and on data that suggested that our professional guessed the favourite for each matchup 80%+ of the time.

Let’s unpack this mess together and see if we can make some sense of it:

Upcoming LCS matches:

Favourites Performance last LCS week

Favourite according to betting odds won
Favourite according to betting odds lost
No favourite according to betting odds / odds too low / market not available = no bet placed

Week 10 EU LCS Spring Split 2017 – Results and Betting Odds
Team 1 Odds Team 2 Odds Result Bookie
Betting Group 1 UOL 1.57 SPY 2.25 2 : 1 WH
G2 1.13 FNC 5.50 2 : 1 WH
H2K 1.04 OG 9.00 2 : 0 WH
MIS 1.17 GIA 4.50 2 : 0 WH
Betting Group 2 UOL 1.10 VIT 6.50 2 : 0 WH
G2 1.12 ROC 6.50 1 : 2 WH
H2K 1.70 SPY 2.10 2 : 0 WH
MIS 1.44 FNC 2.62 1 : 2 WH

View upcoming LCS betting odds

What did we make last week and in total?

Results of last LCS week
Starting Investment previous Balance Performance last week Perfomance % End Balance
$200 $555.72 – $126.94 22,84% $428.78

Week 10 of the 2017 LCS Spring Split ended in a very… unfortunate manner. For those who followed right through the season’s weekly updates, Week 3 began strong out of the gates and almost double our starting balance. A trough in Week 4 and 5, specifically in unpredictable performances in North America, took a slow and steady grind to rise out of. The real power of compounding numbers is how they perform after so much time of small incremental increases. To lose two matches in the final Betting Group of Week 10 halved our potential end of season balance.

At first glance it seems that the RNG gods forsook us when an undefeated G2 Esports loses to Roccat who sat near the bottom of the ladder for much of the season, however a 75% match win rate for the week is only just shy of the 77.5% for EU favourites all season. It is, however, disappointing that both of those losses were on the same betting day. Week 10, and the LCS Spring Regular Season for 2017, finished with $428.78 – down $126.94 from the week prior but a total plus of 114,39% of whatever your original starting investment was.

How did favourite’s perform over the course of the Spring Split

At the start of this strategy series I contended that NA in the Summer Split of 2016 had a favourite win rate of around 78%, and up to 83% if you didn’t bet on the first two weeks of LCS – which data showed tended to be more unreliable across all LCS seasons. I believed it was due to changes to LCS, particularly the adoption of a Bo3 match series which heightened the chances of favourites winning. Across all Regular Seasons last year, favourites won approximately 55-60% of their games so North America didn’t appear to just be having a lucky season.

Spring Split of 2017 showed varied results. To begin with, Week’s 1 and 2 didn’t show any lower match win rates for favourites than the rest of the season. This may have been because the season overall was poor for favourite performance, although even European teams won a high majority of their matches in the first two weeks only to have their consistency simmer off toward the season end.

In Weeks 3 through 9, favourites had a match win rate of 68% in NA and of 77% in EU *; both lower than their 2016 NA Summer Split equivalent.

Betting Favourite Match Win Rate Betting Favourite Game Win Rate
2017
EU SPR Week 1-2 12/14 86% 25/34 74%
EU SPR Week 3-10 25/34 74% 87/121 72%
NA SPR Week 1-2 12/20 60% 27/51 53%
NA SPR Week 3-9 47/69 68% 104/166 63%

* Matches where there was no betting favourite up until the point that bets were placed, or where markets went down – such as in Week 5 – were not included in the data.

Why was it lower?

EU teams actually had an impressively dominant series, indicated by a very high 72% game win rate over the course of the season (many more matches were won 2 : 0 to the favourite than in North America). EU favourites only performed slightly worse than we expected this season and it may be as simple as having an outlier like Roccat finish the season on a 6 game winning streak where they were considered the underdog for 4 of those matches. This meant that in the last four weeks of EU LCS where Roccat was not considered a favourite, we started the week already on an 83% match win rate and needed all other favourites to win their matches to stay above our expectations!

NA is a different story. North America favourites won 60% of their games – exactly as expected due to data from past seasons – however they had a tremendously low match win rate. The North American Spring Split this year was often referred to as not having “any free wins” and the following stat proves this to be the case.

There are 90 matches in NA LCS for the 2017 Split – that equates to 45 matchups because each team plays each other twice. In the Split that just passed, NA matchups resulted in a 1 for 1 in 51% of cases. What that means is regardless of which team won the first time, 51% of the time the opposing team in each matchup won the second time. Think about this in terms of consistency and its impact on picking a favourite and we may start to see why North American favourite performance looked so low. In comparison, in Summer Split 2016 this same stat occurred for only 24% of matchups.

The reality was that the NA region had a decent number of new Korean imports, existing Korean imports moving amongst teams, and an improving foundation of talented players and upcoming Challenger players. All of which resulted in 10 closely matched teams and, to the benefit of the loyal viewers, an exciting season to watch in the live streams.

Was Our LCS Betting Strategy Successful?

The short answer – yes and no.

Yes, if you think that finishing with more money than you begin is a success. The return for the season was over double. The growth was actually fortunate considering that the data was short of our expectations based on past seasons.

No, considering that the data did not replicate what it had been in the past which lead to a very high potential for failure. The growth was rarely where it was predicted to be and for most of the season our balance dipped below or hovered not far from our starting amount.

I believe the betting strategy was successful in the sense that even though it failed almost weekly to perform as expected, it didn’t lose money. Such is the safety of spreading so many bets and betting so consistently over a period of time. With better conditions (a more predictable NA season) I think it has merit to perform exceptionally – though this may be creators bias. I will let the reader be the judge.

You might also be interested in:

LCS 2017 – Overview

Jordan’s LCS betting strategy explained

LoL Betting – Oveview

more eSports betting tips and predictions

Jordan - LoL article writerAbout 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.