Three rounds of the Mid-Season Invitational 2023 Bracket Stage are behind us, and we’ve yet to see a Western team win or come close to beating an Asian team – which is honestly not too shocking. Cloud9 had the best chance to break the streak, yet even they blundered on Thursday and fell against Bilibili Gaming 0-3.
All good guys this weekend the west rises up 🥲 pic.twitter.com/7IpZXYVqzL— G2 League of Legends (@G2League) May 11, 2023
Now out of all teams, Golden Guardians represent the West’s only hope to earn a spot in the second round of the upper bracket. However, according to the latest LoL esports betting odds, that’s unlikely.
JD Gaming enter Friday’s match as 1.01 (bet365) favourites, whereas Golden Guardians are priced at 15.00 to cause an upset. In other words, JD Gaming have a 99% implied probability to win the series.
Golden Guardians vs JD Gaming
When: Friday, May 12, at 13:00 BST
JD Gaming are the current leading favourites to win the Mid-Season Invitational 2023 and are arguably one of the top two teams in the world (besides T1). On the other side, Golden Guardians are LoL Championship Series (LCS)’s second seed, so it makes sense that Golden Guardians enter this match as heavy outsiders.
I don’t have a good reason to argue with that – JD Gaming outclass Golden Guardians across all positions and are objectively much stronger. But from a betting perspective, you have to ask yourself, is having JD Gaming priced at 1.01 a fair number?
They should win, but are JD Gaming really in a position where they would win 99/100 series against Golden Guardians? On the other side, would Golden Guardians win just one of 100 series against JD Gaming regardless of everything that can go wrong for the Chinese representatives?
We know a few things about JD Gaming, mainly that they were the most dominant team of the LoL Pro League (LPL). JD Gaming won the regular season with just three defeats (15-3) and cruised through the playoffs, dropping just three maps across the three series played (all three against Bilibili Gaming).
As expected, the Golden Guardians are the west's last hope in MSI upper bracket— Licorice (@Licorice) May 11, 2023
We also know that JD Gaming obliterated many of LPL squads by utilising their strong early game, gaining early leads and steamrolling to victory. But we don’t know how good JD Gaming is if they fall behind early.
It hasn’t happened many times this season, and it hasn’t happened yet in the current patch. And knowing that JD Gaming looked shaky in their mid-late game transitions, this could be their weak point for Golden Guardians to exploit.
Golden Guardians looked good in the MSI 2023 Play-In stage, showcasing innovative drafts and a very aggressive approach to their early game. They outperformed my expectations, but it wasn’t like GG were lucky – they’re very adaptable, which is why Golden Guardians look so (relatively) good.
I’m not trying to say that GG’s early game is better than JD Gaming’s, and that’s why they can upset. But we must also consider two other things – JD Gaming have not played a single official match since the LPL 2023 Spring season and are coming off travel, so it’s fair to expect they won’t play at 100%.
They can easily win the whole thing, but JD Gaming will be the weakest in the first match at the MSI (this usually is the case with strong contenders at LoL international events). So is this a good enough reason to believe Golden Guardians can win? I don’t see that as a realistic outcome, but I can easily imagine Golden Guardians cooking something up and taking a map from the LPL champions.
If we weren’t offered 2.87 on Golden Guardians with a 2.5 map handicap, I would probably pass on this, but at this price, it’s worth a go.
- Prediction: Golden Guardians +2.5 maps – 2.87 at Pinnacle
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