One of China’s premier League of Legends Tournaments is set to conclude this week. NEST (National Electronic Sports Tournament) started off with 24 teams from around China vying for national supremacy. Now, just four teams remain to duke it out over the last three days this weekend. Invictus Gaming are the heavy favorites, but anyone can win it all at this point.
League of Legends World Championships To Win Outright Betting Odds
Invictus Gaming -275
LD Gaming +450
JD Gaming +550
Snake Esports +1800
HOW THEY GOT HERE
If you’re not familiar with eSports, or League of Legends, think of this as something equivalent to the FA Cup. The best teams in China get byes until the later rounds of NEST, while the smaller organizations start from the beginning and have to play their way through.
Even then, most of the elite teams don’t take it too seriously until the Quarterfinals and instead use this tournament as a place to test their substitutes. For instance, Team World Elite only used two of the six members that they brought to the World Championships, while Royal Never Give Up forfeited its match. However, Edward Gaming did pretty much field its whole roster from Worlds, yet still came up short to JD Gaming.
All four of the teams that made it to this point received byes into the Group Stage semifinals and won two series to clinch their spot here. Although none of the four teams were good enough to make it to Worlds, all played in China’s highest tier of League of Legends, the LPL, in the summer.
Invictus was the best team then, with a record of 10-6 in the Summer Split and wins over Team World Elite and Edward Gaming. However, JD Gaming, LD Gaming, and Snake Esports all finished with losing records.
BREAKING DOWN THE ACTION
Invictus has the two best players left in the tournament in RooKie and Duke. Both are Koreans that came to Invictus for big money and while they have yet to win an LPL title, they make Invictus the team to beat at NEST.
RooKie has been solid since coming to China in 2015. He has been a competent mid laner and has handled himself well against the best teams in China. His play on carries like Syndra has highlighted his mechanical skill, but he has not played well on more team centered picks.
As for Duke, it’s been a tough season for a player that won a World Championship with SK Telecom T1 last season. He had his ups and downs with SKT and has had even more downs so far with Invictus. His play was not good for much of the year, and he was unable to prefer on standard picks like Cho’Gath and Shen in the Summer Split Playoffs.
Speaking of former World Champions, LGD has had one on its roster for the last three years. Imp was one of the key players on the Samsung Galaxy White that knocked down all contenders on its way to the 2014 World Championship. Although he didn’t get the credit that some of the other players did, he is still considered an elite player and the most recognizable name on LGD’s roster. Unfortunately, he did not perform well this last split unless he was on one of the hypercarries like Twitch or Kog’Maw. Even when Imp was on the overpowered Kalista, his team was just 6-4 and he only sported a 3.7 KDA.
Don’t bet on the favorite here. Although Invictus should be the favorite, -275 is a big pill to swallow in a tournament that traditionally sees a lot of upsets. There wasn’t much separating these teams during the regular season and every team will have plenty of tricks up its sleeve with two months to prepare. I think the best bet is LGD followed by JD at these odds, as Snake just has too much to overcome.
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