Fnatic is also favored to advance to Sunday’s final against G2 Esports.
This weekend is one of the busiest on the annual League of Legends esports calendar — most leagues crown their Spring Split champion this weekend, led by North America’s LCS, Europe’s LEC and South Korea’s LCK.
Lucky for us viewers, the finals matchups haven’t disappointed. The LCS and LCK have pretty similar narratives in theirs: the most dominant team over the past year+ (Team Liquid and Griffin, respectively) try to overcome a late-season slide against a red-hot team with an overflowing trophy case (Team SoloMid and SK Telecom T1, respectively). One key difference: TSM was 2-0 against top-seeded Liquid in the regular season, while No. 1 Griffin went 2-0 against SKT.
Europe’s a little more up in the air. The new LEC has a new playoff format with it, and we won’t know who faces No. 1 seed and four-time European champion G2 Esports in the final until after the semifinal Saturday. That semifinal will put old rivals Origen and Fnatic up against each other in what should be a thrilling series.
But what do the gambling experts think?
Here’s a look at the lines from Sportsbetting.ag. For clarification, the minus and plus are the moneylines for how bets will be paid out. For example, Liquid is favored at -175, which means you have to bet $175 to win $100. On the other hand, TSM is an underdog at +134, which means you would win $134 if you bet $100.
For the series spread, the 1.5 means whether or not the team will win the series by more or less than 1.5 games. In this case, if Liquid wins 3-1 or 3-0, they cover the series spread. If TSM loses 3-2 or wins the series, they cover the spread.
Series spread: 1.5
Liquid: -1.5 (+116)
TSM: +1.5 (-156)
Series spread: 1.5
Fnatic: -1.5 (-238)
Origen: +1.5 (+177)
Series spread: -1.5
Griffin: -1.5 (+136)
SKT: -1.5 (-189)
All three series look pretty close. Liquid and Griffin are slight favorites, while Fnatic is a heavy favorite in their semifinal matchup. The game spread offers heavy odds that Fnatic will take the series 3-1 or 3-0.
If you look at the odds for the finals in minor regions, you can see Brazil’s CBLoL and Japan’s LJL are a good contrast for what it looks like when the oddsmakers are expecting a one-sided series.
We asked Robert Cooper, head linesman at SportsBetting, about the action so far on the various matches.
“We’ve seen the biggest handle on the LCS. There has been a healthy amount of handle on TSM in terms of percentage of bets and the amount wagered. We figured that we would see a fair the normal play on Liquid considering TSM had to reverse sweep Cloud9 in the semifinals.
In the LEC, there has been a good bit of action on Fnatic, but we were expecting that considering both their reputation and midseason turnaround.
The LCK does not typically garner as much attention as the LEC or LCS. We were hoping that we would see a lot more action on the Grand Final given the rising viewership numbers of the English language broadcast and the dream matchup of Griffin and SK Telecom T1, yet there hasn’t been as much of an uptick as we anticipated.”
All the matches will be best-of-five series streamed live on Lol Esports and their associated channels. SKT vs. Griffin will kick it off Saturday, April 13 at 4 a.m. ET, followed by the LEC semifinal at 11 a.m. ET and the Team Liquid-TSM final at 3 p.m. ET. The LEC final will follow suit Sunday, April 14 at 11 a.m. ET.
For more League of Legends content, be sure to check out Polygon’s The Rift Herald.