G2 Esports and Schalke 04 produced quite a banger yesterday, which gives us hope we are in for another close and exciting affair tonight when Rogue take on MAD Lions for a spot in the LEC Spring semi-finals. Being 2-0 up in the H2H, Rogue should be optimistic they can defeat MAD Lions, however, there is a reason to believe this bout just might not be as one-sided as the betting odds suggest.
MAD Lions vs Rogue
Sunday, March 28 at 17:00 CET
LEC Studio, Berlin, Germany (LAN)
Rogue’s game to lose
Rogue have already won this match twice this season, so it makes sense to see them priced as favorites. And it’s not only the fact that Rogue beat MAD Lions before that makes them the better team here but their overall success.
Rogue have established themselves as one of the best and most consistent Western teams, with the best kill-agnostic metrics out of any LEC and League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) squads. This squad have proven that you don’t necessarily need kills to gain leads, but instead strong macro play and map control, and use that to slowly choke out your opponents.
Rogue are “not a strong early-game team”
You’ve probably heard how Rogue are a good team, but they’re not a strong early game team, which is completely false. They might not be a squad that will make flashy plays early on or grab any massive kill leads, but that does not mean they lack early-game strength.
In fact, Rogue are one of the best early-game teams in the LEC, and are on top of that extremely effective in translating those leads into the mid-late game. Although they’ve had a few games where Rogue failed to look strong, they rarely fall behind in the early game, which will be their main win condition for this match.
MAD Lions are much stronger than how it may seem
If you were watching LEC games, it may seem like MAD Lions are a mediocre team at most, but numbers would disagree with that. Unlike what the eye-test would suggest, MAD Lions have the one of best objective control in the LEC and are on top of that very close to Rogue in economy ratings.
|Team/Stat||Dragon control||Herald control||Baron control|
Even their players have been putting up numbers that might surprise some. If you look at the statistics, top laner İrfan Berk “Armut” Tükek, jungler Javier “Elyoya” Prades Batalla and mid laner Marek “Humanoid” Brázda are easily one of the top-four players in their positions.
Much of MAD Lions’ success comes from their ability to use leads and blow the game wide open thanks to their aggression that leaves their opponents in an extremely difficult spot to come back from early setbacks. This aggressive playstyle, however, works as a double-edged sword, since MAD Lions can look very good in wins and poor in their losses.
MAD Lions’ high variance
Rogue and MAD Lions both have very strong objective control and early-game numbers, however, unlike Rogue, MAD Lions are a very high variance team. While they’re not as inconsistent as Fnatic and Evil Geniuses from the LCS, MAD Lions come off as a team that will either step up and impress everyone or fall apart completely.
Regardless of that, MAD Lions haven’t looked all that bad in (most of) their losses. Towards the end of the season, MAD Lions started showing much better performances even in games where they were behind and proved they can be very difficult to beat if you give them room to breathe. Despite how it may seem, MAD Lions are actually one of the strongest losers in the league.
The biggest concern we have with MAD Lions is their bottom lane, which can be very 50/50. While Matyáš “Carzzy” Orság and Norman “Kaiser” Kaiser can have games where they crush their lane, their aggressive playstyle often backfires. As long as MAD don’t fall behind in the bottom lane here, they should do fine, but the inconsistency of Carzzy and Kaiser does make you wonder whether MAD will be able to execute that plan.
Betting Tips for MAD Lions vs Rogue
This is essentially a match between two of the best early-game teams in the league, so the series will likely be decided before the 20-minute mark. Although I’ve noted MAD Lions can punch back even in games where they’re behind, I don’t expect they will manage to do so against Rogue, who are far too smart with their leads and rarely give their opponents a chance to claw back into the game when ahead.
That said, there is one metric that makes me wonder whether Rogue will manage to consistently get ahead. While both teams are very effective in gaining leads early on, MAD Lions are statistically more successful in using their lead and increasing it by the 20-minute mark, granted they are not as strong as Rogue in the mid-late game.
Although I believe Rogue are the better team here, I don’t agree with the betting odds, which suggest Rogue’s implied probability to win is higher than 80%. They might have won both of their Bo1 bouts, but that hardly means much here, especially with MAD Lions’ improvement towards the end of the split.
When deciding on what to bet here, it really comes down to what version of MAD we will get. While MAD are a solid team, they can also be very inconsistent, so there is definitely a world where they lose 0-3. That said, if MAD Lions (mainly their bottom lane) can show up and play to the best of their abilities, we should be in for a tight series that can easily end in an upset win.
I’m taking MAD Lions here, not necessarily because I believe they’re the better team, but largely because they’re overpriced. A smaller bet on MAD to win with two maps to spare is worth a shot as well since they’re a type of team that can surprise Rogue with off-meta drafts.
Prediction: MAD Lions to win – 4.180 Pinnacle
Prediction: MAD Lions -1.5 maps – 7.620 Pinnacle
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