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Winter Major AI Predictions

Revenge of the Seeding


Edit: Added groups related visualization. Also updated groups scenarios/simulation is available here.

Edit 2: Day 2 update available here.

Edit 3: Day 3 update available here.

The Rocket League Winter Major in San Diego is about to begin, and I'm about to spoil the entire script, so read at your own risk...

The AI has gone into v1.2 (full changelog) which makes it even more powerful. In the process, I fixed a bug that caused regions not to be assigned at Gamers8. As a result, this change happens to boost the entirety of EU up by like 30 points (which would've made the Fall Major predictions more accurate oops).

I've also created a simulation like last major, and it shows just how much seeding in groups affects results. Some teams are expected to outperform teams that are higher up in the power rankings, so make sure you read to the end.

Table of contents:

  • the AI power rankings for all 16 teams
  • the top 25 players at the Major
  • group simulations
  • the odds of each team getting Top 8, 4, etc.

Power Rankings

2000 2000 2500 2500 1 Uncertainty: 95 Rating: 2533 2533 FaZe Clan LogoFaZe ClanFirstkiller, Sypical, mist 2 Uncertainty: 96 Rating: 2514 2514 Karmine Corp LogoKarmine CorpExoTiiK, itachi, Vatira 3 Uncertainty: 96 Rating: 2483 2483 Gen.G Esports LogoGen.G Esportsnoly, ApparentlyJack, Chronic 4 Uncertainty: 99 Rating: 2477 2477 Oxygen Esports LogoOxygen Esportsrise., Archie, Joreuz 5 Uncertainty: 95 Rating: 2445 2445 Team Liquid LogoTeam LiquidAcroniK., Atow., Oski 6 Uncertainty: 97 Rating: 2430 2430 G2 Esports LogoG2 EsportsJKnaps, Chicago, Atomic 7 Uncertainty: 100 Rating: 2427 2427 Complexity Gaming LogoComplexity Gamingajg, Reysbull, crr 8 Uncertainty: 95 Rating: 2390 2390 G1 LogoG1AtomiK, MaRc_By_8., Dorito 9 Uncertainty: 97 Rating: 2297 2297 Team Vitality LogoTeam VitalityAlpha54, saizen, Radosin 10 Uncertainty: 105 Rating: 2264 2264 Team Falcons LogoTeam FalconsAhmad, oKhaliD, trk511 11 Uncertainty: 117 Rating: 2195 2195 Team Secret LogoTeam Secretnxghtt, Sad, kv1 12 Uncertainty: 91 Rating: 2142 2142 Dignitas LogoDignitasAndy, dreaz, Evoh 13 Uncertainty: 108 Rating: 2107 2107 KRÜ Esports LogoKRÜ Esportsdroppz, brad, drufinho 14 Uncertainty: 112 Rating: 2006 2006 Pioneers LogoPioneersScrub, hntr, bananahead 15 Uncertainty: 113 Rating: 2005 2005 Ground Zero Gaming LogoGround Zero GamingFiberr, Superlachie, kaka 16 Uncertainty: 121 Rating: 1858 1858 Gaimin Gladiators LogoGaimin GladiatorsMaxeew, OSM, LCT

If you need more information on what the numbers in this chart mean, check out the FAQ here.

Let's go over some of the more controversial picks.

Oxygen > Team Liquid???

The AI doesn't care where you finish in a tournament. Liquid had a poor first regional, including a loss to Vertigo. If you don't know that team, then that kinda proves the point. Since then, they have been clawing closer and looking solid. However, Oxygen hasn't really had a single blunder this split, so they've kept ahead by a small margin.

G1 to the top?

I was considering making an entire article out of G1's tough road to the majors, but I figured there wasn't quite enough content unless you want to go over all the numbers.

In short: G1 has had the toughest brackets out of any major contending team in EU. Out of the 7 playoff games they've played, G1 had to play against a team that ended up making the major 7 times. That's right, every single time. Although, they have lost the majority of those, they've got another excuse. 3/4 bo7 losses were against the eventual tournament winners; the remaining one was still against Karmine Corp.

I wanted to see whether they've really had it the toughest, so I decided to calculate the average MMR of opponents at each stage of the tournament. You can find the full spreadsheet here if you're interested. One of the things that I immediately realized after collecting the data, is how G1 has been the 3rd best team in groups/swiss on series and game differential. Additionally, they've managed to do it while playing slightly above average rated opponents. However, it is indeed the playoffs, where they've been the most unfortunate, playing against opponents on average 70 points higher rated than what would be expected.

With some napkin math using the rating system, I was then able to calculate that G1 would've been expected to win about 2.5 series more if they had played opponents with the same average strength as other major qualifying teams. This is the sort of difference that could've seen them go to the first major or just comfortably avoid the tiebreaker this time around.

Overall, adjusting for the fact that later rounds are more difficult, the only team (with a decent sample size) that has had it worse than G1 is Solary. Here are the 5 teams with the highest/lowest round adjusted difficulty:

  1. SLY (+46)
  2. G1 (+29)
  3. FAX (+25)
  4. SUH (+20)
  5. BDS (+19)
  1. OXG (-44)
  2. KC (-28)
  3. SNQ (-20)
  4. MST (-17)
  5. QUAD(-16)

The only argument that speaks against G1 is that they've been unable to take down those eventual tournament winners. Therefore, I would not expect them to win this major either. And that means they are placed exactly where they should be, at the bottom of the pile of top teams.

The AI hates SAM and loves MENA

It doesn't, but it also doesn't blindly assume that a repeat of the last major is the best guess when we have a whole history of data in MENA's favor. First of all, let's dispell the myth that people are propagating about how poorly Falcons have been doing relative to SAM. They've been on a decline since Worlds, true. But were they actually outdone by SAM at Worlds? If you include Furia, absolutely. Unfortunately, that talent has just been removed from the region, so it doesn't matter for this comparison. When evaluating minor region performance, a good way is to only use the matches against major regions because it prevents any influence from how many easy regions they're playing. Taking all matches of The Club against EU/NA teams, they went 1-3 at Worlds; Falcons went 1-2; Secret went 0-2. You may say, that's comparing the #1 seed with the #2 and #3 seed, and that's true. I'm not trying to make the argument that MENA #3 (Vision) could beat SAM #3 (KRÜ). I'm only trying to make the argument that Falcons have outdone the current SAM talent at every event except the recent Fall Major.

At said major, Team Secret went 4-2 while The Club went 0-2 (vs. EU/NA). Before the event, not a single person would've picked Team Secret > The Club. So the question was, is Team Secret just way better than expected, or is The Club way worse? It's simply impossible to know. The best guess you can make for the region (based only on this major) is simply in between: 4-4 against EU/NA as measurement. Falcons have gone 0-3, which is definitely worse, but it's also not unexpected or abysmal. It's only one terrible event, and the current version of the AI actually predicted all recent international Falcon matches correctly (7/7). That means they were never losing as the favorites. It does include a few 49% predictions though, so it's still worrysome to lose that much. They are ranked behind all EU teams accordingly.

Regardless of everything I've said in defense of the current rating. I do think that SAM should probably have 20-30 points more right now. I'm not saying that because I lack confidence in my AI, I do it because I know how it works. Team Exeed have been tearing up the SAM region, taking down every top team at least once. But they've come literally out of nowhere, moreso than maybe any team before them. Rating systems are relative measures of skill; when one team goes up, another team goes down. In the case of Exeed that change is very big because they started at a very low rating. That means that the AI thinks all the other SAM teams are now worse compared to regions who haven't played against Exeed. But which one is more likely? One team getting better, or all other teams getting worse? Until international play recalibrates the region rating, it will negatively affect the teams at LAN. The points margin likely doesn't actually change any positions in the rating, but it makes it closer.

Player Rankings

2500 2500 1 Uncertainty: 105 Rating: 2731 2731 FaZe ClanFirstkillerUS Flag 2 Uncertainty: 99 Rating: 2600 2600 G1AtomiKES Flag 3 Uncertainty: 103 Rating: 2597 2597 Karmine CorpVatiraFR Flag 4 Uncertainty: 99 Rating: 2527 2527 Oxygen EsportsArchieEN Flag 5 Uncertainty: 98 Rating: 2515 2515 Gen.G EsportsApparentlyJackEN Flag 6 Uncertainty: 102 Rating: 2510 2510 Complexity GamingcrrES Flag 7 Uncertainty: 100 Rating: 2508 2508 G2 EsportsAtomicUS Flag 8 Uncertainty: 99 Rating: 2503 2503 Karmine CorpExoTiiKFR Flag 9 Uncertainty: 96 Rating: 2498 2498 Gen.G EsportsChronicUS Flag 10 Uncertainty: 96 Rating: 2498 2498 Team LiquidAtow.BE Flag 11 Uncertainty: 95 Rating: 2490 2490 FaZe ClanmistUS Flag 12 Uncertainty: 92 Rating: 2473 2473 Team LiquidOskiPL Flag 13 Uncertainty: 101 Rating: 2468 2468 Complexity GamingReysbullCL Flag 14 Uncertainty: 101 Rating: 2465 2465 Team VitalityAlpha54FR Flag 15 Uncertainty: 91 Rating: 2455 2455 Karmine CorpitachiMA Flag 16 Uncertainty: 103 Rating: 2446 2446 Oxygen Esportsrise.EN Flag 17 Uncertainty: 97 Rating: 2445 2445 Oxygen EsportsJoreuzNL Flag 18 Uncertainty: 96 Rating: 2428 2428 Gen.G EsportsnolyEN Flag 19 Uncertainty: 100 Rating: 2391 2391 G2 EsportsJKnapsCA Flag 20 Uncertainty: 93 Rating: 2390 2390 G2 EsportsChicagoUS Flag 21 Uncertainty: 99 Rating: 2349 2349 Team LiquidAcroniK.PT Flag 22 Uncertainty: 99 Rating: 2344 2344 FaZe ClanSypicalUS Flag 23 Uncertainty: 110 Rating: 2332 2332 Team Falconstrk511SA Flag 24 Uncertainty: 99 Rating: 2302 2302 G1DoritoES Flag 25 Uncertainty: 123 Rating: 2301 2301 Team SecretSadBR Flag

I think this list is actually very accurate with a few odd picks. It's certainly better than 4/5 unspecified analysts' lists. Let's see how they actually show up at the major though. LAN buffs are not included.

Atomik > Atomic

If you want to learn more about how the player rating works, I've got a full article on the topic. It's stats based and Atomik is essentially a slightly worse Firstkiller in that regard. He's always at least solid, which is very needed to stay consistently at the top of the rankings. He's also helped by the fact that the AI rates G1 generally higher than most analysts seem to.

ExoTiiK > itachi

This is just the perfect example for illustrating why consistency is important. In the first regional you could split hairs between who should be MVP between vatira and itachi. In the second regional itachi looked like the best player in Europe. He was top 10 and ahead of ExoTiiK. A lot of people took notice and started ranking him very highly. But what happened in the third regional? He completely vanished on the stat sheet. Stats aren't everything, but then why was he able to do it the previous regionals? Whatever the reason for that may be, the AI doesn't care for it and punishes it massively. Hence, consistency is key.

Sad > kv1

Did I say LAN buffs are not included? Sad had an absolutely amazing Fall Major. Since he can only lose rating when losing series, he's been able to keep a lot of that rating. kv1 has been better in the online split, but there simply haven't been enough series against high quality teams to let him overtake Sad.

AI Simulated Groups

A Team Logo FaZe Clan Team Logo G2 Esports Team Logo KRÜ Esports Team Logo G1
1st  51.4%  26.6%   1.9%  20.1%
2nd  30.1%  35.2%   4.7%  30.1%
3rd  14.4%  28.4%  21.1%  36.1%
4th   4.2%   9.8%  72.3%  13.7%
B Team Logo Karmine Corp Team Logo Team Vitality Team Logo Dignitas Team Logo Team Falcons
1st  64.7%  17.0%   4.9%  13.4%
2nd  24.7%  34.2%  13.0%  28.1%
3rd   7.4%  29.5%  29.9%  33.3%
4th   3.3%  19.3%  52.3%  25.2%
C Team Logo Team Secret Team Logo Team Liquid Team Logo Ground Zero Gaming Team Logo Gaimin Gladiators
1st  19.8%  74.5%   4.4%   1.3%
2nd  51.6%  21.5%  20.0%   6.9%
3rd  21.4%   3.2%  47.2%  28.2%
4th   7.2%   0.8%  28.4%  63.6%
D Team Logo Gen.G Esports Team Logo Oxygen Esports Team Logo Complexity Gaming Team Logo Pioneers
1st  38.5%  35.3%  25.4%   0.8%
2nd  32.7%  34.5%  30.9%   1.9%
3rd  24.2%  25.3%  36.3%  14.2%
4th   4.6%   4.9%   7.4%  83.1%

AI Simulated Major

Name Top 1 Top 2 Top 4 Top 8 Top 12 E(Points) E($)
Team Logo FaZe Clan FaZe Clan  22.2%  36.5%  57.9%  90.5%  95.8% 24.6 $ 41.1k
Team Logo Karmine Corp Karmine Corp  18.3%  32.2%  52.4%  84.1%  96.7% 23.1 $ 37.1k
Team Logo Team Secret Team Secret   0.4%   1.9%   9.4%  41.7%  92.8% 13.1 $ 12.0k
Team Logo Gen.G Esports Gen.G Esports  13.6%  26.0%  48.9%  79.4%  95.4% 21.7 $ 32.5k
Team Logo Team Liquid Team Liquid  10.6%  22.7%  46.8%  88.7%  99.2% 21.7 $ 30.4k
Team Logo Oxygen Esports Oxygen Esports  12.8%  24.9%  47.4%  77.9%  95.1% 21.3 $ 31.5k
Team Logo G2 Esports G2 Esports   8.0%  18.4%  38.7%  77.9%  90.2% 19.5 $ 25.8k
Team Logo Team Vitality Team Vitality   1.2%   4.3%  13.7%  39.4%  80.7% 13.1 $ 13.0k
Team Logo Complexity Gaming Complexity Gaming   7.3%  16.6%  36.9%  69.4%  92.6% 18.7 $ 24.6k
Team Logo Ground Zero Gaming Ground Zero Gaming   0.0%   0.1%   1.3%  13.3%  71.6%  9.8 $  7.9k
Team Logo Dignitas Dignitas   0.1%   0.4%   2.7%  13.2%  47.7%  9.0 $  6.8k
Team Logo KRÜ Esports KRÜ Esports   0.0%   0.3%   1.9%  13.4%  27.7%  8.1 $  5.5k
Team Logo Team Falcons Team Falcons   0.7%   2.8%  10.4%  32.6%  74.8% 12.1 $ 11.2k
Team Logo G1 G1   4.9%  12.9%  31.0%  70.7%  86.3% 17.6 $ 21.2k
Team Logo Pioneers Pioneers   0.0%   0.0%   0.4%   4.0%  16.9%  7.0 $  4.2k
Team Logo Gaimin Gladiators Gaimin Gladiators   0.0%   0.0%   0.2%   3.8%  36.4%  7.7 $  5.3k

This table is the result of 1,000,000 tournaments simulated, each with 40 series. For a total of 35 million series sampled from the AI probabilities, including game differential.

As you can see, Team Secret is actually expected to outdo Falcons in terms of average points. Generally a lot of results are because of the "Group of Life" with Team Liquid, Team Secret, Ground Zero Gaming, and Gaimin Gladiators. Aside from the group participants, 2nd and 3rd from group A get to play against them, which boosts FaZe/G2/G1/KRÜ's chances of making it to top 8.

The odds for winning the tournament by region are:
NA - 51.2%, EU - 47.8%, MENA - 0.7%, SAM - 0.4%, OCE - 0.01%, APAC - 4 in a million.
The expected points per team are:
NA - 18.7, EU - 19.4, MENA - 12.1, SAM - 10.6, OCE - 8.4, APAC - 7.7.
The expected prize money per team is:
NA - $26k, EU - $27k, MENA - $11k, SAM - $9k, OCE - $6k, APAC - $5k.