Thursday brings us another 3 game slate as the Blast Premier Global Final rolls on. The games start at 7:30 am EST again, and they are:
Navi (74% implied win probability) vs Complexity
Astralis (67%) vs G2
Vitality (67%) vs Liquid
Sub Risk/Roster Changes
Wednesday’s match confirmed that Navi is still swapping B1t in for Flamie on Inferno, and as I mentioned yesterday Complexity are super unpredictable in their pick/ban. This is the first game so it’s possible we can see the map picks before lock, but frankly it might not be worth it. At $6.6k it’s highly unlikely that Flamie puts up a score that you absolutely have to have in order to win a tournament, so I’m just going to build without him in my player pool. It’s not like the Vitality players where if you know Shox and/or Nivera are going to be in they become attractive plays.
Speaking of Vitality, we learned on Wednesday that Nivera still doesn’t play on Mirage, but that’s all we learned as the other map in their series was Dust 2, which we already know the subbing pattern for. As a reminder, Nivera subs in for Shox on Inferno, and Misutaaa on Dust 2 and Nuke, at least that’s what Vitality was doing at the end of 2020. Both teams permaban train, my guess is that Liquid will ban something else leaving Vitality to ban train. Liquid have been picking Inferno a lot since they got to Europe, and they must feel good after stomping Navi on it Wednesday. If they do pick Inferno, this opens the door for Inferno then Dust 2 (and possibly Nuke as map 3), which could mean Nivera in for the entire series. Unfortunately, this is the last series of the day, so we’ll be making lineups blind. At $8.4k Nivera isn’t exactly a great value, but he makes for a solid GPP play because I do think there’s a solid chance he plays at least the first two maps.
Xyp9x still subs out on Nuke, and that’s it as far as we know. G2 plays a lot of Nuke and I expect it to be their map choice in this matchup. I’ll be building without Xyp9x in my player pool because of this.
Jackz and Twistzz are back in the player pool for whatever reason, don’t play them.
Actual Slate Analysis
Again we have 3 pretty large favorites, and again we have a couple of very questionable pricing decisions. Of course I’m talking about Apex and to a lesser extent RpK. After seeing 45% ownership at $6.2k on Wednesday (buoyed in part by RpK’s insane $8.8k price tag keeping his ownership low), he was for some reason dropped all the way to $4.0k. RpK meanwhile was put all the way down to $5.6k. Apex and RpK are the two players outside of Zywoo who play every map. Except them to be massively owned in this matchup with Liquid. In cash, fire away, but in tournaments I’ll be looking to pivot off of at least one of them. One way to do that is to stack Zywoo + Apex or RpK + Nivera (Zywoo + Apex + RpK will be massively popular). As I mentioned before I think it’s decently likely that Liquid pick Inferno and then Vitality pick Dust 2. If you don’t think Liquid take Inferno, there’s still the chance that Vitality take it, but if it’s not played Shox makes for an interesting GPP play. Personally, I strongly believe Inferno is one of the first two maps of this series, so I’ll be building my lineups without Shox.
Of course, the other way to approach this in tournaments is to play the Liquid side. Fallen is still too cheap for a (good) full time AWPer at only $5.8k, and Elige is also sitting at $7.0k. I was impressed by how Liquid looked against Navi, and while the most likely outcome in this matchup is a loss, I do think they are a very live underdog, and should be very low owned.
In the Complexity vs Navi series we’ve got a bit of a stoppable force meets easily movable object situation. Complexity have been floundering of late, particularly since Poizon had to take a medical leave, but they weren’t exactly living up to their hype before that. jks has struggled lately, and K0nfig has really cooled off after his insane hot streak. Even BlameF is struggling a bit, as his normal lurking ways don’t work quite as well if all his teammates die before he can shoot anyone in the back. On the other side, it was just one match but boy did Navi look back against Liquid. S1mple did his usual S1mple things, on Nuke at least, but the rest of Navi struggled so mightily that even a 36-17 performance from S1mple wasn’t enough to bring Navi a win. While I’ll mostly be looking to either one off S1mple from this game, BlameF and K0nfig are at interesting price points. If they can manage to run into the non-S1mple members of Navi instead of S1mple enough they should be able to wrack up some decent kill totals. If you want to stack with S1mple, Electronic is super expensive, but that should keep his ownership down and he is of course capable of putting up huge games.
Last but not least, we have the G2 vs Astralis matchup. This will already be the 5th time these teams have played since Niko joined G2 last November. So far Astralis leads 3-1 in series, and 6-3 in maps. 3 of those wins were in OT (or double OT) though, and that was with G2 incorporating Niko on the fly. With over a month off, plus no more Amanek vs Jackz competition, this G2 squad should be dangerous in 2021. I think they have the best shot to win of the 3 underdogs on the slate, and they’re priced up enough to where their ownership should be too crazy.
On the Astralis side, Device should go a bit under the radar with both Zywoo and S1mple on the slate, and he has just as much upside as anyone. I’ll be mostly on the G2 side, but he’s definitely worth consideration. Glaive is super cheap at only $5.6k and makes for a decent stacking partner and pivot off of RpK.
I sound like a broken record here, but as always Zywoo and S1mple stand out from the crowd. Apex makes it so that it’s fairly easy to fit either one at captain, although it definitely narrows down your lineup construction options. Unlike Wednesday where it was tough to find studs to pivot to that truly had as much upside, both Device and Niko do have that upside Thursday, so I like them as pivots.
BlameF is an interesting mid range play at captain, as he too has shown the same ceiling as Zywoo and S1mple. I also don’t mind Fallen at captain as he saves quite a bit of money to spend elsewhere. Of course, this mean you’re either fading Zywoo or playing opponents in your lineup, which I generally try to avoid, but I don’t think it’s the worst when the opponent is Zywoo or S1mple.
Finally, Apex himself is worth a look at captain. He lets you fit basically all of the studs you want around him, and if he puts up 60ish again will likely be the best point per dollar play on the slate. If all the studs score close to each other, this could put you over the top.
That’s it from me, good luck on Thursday!