The Dreamhack Open kicks off in EU on Thursday, with a massive 8 game slate. DK has cut the 1st 3 games off presumably because the 7am EST start time is too early, leaving us with a nice 5 game slate starting at 10:30 AM est. The games are:
Big (52% implied win probability) vs Faze
OG (56%) vs Fnatic
G2 (72%) vs Endpoint
Astralis (65%) vs Heroic
Ence (54%) vs North
This is a tough slate, not so much from a salary perspective, but more from a “who the hell is going to win these games” perspective. 3 of these matchups are basically coinflips. Astralis may have reclaimed their title as best team in the world but Heroic are no slouches themselves. While Endpoint are probably the worst team on this slate, G2 have looked truly horrific of late, losing 7 straight best of 3’s (granted, they don’t play in any of the lower tier tournaments that you sometimes see fringe T1 teams play in, aka no easy wins) coming into this matchup. I truly think all 10 teams on this slate are live.
With so much uncertainty on the slate, one thing I’ll be doing is stacking more. I’ll be running either 3/2/1 or 2/2/2 for all of my lineups. What this does is minimizes the number of events I need to accurately predict in order to be “right” about my whole lineup. If I put at least 1 player from all 5 games in my lineup, I need a lot more to break right for me. I’d need all 5 games to work out in my favor, or at least be close enough that my player puts up a good score. With a 3/2/1 or 2/2/2 I only need 3 games to break right.
With that in mind, some of my favorite stacks today are:
Astralis – This is the most consistent and best team in the tournament/world. They almost never lay a complete egg, although ironically the one time they have of late was against Heroic (Astralis then beat them a few days later). All 5 players are in play here, although I do think Glaive is a clear 5th, but he isn’t priced like it. Dupreeh in particular is at a nice price point of only $7.4k. Astralis will likely be the stack I have the most exposure to on Thursday.
Fnatic – Since Astralis is likely to be a bit chalky, although no one on such a big and closely contested slate is likely to end up as mega-chalk, it makes sense to pair them with some stacks that should be fairly low owned. Although OG just beat them on October 10th, it was a tightly contested 3 game series. Krimz has really stepped up his game of late, and Brollan is always a threat for a big score. Both of them are underpriced and make for a nice 2 stack. I’ll probably mostly stick with the 2 stack or one off here, but if I do 3 stack I’ll likely use Golden. He’s only $5.0k and has put up some solid fantasy numbers in Fnatic wins.
Faze – Just as it looked like Faze were falling apart, as Niko was rumored to be leaving to join his cousin (Hunter) on G2, they turned around and won IEM New York (EU). Their run included wins over OG, Vitality, Heroic, and this very same Big team. Speaking of Niko, he finally looks like his old self, as it was largely on his back that Faze were able to make their run. While Niko is a little expensive up at $10k, Broky is a pretty cheap down at $7.2k. He’s been a consistent number 2 and sometimes even number 1 for Faze. Kjaerbye really stepped up his game during IEM, and is a bargain at only $5.8k.
Ence – While xseveN is standing in for Jamppi because Jamppi is banned from Valve associated events, xseveN himself played for Ence for about 2 years before leaving this past summer. I don’t expect much of a drop-off here. Ence is a team that is clearly below the T1 teams in Europe, but they tend to beat the teams that they should beat. North represent a team that is probably at the top end of the “teams Ence should beat”. North recently added Lekro, but have had mixed results even within the T2/3 scene. Allu is only $7.6k and is the definite starting spot when playing Ence. Behind him I do think xseveN is a tad overprojected since his recent stats mostly come from the T2/3 scene. Sunny is my favorite stacking partner for Allu, and then really any of the remaining 3 players can be used in a 3 stack.
Those are my top 4 stacks on the slate, but really all 10 teams are viable, and I’d have exposure to all of them if I MME.
Niko is my favorite captain on the slate. I like the Astralis stack as a whole better than Faze, but Faze has much more clearcut top fantasy performers. At $9k (flex price) he’s not cheap, but there’s plenty of solid value in the $6-7.5k range that open up the room needed to captain him. Broky is also a nice option, and I don’t expect him to have a ton of ownership as there are several strong options in the low to mid $7k range.
One of those options is Dupreeh. He and his Astralis teammates aren’t my top priority, as like I just mentioned it’s impossible to guess who is going to be the top scorer on any given day. That said, at least one of them is likely to put up a really strong score, and Dupreeh in particular opens up some salary. I’ll also have exposure to Device and es3tag, but probably only a lineup or two each.
Allu is another strong choice at captain. If Ence do win, he’s likely to have a big game and he’s affordable at only $7.6 (flex price).
I do also like both Krimz and Brollan at captain, they are again fairly cheap and shouldn’t see a ton of captain ownership.
Overall on this slate, there’s plenty of value so if you want to captain players from the teams I haven’t highlighted here, from which there are plenty of fine plays, I’d stick to the top scorer or two (maybe 3 if it’s a team like Big or Heroic who have 3 players that score similarly). There’s no need to go super far off the board to find a low owned captain, as there are so many good options that everyone will likely come in with fairly low ownership.
That’s it for me, good luck on Thursday!