We have another 3 game slate Friday as the EU playoffs of ESL Pro League roll on. The matchups Friday start at 8 EST and are:
Astralis (83% implied win probability) vs Complexity
BiG (58%) vs Mouz
Heroic (51%) vs Navi
I’ll be honest, pricing on this slate is terrible. However, this is something we can take advantage of in GPP’s. While it’s very clear what the “optimal” builds are on the slate, this gives us great leverage spots for tournaments.
The glaring error on this slate is S1mple. S1mple is $8k and Navi is in a coinflip (they are technically ever so slight underdogs). If you are trying to build strictly optimally, you’re locking S1mple in (and probably at captain) 100% of the time. However, in tournaments we aren’t necessarily looking for the most likely outcome, we are looking for the construction that brings us the most expected winnings. What I mean by that is if we expect S1mple to crush it 45% of the time, pay off his salary but not put up a huge slate 30% of the time, and put up a dud 25% of the time the most likely outcome is he puts up a good or great game. However, if he’s 80% owned (which is realistic for this slate) that means the the 75% of the time when he is good or great, all you’ve done is tie a massive chunk of the field. You still have to beat them out in the rest of your lineup. However, if he duds and you faded him, you have an advantage over 80% of the field and are only really competing with a small portion of the lineups. Obviously if that happens you have a much better chance at a top 10 or top 5 finish. Note that this is all dependent on the chances of failing and ownership, mine above are guestimates (S1mple has 2 out of his last 10 matches that I’d consider “fails” based on his KD).
All that said about S1mple, part of the reason I actually like fading him Friday are because of how good Heroic have looked. In the past couple days they have absolutely stomped both Astralis and BiG. They are playing with incredible confidence, and are in great form. Plus, with how cheap S1mple is and how expensive they (particularly Niko) are they should see low ownership. I bet even a good amount of people who do play Heroic will run it back with S1mple (which I think is OK on this slate but won’t be doing at all myself, the outcome you need is super narrow). I’ll have a few Heroic 3 stacks to really try to capitalize on a S1mple fade.
To compound the pricing issues, Astralis and Complexity are priced like the game is a toss-up (both teams are priced similarly), yet Astralis are over 80% favorites to get the win. es3tag has struggled their last couple of matches, so I expect his ownership to be a bit low as he’s still up at $9k, but the other 4 from Astralis should be all kinds of chalky. Glaive in particularly is too cheap at only $5.0k. Navi made pretty quick work of Complexity on Thursday, as they are still struggling with the loss of oBo. Astralis haven’t looked all that sharp themselves, as they barely squeaked out both maps against Spirit on Thursday. I do think this matchup should be a little bit closer than the odds imply. I’ll have a few shares on Complexity, and they are a way you can play S1mple and still differentiate your lineups. If you’re going Heroic, you can afford to eat some of the Astralis chalk, and I’ll definitely be doing so myself.
The BiG/Mouz series has the most accurate pricing, which isn’t saying much on this slate, and the pricing really isn’t all that great. Draftkings keeps increasing the price gap between Syrson, Xantares, and Tabsen, even though all 3 score very similarly. Syrson is all the way up at $9.4k while Tabsen is lowest of the trio at $7.6k. They make for a nice contrarian stack, as with all the attention on S1mple/Navi and Astralis, the stack should go underowned even if the individual pieces carry decent ownership. On the Mouz side, Frozen and Bymas have stepped up their play recently, so they are at least not laughably bad anymore. I’ve buried the lede a little bit though, as Ropz is also underpriced at only $7.0k. Mouz have been playing some solid real life CS:GO of late, so a Ropz one-off or even a Mouz stack are solid plays here. The Mouz stack is again a nice way to differentiate a S1mple lineup (and has much better Vegas odds than Col).
S1mple will undoubtedly see the highest captain ownership on the slate, he could very well be over 30% owned at captain. If Navi wins, he has a decent liklihood of being the top scorer on the slate. Everything I said above about this situation applies here as well. I am going to be mostly fading S1mple at captain on Friday.
On the Heroic side, everyone except Borup is viable at captain. I’ll have a solid mix of all 4, although just the stack will be enough in most places. If I pair them with a team that has a clearer cut top scorer (ie a Ropz from Mouz or BlameF from Col) I’m more likely to play the Heroic stack in the flex and captain the clearer top scorer.
Speaking of BlameF, with Col as such large underdogs, I expect his captain ownership to be virtually non-existent. I’ll have a few shares here as if Col pulls of the upset he’ll be doing a lot of the heavy lifting. On the other side, I’m unlikely to captain much Astralis, as they spread out their scoring so much, across all 5 players. If I had to pick one or two to captain, it would be Device and es3tag. I think Device is the most consistent fragger with his AWP and es3tag will likely be lowest owned.
From the BiG/Mouz series, I like Ropz a lot at captain on the Mouz side. If they win, and Vegas does give them a decent shot, he’s likely to put up a strong score, and should come in at fairly low captain ownership. On the BiG side, any of Syrson, Xantares, and Tabsen are viable at captain. The don’t spread their kills around quite as much as Heroic or Astralis, so when I make lineups with those 3 teams, I prefer BiG then Heroic then Astralis.
Good luck on Friday!