We have another 5 game playoff slate on Friday. It again starts at 7 am EST. The games are:
Heroic (57% implied win probability) vs Big
Fnatic (56%) vs NiP
Faze (65%) vs North
Astralis (64%) vs Vitality
G2 (59%) vs Godsent
Pricing on Friday reminds me of the early days of CS:GO. No one is over $9.0k, and only 6 players are $8.0k or higher. It’s basically a pick ’em. I’ve talked a decent amount about how 3 man stacks have been working better lately even on large slates. Part of my theory on why that has been case is because of the tighter pricing. You’ve basically been forced to choose between a bottom fragger on a big favorite or a top fragger on an underdog. A lot of the times the bottom fragger ends up scoring higher simply by virtue of being on a winning team. Today, we are back to being able to take all top 2 or 3 fraggers from favorites (or slight underdogs). I much prefer having a max stack size of 2 on this slate.
Again, there are no teams that I feel comfortable eliminating entirely, however given the loose pricing I’m going to limit my player pool to only the top players from each team. My player pool will be (listed in the same order I listed the games above, not by how much I like them):
Heroic: Everyone except Borup
Big: Xantares, Syrson
Fnatic: Krimz, Brollan
NiP: Nawwk, Rez, Plopski
Faze: Niko, Broky
North: Everyone except Aizy
Astralis: Zywoo, Shox
G2: Hunter, Nexa, KennyS
Godsent: Everyone except Krystal
That narrows my player pool down from 50 to 31, we’ve eliminated almost 40% of the pool right off the bat.
Another likelihood Friday is that the underdogs come in with low ownership (Zywoo excluded, we’ll get to that in a minute). Since there’s no need to pay down for them, and most of them aren’t even priced much less than the favorites anyways, expect them all to come in fairly underowned. I like to target underdogs in slates like these especially when they have a good shot at winning. My favorite underdog targets are:
NiP: Are they back? Sure seemed like it on Thursday as they absolutely decimated OG, only giving up 14 total rounds across the 2 maps. Fnatic have been playing fairly well themselves of late, but I still think NiP have a strong chance win this matchup.
Big: This matchup should be a coinflip. Their previous matchups have gone back and forth with Big actually winning 3 of their 5 matchups since the start of August. Neither team comes in looking great, Tabsen is really struggling for Big and Heroic as a whole have just been ok lately. I expect another close matchup and I’ll have plenty of Xantares and/or Syrson in it.
Those are my favorite underdogs, but there’s still one more underdog it’s important to touch on. That of course is Vitality, and specifically Zywoo. He’s the most expensive player on the slate, although he comes in at only $8.8k. For the game log watchers out there, Zywoo’s only 2 truly bad games in the past few months have both come against Astralis. This isn’t shocking as Astralis are the best team in the world. While I do expect him to put up a better showing than those 2 matchups, he’s simply too good to get shut down consistently, I don’t think he’s must play in this spot. On the other side of this matchup, Astralis segues nicely into my favorite plays from the favorites on the slate. My top teams to target from the favorites are:
Astralis: I mentioned in the article for Thursday’s slate how the teams playing against the Zywoo’s or S1mple’s always have too little ownership. That should hold true here. If Astralis were the (just barely) 2nd biggest favorites on the slate and basically free in price against any other team they would be thru the roof in ownership. They’ll likely still come in high owned here, but lower than they otherwise would. I like their stack quite a bit. Honestly, if I told you I knew who my favorite play was I’d be lying. I know Glaive is my least favorite play but even he is playable. Since there is no huge price discrepancy amongst the other 4 really any 2 of them is a fine combination. Dupreeh has been consistently good lately, besides their most recent outing against Fnatic, so I may prioritize him a bit.
G2: I’ve been pounding the drum for Godsent for what feels like decades at this point, but their game against North on Thursday was the final straw for me. They look disjointed, unorganized, and flat out terrible. Now of course this means they’ll probably come out and smash G2 Friday, but I will be firmly on the G2 side here. They also haven’t been playing well, but Godsent could be just what the doctor ordered. KennyS of course had a horrible day Thursday after I highlighted how well he had been playing, but I’ll be back on him, Hunter, and Nexa again Friday.
Everyone I listed above as part of my player pool will also be in my captain pool, as I’ve already narrowed it down to the players I think have a good chance to top frag for every team.
Some of my favorites from that list are (no particular order):
Xantares – He’s been playing great lately, and has monster upside when he’s on
Nawwk – He looks like he’s fully back, and has immediately reclaimed his role as NiP’s top player
Hunter – Super consistent, should fair well against Godsent’s individual play style, as he’s better individually than anyone on Godsent
Broky – The focus will likely be on Niko since he’s cheap and went nuclear vs G2 on Thursday, but Broky has been just as good if not better for the last few months
Zywoo – This is a rare opportunity to get Zywoo at relatively low ownership. Astralis are a great team but when Zywoo is on it doesn’t matter who’s at the other end of his crosshair, their head is getting clicked on and they’re going to be sitting on the sidelines waiting to respawn.
I’ll likely stay mostly away from Astralis captain, like I said before their kill shares vary so widely from game to game, I’d rather play them in the flex.
That’s it for me, good luck Friday!