After the Dreamhack Open finished on Sunday (congrats to Heroic on their 3-2 upset of Vitality), we don’t have to wait at all for the start of Blast Premier. Blast marks the start of EG and Furia’s venture into Europe. Hopefully it goes better for these teams than it did for MiBR. EG is on this opening slate. It’s a 2 gamer that locks at 11:30 am EST. The games are:
Navi (58% implied win probability) vs NiP
EG (57%) vs OG
This is really a interesting slate, as we haven’t seen EG against non-NA competition in 8 months. These teams did meet twice in the last LAN event they played, both were close 2-1 wins for OG. Obviously a lot has changed since February, including EG’s head coach, right after switching is when EG started dominating in NA, but it at least shows that there isn’t a massive skill gap between these teams.
Moving on to Monday’s slate, pricing is fairly loose. The only lineups that don’t fit are a 3/3 with EG + Navi where you try to use the Big 3 of EG (Brehze, Cerq, Ethan) and S1mple plus Electronic. You’d have to captain Flamie to make this lineup construction work, which is obviously not ideal. Pretty much any other 3/3 fits.
My expectation is that ownership on this slate will go Navi > EG > OG > NiP. This is the S1mple factor as he’s undoubtedly going to be the highest owned player on the slate. This makes NiP my favorite play on the slate. Honestly I think they should be favored in this matchup. They looked really solid by the end of Dreamhack, winning 3 straight before losing 2-1 to eventual champion Heroic. Meanwhile Navi is again scuffling, recently having lost to Forze, VP, and Spirit. Granted, Navi can snap out of their funk at any time, but with Boombl4 recently having been sick and Perfecto playing through Covid, I’d expect more struggles out of them. I do think it’s likely that this matchup goes 3 maps, as Navi will get to pick either Nuke or Dust 2, both maps NiP have struggled on lately. I don’t mind running a 3/2/1 with the 3 being either EG/OG, the 2 being NiP and the 1 being S1mple. I do think that will be somewhat popular, but all of the 3/3 combinations will be popular too.
I also think the EG/OG game is pretty much a coinflip. Because of that, I’ll side with the lower ownership, which should be OG. The OG + NiP pairing should be the least popular. It’s the double dog combo and it leaves a ton of salary on the table, the most expensive 3/3 combination leaves $6.5k on the table, something which many DFS players inherently don’t like doing. I’ll of course have some EG, but I’ll be heavier on the OG side as an ownership play.
S1mple is the obvious choice here, but he’ll likely be super popular. To differentiate a S1mple captain lineup you’ll have to get a bit creative. A couple options are to run a Navi/OG 3/3, but either don’t run Electronic on the Navi side, or dip down to Aleksib and/or NBK on the OG side. This isn’t “optimal” from a projections perspective, but it will give you a much more unique lineup. Another option I’m toying with is running the 3/2/1 I described above with S1mple at cpt then 2 NiP players and 3 from EG/OG. On the surface this feels a bit thin, but the scenario that this lineup is banking on is a 3 map series between Navi and NiP where S1mple tries to carry Navi and ultimately fails while NiP spread their kills out a bit more evenly. That feels like a pretty plausible scenario, so I’ll definitely run a few lineups with this setup. It will definitely be low owned.
Outside of S1mple, the other players I feel can put up the top score on the slate are:
Electronic – should be a low owned pivot off S1mple since they’re so similar in price, fairly low chance he outscores S1mple but it’s definitely possible
Nawwk, Rez, Plopski – If NiP win 2-0, any of them could have the top score of the day since both OG and EG usually have fairly balanced scoring
Valde, Mantuu, ISSA – If OG win 2-0 and the NiP/Navi game goes 3 it’s likely someone from OG or S1mple has the top score. Could also outscore NiP if both teams 2-0 (or if OG/EG goes 3 and the lost map is close).
Brehze, Cerq, Ethan – Brehze may be the only person who in their recent form can challenge S1mple in DK points even if S1mple has a good game. Cerq has shown the upside in the past but not much recently. Ethan falls more into the category of the OG players above.
I’m not planning on captaining any bottom fraggers on this slate, and I’m definitely not going to run the Flamie cpt lineup I highlighted above.
That’s it from me, good luck Monday!