IEM is back on Tuesday, and we’ve also got the start of Flashpoint. Between those two we have a nice 5 game slate that locks at 8 am EST. The games are:
Forze (71% implied win probability) vs Envy
OG (55%) vs Spirit
Big (70%) vs MiBR
Fnatic (57%) vs Mad Lions
New England Whalers (63%) vs Rugratz
This is a really interesting slate from a pricing perspective. Pricing is tight, and 3 underdogs are priced up to where they aren’t a huge discount from the favorites. Spirit and Mad Lions are almost as expensive as their respective opponents, which makes sense given that they are only slight underdogs, but the Envy are also almost as expensive as Forze (save for xsepower, who is priced above the rest of the game). The line being as lopsided towards Forze as it is was one of two headscratchers on this slate for me, as I expected that game to be much closer in odds. Based on their pricing, it looks like Draftkings did too. Envy hasn’t played an official event in over 3 months, and has never played with this roster, but last time we saw them, Calyx and Michu were lighting up the scoreboard, and Thomas is also a very solid player. I think Envy is being underestimated by Vegas but not the DK pricing, which should lead to them seeing very low ownership. An Envy stack is one of my favorite GPP plays on this slate.
I’m curious to see where ownership lands on mir and Acor on this slate. Both are small underdogs, but are priced up to the point where they’re more expensive than everyone but their opponents top fragger. We’ve seen each of them come in with super high ownership as an underdog recently (mir was a huge disappointment while acoR had a huge day), but that was largely because each was underpriced. If the increase in price brings ownership down to the 20-25% range for each of them I love them as GPP plays, but if they stay up around 40% each I’d be more inclined to fade them.
Even with playing some of these underdogs, we’re going to need to find value since the mir’s and acoR’s of the world are priced up. We have a couple of ways to do this. One, is bottom fraggers on some of the bigger favorites. If you think Big are going to crush MiBR, K1to and Tizian offer relatively cheap exposure. Same goes for Facecrack, Jerry, and Almazer on Forze and ben1337 and rampage (and to a lesser extent djay) on New England Whalers. Even NBK- and Aleksib are underpriced if OG get a 2-0 victory. Golden is practically free for Fnatic and JW is cheap as well. Flusha is only $6.6k. All of those players off plenty of cost savings. However, what nearly all of those players lack, is upside. On a 5 game slate we are going to need 500+ points to win a tournament. Sure NBK- having a “good day” and getting 50 at 5k technically puts you on pace for that 500, but that also means your $9k Mantuu and $8.8k Krimz have to get 90 and 88 respectively. It’s definitely possible, but I’d rather play trk at that same $5k price, where you know if MiBR manages to pull off the upset he’s like to score 60, 70, or even more points than that, based on what his new role for MiBR appears to be. Then, if my 9k player scores 75, it’s not the end of the world, as realistically 75 is a strong day from anyone not named S1mple or Zywoo.
Anyways, what this means, is I’m going to have a lot of MiBR and a lot of Rugratz on this slate, as they’re the only 2 teams that are truly priced down. MiBR just played the likes of Astralis, Furia, and G2, teams whom I think are all better than Big is right now. They took a map each off of Astralis and G2, and beat Furia. Both the Astralis and G2 series easily could’ve been 2-0’s in their favor. What I’m trying to say is, I think this team can compete with Big. kNgV- is being set up for kills in a manner usually reserved for the Zywoo’s and S1mple’s of the world (he is frequently dropped guns when he doesn’t have the resources to full buy, leaving someone, usually Lucas, without a rifle). At $7.2k he has as much upside as anyone on this slate. I just mentioned trk, but in this new lineup he also seems set up to excel. In their 3 matches so far as a team, he’s finished with a K-D of +6, +18, and +7. And remember, 2 of those matches are losses. He’s far and away my favorite “bottom barrel” (based on price at least) play on the slate.
A couple hundred words ago, I mentioned there being 2 Vegas lines that made me scratch my head. The first was of course the Envy vs Forze line that I already discussed. The second? The Rugratz vs New England Whalers line. These two teams met on October 29th, less than 2 weeks ago, in a Bo1. Rugratz won that matchup (nuke) 16-3. Mada did play for Rugratz instead of Cxzi, but he only went +3 K-D so it’s not like he was hard carrying them. I mentioned it before their matchup against Liquid, I’m a fan of this Rugratz lineup. I think this game is basically a 50/50 toss-up. Rugratz are priced like they’re fairly large underdogs. I like the price points of Infinite and Fang in particular, but realistically all 5 players are in play here.
A couple other spots that I wanted to mention for bargain pricing are Sjuush from Mad Lions and Thomas from Envy. Sjuush is down at $5.6k on Tuesday. There was a time this spring when Sjuush was the leading fantasy point scorer on a roster that had acoR and also Bubzjki. He still has that upside, and I’ll have a bunch of him on Tuesday. Thomas was also one of the better players for Endpoint, and should slot in into a solid role in this Envy roster. I expect him to be their 3rd best player (at worst) but he’s priced all the way down at $5.6k.
This is a really strange slate in that I actually prefer the underdog side of the matchup in every single one of the 5 matchups. This makes it an ideal slate for GPPs. Also just a quick note, when I say I prefer the underdog side that doesn’t mean I’m going to be 100% on them. While I like Envy and think they should have better odds to win, I’ll probably have them in 30-40% of my lineups, Forze in 30-40% and neither team in 20-30%.
With 10 teams on the slate and somehow none of the fantasy superstars, we shouldn’t have to worry too much about ownership in the captain slot. It should be pretty spread out. I’m going to have a mix of players I think can hit the top raw score on the slate, and players I think can hit the top point per dollar score on the slate. My favorites targets from each are (in no particular order):
Point Per Dollar:
You may have noticed a few players appeared on both lists. Those players are likely to make up the majority of my captain ownership, along with acoR and mir. My overall captain pool will be the top couple players from every team, but I’ll be focused on the players I highlighted above.
Good luck on Tuesday!