After the small 3 game slate on Wednesday, Thursday we are all the way up to a 6 gamer. The slate starts at 8 am EST and the matchups are:
Virtus Pro (60% implied win probability) vs Cloud 9
Heroic (73%) vs North
Vitality (70%) vs Mad Lions
OG (82%) vs Gen.G
G2 (69%) vs NiP
EG (99%) vs Rebirth
Before we actually jump in, note that Nivera is again not on the slate as of time of writing this (3:30 pm EST on Wednesday), and neither is…KennyS? By now I’ve come to expect Nivera being left off, but KennyS is frankly baffling. DK really needs to get it together with these 6 man rosters. Anyways, on to the actual slate.
We finally get the much anticipated debut of the new C9 roster on Thursday. It’s impossible to know what to expect from this team, as no one outside of their scrim partners have seen them play at all. Vegas has priced them as moderate underdogs to VP, which I suppose is fair as VP has looked pretty good lately. One thing is for sure though, DK has no clue how to price them. In fact, they didn’t even spell Mezii’s name right, as they have him as “Mezzi”. Speaking of, despite being their most unproven player having played exclusively in the T3 scene, Mezii is priced the highest out of C9, at $7.8k. Meanwhile Woxic, who has proven to be a more than capable AWPer at the highest level, is only $5k, priced among the massive underdogs and absolute bottom fraggers. Woxic is an absolute free square on this slate. I’d even be okay running him in the same lineup as Jame or Yekindar. The only lineups I won’t have Woxic in are VP stacks, and even then it’s tempting. Floppy is also underpriced at $6.0k, es3tag is certainly in play at $7.0k, and even Alex is worth a look at $5.4k, as he’s been one of the higher fragging IGL’s over the course of his career.
I do think both Jame and Yekindar will go a bit overlooked as everyone flocks to Woxic and co, when in reality they are also fairly underpriced. This game as a whole is underpriced as no one is higher than $7.8k in salary, and it’s not even the best players (Mezii I guess could be, we know Buster isn’t) for either team that are priced at $7.8k. I’m going to have at least 2 players from this matchup in every single lineup that I make, and even though it’s a 6 game slate I think both of these teams are viable options for 3 stacks (Buster or Qikert being the 3rd option for VP).
All that value in the VP/C9 game will help you spend up for EG. While there are a couple of potentially lopsided matchups on this slate, none are nearly as lopsided as EG vs Rebirth. Last time these teams met, Rebirth won 4 rounds across 2 maps. While I’d expect them to win a couple more this time out, they will undoubtedly get crushed by EG in this spot. Last time all 5 EG players scored over 64 fantasy points, including Brehze at 97.5, Ethan at 88.5, and Cerq at 75.5. EG are pricey, but they aren’t head and shoulders above the rest of the field like they should be. I’ll have as much Brehze as humanly possible, and will have an EG 2 or 3 stack in every single one of my lineups. Their pricing is far too close to the other teams in the field when they are all but guaranteed to reach their projections while other teams are not.
Considering I’m dedicating at least 4 of my lineup spots to these first 3 teams I’ve mentioned, it stands to reason I won’t be using a ton from the other 4 games on this slate. OG are the other team that jumps out as being the other huge favorites. Gen.G have Xist and Kreaz standing in to replace Daps and s0m who left for Valorant. Xist has really struggled of late, much like his former NiP brethren who currently play for Dignitas. He struggled so badly with Dignitas that he was benched. It’s safe to say his glory days are behind him. Kreaz on the other hand is a solid player, but for whatever reason has been unable to stick on a team. He has mostly T3 experience but looked solid in a brief stint as a stand-in for Fnatic at the end of 2019. That’s a lot of words to say I’m not expecting much out of this Gen.G roster, especially as we saw this OG squad dismantle an EG squad that was far superior to Gen.G even before Gen.G was playing with 2 standins. Mantuu is priced up a good amount, but Valde and ISSAA are both underpriced given the matchup. I like both of them as midranged options to pair with my EG stacks. AleksiB and NBK are also firmly in play if you can’t fit Valde and/or ISSAA.
Mad Lions have been the DFS flavor of the week lately, playing Navi closely before beating Fnatic in a hard fought series and then dismantling Dignitas, but their matchup with Vitality is a whole different ballgame. If it weren’t for the the VP/C9 game I’d say acoR at $6.6k is a decent value, but you honestly don’t need to go to him with the other options on the day. Same story for the rest of the Lions. For Vitality, it’s important to note that their 6 man lineup, unlike G2 who we’ll get to in a minute, is based entirely on the map. Nivera subs in for Misutaaa on Dust 2 and Shox on Inferno. Those are Mad Lions 2 least played maps. It’s likely they ban one and then Vitality picks the other one. Unforunately, since this game is an hour after lock, we won’t know the picks ahead of time. Nivera, even if he gets added to the player pool, will be unplayable because there’s a 0% chance Dust/Inferno are maps 1 and 2 unless Mad Lions completely deviate from what they’ve been doing. Mad Lions left Inferno, legitimately the only map Fnatic are good at right now, in the pool the other day, so it seems likely they’ll do that again and ban Dust 2, but honestly I’m not playing Shox or Misutaaa either way. The sub risk just isn’t worth it to play either of them as it’s not like either are guaranteed smash plays even if they do play the whole series. Rpk and Apex may be safe from sub risk, but neither is a good fantasy player right now. It’ll be Zywoo or bust from me in this spot, and I’ll likely land more on the side of the fade, as I’m prioritizing EG for my expensive plays.
G2 are the other 6 man roster on this slate. However, unlike Vitality they do not plan on having a permanent 6 man roster. Supposedly, they’re giving Amanek and Jackz each a shot and keeping whoever is better. However, with how well Amanek played last tournament who knows if Jackz will even actually get a chance. This game is not until well after lock, so it’s unlikely we get confirmation before lock of who’s playing. There’s an easy solution to this though. Don’t play either Jackz or Amanek. I have no interest in either even if we did find out before lock who is playing. As anticipated, it’s been Nexa whose role has taken the biggest hit with the addition of Niko. He still does fine typically on CT side, but his T sides have had some ugly totals now that he’s not in a fragging position nearly as often. That leaves just Hunter and Niko in the pool (unless KennyS actually gets added), and while I may have a little bit of each one, they’re not a priority for me on this slate. NiP are probably the best team of any of the underdogs, and often play the Fnatic/Mouz grinder style the mitigates fantasy scoring as a whole.
As for NiP themselves as plays, they spread their kills out a ton, and are in the same general price range as C9 and even Mad (not to mention only a little cheaper than VP/OG bottom fraggers). I’ll pass.
The only game I’ve yet to touch on is the Heroic vs North matchup. Heroic followed up their brilliant run to win Dreamhack with…losing a Bo1 to Apeks and then getting swept by Godsent. While they’re definitely the better team than North, they spread their kills out a ton and there are just better plays on this slate. I’m unlikely to use much of anyone from Heroic, although I’ll technically have everyone but Borup in my player pool.
North are in the same boat for me as NiP. They’re a decent team, but they spread their kills ways out and there’s other value on this slate that I like much better.
If the tournaments on this slate were bigger, I’d say NiP and North are both interesting low owned value pivots, but I don’t really think you need it with the start of the Masters crushing the tournament sizes.
If I can fit it, I’m going to captain Brehze. It’s hard to imagine an outcome where he doesn’t get at least 70, and I think 85-90 is more likely than 70 in this spot. This is the rare case where I think someone is a better raw play than Zywoo.
Zywoo himself is still a solid play, and would be my second choice on the high end, behind Brehze. I’ll also have Cerq and Ethan as high end options, as all 3 can put up huge scores here. I prefer Ethan to Cerq ever so slightly, as it’s easier to spray down multikills on aggressive plays with a rifle than an AWP, and I expect the aggressive plays of Brehze and Ethan to leave Cerq without quite as many kills to clean up.
From the mid-range, Valde, ISSAA, Jame, and Yekindar are all strong captain plays. While I think Brehze should probably outscore this group, any of them could easily out point per dollar him, and make it easier to fit multiple EG studs/Zywoo.
Last but certainly not least, there’s the value captain of Woxic. With Woxic captain you can really load up the rest of your lineup, and don’t be fooled by his price, Woxic has 80+ point upside. Seeing as my favorite plays are EG, OG, and Zywoo, Woxic goes a long way towards fitting all of them, so I’ll likely have quite a bit of him at captain.
That’s pretty much going to be it for my captains on Thursday. Sure, you can make a case for the top fraggers on any of the favorites, but I’ll take Brehze, Zywoo, and Ethan over all of them.
Good luck on Thursday!