Friday we are back down to a 3 game slate, Big plays twice so their 2nd game isn’t included, and then DK presumably didn’t want to have a huge gap between the morning games and the NA game, so they didn’t include that on the slate. There is a late slate that has the Big 2nd game and the NA game but the tournaments are pretty small. The games that are on the main slate start at 8 am EST and are:
Big (75% implied win probability) vs Forze
Astralis (86%) vs Ence
MiBR (62%) vs Envy
This is a pretty straightforward slate for me. My biggest takeaway from the Forze vs Envy matchup that kicked off Flashpoint was that neither team was very good. Now both are back on the slate as underdogs, and add that in with Astralis who should totally outclass Ence and the slate seems pretty simple (famous last words). Of course, as we saw on Thursday with OG getting rocked by Gen.G, anything can happen in CSGO, but my builds on Friday will focus on what I think is most likely to happen, as I feel pretty strongly about all 3 games.
Fortunately, I think there are a few edges we can get within the favorites, which is important since they will of course be fairly chalky.
In the Big vs Forze matchup, I do think that Forze is a little bit better than what we saw from them the other day, however they are a solid T2/3 team, whereas Big is a clear T1, top 10 team in the world. If I really need the savings, I’ll have a bit of exposure to Xsepower at $6.8k, but my primary focus will be on the Big side of this matchup. The edge on Big is Tabsen, and by Tabsen I mean not playing him. I’m not entirely sure what happened to him, but he’s been horrible for the past couple of months. In his last 15 games that were on a DK slate, dating back to the start of October, Tabsen has topped 70 DK points only twice. On top of that, he’s topped 60 DK points only 3 times, and that includes the 2 games over 70. In that same span, he’s scored under 40 on six separate occasions. Most of his fragging seems to have been absorbed by Sysron and Xantares, as neither Tizian nor K1to has markedly improved stats over the past 15 games. Syrson and Xantares are my main targets here, and I’ll use Tizian and K1to before I use Tabsen if I need cost savings (I prefer MiBR for cost savings, but we’ll get to that in a little bit).
Since we last saw them, Ence have benched Aerial and brought in doto. I like this move for them, and while I do think doto will be an upgrade in the long term, I don’t think it’s going to make any difference against Astralis. I won’t have any exposure to Ence in this spot.
While we saw Astralis struggle just a little bit as Xyp9x made his return, they’re still in my opinion the best team in the world. Speaking of Xyp9x, I won’t sugar coat it, he struggled in his return to the Astralis lineup (he was previously taking a break and had been in great form prior to the break, it’s not like he was benched or anything). Since those 3 matches are all that he has played in the past 3+ months, they make up the bulk of his stats that are factored in to projections throughout the industry. That coupled with him being the 2nd most expensive player on the slate will likely cause him to be underowned. There’s definitely some risk here, as he could continue to struggle, but with another week under his belt back practicing full time I expect him to look more like his usual self in this tournament. He did still lead the the Blast event in clutches, with 8 (they consider 1v1’s clutches), which is definitely a positive indicator. For those who might not know, Xyp is largely regarded as the best clutch player of all time, and is nicknamed “The Clutchminister”. I’ll definitely be over the field on Xyp, and I’ll also mix in the rest of Astralis. I like Dupreeh’s pricing the best, so I’ll likely be heavy on him as well. As always, I’ll try to use the least Glaive, but I’m sure I’ll still end up with some as he’s the cheapest member of the team.
MiBR continue to baffle me. Last time out against Big, they sandwiched a 16-13 win on Vertigo between 2 16-2 losses on Mirage and Dust 2. Mirage and Dust 2 are two of Big’s best maps, but a good team shouldn’t be losing 16-2 to anyone, let alone twice in the same series. However, every team this iteration of MiBR have played so far has been a top 10, arguably top 5, team in the world. They’ve taken at least a map in every single series. Overall I do think this MiBR squad is going to be good. It’s unclear where Envy will end up once they play enough games with this roster to get a rank, but it’s fairly safe to say it’ll be well outside the top 10. I do expect a little more out of Thomas than he showed against Forze, but I also think Legija outperformed his expectations even though he went -12 for the series. Calyx and Michu are both solid players, but they’ll have to drag the rest of this roster to wins. I was very unimpressed with them in their 1st series against Forze, and now with some tape to watch of them, I expect MiBR to come out and handle them. I will say this is the game I’m least confident about, but I’m making a stand with MiBR to try to get as many lineup combinations in as I can.
Now, within MiBR is where I’m hoping we can get our biggest edge. vsm, leo_drk, and lucas1 all have fairly inflated stats from their time playing within Brazil. trk on the other hand, and to some extent kNgV, although his stats are still good, has effectively deflated stats, from when he was on the old MiBR roster getting crushed and also not a priority within the team. Now though, trk is the clear 2nd option behind kNgV. He’s looked great, and has a big part of why this new MiBR roster has been as successful as they have been. Because of his stats though, he still projects lower than vsm and leo, and not that far above Lucas. Personally, I’ll be locking trk and kNgV into my MiBR stacks, and when I 3 stack I’ll run mostly vsm with a little bit of leo mixed in, as vsm has also looked good in MiBR’s matches so far. My hope is that the field won’t quite realize trk is the 2nd option yet, and he’ll come in with lower ownership than vsm and maybe even leo since leo is $800 cheaper. Considering his price at $6.8k, trk is my favorite play on the slate.
I just said trk is my favorite play on the slate, it only makes sense he’s also my favorite captain. I plan on mostly running MiBR captains on this slate, they’re cheap and I want to run the high priced members of Big plus 4 out of 5 from Astralis are over $8.0k. trk’s salary savings and a MiBR 2 or 3 stack allow you to pay up in the rest of your lineup. I’ll have some vsm mixed in, also for the salary savings.
kNgV and Dupreeh will also find themselves as captain in some of my lineups, as they’re a bit lower than the highest end guys on the slate.
In a couple of lineups each, I’ll make a point to find the salary to get up to Xantares and Syrson. Both have top score on the slate upside and if you play an MiBR 3 stack, you should be able to afford them at captain.
Although I’ll have some Dupreeh, Astralis are the favorite I’ll have the least captain ownership from, as they spread their kills around so much it’s hard to predict who will have a big game, if anyone. I’d rather play a flex stack and pick my captain from the team’s that are a bit more predictable.
That’s it for me, good luck on Friday!