Group C kicks off play in the Blast Premier Fall Series on Monday. Interestingly enough, both Brazilian teams are in this group. The slate now starts at 10:30 am EST because of daylight savings time. The games are:
Astralis (95% implied win probability) vs MiBR
Furia (57%) vs G2
This is a pretty rough slate. We now have two teams with 6 man rosters, and one of them are absolutely massive favorites. With Xyp9x back in the fold for Astralis, I would assume he’d slot right back into the lineup leaving Bubzkji on the bench still (es3tag is officially gone to Cloud 9), but we don’t know that, and as of about 9 pm EST Sunday I haven’t been able to find a lineup confirmed anywhere. To make matters worse, they can now sub midseries if they want. If they easily dispatch of MiBR on map 1, they could very well play Bubz on map 2 in order to get him some experience/possibly raise the price to sell him if they want to go that route again. And it’s fairly likely that they do stomp MiBR. Even before 3/5 of the roster quit, MiBR were getting smoked in Europe. They’ve cobbled together a roster that will likely be far inferior to their old one, and now they get to face the best team in the world in their 1st official match as a team.
Meanwhile, Niko will make his debut for G2. According to an interview with him, G2 will essentially be giving Amanek and Jackz a tryout for the rest of 2020, and then keeping whoever is playing better. This is good in general in that we can just make lineups without Amanek and Jackz, however DK just simply didn’t include Niko on the slate. That leaves us with exactly 3 playable members of G2 in the player pool…not exactly much room to diversify our rosters. Anyways, let’s take a look at the actual slate.
Astralis for the most part are priced pretty far up. Xyp9x is only $6.8k and makes for a solid value play as long as he’s in the lineup. They are the first game of the day so we should at least get conformation of the lineup for map 1 before lock. If Bubzkji is in the lineup he’s an absolute lock play. He’s only $4.0k, and would effectively be a free square if he plays. For the other 4 members, all of them are in play. I’ll try to keep my Glaive exposure to a minimum as he’s the most likely player to bottom frag, but all 6 members of Astralis are capable fraggers, and in a matchup they should dominate, any of them can put up a solid score.
From the MiBR side, I’m only interested in kNgV-. He should now be the primary AWPer, as prior to playing with Fallen he has always been an AWPer, and only vsm even secondary awps out of his current teammates. At $5.4k he could put up a usable score even in a loss. vsm’s stats look decent, but when you factor in the inferior competition they came against, I won’t be going there myself.
After how poorly EG faired in their group, I was a bit surprised to see Furia as favorites against G2. Granted, of late Furia has been stomping EG even worse than the EU teams did, but this G2 team should be a force to be reckoned with now that Niko is in the fold. It may take a little while for the lineup to gel, so it’s possible that Furia is catching them at the perfect time. I expect plenty of people to go with the “bottom” fraggers on Furia to make space for the Astralis top fraggers. Vini is only $5.6k despite his excellent recent form. arT and Kscerato are also cheap, and I expect all 3 players to be high owned. Hen1 will likely be the lowest owned player since he’s $1k more expensive than Yuurih (who is $1k more than Kscerato), which makes me want to play him as much as I can fit. With how much they spread out their scoring that’s basically how I try to play Furia, go with whoever I think will be lowest owned that day.
If Niko were actually in the pool, I’d be all over G2 here. I do think they should be favored with how much better EU has been than NA/SA in general. However, being locked into a Hunter/Nexa/KennyS stack makes me not want to play them. If Bubzkji isn’t playing and we eliminate Amanek and Jackz (which I will be doing unless we get clarity that one will play the whole series) from the player pool, there are exactly 10 3/3 lineups we can make with the 2 teams. If I run G2, I’ll likely either end up with a 2-1 using someone from Furia, or a 2-1 using kNgV- in the Astralis game.
This is a really tough slate to pick a captain from. I won’t be captaining anyone from MiBR, that’s easy enough. However, literally everyone else that’s in my player pool will also be in my captain pool.
From Astralis, I’ll likely try to avoid Glaive, as he’s again the most likely to bottom frag. If Xyp9x is confirmed in the lineup I’ll have plenty of him, as he’ll hopefully come in slightly lower owned than he should as it’s his first game back. Device and Dupreeh are likely too expensive to use much of, but I’ll try to get up to them if I can as they should be low owned. Note that this is all assuming Bubzkji is out, if he plays then both of them should see their captain ownership skyrocket as Bubz frees up a ton of salary. In that case I’d actually come off of them more at captain.
From Furia, I’ll try to get up to Hen1 if I can, but I’ll likely end up moving down to Kscerato because of price quite a bit. He’s likely to come in high owned, but with good reason as he’s definitely underpriced.
If Niko were on the slate I’d love to use him at captain, as without the weight of IGL’ing on his shoulders, I expect him to instantly go back to being a top 5 rifler on the planet. However, he’s not so we have to make due with Hunter, Nexa, and KennyS. I’ll have a little bit of all 3 of them, but I do think all of them will lose kill share with the addition of Niko, so I don’t love them at captain on this slate. Kenny is the one whose role should change the least as the AWPer, so he’s my favorite captain target for G2.
Good luck on Monday!