It’s the Grand Finals for IEM in both EU and NA so those series move to best of five. Draftkings has curiously decided not to make a slate out of those games (unless they are waiting for EG/Chaos to end to post it, they are on map two as I write this), and instead have a slate with the two Flashpoint games. Why they did this you ask? I have no idea but it actually makes for a pretty interesting slate. The games are:

Forze (68% implied win probability) vs Dignitas

Gen.G (60%) vs Envy

Pricing/Ownership

This is the Sunday slate so prize pools, and thus the number of entries allowed, are small. The $10 is only 28 entry max. What I typically do when I play fewer entries (I MME typically) is take a stand somewhere. On a 2 game slate that typically means taking a stand on one of the two games, although it can sometimes mean both. The reason for the stand doesn’t necessarily have to be 100% actual counterstrike related, it can also be based on how I think ownership is going to fall.

On today’s slate, small sample sizes are the name of the game. Dignitas has basically played only this tournament with all 5 members of their current roster, Gen.G have actually only played this tournament with all 5 members of their active roster, and this is also Envy’s first tournament with this roster, and no one on their roster has played any professional counterstrike outside of this tournament in the past 3 months. Meanwhile, Forze have played over 3000 rounds in the past 3 months, all with the same 5 players. This means a couple of things:

  1. Projections are going to be more inaccurate than usual – this may be obvious, but for the non-Forze teams, treat any projections you see with a grain of salt. We’ve seen enough of Thomas with Endpoint to know that his .27 fp/r over the past “3 months” (actually just this tournament) should come up. Don’t X him out of your player pool because he has a low projection because he played poorly in the last 2 matches.
  2. Vegas is guessing – Now this is of course always true to some extent, but with how little we’ve seen of these teams, particularly in the Gen.G vs Envy game, Vegas is not nearly as sharp as they’d be if say EG was playing Furia for the 100th time this year. I’m not saying I know any better, I’m just saying to take the 60% in Gen.G’s favor and only stack them based on it.

That leads in nicely to the stand I’m going to take on this slate, which is going with Envy over Gen.G. Now, I’m doing this for a couple of reasons. One is the actual CS. I think if before this tournament started Vegas had been asked to handicap this game, Envy would’ve been favorites. You can’t fully ignore Gen.G storming out of the gate, but starting against VP and most definitely against OG the 2nd time, this team came crashing back down to earth. I think this matchup is basically a coinflip. The second reason, is ownership. Given that Gen.G have been installed as reasonable favorites, and that their pricing is roughly the same as Envy’s, I expect Gen.G to have a lot more ownership than Envy in this spot. Since I expect the game to be a coinflip, and I expect the ownership to be on Gen.G, I’m taking my stand with Envy.

The stand on Envy also allows me to feel a bit better about mixing up what I do in the other game. I do think Forze are the better team, and while everyone will point to Dignitas’ horrible play, rightfully so, Forze have quietly also gone 9-21 in map score over their past month. Some of that is due to increased competition, but they’ve dropped some questionable series, including getting 2-0’d by sAw on Saturday (as in today, the 21st of November). I’ll have a few 3 stacks of Forze, as I do think they’re the better team, but I’ll run a bunch of 2-1’s with Hallzerk or Forest as the 1 and even some 2-1’s in the other direction with Xsepower or Fl1t as the one. I don’t think I’ll 3 stack Dignitas at all, as I definitely don’t expect them to win cleanly if they do pull off the upset, and in such a case I’d expect Xse or Fl1t to outscore the 3rd player on Dig.

Top Captains

Part of my Envy stand will be using them at captain. Calyx and Michu will likely be my most used captains on the slate. Xsepower will likely be the highest owned captain on the slate, so I’ll likely come in under the field here as I’ll only be using him at captain in a couple of lineups. Fl1t is basically in the same boat. On the Dig side, when I 2 stack them I like Hallzerk quite a bit at captain. If they do win he’ll probably need to have a really big game. Forest is also a decent captain option, and I may run him in a lineup or two. I’d like to use him more, but unfortunately I simply won’t have enough lineups to do that today.

The last place I may go for captain is Thomas. He should see virtually no captain ownership, and his bargain basement price will let me fit basically all of the studs in the rest of my lineup. Again, I’ll only have this in one, maybe two lineups because of the slate being so small.

That’s it from me, good luck Sunday!

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