We’re into the champions stage, aka playoffs, of the PGL Major. This will mark the first time there’s actually a crowd in the building, as the 16,000 person arena will be filled. This introduces a whole new element of nerves, but most of these teams playing are filled with veterans so it shouldn’t really impact how we build in DFS. Sadly, the playoffs means only 2 game slates (at most) moving forward, but at least lock is nice and late at 11:30 am EDT. The games are:
Heroic (61% implied win probability) vs VP
G2 (50%) vs NiP
Sub Risk/Player Pool Issues
Player pool appears correct.
With 2 gamers coming back the name of the game is “how do I get different” in GPPs. One way to do that, regardless of slate, is to leave money on the table. Play a 4th fragger when you can afford a 3rd or captain a 2nd fragger when you could afford a top fragger.
That said, that’s a generic way to differentiate, let’s take a look at some slate specific ways to be different on Thursday.
We’ll start with the only actual favorites on the slate, Heroic. As usual, their pricing is very weird. As a team they have very flat scoring traditionally, with a few ebbs and flows as they go. Recently, Refrezh has come back down to earth, while Stavn has been a stud. Stavn still trails Refrezh by .02 FP/r on the 3 month data, which will likely keep his rostership down since he’s more expensive. However, I’ve buried the lede a bit as the real chalk on Heroic will be Cadian and Teses. Both look far too cheap just based on name value, but are they really? In Cadian’s case I’d say the answer is yes, as he’s still 2nd on the team in FP/r over the past month (ahead of Refrezh and behind Stavn). However, for Teses, he might not be based on how he’s been playing. He’s only .02 FP/r ahead of Sjuush for last on the team over the past 3 months, and Sjuush is ahead of him over the past month. I’m not sure if Teses is just the most affected by the return to LAN or if Heroic changed something up, but he isn’t finding nearly the success he was a few months ago. Long story short, I like a Heroic stack with Stavn and without Teses on this slate.
On the other side of that game, VP are in an interesting situation. Fl1t joining really changed how the team plays, which has impacted nearly everyone on the team, but before I get to that I want to touch on Fl1t himself. His numbers look solid, but most of that is because of his stats from before joining VP. He hasn’t been “bad” per the eye test, but he’s also only finished with a positive KD in 1 series since joining VP (a 3 map win over Spirit). I don’t think he’s a great DFS play. On the other hand, Qikert seems to be thriving since Fl1t joined, he’s gone positive in every series besides a sweep loss to Faze. Jame’s numbers are also down since Fl1t arrived. He doesn’t have his personal piggybank of Sanji anymore, so he less often has the hero AWP. Yekindar seems to be the only player unaffected, as when you’re always charging in first it doesn’t really matter who’s behind you. Long story short, I like a Yekindar + Qikert + Buster stack if you stack VP. Almost no one should have that stack.
From G2, Jackz and Nexa are your leverage. If you dare, you could fade Hunter or Niko, but I honestly wouldn’t recommend it. The 2 of them are far and away the top fraggers. However, in the 1 month data, Nexa has almost caught Amanek, and Jackz has really improved as well. I like either of them in GPPs.
NiP are the only team I don’t really think there’s a great way to get different within. Sure, Plopski and LNZ will be low owned, but the drop off in FP/r from the top 3 to them (and even from Plopski to LNZ) is large. However, I expect NiP outside of Device to be much lower owned than G2, making them a good play as a whole. An NiP 3 stack should be a rare sight as it means fading Niko or playing a 4 stack, I like either of those options for GPPs.
Niko stands out from the crowd. He has truly ascended the last few months, his .9 FP/r is up there with S1mple and Zywoo. He’s definitely the top captain choice on the slate. While he will undoubtedly have high rostership, one move I like is playing him at cpt + 2 NiP players. If G2 lose a close 3 map series (or even if they win and Niko hard carries), that lineup construction could easily work.
For other options, Device will likely also have a lot of rostership, but he’s also stepped up his game lately. He’s a solid way to leverage directly off Niko since they’re facing each other. Within Niko’s own team, it is possible Hunter outscores him. There was a time over the summer when Hunter was actually averaging more FP/r so it’s definitely not out of the realm of possibilities.
My favorite move, though, is going to the other game. Stavn and Yekindar both have big upside, and with NiP’s propensity to save (not that VP doesn’t save a lot), maybe that game is overall lower scoring and Stavn or Yekindar put up a huge line. Both should have lower rostership than Niko and Device, and they’re both solid plays.
I don’t think you need to go the money saving route at captain on this slate, but if you want to slam Niko + Hunter + Device, Cadian will likely be the popular option at captain. It’s a fine move, but recognize that everyone who has him at captain is going to be building like that. I’d rather go with a Qikert or even Amanek captain.
That’s it for me, good luck on Thursday!