Welcome back! It’s day 2 of Champions stage, aka playoffs, from Stockholm on Friday. We have another 2 game slate with lock at 11:30 am EDT. The games are:

Gambit (74% implied win probability) vs Furia

Navi (74%) vs Vitality

Sub Risk/Player Pool Issues

Player pool appears correct.

Slate Analysis

I was definitely surprised to see Vitality as just as big of underdogs as Furia on this slate. However, Navi are really that good right now. B1t and Perfecto have really put it all together, making Navi more than just a 2 man team of S1mple + Electronic. Vitality does have 2 things going for them though. One is Zywoo. He’s probably the only player in the world who has any hope of going toe to toe with S1mple. The 2nd is that Navi have only played 4 maps in the past month, they simply haven’t played a ton of CS so they could come out rusty. However, in those 4 maps (all of which were in the Legends stage of the Major), the annihilated 3 teams that all ended up qualifying for the playoffs in Heroic, VP, and NiP. Still, I think these odds should be more like 67/33 as Vitality are in a form that’s closer to the team that was World #1 in late 2020 than the team that struggled thru much of 2021. Vitality outside of Zywoo will be under-rostered.

I also feel a bit bad for Furia. I think they would’ve had a legit shot against anyone in the bottom half of the bracket (the teams that played Thursday), but this top half is a brutal draw. Gambit are known as being “onliners” but they’re definitely improving on LAN. Until everything clicked for Navi a couple months ago, it was Gambit who were considered the world number 1. All of this is to say I have limited interest in stacking Furia. What I do have interest in, is Furia one-offs.

A lot of people, typically myself included, force at least one 3 stack on 2 game slates. A ton of people are going to run S1mple + Zywoo in the same lineup, meaning they’ll need to get their 3 stack from the other game, and it will most likely be Gambit. Because of the unique situation of S1mple and Zywoo facing one another, I’m fine with running a 2-1, 2-1 lineup, as it allows you to one-off Furia. I also like 3 stacking either Navi or Vitality as I expect that build to be uncommon too. I’m even fine with 3 Navi + Zywoo.

But to get back to the Furia one-off, Kscerato is the obvious choice, although he’s somewhat expensive given their odds. Yuurih and Vini are my one-offs of choice, as they’ve both been playing well and offer significantly more savings that Kscerato does.

Top Captains

Shockingly, it’s actually not Zywoo or S1mple with the best FP/r mark on the slate. It’s Sh1ro. Gambit’s top 3 has finally turned into a clear-cut 1-2-3 situation, as opposed to the 3 of them all grouped together, of late. Sh1ro has ascended to the top spot, Hobbit is 2nd, while Ax1le has fallen to 3rd. In fact, Ax1le is actually behind Nafany in one month FP/r. I don’t expect Sh1ro to be super sneaky at captain, but he should be rostered less than S1mple is, which makes him a solid play.

However, with all these studs on the slate I actually like the move of dropping to a value captain. I know, it may seem like a crazy move, but the reason I like doing it is to fit all the studs in my lineup. If I captain Nafany for example, I can fit a lineup that has all 3 of Sh1ro/S1mple/Zywoo and the other 2 spots aren’t complete punts. If all the studs do well but none go completely bonkers this is a strategy that can work. Basically you’re looking for 65-70 from Nafany while all of S1mple/Zywoo/Sh1ro score 75-85. Definitely not out of the realm of possibilities. B1t doesn’t save quiet as much cash but he still puts you in a similar boat.

I also don’t hate going super cheap, to Shox at captain. He’s been play OK lately in terms of FP/r, and is a LAN experienced veteran, which should only help on the big stage. If you captain him you can afford basically anyone else you want in the flex. That’s it for me, good luck on Friday!

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