We’re back to a 2 gamer on Friday, as Blast is reaching it’s later stage. We should see some great CS:GO though, as all 4 teams playing can make a case that they belong in the global top 5. The games are:
Astralis (70% implied win probability) vs G2
Navi (58%) vs Furia
As we seem to have to do every day now, before we jump into the actual slate let’s talk about the sub situations. Astralis so far have been straightforward. Bubzkji only subs in for Xyp9x on nuke. They’ve played the other 5 maps in their pool (they perma-ban Mirage) since they started subbing, and Xyp remained in the lineup for all of them. Of course, they started subbing him out on Nuke without warning so they could decide to sub on another map too, but they haven’t so far. Nuke does seem fairly likely to be a part of the series, whether it’s one of the 1st two maps or the decider. This is the first game of the day so hopefully we get to see before lock.
Navi are a bit more complicated. Since they called B1t up they’ve played 2 series, but only 3 different maps. We know B1t subs for Flamie on Inferno, and B1t does not play on Dust 2 or Nuke. We don’t know about the other 3 maps in their pool (they perma-ban Vertigo). What we do know is Dust 2 will not be a part of this series. Furia always ban Dust 2, seriously, always. Literally everyone on Furia except Hen1 has only played Dust 2 a handful of times in their multi-year pro careers. It seems highly likely that Furia pick Inferno, which takes Flamie out of the pool for me. Now this part is pure speculation, but I can’t imagine Navi called B1t up from the junior team, where he would’ve been playing against solid T2 teams, just to sub in on 1 map. Now maybe I’m totally wrong here and B1t is working with the coaching staff while they watch the other maps, but it doesn’t seem to me like having your top prospect relegated to watching on 5 out of the 6 maps you play is the best way to develop him. If he is in fact in play on some of the other maps, the only people who are completely safe are S1mple and Boombl4 (IGL). Electronic should be safe, but at the same time I never would’ve guessed that Shox was one of the players that Vitality would sub out. It could be that Navi are eyeing B1t as a Flamie replacement and want to put him in the same role so Flamie comes out on other map(s), or it could be a Perfecto sub. I’m not totally taking Perfecto (or Electronic) out of my pool, but it is something to keep an eye on and maybe spead exposure out a little between them. Anyways, let’s finally move on to the actual slate.
One thing that jumped out at me was the line in the Astralis G2 series. Since Niko joined Astralis these have teams have played 7 maps. The fewest rounds won by the loser on any of those maps is 11, and 2 have gone to OT. Astralis is leading 4-3 on those maps, and are leading the round score 105-104. Now, Glaive is back to calling which definitely improves Astralis a bit, but not so much that it pushes what has essentially been a 50/50 to a 70/30.
It will be interesting to see whether or not this matters for DFS ownership. At first glance it seems like G2 might be high owned because they’re so cheap, but you can fit S1mple with Astralis pretty easily so you might not need the savings G2 offers. My lean is that the non-Niko players are going to come in a bit underowned here.
On the Astralis side, if Nuke ends up not in the pool I’ll have a bunch of Xyp9x. He should have the lowest ownership on Astralis as by now most of the field should have caught on to his sub risk. If Nuke is the 3rd map I’ll cut back on my Xyp9x exposure, but I’ll still have a little in hopes of getting him at even lower ownership and Astralis sweeping. If Nuke is one of the 1st to maps I won’t have him at all. Basically I’m going to build 3 lineup sets, one for each scenario. My default will be the no Xyp lineups, but if we get the map picks far enough in advance of lock I’ll to swap to the correct built based on the picks.
I’m likely to end up under the field on Astralis and over on G2 either way though, maybe slightly closer on Astralis if Xyp9x does play.
The only real leverage spot on this slate comes in the other game. Of course, acquiring that leverage means fading S1mple. He is on an absolute tear lately, Thursday he went 65-48 while his team got swept (both maps did go to OT so realistically they barely lost). There are not a ton of scenarios where he ends up not in the top 6 players on the slate, really the only one is if Furia dominates. Furia are very good on Inferno and Navi are adding a new player there (they did take Astralis to 30 maps their in B1t’s debut, he did not look particularly good though) and maybe just maybe they could snowball a big win in Inferno into a not super competitive sweep, but that’s definitely a low probability outcome. However, it’s one worth exploring in GPPs. Yuurih and Hen1 are my two favorites plays from Furia, and this may sound crazy but in the non-S1mple lineups I actually like Vini a good amount. When they dominate on Inferno Vini usually has a big performance, and we need them to dominate for S1mple not to outscore their 3rd best player even if Furia sweeps. I’m definitely going to be overweight on Furia here, as their collective ownership should be the lowest on the slate.
Now of course the most likely outcome of the Navi/Furia game is that arT and Vini push directly into S1mple’s crosshairs and he continues to go absolutely nuts. The only way to really get different is by not playing Electronic in S1mple lineups. I even have a weird play that I think has some merit that I’ll discuss in a second in the captain plays. I already talked about the sub risk, so stacking Navi without Electronic basically means Perfecto and Boombl4. It seems unlikely they both have good games, so I almost like a 2-1 with a Furia player better. Alternatively, you could captain Electronic, but more on that in a second.
S1mple is the obvious top captain choice on the slate. He is the best player in the world right now, basically dragging Navi to victories (Zywoo has a case for #1 but he also has a better supporting cast with the Nivera addition). The weird play I mentioned above is running S1mple captain with 2 Furia. The scenario that you’re looking for there is a 3 map series that either closely contested or Furia blows Navi out on Inferno and then loses 2 relatively close maps. If S1mple continues to take a massive kill share and Furia ends up with a similar total amount of kills, it’s not that hard to see a path where S1mple, Yuurih, and Hen1 for example are the top scorers from the game. I actually like that build a good amount as I do expect Furia to win Inferno.
If you are not at all a Furia believer, Electronic captain will also make you unique. Once in a blue moon S1mple takes a backseat to Electronic, usually when Navi crush an opponent. If you run Electronic captain I’d personally run a Navi 3 stack.
I like Yuurih and Hen1 a lot on the other side here. They should have super low ownership, and if Furia wins convincingly either could put up the top score on the day.
From Astralis it’s Device or bust for me. He has been absolutely on point lately, and everyone else has been super inconsistent.
On the G2 side, I of course like Niko, but he will likely have decent ownership. Hunter and KennyS are deserving of a look. Both could easily put up the top point per dollar score on the day, but with the loose pricing you’re really looking for raw score. I like Hunter a little more than Kenny in terms of raw scoring potential, but honestly neither really excites me compared to S1mple, Zywoo, Device, Niko and Yuurih/Hen1. I’ll have a sprinkling of each, but moreso in the flex.
I definitely won’t be going the punt captain route on this slate, you simply don’t need to.
That’s it for me, good luck on Friday.