The IEM Global Challenge 2020 continues Wednesday. We have 4 teams that just played played on Tuesday’s slate, plus the final two teams playing their opening match, Liquid and Heroic. Lock is 6 am EST and the games are:

Heroic (60% implied win probability) vs Liquid

Vitality (85%) vs Complexity

Astralis (78%) vs Big

Sub Risk Analysis

There are only two teams with sub risk today, which at this point feels like the least amount we see on a given slate. Unfortunately, both are in the later games, so we won’t know anything before lock. Although this could be good news in that you don’t have to wake up before 6 am EST.

Starting with the more straightforward team, Astralis sub Xyp9x out on Nuke. To date, that’s it, Xyp9x plays the other 5 maps that Astralis leave in the pool. When these teams played on Sunday, Astralis picked Nuke. They won, but it was only 16-14. I wouldn’t be shocked to see them switch it up, but the risk of Nuke getting picked is enough that I won’t be playing any Xyp9x, especially given that you can no longer get him at a discount.

After a couple of months and tournament victories of only playing Nivera on 2 maps, Vitality finally unleashed him on a 3rd map, Nuke. Now it didn’t really work out, as Vitality ended up dropping the map and series to Big, but it was hardly Nivera’s fault. On Nuke he had the 2nd highest ADR (average damage per round) and rating, and was 3rd in kills (1 back of 2nd). I personally think he’s Vitality’s 2nd best player, so I’m glad he’s finally being played on more maps, but it definitely complicates things further for DFS. Fortunately, he subbed in for Misutaaa on Nuke, just as he does on Dust 2. The question now is, is it just the 3 maps? We know he still sits on Vertigo, as he sat that out on Tuesday, but I have no idea about any of the other maps. My guess would be that it’s just the 3, but I genuinely don’t know.  Speaking of things I don’t know, I have no idea what Complexity is going to do in the pick/ban phase. On Tuesday, they left Inferno open against Astralis, which is Astralis (tied for) most played map over the past 3 months, and the map they have the best win percentage on. They’re one of the only tier 1 teams that don’t have a perma ban or , and now to compound that they’re also playing with a sub. If you think they pick Nuke, Nivera is worth a long look since he’s so cheap. He’s the only one out of Shox, Misutaaa and him that I’m leaving in my pool. With Misutaaa now sitting two maps and coming off two of his best performances as a member of Vitality in a row, his ownership might spike a little bit, and he’s likely to revert to his averages sooner rather than later, and he could sit 2 maps this series. Shox is just too expensive for the added risk you take on in rostering him. I’ll be staying away myself.

Actual Slate Analysis

I kind of started the slate analysis with talking about Vitality there, but now let’s really dive in. The first thing about this slate that stood out to me was Heroic’s pricing. Now, to be transparent I am something of a Liquid hater, I simply don’t think they are good right now, but I was shocked when I saw how cheap Heroic was on Draftkings. I was also surprised by how tight the line is. Personally I think Heroic are more like 70-75% favorites in this matchup, compared to the 60% or so that the odds imply. So I must love the Heroic stack on this slate, right? No so much actually. With Zywoo and Astralis priced up, I think people are going to flock to Heroic on this slate. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them have the highest combined ownership as a team (although Zywoo will do his best to carry Vitality there by himself). At the same time, this doesn’t mean I want to use a ton of Liquid either. I expect that we’re going to see a ton of 3 stacks from this game, mostly from Heroic but some from Liquid too since they are the most live (according to Vegas) underdog. Since it’s only a 3 game slate I can’t ignore it entirely, but I’ll be focusing on one-offs or two stacks in hopes that the scoring ends up fairly concentrated thus giving me a leg up on the 2 and 3 stacks.

The 2nd place I expect people to turn for Value is actually Complexity. Even though they are massive underdogs, and Vitality is probably the best team in the world at the moment, BlameF and K0nfig are entirely too cheap at only $5.8k and $4.8k respectively. Even jks at $4.6k is playable. It’s not like Col aren’t going to get kills in this matchup. On Tuesday we saw jks go +1 and BlameF only go -1 even as they got routed by Astralis (K0nfig definitely struggled). With none of the favorites priced at the bottom of the charts today, at least one losing player could definitely end up in the optimal lineup. I’m perfectly fine with running Zywoo back with a Complexity player, even 2 Complexity players.

Speaking of Zywoo and Vitality, I already kind of gave my thoughts above, but let’s explore a little further. Zywoo is as slam dunk of a play as you can get, but he doesn’t have a ton of great stacking partners. Apex has no sub risk, but he also rarely does anything but bottom frag, I’ll pass. RpK is on a hot streak right now, but his price rose $2.4k from Tuesday, making him $6.6k on Wednesday’s slate. He’s still a solid play, but he’s no longer the free square he was on Tuesday, and he’s likely to see some pretty high ownership. I expect him to regress to his average stats pretty damn soon, as like I mentioned the other day, it’s not like he suddenly took a massive leap in skill at age 31. That leaves the 3 players with sub risk. I have no interest in Misutaaa. Sure, he’s had 2 great series in a row, but he also now sits 2 maps. It’s not outside the realm of possibilities that Dust 2 and Nuke are the first two maps played, and he doesn’t play at all. Shox I have some inherent interest in, but it seems pretty likely that Vitality pick Inferno if it’s left in the pool. If I’m paying $9.4k for an above average player, I better be damn sure he’s playing the whole series. That leaves Nivera. I’d be pretty surprised if Vitality doesn’t pick either Inferno or Dust 2 with their map choice. Whether or not I play Nivera comes down entirely to if I think Complexity choose Nuke. If Poizon were playing, I’d think it was a good shot, as it’s one of Complexity’s most played maps, and one of Vitality’s lowest win % maps. However, it’s not very friendly to teams that aren’t coordinated, and let’s face it, playing with Otto that’s what Complexity is. If I knew they would pick Nuke, I’d jam a ton of Nivera in my lineups, but as it is I’ll be limiting him to somewhere in the 10-20% range.

The last game of the day is Astralis vs Big. I think Big are likely to wind up the lowest owned team since Liquid have better odds and Complexity have better prices. I also think they’re the most live underdog, even if the Vegas odds say otherwise. Honestly I think these odds are pretty disrespectful, Big are a top 10 (at worst) team, just beat Vitality after taking a map off them over the weekend, and took Astralis to all 30 rounds on a map in their matchup over the weekend. Now, I don’t expect Big to win, but I think they have a better shot than the odds say, and better than their ownership will likely be. They’re my favorite GPP play as a team. Syrson struggled even in the win against Vitality, but he’s still my favorite play from them. He’s been their best player for a while now. Tizian is actually creeping up to the point where he’s almost my 2nd favorite price considered play. Xantares still edge’s him out ever so slightly, but Tizian is a clear 3rd for me right now. Tabsen is 4th and K1to is a fairly distant 5th. I’ll likely have about half of my lineups with Big players in them.

Of course, Astralis are still the heavy favorites, and shouldn’t be ignored in DFS either. Unfortunately, they’re also super expensive as a whole. Device has been far and away the best player lately, and is my favorite play even at his inflated price. Magisk’s price has caught up to his fragging role, so I no longer really have a preference between him and Dupreeh. I’ll have some of each. Xyp9x has finally started looking pretty good after his long layoff, but he gets subbed out on Nuke, which seems like a map that’s likely to be played here. Glaive does offer some savings, but he’s still fairly pricey for his role at $7.6k, and I think he’s going to end up pretty heavily owned given their odds and his recent performance. I’ll pass, save for maybe a handful of lineups in a MME setup.


Top Captains

Zywoo, as always, is the top captain on the slate. I do think there’s enough value to fit him, so I’ll have plenty of exposure here. Device won’t be as sneaky of a pivot on Wednesday has he was on Tuesday for a number of reasons. A) He’s now cheaper than Zywoo B) There’s no S1mple on the slate and C) He had a huge game on Tuesday. He still should come in lower owned than Zywoo, but I won’t be targeting him as heavily as I was on Tuesday.

In the mid-range, I like Syrson quite a bit. Since I’m playing a lot of Big, it only makes sense that I’ll be using their best player at captain.

Because of how I’m building, I’m actually more interested than normal in a captain from Heroic. By one-offing or two stacking, I’m betting on one or two players taking a higher percentage of kill share than usual. Captaining one of those players is essentially doubling down on that bet, and hoping they take kill share to the point of beating out Zywoo and Device/Syrson (or whoever the top fragger is from those games). I like Stavn and Cadian, as they tend to be the one’s who pop off for huge games on Heroic.

Lastly, I don’t hate the idea of a BlameF or K0nfig captain lineup. This would allow you to fit an expensive Astralis stack that will otherwise be difficult. I’d even run back Zywoo in the stack. An outcome where BlameF or K0nfig scores 60-70 (flex points) and Zywoo scores 80ish is definitely in the realm of possibilities.

That’s it for me, good luck on Wednesday!

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