The IEM Global Challenge is a fairly quick tournament, and as such we’re already down to 2 game slates for the rest of the tournament. The nice thing is lock isn’t until 10 am EST now, so no more waking up at the crack of dawn to check if the map picks are up before lock. The two games tomorrow are:
Furia (51% implied win probability) vs Heroic
Navi (68%) vs Liquid
Sub Risk Analysis
Thankfully, Navi is the only team with sub risk on this slate. Unfortunately they are the 2nd game, so we won’t know the map choices until after lock. Since B1t starting playing for the main squad (he was previously on Navi Jr for anyone unaware), we’ve seen Navi play 5 matches but only 4 different maps. Assuming they haven’t changed anything, we know that B1t subs in for Flamie on Inferno, and does not play on Dust 2, Nuke, or Train. Navi permaban Vertigo, which leaves just Overpass and Mirage as possible maps for B1t to play. As an aside, you can ignore B1t previously playing for the main squad on Overpass, Electronic was having PC/Internet issues, so B1t subbed in for a few rounds. It has 0 bearing on if Overpass is a map he would play. That said, I still maintain that it makes little sense for Navi to have called B1t up just to have him play one map. Navi Jr is still playing tournaments, and they have a game on Thursday. Why bring B1t up just to have him not play? I do think there’s a moderate chance he would be in the lineup on either Overpass or Mirage, and the order of likelihood for who he’d sub in for is Flamie > Perfecto >> Electronic. He won’t sub in for Boombl4 (IGL) or S1mple (he’s S1mple).
As for what the teams will actually pick, we know Liquid will ban train and then Navi will ban Vertigo. On Wednesday, Liquid picked Inferno against Heroic. Heroic don’t have a great record on Inferno so it may have been a matchup pick, but Navi are only sitting at a 50% winrate themselves. It seems fairly likely to me that Liquid go back to what worked and take Inferno again. On the Navi side, they’ve been picking Nuke a lot lately. They occasionally mix it up, but Nuke is definitely their most common pick. It’s also Liquid’s highest win rate map (take all of Liquid’s win rates with a grain of salt though as they of course have been beating up on, and occasionally losing to, low tier NA teams), but I don’t know if Navi will care. The 3rd map could be any of the remaining in the pool, my guess would be Overpass with Liquid banning Dust 2 and Navi Mirage, but again, the 1st picks could very well change.
So where does this leave us? The risk of playing Inferno is high enough that I’m eliminating Flamie from my player pool. He’s not good for DFS to start with, and with sub risk too? No thanks. I’ll be a little cautious with my Perfecto exposure as well, not that you can’t play him, but I’m not locking him in. Electronic I’m playing as though there’s no sub risk, as his should be very low.
Actual Slate Analysis
Pricing is pretty damn tight on this slate. Furia is also priced lower than Heroic as a whole. That, combined with Heroic’s pretty bad loss to Liquid on Wednesday, is likely to swing ownership way further towards Furia than the odds dictate. This game is a coinflip, but Furia will likely come in at 60/40 or even 70/30 in terms of ownership. Of course, this will come as people trip over themselves to play S1mple. This is the first time in a while we’ve had S1mple on a slate without Zywoo or at the very least Device. No one from the Furia/Heroic game has the kind of ownership gravity that S1mple has, so my expectation is that people will put in S1mple and then make the salary work around him.
I expect Stavn and Cadian to come in super underowned here, especially after Stavn’s clunker of a performance against Liquid. He actually had negative fantasy points before the RNP. Teses and Niko will like be higher owned, as they’re both over $1k cheaper than Cadian. Heroic, specifically putting Stavn and Cadian in the same lineup, are my favorite GPP play of the day.
On the Furia side, I expect everyone to have pretty heavy ownership. arT may go every so slightly underowned, as people either drop down to Vini to save extra cash, or move up to the Kscerato/Hen1/Yuurih trio. Yuurih and Hen1 have been my preference of that trio lately, and the same is true on Thursday. I’ll likely be under the field as a whole though.
In order to fit S1mple, you have to play at least one Navi bottom fragger, and/or Liquid player(s). I’m fine with running S1mple + Liquid, as a scenario where the series goes 3 relatively close maps is certainly plausible. In that scenario, the idea that S1mple carries Navi while Liquid have a more even kill spread would likely put at least one, if not two, Liquid players into the top 3 from that game and top 6 from the slate. Electronic will likely go underowned, as it’s damn tough to fit both he and S1mple, so he’s a strong GPP play in this spot.
Everyone on the Liquid side is probably a bit too cheap. They’ll probably end up slightly overowned given that they are the only team that is truly underpriced as a whole. I’d prefer Elige and Naf if I can, but honestly any of them are usable at their prices. I will try to avoid Stewie, as his top fragging performance on Wednesday could lead to him seeing a rise in ownership.
S1mple is of course the top captain on the slate. While I’d be surprised if he doesn’t have the top ownership, his salary really compromises the rest of your lineup, so his ownership may not be as high as you’d expect just from looking at who’s on the slate. My favorite way to use him at captain on this slate is actually with 2 Liquid players. This should be fairly unique, and again banks on a plausible scenario: S1mple carries Navi in a close, 3 map series. Electronic captain is an interesting pivot, but he’s still the 2nd most expensive player on the slate, and it’s hard to play both him and S1mple. We’ve seen a tournament winner stack Navi without S1mple before, but I personally won’t be doing that, as it a very thin game outcome you need for that to work.
I personally will be targeting the Heroic/Furia game for most of my captain choices. My hope is that someone from that game can outscore, or at least come close to, S1mple, and that the savings will allow me to have a better rest of my lineup. Of course, the trouble is I’ll need a bunch of lineups to cover my bases, but I’m fine with dedicating a large chunk of my lineups to doing just that. My favorite captains from this game (in order) are: Cadian, Stavn, Hen1, Yuurih. I may also run a little Teses and Niko, but I prefer their more expensive teammates to further differentiate my lineups.
Lastly, I’ll a bit of Elige and Naf at captain. I’ll likely run S1mple back with them, as even if Liquid wins it’s unlikely S1mple doesn’t put up a top 6 score on the slate. I’m not that interested in going super cheap at captain, either with Liquid or Vini, as I do think more people than usual will go that route because of the tight pricing, but I may run a couple Twistzz or Grim lineups. Both of them do have big upside, even if they only show it once in a blue moon.
Good luck on Thursday!