We’re into the playoffs of the IEM Global Challenge, with a 2 game slate on Saturday. Lock is at 10:00 am EST again, and the games are:

Astralis (57% implied win probability) vs Navi

Big (54%) vs Liquid

Sub Risk Analysis

We again have 2 teams with sub risk, and again they’re fortunately playing each other in the 1st matchup of the day.

Both teams are fairly straightforward, Astralis only subs Xyp9x out on Nuke, and Navi subs Flamie out on Inferno. We’ve seen Astralis play every map they play since they started subbing while the only map Navi haven’t played yet that’s in their rotation is Overpass.

Both maps are distinct possibilities to be played in this series. These teams have already played twice in December. Astralis picked Inferno both times (they won both) and Navi had picked Nuke once and it was the decider in the other series. Navi won Nuke when they picked it and lost their pick of Train when Nuke would’ve been the decider. I’ll be building assuming neither Xyp9x nor Flamie is in play, and make last minute adjustments if we find out from the map picks that one or both won’t be subbing out.

Actual Slate Analysis

Pricing on this slate is, well it’s something. Somehow S1mple is the 6th most expensive player on the slate at only $7.8k. He has been on absolute fire lately and is basically a lock and load play at that price, even though Navi are small underdogs. You can try it, but I wouldn’t recommend fading him here.

Outside of S1mple, I actually think the rest of Navi could go a bit underowned. My expectation is that a lot of people who play S1mple will play him with Astralis. Electronic is an interesting GPP play, and even Perfecto is somewhat interesting in 3 stacks. I already mentioned above, but I’m definitely not playing B1t since he so far only plays 1 map, and would only play a little bit of Flamie even if Inferno isn’t in the pool. Boombl4 is basically free, but you don’t really need the savings on this slate so I won’t be going there.

On the Astralis side Magisk might go underowned after his horrible day on Friday, he’s a good GPP play. If Nuke isn’t in the map pool I like Xyp9x a decent amount, but I would be pretty surprised to see Nuke not in the map pool. Device and Dupreeh are of course strong plays, although both being more expensive than S1mple is a bit baffling.

The Big vs Liquid game basically comes down to how much you think each team’s recent performance means. After months of being on a downswing, Big suddenly came to life in this tournament, beating both Vitality and Astralis. Meanwhile, Liquid has taken down both Heroic and Furia, in convincing fashion (they did lose to Navi 2-0 in between those wins). I do think Big are the better roster here, but I’ll be playing a mix of both teams. From Big, Tizian has been playing well recently, and should be low owned. Xantares will likely have high ownership since he’s only $6.2k, and while I won’t go out of my way to avoid him, Big stacks without Xantares should definitely be low owned.

From Liquid, all 5 players are viable with how they’ve been playing lately, even Stewie has stepped up his fragging. Elige and Naf are of course the main targets, but I’ll have some of everyone.

Top Captains

It’s S1mple and then it’s everyone else at captain on this slate. His ownership will likely be thru the roof, and rightfully so.

If S1mple isn’t the highest scorer on the slate, it’s likely because Navi gets swept, in which case Device would have a good shot at top score on the slate. I like him as a pivot off of S1mple.

The other way S1mple ends up not the top scorer is if someone in the other game pops off. The people who I think have the best change to do that are: Syrson, Elige, Naf, and Xantares. I’ll have some of all of them.

Pricing is loose enough to where I don’t think using a value captain is necessary, or frankly a good idea.

That’s it from me, good luck on Saturday!

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