After a week of T3 games, Katowice is back. We have a 2 game slate on Friday that starts at 9:00 am EST. The games are:
Navi (61% implied win probability) vs Gambit
Astralis (61%) vs VP
Sub Risk/Roster Changes
As a disclaimer, I’m still not completely clear what the rules are for subbing on the first map. Of teams that (at least previously) regularly sub, Astralis didn’t play Bubzkji on Nuke when it was Map 1. Vitality didn’t play Nivera on Dust 2 when it was map one but then later on did play Nivera on Inferno when it was Map 1. Astralis hasn’t played Nuke again since not subbing and Vitality didn’t play Dust 2 again after not subbing. I’m going to treat this section as if Navi and Astralis, the two teams with sub risk, can sub on Map 1.
For Navi, B1t subs in for Flamie on Inferno. That’s the only map he plays, don’t play him on Draftkings. As for the map picks, don’t be fooled by Inferno being Gambit’s most played map, they haven’t picked it in any of their most recent matches, in fact their opponents have actually been the ones picking it. Gambit will ban Nuke and Navi will ban Vertigo. I expect that Gambit will pick Overpass and Navi will pick Dust 2 or Train. I’m not 100% confident in those choices, but they make the most sense to me. Inferno could easily be left as the 3rd map. I’m going to play Flamie as part of Navi 3 stacks, but not as part of a 2-1 from the game.
For Astralis, you can ignore Vester and also Bubzkji for DFS purposes. Vester is a call-up from the Astralis junior team, and Bubzkji only (maybe?) plays Nuke. I say maybe because like I mentioned above, Xy9pex didn’t sub out last time Astralis played Nuke. The good news is that this doesn’t matter in this series. VP permaban Nuke, so we don’t have to worry about sub risk unless Astralis have decided to totally switch things up. Play as much Xyp as your heart desires.
Both these games are pretty close per the Vegas odds. There’s nothing super out of whack about the pricing. This slate is just going to come down to how you build and how you play the ownership.
If you want to play S1mple captain and Device, you’re left with $6.35k per player for your remaining 4 players (add a tiny bit more if you swap Device into captain). That means a lot of Glaive, a lot of Boombl4, and possibly a lot of Xyp9x will be played. I do think Xyp will come in a little underowned as it’s unlikely everyone realizes there’s no sub risk for him. The plays I like to avoid are the plays that become chalk because of pricing, not because they’re inherently good plays. Both Glaive and Boombl4 fall into this category for me. Both are fine plays at their pricing, but their ownership will likely make it seem like they’re great plays, which they aren’t. I’d much rather use the higher upside plays on the underdogs on this slate. I particularly like running 2 Gambit with S1mple or 2 VP with Device.
I also like the idea of playing double dogs here (or a 3-2-1 with dogs as the 3 and the 2). Per the odds, there’s about a 15% chance both underdogs win, but I expect only 5-10% of lineups to run double dog. Aside from just the math of it all, I do like both of these underdog teams quite a bit. Gambit have steadily been improving since they added Hobbit and dropped “Youngster” from their team name, and VP have been dominant of late. Meanwhile, we all know how Navi can turn it on and off at the drop of a hat. Most recently they were off, dropping their last series to Liquid. Astralis have also looked mortal lately, as they come in losers of 4 of their last 7 series.
S1mple and Device are undoubtedly going to be the highest owned captains on the slate. It’s definitely deserved, as their teams are both favorites and they have excellent stats. Although to be fair to S1mple he is on another level even compared to Device.
However, much like I like the idea of running double dog lineups, I like running captains from the underdogs too. It’s rare that all 3 teams have someone(s) who can compete with S1mple, but all 4 of these teams truly do. For Gambit, Sh1ro is that guy for me. And for VP, it’s Jame. Yekindar might be tempting, but I don’t expect his ultra-aggressive playstyle to lead to a ton of multikill rounds against Astralis, they’re too good for that. For Gambit, Hobbit is an interesting mid-range pivot. Not enough DFS players recognize just how good this guy is. Last week when I felt like he was wayyy underpriced he couldn’t even crack 20% ownership in the big GPP. Make no mistake he’s Gambit’s 2nd best fantasy players, and on a good day he can easily outscore Sh1ro.
Going back to the favorites for a second, I do like Dupreeh, Xyp9x, and Electronic in the captain slot. All of them should have low ownership, and Dupreeh and Electronic have the upside to be the top scorer on the slate. Xyp9x technically does too, but I more like him for the cost savings and the ability to build a unique lineup with him at captain.
That’s it for me, good luck on Friday.