We’ve got another 2 game slate from Katowice on Saturday, as the tournament quickly heads towards it’s conclusion. We have 3 CIS teams left, none of which are Navi, and Liquid (NA). It’s definitely not the final 4 people expected coming into the tournament, and it’s extra suprising that no EU teams are left at this juncture. All the teams remaining deserve it, as each has been playing really well and has beaten their share of titans to get to the spot they’re in. Lock is at 9:00 am EST again and the games are:
Spirit (52% implied win probability) vs Gambit
VP (59%) vs Liquid
Sub Risk/Roster Changes
For the first time in what feels like ages, we have a T1 slate where none of the teams sub*. All 20 players can safely be played without having to worry about if they’ll actually play the whole series.
*Spirit technically has a 6 man roster but they stopped subbing in Patsi and I would be shocked if they sub him in now that they’re in the semi-finals.
Unsurprisingly, given that this is the semi-finals, both matchup have fairly close odds. Pricing is also pretty loose. No one is over $9.0k on the whole slate. Typically what happens in situations like this is the “favorites” end up overowned. I expect no different here, as all 4 teams are roughly the same prices. It is only a 2 game slate, so nothing is going to be “sneaky”, but the favorites will likely have too much ownership for their odds.
This means it’s going to be another underdog heavy day for me. Per the odds there’s almost a 20% chance that both underdogs win on this slate. Just like on Friday, where the ~15% chance of both underdogs winning hit and we saw a 3/3 of both underdogs solo takedown the “big” GPP, I’d expect less than 20% of lineups to be running double underdog stacks.
Hobbit continues to go overlooked, and he was relatively quiet on Friday. I like him a lot on Saturday. I expect his ownership to come in a lot lower than Sh1ro’s, but his upside is just as high. I’ll of course be using both of them in my Gambit stacks, with the 3rd rotating between Ax1le, Nafany, and maybe even Interz.
From Liquid, Fallen has shown signs of life lately. It seems like taking over the IGL role has actually done his fragging a lot of good. If Liquid wins this series he’s likely to play a big role in it, I’ll use him quite a bit in my Liquid stacks. Of course, Elige and Naf are still the main guys for Liquid though. Since it’s a 2 game slate Grim and Stewie are certainly playable, but they’re far behind the top 3 in my book.
If you do play favorites, Degster and mir are must play if you stack Spirit. They are far and away the top 2 fantasy scorers. For the 3rd in your stack, really any of the other 3 are solid options. One thing to keep in mind is that leaving salary on the table is a good way to differentiate on 2 game slates. If you have enough money for sdy in your last slot, maybe play chopper or magixx anyways. They score very similarly, so it’s not like you’re going super un-optimal to do that.
For VP, it’s been the Yekindar show lately. Jame struggled on Friday, but I still expect he and Yekindar to be by far the most popular plays from VP on Saturday. Buster is the clear third, but both Qikert and Sanji are playable. I don’t think either Yekindar or Jame are as big of “must plays” as Degster or Mir from Spirit, particularly in 2-1’s. I wouldn’t fade both in a VP stack, but fading either Jame or Yekindar is definitely viable.
There are again a surprising amount of strong options at captain for such a small slate. Every single team has at least 2 legit options. I’ll be mostly on the underdogs as I already mentioned I’ll be heavy on them in general.
Sh1ro, Hobbit, Elige, Naf, Degster, Mir, Jame, and Yekindar are all strong options. I expect ownership to be fairly spread out among that group, to the point that I won’t be going out of my way to fade anyone. I do expect Hobbit’s captain ownership to be pretty low, and I do think he has as much upside as anyone from the VP/Liquid game (Degster and Mir probably have more raw upside but by playing Hobbit cpt you’re already betting they don’t hit that upside). Hobbit is my favorite play of the group, as in addition to his low ownership he saves a bit of salary too.
That’s it for me, good luck on Saturday!