After a day off on Tuesday, ESL Pro League is back Wednesday as Group C wraps up. It’s a 3 game slate with all 3 games simultaneously starting at 2 pm EDT. Those games are:
Gambit (70% implied win probability) vs Furia
Navi (90%) vs TeamOne
Cloud9 (69%) vs MiBR
Gambit is locked into the playoffs at 4-0. Furia is in 2nd in the group at 3-1 and also locked into the playoffs according to ESL’s Official Twitter. Cloud 9 and Navi are tied for 3rd at 2-2, and MiBR and TeamOne are eliminated. The tiebreaker scenarios are somewhat complicated, but basically if Gambit wins, Cloud 9 control their own destiny, and if Furia wins Navi control their own destiny. Winner of the Furia/Gambit game takes first. Now, normally I’d say that I expect all teams to be giving full effort, but after Furia lost their own map pick 16-1 against C9 on Monday, I think it’s a little hard to say that here. Granted, that game meant literally nothing to Furia while this game is for 1st place in the group (this game would still be for 1st place had Furia won against C9), but I still expect Furia to be playing a bit looser than the normally play, which is already very loose. Gambit on the other hand, have been quoted as saying they want to prove themselves, so I expect them to be going all out, especially since a win is a key step in knocking out CIS rival Navi.
Sub Risk/Roster Changes
At this point Navi is up subbing B1t in on Overpass, Mirage, and Inferno that we know of. He subs in for Flamie on all 3 maps. Since this event started we’ve seen Flamie play Dust2 and Nuke. Navi permabans Vertigo and we haven’t seen them play Train (we also technically haven’t seen them play Inferno so they theoretically could have changed their sub patterns their too).
TeamOne permaban Dust 2, so that takes away one of Navi’s top maps. However, with TeamOne having pretty terrible win rates on every map, Navi could really go any direction here with their map pick. Both Mirage and Nuke make a lot of sense. On the TeamOne side, they’ve picked Train 3 times and Inferno the 4th at this event (Inferno was most recent against Gambit and Train was an option). In this matchup, Overpass is the only map they have a better win rate than Navi on for the last 3 months, but they haven’t been picking it lately. Since we don’t know what Navi will do for a roster on Train, and with both team’s picks being uncertain, the simplest thing to do is leave B1t and Flamie out of your player pool. I think B1t is slightly more likely to play the 1st 2 maps, but with his price now jacked up the reward of guess the maps correctly doesn’t seem worth the risk. The good news is we should get maps before lock so if either B1t or Flamie is playing the 1st two maps they are suddenly in play, although of course if TeamOne pick Train we don’t know who will play.
Pricing overall looks fairly tight, with a couple of glaring underpriced players. I expect this to create some very chalky plays, but I don’t love any of the underdogs to differentiate. My goal for GPP’s will be to differentiate within the favorites, as pricing is definitely going to leave some solid raw points plays almost unowned.
Starting with the mispriced plays…just when it seemed like Hobbit was finally starting to get the respect he deserved, DK went an priced him a full $1.4k cheaper than Axile and $2k cheaper than Sh1ro. At $7.6k I expect him to be high owned, especially as stakes get higher. The other 4 players are pretty accurately priced, Nafany is an interesting value play because his raw fp/r numbers are actually pretty decent, they just pale in comparison to his 3 stud teammates. Interz is strictly a value play, he’s by far the least involved in the action, as both his kills per round and deaths per round numbers are low.
On Navi, everyone is priced up to where I only really like S1mple. There are much better plays at the same price points as the other Navi players. Electronic has apparently taken over some of the IGL duties (was specifically mentioned for Mirage, other maps are unclear) which definitely hurts his fragging upside. If the maps are known before lock and Flamie will be playing at least the first two, I like him a bit as a value play, but even then he’s not a standout play to me. It is worth pointing out that the non-S1mple Navi players will likely have lower ownership than a 90% favorite normally would, which inherently makes them interesting for GPP’s.
Part of the reason no one on Navi besides S1mple is a standout play is because Cloud 9 are underpriced. Floppy sticks out at $7k. He is right behind Xeppaa ($9.2k) in fantasy points per round over both the past 3 months and the past 1 month, and the two of them are trending into actually good fp/r numbers across the past month. Xeppaa himself is a very interesting GPP play, as he’s likely to have very low ownership given that S1mple, Sh1ro, and Axile are all right by his price and all have better fp/r numbers. Alex and Es3tag are the other obvious plays. I think they’re both good plays but I don’t want to offer a word of caution on each. Es3tag has taken over as the AWPer. Normally I would expect this to be good for DFS, however, Es3tag has been playing a very passive role on the AWP. His kill per round and death per round numbers both low, which of course keeps his FP/r numbers down too. Meanwhile, Alex has essentially the opposite problem. He’s been taking a lot of opening duels lately (likely because Es3tag has moved to the AWP), taking them in almost 30% of Cloud 9’s rounds for the past month. He’s not bad at them per se, but it leads to a lot of 1 or 0 kill rounds, with a high death per round. This keeps his fantasy points per round low. Long story short, Floppy, Alex, and Es3tag will all likely be chalk, but only Floppy will be chalk because of his raw points projection (and even he is a large part price driven). In GPP’s this makes Alex and Es3tag prime fade candidates. In cash/Single entry/small field, go ahead and play them.
I already mentioned I don’t love any of the underdogs on this slate, but if I had to pick one to play it would be MiBR. Cloud 9 frequently plays to their competition, taking good teams to 3 maps and also letting bad teams take them to 3 maps. Chelo, Boltz, and shz are all explosive players, all 3 are actually tied for the lead on the slate for how often they get a 4k or ace, ever so slightly ahead of S1mple. Obviously they’re all inconsistent, as they don’t average nearly the FP/r that S1mple does, but if any one or two of them get hot they can put up huge numbers. Chelo is a bit expensive, but Shz and Bolts are pretty cheap. Any combination of or all 3 of them make for interesting plays on this slate.
I’m not at all interested in Furia as I honestly expect them to come out and lay another egg. TeamOne is simply outmatched, prt and skullz are so cheap that a 1-off could actually make sense in a GPP, even with S1mple in the same lineup. It will definitely help you build a unique lineup, that much is for certain.
S1mple still stands out above the rest at captain. People who captained him on Monday definitely got a bit lucky that Mirage went 48 rounds long, but it’s safe to say that he has shaken off whatever ailment had plagued him previously. He’s still the best player in the world and top captain on this slate.
Priced so close to him, it’s unlikely that Sh1ro and/or Axile get a ton of captain ownership. Both can definitely outscore S1mple, and I like them a lot in GPPs. I particularly like them if you play non-S1mple Navi members. By playing the other Navi members your basically betting that S1mple doesn’t live up to his normal standards, and playing Sh1ro or Axile over him at cpt is almost making the same bet.
Hobbit and Floppy are strong plays in the mid-range, and let you possibly sneak in one less value play. I like both of them at cpt, with Hobbit being preferred to Floppy.
Lastly, I’m unlikely to go down to Alex or es3tag at captain. Alex’s big game Monday will likely drive ownership his way, and I think it’s unlikely we see a repeat from him. I am interested in shz or Boltz at captain in MiBR lineups if I need some extra savings down from Hobbit. Ideally I won’t drop below Hobbit or Floppy though.