After over a week without T1 CSGO, ESL Pro League kicks off on Monday, with a 3 game slate on tap. Lock is at 6am EST, so make sure to get those lineups in Sunday night. The games are:
Complexity (61% implied win probability) vs FunPlus Phoenix
Heroic (81%) vs Renegades
Big (66%) vs OG
Sub Risk/Roster Changes
We have a lot of small sample sizes on this slate. This is FPX’s first official match with their current roster, while Rengades, OG, and Heroic have all played <200 rounds with their current rosters, and in addition to the roster change Renegades just started playing outside of the Australian region. Stats from these teams are a bit difficult to trust, so I’d take any projections with a bit more of a grain of salt than usual. If you build using a lineup generator I’d personally increase my randomness a bit for this slate.
In addition to the small sample sizes, we also have a kind of “too big” sample size being used for most projections when it comes to Complexity. They have looked like a completely different team since Poizon came back. Poizon has been back for exactly 1 month’s worth of matches. During that time Complexity has a map record of 13-5. Going back 2 more months (so 3 months total) and before Poizon came back Complexity had lost 12 out of 13 maps. Their 3 month stats are all (except for Poizon obviously) deflated because of this. To give you an idea of how much the better for DFS Col has been since Poizon got back, K0nfig’s 3 month fp/r vs 1 month fp/r is .55 vs .67. BlameF is at .71 vs .96. And as a reminder those 3 month numbers DO include the 1 month stats as well which are obviously boosting both players 3 month numers. I’m only looking at Complexity’s 1 month stats for this slate, which ironically is still the 2nd most rounds played with their current roster on the slate (457), in case you were worried about sample size.
With everything I said above, I think there are a few spots we can look to take advantage of on this slate. The first is Sjuush. I mentioned briefly above that it looks like he has taken over niko’s role while Refrezh has taken over Borup’s. I said that because thru 2 matches with Heroic, Sjuush has been the 2nd fragger in each, behind Cadian once and Stavn once, while Refrezh has been far and away the bottom fragger. Borup had one of the worst role’s for DFS possible, so Refrezh might become a very bad fantasy play despite being very solid for Mad Lions. Sjuush on the other hand, is in a great spot here. He’s only $5.8k, he’s a huge favorite, and I don’t think he should have that crazy of ownership as it’s unlikely the public as a whole catches on to him now being a better fantasy play than his former teammate. He likely have a decent amount of ownership, as the $5.8k price tag coupled with being a 80+ percent favorite will bring literally anyone ownership, but in my opinion he’s basically a free square on this slate. I plan on having close to 100% (save for maybe a few of lineups where I go Renegades).
The 2nd big edge on this slate is BlameF. There was a period of time last year before Poizon had to take his leave that BlameF was in the conversation with Zywoo and S1mple for best fantasy players. Well, BlameF is back there again. Over the past month, he’s averaging .96 fp/r. That’s an absolutely elite level, and is .23 higher than Cadian, who is 2nd best on the slate. .23 may not inherently sound like that much, but to put it another way, BlameF averages 30% more fp/r than the 2nd highest player on the slate. BlameF’s 3 month numbers are not all that impressive, so in most projections he’ll be near the top but not the clear cut top play like I think he is. This should keep his ownership at least somewhat in check as he’s on the smallest favorite of the day. K0nfig also falls into the same bucket. His 1 month stats are much better than his 3 month and when he’s on he can easily outscore anyone on the slate, including BlameF.
OG have been a very strange team for DFS lately. They have a 39% map win rate both over the past 3 months and past month, yet have 3/5 players with positive KD’s over both those periods, and NBK was almost even over 3 months and was actually positive over the past month as well (niko is negative over his 7 maps). As a team their kills per round are lower than the teams that have been better than them, but their deaths per round are almost the same. Basically, OG saves a LOT. This creates some pretty gross fantasy conditions in their games. For that reason I’m likely to end up fairly light on Big even though I do expect them to win, as this OG team has been floundering. I will be using some OG one off’s though, as like I mentioned 3 of them have positive KD’s even though they’ve been losing a ton. Issaa has the most attractive price but Valde and Mantuu are also definitely in play. One thing I did want to mention about Big, is that Tabsen has quietly passed Xantares in fp/r over the past 3 months (where they are basically equal) and the past month. Because the likely lower ownership, he’s my number 2 play from Big (behind Syrson).
Even though I love Complexity, I also like FPX here. Like I mentioned before, their wins against Gambit now look a lot more impressive and the loss to Spirit doesn’t look bad at all. All 4 players besides Sunny are squarely in play as they to trade off who the top fraggers are. Zehn is the most consistently at the top, “most” being very relative here, and recently it’s most often been Maden joining him. I’ll be using plenty of both sides of this game.
Lastly, I’m not super interested in Renegades. INS does continue to put up strong numbers even though Renegades has been losing since getting to Europe, but he’s priced up at $7.8k. Alistair’s fragging hasn’t been great so far for Renegades, but his price is all the way down at $4.4k, so he’s definitely playable. I’ll likely run a few INS + Alistair lineups as well.
As I’m sure you can guess from my description above, BlameF is far and away my favorite captain on the slate. He’ll like have a decent amount of ownership, but I don’t care. I also like K0nfig as a pivot within the Col. When he gets hot he gets really hot and can end up getting all the kills before BlameF’s lurks have a chance to bear fruit (obviously this doesn’t happen every round, I’m in no way saying don’t use BlameF in a K0nfig cpt lineup).
I also like Cadian and Sjuush at captain. Cadian for his raw upside, he definitely can outscore BlameF when he’s on, and Sjuush for his point per dollar upside. He can put up a big raw score and let’s you fit a fairly stacked lineup by using him at captain.
Those 4 players are where the vast majority of my captain will be. I don’t love captaining anyone from Big on this slate. From the underdogs, Valde and Mantuu are in play for OG, Zehn and Maden are my favorites from FPX, and INS if my favorite from Renegades. If you’re playing a Renegades stack I actually really like INS at captain, as you’re already banking on Renegades winning by stacking them, and if they do win it’ll likely be on the back of INS going nuclear. I won’t play more than a couple lineups of any of them though as I really like the Col and Heroic captains on this slate.
That’s it for me, good luck on Monday!