After a few days off, ESL Pro League as the playoffs kick off. We have a 2 game slate Friday, with lock at 9:30 am EDT. The games are:
Furia (66% implied win probability) vs FPX
Liquid (57%) vs G2
Sub Risk/Roster Changes
No roster changes since we last saw these teams, Furia technically still has honda on the roster, but they haven’t played him since Junior joined the team and I’d be shocked if they did here.
It’s a 2 game slate so all of these teams are squarely in play.
FPX looked pretty good during the Group Stage, but since then they went out and lost a Bo1 to LDLC…twice. Plus there has been talk of bringing back ChrisJ, they only brought Sunny in because talks broke down with ChrisJ to begin with, which could impact how the team plays. Also, Zehn has really been struggling of late. He’s actually dead last on the team in FP/r over the past month, and barely ahead of Styko for 3rd on the team over the last 3 months. His price certainly reflects that on Friday. That said, if FPX do manage to beat Furia, it’s likely he’ll have to step up. I like him a lot as part of FPX stacks for that reason, while I don’t love him as a one-off. Farlig is my preferred one-off, he’s pretty cheap at $6.8k, and has been FPX’s highest scoring fantasy player over both the past 3 months and is tied for 1st over the past month.
On the Furia side, they’ve looked very solid since Junior was able to make it to Europe, although ironically his stats haven’t been great. He is in a very passive role for the team, he has both the lowest kills per round and deaths per round over the past month. He’s definitely playable at $5.4k, but he’s not an insta-lock pick for me. arT is probably the best “value” for Furia, as he’s always involved in the action. He puts up first kill numbers unlike anyone else in the world not named Yekindar, which really helps his fantasy scores. Otherwise everyone is priced about right.
I’m not 100% sold that Liquid should be a favorite over G2. Their wins against Vitality and Navi don’t look quite as impressive after seeing how much both of those teams have struggled lately. The win over VP is definitely impressive, but both maps being 16-13 isn’t quite as impressive as the 2-0 scoreline initially looks. I personally think this game is more of a coinflip. That’s of course not super far off from the actual odds, but ownership will likely be meaningfully skewed towards Liquid because of them.
Now, Elige and Naf have been absolutely elite lately. They are first and second on the slate (Elige 1st) over the past 3 months in fp/r, and 1st and 3rd (Elige 1st) over the past month, with only Hunter getting between them. Elige’s numbers in particular are right up there with the S1mple’s and Zywoo’s of the world. He’s been that good lately. Naf has also seen a resurgence as he’s moved back to being a full time rifler. If you’re looking for a 3rd member of Liquid to stack, Stewie is only .01 fp/r behind Fallen over the past 3 months, and is actually ahead of him and squarely in 3rd on the team over the past month. It appears Fallen taking over IGL duties has helped Stewie’s fragging. At a $1.4k discount and likely reduced ownership, Stewie is my 3rd Liquid member of choice on Friday.
However, my actual 3rd player of choice from the game is Hunter. He’s been great since KennyS left the team. Presumably the changes that were made to strategy have helped him out, as he’s been great over the past month. Like I mentioned earlier he only trails Elige on the slate in fp/r over the past month. If you can afford it, pairing him with Elige and Naf is a solid way to go. However, that will definitely be popular, so I actually prefer 2 G2 + 1 Liquid for GPP’s. Nexa’s FP/r have been solid since KennyS left, he’s now 3rd on the team, right behind Niko in 2nd. Niko has struggled since he started part time AWPing. Hopefully in the couple weeks off G2 have either practiced enough that he’s comfortable AWPing, or are just letting Amanek AWP. Amanek AWPing would make both he and Niko much better fantasy plays. As it is, I do like Niko in GPPs, as I expect him to be much lower owned than he should be with everyone flocking to Elige, Naf, and Kscerato.
Elige is the top captain play on the slate if you can afford him. You can run him with Stewie, Hunter, or both to try to differentiate from other Elige captain lineups.
Hunter himself is another solid play, as since he’s probably going to be used a lot as a one-off, he may not have that much captain ownership.
Naf will likely have decently high ownership, but he has shown the ability to put up huge scores as a rifler. He has 4 aces in the past 3 months, double that of anyone else on the slate.
I’m not quite sure I’ll get all the way up to Niko at captain, as I do think Hunter is a better play especially considering price, but he should have low ownership. It’s an interesting play for GPPs.
From Furia, it’s hard to pick a captain because anyone can be the top scorer on any given day. This will likely lead to Kscerato and Yuurih going relatively unowned at captain, and makes them interesting for GPPs. arT is another solid option, as his middle of the road price frees up some salary.
Lastly, Farlig and Zehn are intersting captain options from FPX. I already mentioned that even though Zehn has been struggling, if FPX wins it’s likely to be on the back of him playing well. If you’re already stacking FPX and banking on that, playing him at captain frees up a lot of salary to spend up on Elige and Naf (or Niko).
That’s it for me, good luck on Friday!