We have a massive 8 game slate for Thursday, as the Dreamhack Masters kicks off. Note that these games are all Bo1. It’s been a while since we’ve seen a Bo1 slate, but the short of it is turn your randomness up if you use a lineup generator. Also, I like 3 stacking quite a bit less (both because it’s Bo1 and because it’s 8 games). Part of the reason 3 stacks are effective is because in a Bo3 you are getting (hopefully) 20 points each from a sweep plus with playing 2 maps there’s enough time for more people to have a solid game. Additionally, bottom fraggers who you play in a stack hoping for the sweep are less attractive, as you can only reasonably expect a couple points on RNP bonus. Anyways, the games start at 6:00 am EDT, and they are:

Gambit (87% implied win probability) vs Fiend

Spirit (55%) vs G2

VP (55%) vs Faze

Navi (62%) vs Mouz

Astralis (62%) vs Extra Salt

Complexity (55%) vs Vitality

Big (50%) vs Furia

Heroic (82%) vs Pain

Sub Risk/Roster Changes

In addition to this slate being Bo1’s, we have the end of an era for 3 of the biggest teams in CS. Obviously the biggest is that Device has left Astralis to join NiP. For the time being, Astralis are rolling with the 5 players left on their roster, aka Bubzkji is in. It seems like Dupreeh is likeliest to take over AWP duties. I’m not really sure if that will be a boost to him or not (think Niko), as he’s a solid but not great secondary AWPer normally.

Next up, RpK is officially out of the roster for Vitality, and Kyojin is in. Kyojin is a 22 year old with very limited pro experience, most recently playing a few matches for Heretics at the end of 2020. Now, Vitality obviously saw something they like in him to bring him into the fold instead of bringing back Nivera, but definitely take any projections you see of him with a big grain of salt. Both RpK and Nivera are in the player pool. Neither is playing, do NOT put them in your lineups.

Lastly, it’s potentially the end of the Flamie era for Navi, as they announced B1t will be playing Dreamhack. Flamie is still on the roster, but won’t be playing at all this event. We’ve already seen B1t play quite a bit for Navi, and he’s a promising young player. Flamie is also in the player pool, do NOT play him.

There won’t be any teams subbing at all, none of them do anymore plus of course it’s a Bo1. Other the 3 players mentioned above the rest of the player pool is correct.

Slate Analysis

On these huge slates the first thing I like to do is cross players and/or entire teams off my list. If I can narrow down my player pool it helps cut through the massive amount of options. Of course, that’s harder to do in a Bo1 scenario, where only a couple of rounds can make a good map, especially for cheaper guys. I wouldn’t begrudge anyone for eliminating Fiend and Pain entirely from your player pools, I won’t stacking them at all myself, but their players are so cheap they could make for an interesting one off. I will eliminate bottom fraggers who I don’t see as having a ton of upside. For me that includes:

Karrigan

Tizian

Jackz

Rush

Bubble

Sanji

JT

PKL

It’s not a huge list but it’ll at least prevent those guys from sneaking into my lineups. Notably missing from that list is Dexter, who has been playing a LOT better lately, and I think actually has decent upside for his price. Mouz have played an insane 19(!!!) maps over the past 2(!!!) days, and Dexter has 20+ kills on 7 of them.

With so many teams on the slate I’m not going to try to go thru them all, instead I’m going to give some of the plays I like and a couple I don’t like so much.

Plays I like are:

Jame – Way too cheap at $7.6k. Even if they lose he saves so much that he should put up a solid point per dollar score. Probably the most underpriced player on the slate

K0nfig – Absolutely on fire. Has been carrying Col lately while BlameF has taken a backseat. Should have a ton of ownership with 8 games on the slate and being priced between Jame and Zywoo

S1mple – My favorite play of the highest priced tier. Much like Jame, should put up a big score even if Navi loses.

Degster – He’s the exact same price as Zywoo, is a big favorite while Zywoo is an underdog, and will likely have lower ownership. The kicker? He actually has averaged more FP/r over the past 3 months than Zywoo. Of course, a lot of that is because of how much Vitality have struggled, but I don’t really think subbing RpK out and putting in Kyojin is going instantly solve their problems.

Refrezh – Heroic are a nightmare to figure out for DFS. Any of the 5 can go off any given map (part of why they’re so good at actual CS). Refrezh is the cheapest Thursday, far too cheap for how big of favorites they are.

oSee/Fang – Even before they lost Device, Astralis looked pretty bad. Extra Salt are coming off of an impressive performance in Funspark, and I think have a legit chance to pull of an upset here. If they do, oSee and Fang are likely to have big games, and should have pretty low ownership.

Plays I don’t like are:

Vitality – Now, I’m not saying don’t play Zywoo, I’m definitely going to have Zywoo myself. However, I will likely come in under the field on him. Beyond Zywoo, the play I’m really looking to avoid is Kyojin. He has very limited stats all against T2 or worse competition, but the stats that do exist are decent. Any projection you see of him is going to be fairly high because there are only those stats to go off of. This move to Vitality is a huge step up in competition for him, and we have no idea what his role is going to be. I think his ownership is going to be much higher than it should be.

Poizon – For a while after coming back from injury, Poizon looked great. His stats have really dropped off though, to the point where he actually has a negative K/D over the past month. He looks enticing, particularly for hand-builders, at only $7.2k, but I’d much rather find the extra $400 for Jame.

Junior – I didn’t quite put him on my “won’t play” list above, but it was close. He’s been playing with Furia for almost 3 months, and they’ve actually looked good with him in the lineup. However, as I mention every time they play, he has a bad role for them. He’s often stuck in spawn throwing smokes while arT and co. run in and kill everyone or die trying. He’s simply not involved enough in the action. I don’t expect him to have particularly high ownership, but I’ll still likely be under whatever number the field comes in at.

Top Captains

You can basically just copy the above list of plays I like here. Since it’s Bo1’s, I’ll have the top 2-3 fraggers from every team in my player pool, but I want to get as much of Jame, K0nfig, and S1mple as I can. There’s not a ton of value I love on the slate, but there’s enough to make any of those players salaries fit at captain, especially Jame and K0nfig who are priced at the middle of the road.

Good luck on Thursday!

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