We’re back with another 4 game slate from IEM Cologne. There’s a pretty big (by CSGO standards) $333 on Friday, for any of you guys who like to dabble in high stakes. Lock is at 10:45 EDT again and the games are:

Gambit (66% implied win probability) vs NiP

Mouz (63%) vs Liquid

Complexity (54%) vs VP

G2 (59%) vs Big

Sub Risk/Roster Changes

Don’t play ChrisJ. None of these teams sub.

Slate Analysis

Pricing is a bit looser than it has been lately, and there’s a few spots that stand out in particular. The first is Hobbit. He’s priced way down at $7.2k despite having one of the best FP/r on the slate and being on the biggest favorites on the slate. Now, this is a slate with all fairly close games so “biggest favorites” doesn’t mean they can’t lose, but he’s still well underpriced. The other spot that’s majorly underpriced is non-Ropz mouz. This game is priced like a coinflip when in reality Mouz are solid favorites. Frozen, acor, and Dexter are all too cheap, and while Ropz is probably priced about right, he’s easy to fit with his teammates. Expect Mouz to be very popular on this slate.

I’m actually a bit torn about how to handle things here. On the one hand, I actually think all 4 favorites should be bigger favorites than they are. I think Gambit should be 70-75%, Mouz should be 67-70%, Col should be ~60%, and G2 should be ~65%. On the other hand, I think pricing is going to lead people to absolutely slam the favorites. I think Mouz and Hobbit will be much bigger chalk than they would be if they were priced tighter, and when pricing creates chalk I tend to try to pivot in GPP’s. In this case I think I’m going to “pivot” largely to Col and G2. Since they’re priced correctly (and more expensively than Mouz/Hobbit) they should come in underowned. K0nfig is on an absolute tear. With no S1mple or Zywoo on this slate, he has as good a shot as anyone at putting up the top score on the slate. Same thing with Niko over on G2. Both guys also have a great stacking partner, BlameF and Hunter, and there are a couple reasonably cheap guys on each team. I’m planning on being well over the field on both Col and G2.

To fit them though, I may need to dip into some underdogs. I think NiP are going to come in underowned, underowned even if the odds were 70/30 in Gambit’s favor. I like Device and Rez, and maybe Hampus in 3 stacks.

I expect VP to get some ownership, and Jame is definitely too cheap. Their ownership may be kept in check by the fact that with the underpriced players you don’t need a ton of value, so I’ll definitely have some stacks.

While I’ll definitely have a few stacks in MME, I’m not super interested in Big or Liquid. I don’t particularly think either team is all that good, and think each team’s opponent is very good.

I don’t consider myself a small field expert, but if I was playing the $333 (I probably won’t) I’d focus on G2 and Col. You can play even them with Hobbit/Mouz since you’re only trying to beat 99 entries (97 if you max). All it takes is one or two differentiated plays to make your lineup unique enough to win a tournament. That really goes for the $10 too, as these tournaments aren’t so big that you need to hit a perfect lineup, there’s only a couple thousand entries.

Top Captains

With pricing less tight I’m looking for the top score on the slate at captain. I already mentioned them above, but I really like K0nfig and Niko in the captain slot as well. Neither guy should have crazy ownership, and both have crazy upside.

While I love Ropz as a player, I think he’ll be overowned on this slate. I don’t plan on having much at captain, as it’s not like he’s head and shoulders above the other players priced near him like S1mple and Zywoo were on Thursday. I feel similarly about Hobbit. Normally I’m way over the field on him, but with him the cheap one out of the “big 3” for Gambit, I’m going to almost definitely come in under the field. Ax1le may go a tiny bit under the radar at captain as he’s sandwiched in between Hobbit and Sh1ro in price, I like him for GPP’s, and Sh1ro himself is super expensive which could keep his ownership down a tad.

I also like Dev1ce a lot on this slate. He showed on Thursday that he is still a force to be reckoned with on LAN, and has started looking comfortable for NiP. It’s reflected in his stats, as he’s up to .75 FP/r over the past month from .66 over 3 months.

While I don’t want to play a super value captain, there are a few mid-range plays with upside that I like. Jame, Frozen, and Rez are all interesting pivots off Hobbit at similar price points, and all have top score on the slate upside. Even if they don’t quite get the very top score, if they score 80 or so that could be enough with the upgrade they allow you in the rest of your lineup.

Good luck on Friday!

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