At long last, the player break is over! We have tier 1 CounterStrike back in the DK lobby. We have a 3 game slate to start us off with lock at 7:30 am EDT. The games are:

Heroic (86% implied win probability) vs Bad News Bears

Vitality (61%) vs Ence

Spirit (50%) vs Astralis

Sub Risk/Roster Changes

Let’s start with the easy stuff. Allu no longer plays for Ence and alter no longer plays for BNB. Don’t play either of them. Spongey is listed as “Out” on Draftkings but is playing, Junior is listed as “Q” but is also playing. Degster previously had an “Out” listing but it looks like DK got rid of it, he’s also playing.

Now for the tricky part, which is Astralis. Over the player break the signed “Lucky” the 18-year-old AWP previously playing for Tricked. This means that Astralis are back to a 6-man roster. Lucky should eventually take over as the full time AWP. The question is has he already? And who will sit if he has?

The deal was announced July 26th so he’s had at least a couple weeks of practice with the team (possible more if he was practicing before the deal was officially announced). Astralis are renowned for their precision, so it’s possible that he’s nowhere near ready to play and Astralis will keep their same 5 for this tournament and we don’t have to worry about subs. FWIW, the HLTV match page doesn’t list Lucky in the starting lineup, although they aren’t always right.

If we go by history, back when Device was on the roster, it was Bubzkji who primarily sat. When Bubz did sub in, he came in for Xyp9x. I think they’re the two likeliest candidates to sit again IF Lucky is already playing. Even if they’re both in, neither jump off the page as awesome plays.

Lastly, Lucky isn’t in the DK player pool. A large portion of the field probably won’t even realize there’s a chance Astralis subs. Of course they are also the last game so there’s a very small chance we find out anything before lock.

From my point of view, even if there’s a small chance Bubz or Xyp sit, neither is a good enough play (if they don’t sub out) to make it worth playing them. My plan is to simply remove both of them from my player pool, and if they burn me I’ll tip my cap. I’ll keep Glaive, Magisk, and Dupreeh in my pool for Astralis lineups. (Note that there is a tiny chance Glaive sits as he’s likely headed to paternity leave in a couple months as he has a baby due this fall. However, I’d be very surprised if Astralis sit him prior to him actually going on leave given that he’s one of the only members currently on a long term contract).

Slate Analysis

We start off the day with what should be an absolute blowout of Heroic vs Bad News Bears. Bad News Bears are basically assembling the old Triumph roster, as they’ve now added Junior to go with Spongey and Shakezullah. Unlike when he was on Furia, Junior should be the top player for BNB. Furia had him in a weird support/AWP role, while he’s in a traditional AWP role for BNB. That said, I have very little interest in BNB. I’ll have a couple Junior one-offs and maybe a stack or two in MME just in the hopes Heroic comes out rusty, but otherwise I’m not touching BNB. On the Heroic side, Refrezh and Stavn will likely be chalk, as they should be. Heroic definitely looked a bit less dominant before the player break, but keep in mind they were playing against the best teams Europe had to offer and on LAN. They are doing neither on Monday and should stomp. Cadian and Teses are always a bit “overpriced” on these slates, and they’re always also a bit underowned. Teses in particular should have low ownership, he’s the most expensive player on the slate, even more expensive than Zywoo. That alone should keep his ownership down. Both are very strong GPP plays because their prices should keep ownership down.

Speaking of Zywoo, I was a little surprised to see Vitality as only 60/40 favorites against Ence. Vitality appeared to have turned a bit of a corner before the player break, and it’s not like Ence has even been dominating the T2/3 scene. I think this game should be more like 70-30 Vitality favored and therefore I’ll likely be heavy on them as a team. Of course everyone will be on Zywoo, but Misutaaa looked great before the player break and Kyojin and Shox had also been rounding into form. Apex is also a solid value play to help fit the more expensive plays in your lineup. If you do play Ence, Spinx, Hades, Dycha, and Doto all score within a margin of error of one another, and are all in play. I tend to not like Dycha as much against better opponents, as he takes a lot of opening duels, and if he can’t turn them into multi-kills he’s unlikely to put up a great fantasy day.

In the last game, Spirit are definitely a bit too cheap, especially Degster. With Astralis either running a non-fulltime AWPer or a rookie AWP, he should be able to dominate the head-to-head AWP battle and have a big day. Mir is also fairly underpriced as is SDY. I definitely like the Spirit side better for GPP’s, even not counting the messy Astralis 6-man situation. I will have some Astralis stacks though, as you really shouldn’t ignore a team in a coinflip game on a 3 game slate. If Lucky isn’t playing yet, we saw Glaive AWPing a lot right before the player break, if that continues he’d be a solid play. Dupreeh and Magisk are the players I’ll be stacking him with, as like I mentioned above I’m not going to play Bubz or Xyp.

Top Captains

There are a few solid value plays on the slate so I’m mostly looking for raw points at captain. Of course the first player I think of will be Zywoo, and while I’ll have plenty of him I’ll also want to pivot a bunch. One pivot is staying right within Vitality, and going with Misutaaa. A couple times before the break we saw Misutaaa pop off while Zywoo was a psuedo-bystander and if Vitality crushes Ence it’s possible they just don’t need Zywoo to do that much.

The Heroic studs can also potentially outscore Zywoo in terms of raw points. It’s more likely Teses does than Cadian because of his aggressive playstyle, but both can put up 80+. Lastly, both Mir and Degster can outscore Zywoo even when he’s on his game, as both have huge upside. I slightly prefer Degster given the matchup, but both are worth looking at in the CPT slot.

While I’m mostly looking for raw points, I’ll probably run a few lineups with value captain and pack the rest in with studs. Degster isn’t exactly “value” but he’s on the fringe of the group, meaning between that and the raw points upside I like him a lot at CPT on this slate. But for value captain I like all of Stavn, Refrezh, and SDY. They can all put up 70+ points and will let you fit a little more talent into the rest of your roster. If no studs truly go off but all score pretty well, value captain might be the way to go.

That’s it for me, good luck on Monday!

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