Wednesday brings us another 3 game slate from ESL One. We again have 2 EU and 1 NA game. The games are:
OG (60% implied win probability) vs MAD Lions
Vitality (60%) vs Faze
Liquid (81%) vs Cloud 9
Pricing is again very loose on Wednesday, Zywoo tops the slate at only $9.2k. It’s very easy to make teams of all favorites (including Zywoo captain lineups), so I expect the underdogs to come in with ownerships well under what they should, the EU teams in particular.
As usual, everyone is going to load up on Zywoo. We’ll talk about him more in the captains section, but what that means is that most people who have Zywoo won’t play anyone from Faze. As an aside, I typically avoid playing opposing players, even on 3 game slates, but I think an exception can be made for Zywoo. If you assume most Zywoo lineups won’t play Faze, that is going to lead to way to low of ownership numbers on Faze. Niko has struggled a bit since he took over IGL’ing, however he still averages the 6th most fantasy points per round over the past 3 months on the slate. Broky, Coldzera, and Rain are also all definitely viable in Faze lineups. Now let’s talk about Kjaerbye for a minute. His projections are horrible, if you look at his last 3 month stats, you guessed it horrible. However, those stats are only coming from 2 series. Prior to this tournament he hadn’t played a professional CS:GO match since May. Now, he wasn’t exactly lighting it up for North at that point, but he is definitely a better player than his projections are giving him credit for. I expect him to come in at virtually 0 ownership. I plan on forcing him in to 5-10% of my lineups, particularly in Faze 3 stacks, as I think he has a much better shot of ending in their top 3 scorers than people are going to give him credit for.
Mad Lions, the other EU underdog, are fresh off a 2-0 stomp of Mouz. Prior to that, they had looked atrocious save for 1 16-0(!) map win against Endpoint. However, since that Mouz game they have been able to win 2 more series, albeit against lower level competition (and one was a Bo1). Acor has really stepped his game since Bubzjki left. He’s all the way up to .76 fp/r over the last 3 months, good for 3rd on the whole slate. Now, that does of course make him pop a bit in projections, even ones that heavily weight Vegas, so he should carry a bit of ownership, likely the highest of any player on an underdog. I still don’t think it will be enough, and plan on being overweight here. His teammates will likely garner little attention outside of a few stacks with Acor. Interestingly enough it’s actually been Roej scoring ever so slightly better than Innocent over the past 3 months (they come out to even after rounding to .60 fp/r. Sjuush finds himself in 4th on the team down at .53 fp/r over that same time frame. I expect Sjuush to continue to be the 2nd highest owned player on MAD, but I’ll be pivoting mostly to Roej and Innocent, as they should both come in virtually low owned. I’ll be staying away from Accilion.
While I like both EU underdogs, the same cannot be said for Cloud 9. This team has just looked bad since the player break, most recently needing all 3 maps to defeat a Triumph team that has really struggled without Grim. Unless you are max entering the $12 I would stay away here, and in the few lineups I have that do have C9, it’ll just be Floppy and oSee for me.
Staying in that matchup, Team Liquid should be the most popular team on Wednesday. They are massive favorites and project very well. We need to talk about Grim for a minute though. His 3 month stats still include 2+ months of play on Triumph. They are massively inflating his projections, as he still averages the 2nd most fp/r over the past 3 months on the slate (which makes Niko and Acor look even better, as in both of their numbers one person ahead of them was Grim, who frankly shouldn’t be). Here are his game logs since he joined Team Liquid:
Now don’t get me wrong, I still think he’s a very good player, but those are not the stats of the 2nd best player fantasy player on the slate. Since he joined, Liquid have actually had super balanced scoring, so I do plan on having exposure to all 5 players. I’ll have the least exposure to Grim though, as he will likely remain overowned for at least a few more slates.
From Vitality, outside of Zywoo it’s worth noting that Shox has been playing really well since the player break, actually outscoring Zywoo (small sample size alert). I’ll pair primarily him with Zywoo in Vitality 2 stacks, while mixing and matching the remaining 3 players in 3 stacks, as all 3 score similarly.
I really don’t understand OG’s pricing. Mantuu and Valde’s prices make sense, but then Issa is $6.2k??? He’s been their 3rd leading scorer over the last 3 months and since the break, and I expect him to be a super popular value piece Wednesday. I’ll have plenty of him myself, but I’ll also mix in some Aleksib, as he’s been right behind Issa in scoring both over the last 3 months and the last month.
As always when he is on the slate, Zywoo is the first player I will mention. He averages .05 fp/r more than the boosted stats of Grim, and .17 fp/r more than anyone else over the last 3 months. I don’t think I need to go on much more as everyone knows the drill by now. Hopefully his bust the other day will curtail his ownership, but even if it doesn’t I plan to have plenty either way. I may go for a lineup or two of Shox captain from Vitality, but my attention will mostly be focused on Zywoo.
From Faze, it’s Niko or Broky for me in the captain slot. Niko is bound to have a game looking like his old self at some point, while Broky has stepped up as the teams clear top performer since the restart.
Mantuu has still struggled lately for OG, but I’ll keep playing him as captain in a couple of lineups per slate as he still has massive upside. I’ll also have some Valde at captain as he has shown his own massive upside. Do keep in mind if you look at game logs while making your lineups that the scores in the OG/NiP series include 4 overtimes, so basically an extra map of play. I won’t be going overboard on captains from OG.
Acor is possibly my favorite captain on the whole slate. I don’t think the public realizes how good he has been lately since Mad Lions have been struggling so badly. To reiterate, even though Mad Lions have only won 47% of their maps over the last 3 months he still has the 3rd highest (2nd if you ignore Grim) fp/r on the slate. If they win his upside here is massive. I expect his captain ownership to come in well below where it should be, and I’ll be well over the field here. I may have a little bit of Roej and/or Innocent captain, but my focus here will be on Acor.
From Team Liquid, I’ll have a couple lineups each of everyone except Grim. I think his captain ownership is still going to come in around 10%, and so instead of having him as captain in 2 percent of my lineups, I’ll go with the full fade, as my 2 lineups would have to beat several hundred other lineups with him at captain, and while I do think I make above average lineups, I still don’t like those odds. I don’t think the upside matches the ownership here (unless of course people have caught on to him being overprojected).
If you are going to make C9 lineups, I am also fine with captaining oSee and/or Floppy. It will definitely be contrarian, and if they pull off the upset either player could have the top score on the slate. I don’t think I’ll go here myself as I personally think C9 have looked horrible, but the reasoning behind the play is sound.
That’s it for tonight, good luck on Wednesday!