After our long nightmare of 1 (one) day without any top tier CS:GO, Tuesday brings us the start of ESL Pro League Season 12. We have 3 EU matchups and 1 NA. It’s an 8:00 am EST start, 1 hour earlier than ESL One Cologne had been starting, so make sure to set your alarm clocks if you like to make last minute lineup changes.
The teams on this slate are all pretty familiar with the exception of AGO. They have been fairly successful in the EU T2 scene, and recently beat Sprout twice. You will of course remember Sprout as the team who beat both BiG and OG in ESL One Cologne. Don’t get me wrong, this is definitely the worst EU team on this slate, all I’m saying is don’t completely write them off ahead of time.
Also, an important piece of player news is that Steel is leaving Chaos for valorant and MarkE is taking his place. MarkE is not on the DK slate yet but Steel is, DO NOT play Steel even if you are playing Chaos lineups.
The games are:
Navi (60% implied win probability) vs Godsent
G2 (64%) vs OG
BiG (78%) vs AGO
Liquid (82%) vs Chaos
Pricing is a weird mix of both tight and loose on this slate. What I mean by that is if you want to play S1mple, or stack the 3 top guns from BiG, pricing is tight, but outside of them there are a bunch of seemingly mispriced plays from favorites that allow you to fit top end players in your lineup. Let’s go through them:
Grim ($7.8k) – I don’t actually think Grim is that mispriced here, his 1 month stats have finally started to reflect his performance just on Team Liquid, and they show a strong but not great fantasy performer. However, both he and Twistzz ($7.6k) have outperformed Naf over the past month, yet Naf remains at $8.8k. The two of them give you cheap exposure to the biggest favorite of the day, with upside just as high as anyone else on the slate. They’ll undoubtedly be popular (Grim moreso than Twist). I love them in cash or or small GPP’s, and the price difference makes Elige in particular interesting in large GPP’s, as at $9.2k I expect most players to stick with the cheaper Liquid players.
Electronic had a horrible ESL One Cologne tournament, but he still averages .72 fp/round over his past 3 months, good for 3rd amongst the favorites. Yet he comes in at only $7.6k. I expect him to be popular as he makes for an easy addition to lineups that contain S1mple, who always carries plenty of ownership. I am hoping that Navi’s disappointing Cologne performance plus his prohibitive price keeps S1mple a little lower owned than normal (and thus Electronic as well), in which case I’ll end up over the field here. S1mple is still at top 2 player in the world and I have a feeling he’ll remind some people of that before this tournament is over.
On G2, nexa has been the clear best player, both over the past 3 months and since the player break ended, yet he is priced below Hunter and KennyS. Additionally, Jackz is only .01 fp/r behind KennyS over the past 3 months, and ahead of him since the player break, but he comes in down at $7.0k. I do think he’ll come in low owned, so he could be a nice leverage play off of any of the aforementioned players who are in the same general price range.
I think BiG is priced accurately, and will probably come in 2nd highest owned as a team behind Liquid since they are the 2nd biggest favorites. They have looked shaky since the restart, and I will likely come in under the field here. Their opponent, AGO, isn’t the greatest team out there, but we did just see BiG lose to Sprout a couple weeks ago. AGO has beaten Sprout twice recently. I’m by no means saying go all in on AGO, but recognize that the odds say they’ll win 1 out of every 4.5 times or so this matchup happens. DFS players tend to treat those odds as if BiG is a lock to win and AGO a lock to lose, so I expect them to have virtually no ownership. I’ll have a bit here, maybe 10-15% of my lineups, and I particularly like mhL. He’s pricey for an underdog at $7.2k, but he has lit it up over both the last 3 months and last month, outscored on the slate by only Grim over 3 months and no one over the past month. Fiku or Furlan make sense as stacking partners here, or you could run just mhL.
I’ll also have a decent amount of OG and Godsent. As he seemingly always is, ISSA is way too cheap for OG at only $5.4k. Him plus Mantuu or Valde really opens up salary to fit the top end plays elsewhere. Similarly, zehN and Maden both come in under $7.0k for Godsent. If they do upset Navi, at least 2 of them plus Styko and Farlig are likely to put up solid performances.
The only team on the slate I am not interested in is Chaos. With Steel retiring, they are losing their IGL, and I fully expect them to come out and get stomped by Liquid tomorrow. Hopefully they can keep it together without their leader, but I expect it to take a bit of time to come together even if they can, and his loss will hurt them immensely in the meantime.
S1mple might come in under 10% in the captain slot on Tuesday (it will likely be very close). Any time S1mple is going to be that low owned means I want to play him. He is still far and away the best player on this slate, and can virtually will Navi to victory by himself.
For Godsent, I’ll have a little bit of Zehn and Maden at my captain slot, maybe a tiny bit of Styko. All 3 of them plus Farlig score well in terms of raw numbers which actually makes it a bit tough to pick a captain from the group. Ownership isn’t a concern here so I’ll use them in the order I listed, as that is the same order they are ranked in fp/r over the past 3 months.
Grim is likely to be popular at captain, but I’ll be fully fading him here. He still has the upside that he used to have for Triumph, he just reaches it far less frequently. If he’s up over 15% captain, which he is likely to be, I want no part in that, as it’s probably only a 5% chance at best that he puts up the top score on the slate. I will try to fit a couple of Elige captain lineups, as he’s likely to fly way under the radar (for him). Twistzz also makes for a nice captain pivot off Grim, where you can pass a large chunk of the field who has an otherwise similar lineup if Twistzz outscores Grim, which the recent data says is a pretty good bet.
It’s the usual suspects from BiG, with Xantares, Syrson, and Tabsen all worth captaining. Which one will be the best? I have no idea, although it is worth noting that Xantares and Syrson have put a liiiitle bit of distance between themselves and Tabsen over both the past 3 months and past month, so I’d lean one of those two. I don’t think ownership on any of them will be prohibitive.
On the other side of that matchup, if you think AGO can win, and mhL captain could smash the field. I already mentioned his insane scoring rates, and if AGO pulls off the upset it will likely be on his back. I would only do this in a small percentage of lineups, but it will definitely be low owned and could pay off big time.
From G2 it’s pretty much Nexa or bust for me in the captain slot, maybe I’ll sneak a Jackz lineup or two in. From OG I’ll use Mantuu or Valde, with maybe a lineup or two of ISSA if I really need the salary.
That’s it from me, good luck Tuesday!