We’re now into the EU playoffs of the ESL Pro League, Wednesday we have 2 games starting at 11:30 am EST. The games are:
Astralis (72% implied win probability) vs Heroic
Mouz (52%) vs Ence
Astralis are priced up on Wednesday, but both Mouz and Ence are cheap enough that you can make most lineup combinations work. There are a couple of lineups combinations with Astralis/Mouz that don’t fit under the salary cap, but it’s easy enough to fit them that I don’t think it will effect ownership. My expectation is that the overwhelming majority of lineups have Astralis, with close to a 50/50 split of Mouz/Ence (and a good amount of lineups playing Ropz + Allu + 1 other from either side of that game).
To compound matters, all 5 members of Astralis should see decent ownership, as they all score fairly well. Even playing the 4th and/or 5th fraggers won’t be super unique, as they’ll all carry plenty of ownership. Playing anyone in the Mouz/Ence matchup outside of Allu/Ropz doesn’t feel great, as the remaining 8 players from that game are all in the bottom 9 of our projections (with only Borup preventing them from being the whole bottom 8). Since everyone projects so poorly the ownership is again likely to be spread out among them, making it difficult to gain leverage again. I do expect Frozen to be the most popular player on Mouz outside of Ropz and Jamppi to be the most popular for Ence outside of Allu, so fading them gives you a little bit of leverage I guess.
Realistically though, the only spot to really get good leverage on this slate is Heroic. After a rough start to the tournament, dropping their 1st 2 games to Ence and AGO (which coincided with the loss of their coach as he was suspended for bug abuse), they really turned it around, winning 4 out of their last 5 games (the only loss a 2-1 to Navi) of group play. While the odds only give them a roughly 1/4 chance to win this matchup, which I think is about right, their ownership likely won’t reflect this, as I’d expect them to come in under 20% owned (with the possible exception of Niko being in the 20s). I’ll be heavy on Heroic here, as I do think they are a solid team and live underdog in this spot.
As Heroic are my favorite team on the slate, I like doubling down with them at captain. Niko has separated himself as their top fantasy performer a little bit, but Stavn, Teses, and even Cadian are all viable at captain.
On the Astralis side of that matchup, Es3tag and Device are my preferred captains, and I’d mix Dupreeh in if I need the salary savings. Magisk is reportedly still IGL’ing, and Glaive is the least talented fragger of the group so I would stay away from them at cpt. That said I’m personally going to be mostly running the Heroic side here.
Ropz and Allu are likely to have the overwhelming majority of the captain ownership from the Mouz/Ence game, and rightfully so. From Mouz you can make a small case for Bymas or Frozen (potentially a way to differentiate in Astralis/Mouz lineups), and from Ence Jamppi and Sunny have from time to time outscored Allu. In my Heroic lineups, I’ll stick with Ropz/Allu, but in Astralis lineups dipping into the lower tiers from this game at captain is definitely a way to differentiate yourself on a slate where it isn’t super easy to do that.
That’s it for me, good luck Wednesday!