Dota is already back in the DK lobby! ESL One Summer 2021 kicks off on Wednesday with a nice 4 game slate. This tournament features a decent prize pool, with $175,000 USD going to the first place team, but is definitely not as important to these teams as the major that just wrapped up. Additionally, every single team playing on Wednesday, with the exception of Alliance who are already qualified, will be playing TI qualifiers in a couple of weeks. Alliance and the other teams who have already qualified (whom we will see starting on Thursday’s slate) may use this tournament as a time to experiment a bit with some strats, although they may also play vanilla, not wanting to “show” anything before TI. I’d expect all the teams that still need to qualify to play pretty vanilla as well, as they’re playing against many of the same teams that they will be in just a couple weeks, at which time the stakes will be much higher. Overall, I’d also expect a bit of a looser environment, which usually leads to higher kill games as players are less nervous and more willing to take risks. The money matters to most of these teams, but not nearly as much as making TI does therefore the pressure will be a lot lower than the major was or upcoming qualifiers will be. Anyways the games are:

OG (70% implied win probability) vs Gambit

Alliance (81% implied win probability) vs Unique

Nigma (78% implied win probability) vs

Liquid (60% implied win probability) vs Tundra

There’s also been a couple of lineup changes since the major. Boxi, who had previously been dealing with some family issues, returns for Liquid. He will retake the Pos 3 (offlane) role, Qojqva will move back to Mid, and Sumail will no longer be standing in. However, Sumail is still in the tournament, as he will be taking for Ana, who has now retired for the 3rd time, as OG’s carry. You can basically throw out both his and Qojqva’s recent stats, as Sumail will likely be less active as a carry than he was a mid (less kills/assists but more farm, less fantasy points?). Qojqva’s stats should see an across the board improvement. He’s not a great mid, he’s fine, but he really struggled in the offlane. He should be much more playable in DFS now that he’s back to his natural position.

Also, Gambit have kept Lorenof at mid, but brought in a new support in eine. I’ll be honest I don’t really know anything about him but I don’t think this really changes much for Gambit’s overall outlook.


Slate Breakdown

I’m not going to list out all the stats for teams and players for this slate, partly because I haven’t had time to pull the new teams and partly because there have been several roster changes so I don’t even really think they’re that relevant.

My expectation is that Nigma are going to be the chalk. Everyone who has been playing Dota DFS know about them by now, they play a high-kill style, and they are the 2nd cheapest favorites despite being the 2nd biggest favorites. That’s a recipe for chalk if I’ve ever seen one.

However, what people may not realize is that OG are even more bloody than Nigma are. OG are my favorite stack on this slate. I’m not worried about Sumail integrating with the team, he’s played with them before and also is a solid carry despite mid being his more natural position.

To fit OG we’re going to need savings. My favorite spot for those savings is Tundra. Boxi hasn’t played a pro game in several months, and it may take some time to shake the rust off. This is a great opportunity for Tundra to come out and upset Liquid, and they are extremely cheap.  I also don’t mind Unique against Alliance, as like I mentioned Alliance are the most likely team to go with an experimental draft given that they’re the only one’s on the slate already qualified to TI.


Captain Strategy

It’s hard to fit favorite + favorite with a core captain. If you’re willing to completely punt the teams slot you can get some Alliance or OG plus Nigma or Liquid, but by far the easiest build is Nigma + Liquid. I expect that build to be super chalky, and I will therefore try to stay away myself.

I really don’t mind running some Position 4 captain to fit favorite + favorite on this slate. I’ll definitely have a couple of lineups like that, and then favorite + underdog lineups with a core captain.

Good luck on Wednesday!

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