Welcome! With first ever DK Dota Slate set to kick off on Wednesday, I’ve got a full breakdown coming your way. This analysis will be slate specific, for a general Dota DFS overview, check out my post from yesterday, and for a general overview of Dota itself, check out my post from last year.

The games on this slate are part of a round robin play-in stage, and all the series are Bo2. This is nice because it means no worrying about games not played, but it’s also a pain because any or all series could theoretically end 1-1. Keeping that in mind let’s take a look at the odds for Wednesday, I’ll give the teams, implied odds per map, and then the chances of each outcome based on those odds. Lock is at 7:00 am EST and the games are:

Team Secret (87% implied win probability per map) vs Gambit (13% per map)

Secret 2-0: 76% probability, 1-1 tie: 22% probability, Gambit 2-0: 2% probability

Vici Gaming (87% per map) vs Execration (13% per map)

Vici 2-0: 76% probability, 1-1 tie: 22% probability, Execration 2-0: 2% probability

Invictus Gaming (53% per map) vs Nigma (47% per map)

IG 2-0: 28% probability, 1-1 tie: 50% probability, Nigma 2-0: 22% probability

A couple of things to keep in mind, Gambit are playing with 2 standins, and IG are playing with their coach. Unfortunately, in the CIS region Navi and VP are king in terms of money, and No One (Gambit’s mid) and Sonnieko (Gambit’s support) both left the team to join Navi as of May 25th. This has left Gambit fairly high and dry, as they’ve been forced to bring in 2 standins in their place. We’ll dive in to that a bit more later, but it has clearly massively impacted the odds as they’re huge underdogs.

Oli couldn’t make the trip for IG, so they are playing with their coach, Super. Oli is Pos 5, which should be the easiest for a coach to fill in for, as it’s the most reliant on game knowledge and least reliant on mechanical skill. Expect a small drop off for IG overall.

 

The Teams

These 6 teams hail from 4 different regions. Secret and Nigma are from EUW (formerly EU), VG and IG are from China, Execration is from Southeast Asia (SEA) and Gambit is from EUE (formerly CIS). In general, EUW and China are the strongest regions in the world, and any team that qualifies to the major from them has a chance to win the whole thing. In fact, IG won the last major, which ended in early April. EUE is fairly strong at the top, but rapidly falls off, and SEA is the same. Gambit (even before the standins) and Execration are massive longshots to win the tournament.

Let’s take a look at some of the recent team stats. I’ve included Deaths per Win and Kills per Loss since a 1-1 finish would be relevant. Note that all Gambit stats include their 2 former players who have left the team and IG includes Oli, as there is no data for either team’s new lineup.

Team Nigma Secret VG IG Execration Gambit Averages
KPW 34.4 31.0 29.6 34.0 34.6 30.3 32.3
DPW 19.7 13.4 15.6 17.1 22.2 20.0 18.1
KPL 23.4 17.6 20.1 16.3 15.9 13.1 17.4
DPL 35.4 30.7 35.5 26.5 33.0 28.2 31.1
Avg Length Win 36.2 36.3 36.9 34.9 38.2 37.1 36.7
Avg Length Loss 42.6 37.8 40.1 32.5 35.6 34.8 36.9

Right away, what jumps out to me is the difference between the better teams, and the not as good teams. If you look at Secret, VG, and IG, the 3 “top” teams you’ll notice that their Kills per Win is more than 2x their Death per Win. They tend to win games more cleanly, they get a lead and then capitalize off that lead. Meanwhile, Gambit and Execration are barely at 1.5x kills/deaths in wins. They win their games a lot less cleanly, and give up more kills even when they do win. Nigma are somewhere in the middle, not quite as good as Secret, VG, or IG, but better than Gambit and Execration. Plus, the good teams lose dirty, they extend games, and the K/D isn’t THAT bad in losses. Whereas Execration and Gambit tend to get smoked, allowing well over twice as many kills as they produce in losses.

Now let’s take a look at these same stats normalized to the average:

Team Averages Nigma Vs Avg Secret vs Avg VG vs Avg IG vs Avg Exec vs Avg Gambit vs Avg
KPW 32.3 1.06 0.96 0.92 1.05 1.07 0.94
DPW 18.1 1.09 0.74 0.86 0.94 1.22 1.10
KPL 17.4 1.35 1.01 1.16 0.94 0.91 0.75
DPL 31.1 1.14 0.99 1.14 0.85 1.06 0.91
Avg Length Win 36.7 0.99 0.99 1.00 0.95 1.04 1.01
Avg Length Loss 36.9 1.15 1.02 1.09 0.88 0.96 0.94

The first thing I notice here is Nigma. They are involved in fighting-heavy games, every single stat is above average except for the average game length in wins, which is just barely below average. The next thing is the difference between Secret and VG in wins vs in losses. This is what I was talking about above, they win clean and quickly, and lose slowly and dirtily. Both teams are below average in both kills and deaths during wins, but above average or at least at average in both kills and deaths in losses. Both of them are favorites, both on Wednesday and for the group in general, but they may not be the best teams to target if there are other viable options. Finally, I notice how fast IG plays. They have the shortest average game length both in wins and losses. They do still manage to come in above average in kills per win, but every other stat is below average. If they end up playing in some prolonged games, which is definitely possible against western teams, they could be a source for strong fantasy performances.

Now that we’ve seen the team stats, lets take a look at how each individual team scores. Stats are for the last 10ish maps won and lost, which roughly corresponds with when patch 7.29 (the most recent major patch) was released.

Secret

Team Player Position FP/M Wins KP% Wins FP/M Losses KP% Losses FP Diff Losses KP Diff Losses
Secret Matumbaman 1 56.4 64.0% 34.5 69.8% -21.9 5.8%
Secret Nisha 2 60.4 69.8% 34.7 74.5% -25.7 4.7%
Secret Zai 3 40.7 57.1% 24.0 66.1% -16.7 9.0%
Secret Yapzor 4 35.7 55.5% 23.3 69.8% -12.4 14.3%
Secret Puppey 5 39.1 56.2% 25.2 69.3% -13.9 13.1%

Secret actually average the lowest fantasy points per map as a combined team in wins of any of these 6 teams, despite the fact that they average more kills in wins than VG. The reason for this? Their super low KP%’s. Zai, Yapzor and Puppey are the only 3 players on the entire slate who average <60% in wins. This leads to some really low FP/M even in wins. Zai and Yapzor are known as one of the best offlane duos in the world, so it’s not like they’re just playing poorly. I think this speaks to how Secret plays when they win. Zai and Yapzor, and to a lessor extent Puppey, push out lanes and choke the map out. Secret wins constant skirmishes, 2 or 3 of their players kill a couple enemies, and choke them out of the map. Interestingly, when Secret loses you actually see the KP%’s go way up. This speaks again to their style, when they’re behind they tend to group up and try to take a teamfight with a numbers advantage. This actually leads to Yapzor and Puppey having the smallest drop between fantasy points in wins and losses on the slate and Zai the 4th least. Of course the starting numbers aren’t good, but it definitely adds a little safety to playing them. If I play Secret, Matu and Nisha will definitely be my top priorities, and I like them much better as the 2 in a 4-2 than the 4, for GPP’s at least.

 

Gambit

Team Player Position FP/M Wins KP% Wins FP/M Losses KP% Losses FP Diff Losses KP Diff Losses
Gambit Dream 1 59.6 72.0% 22.9 64.1% -36.6 -7.9%
Gambit No One 2 58.2 78.3% 22.0 70.2% -36.2 -8.1%
Gambit Afterlife 3 43.5 65.8% 15.8 63.4% -27.7 -2.4%
Gambit Immersion 4 44.4 70.4% 15.0 68.7% -29.4 -1.7%
Gambit Sonnieko 5 44.3 71.1% 12.1 60.3% -32.2 -10.7%
Prosti Esli Lorenof 2 57.0 71.7% 34.8 67.5% -22.3 -4.2%
Fantastic 5 633 5 52.5 73.9% 17.5 68.8% -34.9 -5.1%

I’ve left No One and Sonnieko in to show how Gambit was playing before the roster changes, and also included the stats of Lorenof and 633 from their respective lower division teams. No One had the highest kill participation in wins of anyone on the entire slate (633 is actually the 2nd most to give you an idea of how big the gap was). The team very clearly flowed through him. Interestingly, Dream also has the highest KP% of any position 1 on the slate in wins, indicating that Gambit like to get him involved earlier on than the other teams on the slate. They tend to leave Afterlife out on his own, indicated by his low KP%.

As for the subs, both have really strong stats, but are taking a huge step up in competition. Of the two, I’d expect 633 to be the one whose stats fall off in wins. 74% KP is next to impossible for a Pos 5 to maintain in high level play, Pos 5’s are simply too weak in the lategame to be super involved in fights, and he’ll be punished much harder for trying to be in the thick of things in this tournament than he was in Division 2 EUE. Lorenof on the other hand I’d expect to be a driving force IF Gambit manages to win. Now, I don’t expect that to happen, but I’d expect Lorenof to maintain close to his same numbers if they do pull off the upset.

I’m only going to Gambit here if I MME, and in that case my prioritization will be Dream > Lorenof > Immersion > 633. Yes, 633 has better stats, but I expect most people to see that and then play him (if anyone plays Gambit at all), and like I mentioned I don’t think he can maintain his insane KP at this high level of Dota.

 

VG

Team Player Position FP/M Wins KP% Wins FP/M Losses KP% Losses FP Diff Losses KP Diff Losses
VG Poyoyo 1 57.0 69.2% 33.2 60.2% -23.7 -9.0%
VG Ori 2 56.3 71.2% 34.8 71.4% -21.5 0.2%
VG Old Eleven 3 49.3 65.6% 28.3 65.2% -20.9 -0.3%
VG Pyw 4 44.8 70.9% 24.8 68.3% -20.0 -2.5%
VG DY 5 35.0 60.3% 16.6 57.8% -18.5 -2.5%

Vici are the first team where the offlaner, Old Eleven, actually looks decently viable. He still averages less than Poyoyo and Ori, but it’s not by that much and has a solid overall FP/M in wins. Interestingly, VG and Gambit are the only teams on the slate where the Pos 1 actually outscores the Pos 2 in wins (and of course that could change with Gambit’s roster changes). The overall numbers aren’t crazy for VG, on the slate they only outscore Secret as a team in wins, but they are very safe on this slate. I would also note the big difference in scoring between Pyw and DY. DY scores the lowest of anyone on the slate in wins.

Given their odds, all 5 players are viable on this slate, but I’d put DY at a distant 5th in terms of priority.

 

Execration

Team Player Position FP/M Wins KP% Wins FP/M Losses KP% Losses FP Diff Losses KP Diff Losses
Execration Palos 1 56.1 63.9% 21.6 50.8% -34.5 -13.1%
Execration Yowe 2 56.1 67.0% 21.9 65.9% -34.2 -1.1%
Execration Nikko 3 54.7 71.8% 20.4 67.5% -34.2 -4.4%
Execration BDz 4 49.9 69.1% 20.1 69.0% -29.8 0.0%
Execration RR 5 38.4 63.6% 16.0 61.9% -22.4 -1.7%

In Execration we see a team that really plays through their offlane. Nikko and BDz have the highest kill participations, and score nearly as many fantasy points as the Pos 1 and 2 in wins. They have horrible odds so they’re strictly GPP only for me, but if I MME I’ll likely have one or two 4 stacks using positions 1-4.

 

IG

Team Player Position FP/M Wins KP% Wins FP/M Losses KP% Losses FP Diff Losses KP Diff Losses
IG FlyFly 1 58.8 66.2% 24.2 57.7% -34.6 -8.5%
IG Emo 2 68.2 73.2% 28.7 66.3% -39.5 -6.9%
IG JT 3 61.8 71.4% 24.7 66.3% -37.1 -5.2%
IG Kaka 4 50.2 69.1% 16.9 65.6% -33.4 -3.5%
IG Oli 5 46.9 67.3% 17.4 66.3% -29.5 -1.1%

IG are the 2nd team in a row that play through their offlane quite a bit. Emo is a standout from mid, but then JT actually averages more FP/M in wins than FlyFly. IG play super fast, Emo, JT, and Kaka build an early lead and then pressure the map until FlyFly shows up super farmed to a couple teamfights to win the game.

Establishtherun coined Mike Davis as “90% CMC” last year, I’m going to steal that and coin Super “90% Oli” here. Super is normally IG’s coach, and hasn’t played professionally since 2018, so I obviously don’t have any stats for him. Instead I’m using 90% of what Oli scores and attributing that to my expectations for Super. Position 5 is more about game/map awareness, warding, and positioning than it is about raw mechanical ability, so I’m not really worried about Super being terrible. If IG wins, which is definitely still possible with Super playing, I expect him to do fine.

I’m interested in all 5 players in GPP’s. I’m hopeful that because of the tough matchup IG won’t have high ownership overall, and I’m hopeful that JT in particular has low ownership. If they can 2-0 Nigma, IG have a very good shot at putting up the top scores on the slate, and even in a 1-1 they could be viable given Nigma’s propensity for long, high kill games.

 

Nigma

Team Player Position FP/M Wins KP% Wins FP/M Losses KP% Losses FP Diff Losses KP Diff Losses
Nigma iLTW 1 59.2 63.2% 43.2 68.3% -16.0 5.1%
Nigma Miracle- 2 67.0 72.6% 32.2 62.8% -34.9 -9.8%
Nigma MinD_Control 3 59.6 71.7% 33.8 66.5% -25.8 -5.2%
Nigma GH 4 52.5 70.4% 32.5 75.6% -20.0 5.3%
Nigma Kuroky 5 47.6 64.2% 25.9 62.8% -21.8 -1.4%

This is really a matchup of strength on strength, as Nigma’s numbers basically mirror IG’s. Miracle is the star here, nearly 8 fantasy points per map win above anyone else, and Mind Control just barely outscores iLTW in wins. Again, I think all 5 players here are viable in GPPs. IG tend to lose very fast when they lose, and therefore give up a low number of kills, but that’s also within a Chinese region that plays very clean Dota and will end incredibly quickly when they’re winning. Nigma (and the west as a whole) tend to play a bit messier, so a win may end up dragging out beyond IG’s norms.

Both of Liquid’s supports are the highest scoring at their position on the slate (although we don’t HAVE to play a position 5, keep that in mind), not counting 633’s numbers from the lower division, which makes them really attractive in GPP’s.

 

Top Stacks

There’s only 6 teams on the slate, so in MME I’ll have some exposure to each. The order I like the stacks in is:

VG

IG

Secret 2 stack

Nigma

Secret 4 stack

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Gambit

Execration

I’ll only have a little bit of exposure to either Gambit or Execration, with slightly more to Gambit since they’re more of an unknown. They could come out with a couple of strategies that catch Secret off guard. I’m likely to have exposure to either IG or Nigma in most of my lineups, as it’s basically impossible to fit VG + Secret. Pricing is actually really tight, I like that you can’t just slam Secret + VG.

 

Captain Strategy

Ideally I’ll have a core in my captain spot. For most teams that will exclude the offlaner, but for VG, IG, or Nigma I’m also interested in offlaners. I’ll try to stay away from support captain, but if I do go there it will be for a position 4 like GH or Kaka.

If you’re still reading, thanks for sticking with me, and good luck on Wednesday!

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