Valorant is back in the lobby! After a couple of weeks off, the Champions tour is back with some of the same teams and some new faces having qualified. Saturday’s slate is a 4 gamer that locks at 3 pm EST. The games are:

Sentinels (86% implied win probability) vs Faze

Envy (63%) vs XSET

Immortals (57%) vs Gen.G

100 Thieves (66%) vs Luminosity

As I always mention, take these odds with a big grain of salt. Everyone in the world, including Vegas, is guess when it comes to these odds, and in reality there’s probably value on every single underdog.

The Teams

I like having the K/D data and most common agents played in front of me while I’m making lineups. I’m going to list each player, and then their KDA in the form of [Kills per round, Deaths per round, Assists per round]. This should at least give everyone a baseline for who the top players are on each team. I’ll also list the agent(s) each member plays most often. Generally speaking, if you see someone plays Jett that usually means they are the OPer (sniper), although because the OP is $5.0k to buy while the rifles are only $2.9k, a lot of the time even the OPers end up playing quite a few rounds on rifles every game, many more than in CS:GO. Typically speaking, players who play duelists (Jett, Reyna, Phoenix, Raze, Yoru) are the players expected to be the top fraggers by their team. I’ll do my best to make a note of primary bomb carriers, and Sova players (and to a lesser extent Sage players) are likely to end up with a substantial amount of assists, so give them a slight boost when you’re making lineups. I have switched how I’m getting my stats, so they’ll now only be for the past 90 days. A lot of these players have changed teams and roles fairly frequently, so showing only fairly recent stats makes more sense than showing long term stats in my opinion.

One more note on the stats, I’m personally mostly using them to compare within a team. Some of these top tier teams have mostly played other top tier teams while the lesser known teams have beat up on worse competition. This might cause stats to be inflated or deflated a bit when comparing across teams.

If you played much CS:GO, particularly early on back in April and May of 2020 you’ll likely recognize a lot of these names. Many of the Valorant pros were at one time CS:GO pros, with a few coming from other games and of course some who are completely new to the pro scene. Anyways on to the teams:

Sentinels

ShahZaM – $11.1k – [.81, .69, .17] – Jett

SicK – $10.6k – [.82, .67, .30] – Phoenix, Sova, Sage

sinatraa – $12.0k – [.79, .73, .38] – Raze, Reyna, Sova

zombs – $9.9k – [.59, .68, .28] – Omen

dapr – $11.6k – [.71, .66, .27] – Cypher, Sage

It looks like Sentinels have underwent a bit of a role/composition switch lately, as Sinatraa has been playing Sova less and duelists more. This does increase his fragging potential a bit, but he’s also priced up for it. SicK is definitely a bit underpriced here, and he also has the added bonus of wracking up a decent amount of bomb plants. ShahZaM also looks like a bit of a value relative to his teammates, although he isn’t exactly cheap overall, his $11.1k salary is 13th most expensive on the slate.

FaZe Clan

babybay – $11.7k – [.84, .70, .25] – Jett

Corey – $10.2k – [.86, .68, .25] – Reyna, Raze

Marved – $8.8k – [.76, .72, .24] Omen, Brimstone

Rawkus – $8.5k – [.61, .61, .33] Sova, Skye

ZachaREEE – $8.3k – [.64, .64, .25] Cypher

This is the first time we’ve seen Faze on a slate, and the pricing doesn’t look to be terrible, especially given that they are the biggest underdogs on the slate. Corey is definitely for his fragging potential, although if you agree that they should be massive underdogs, it’s probably babybay being overpriced more than it is Corey being underpriced. That said, I do think this team is more capable of competing with Sentinels than their odds imply, so I will definitely have some Corey, and maybe some of the bottom 3 for salary savings.

Envy

mummAy – $10.5k – [.75, .63, .18] – Omen, Jett

FNS – $9.2k – [.67, .65, .27] – Cypher, Killjoy

kaboose – $9.6k – [.74, .71, .23] – Raze, Reyna, Omen

crashies – $11.2k – [.81, .64, .30] – Sova, Skye

food – $11.8k – [.78, .66, .34] – Phoenix, Raze

This is another team that has definitely undergone a role change recently. We previously saw mummAy play mainly Jett while kaboose mainly played Omen. Now, mummAy seems to be the primary Omen player while kaboose is playing duelists. Envy are a bit of an odd team in that their top fragger, crashies, doesn’t play duelists, but kaboose’s fragging potential is definitely better than the last time we saw Envy, and his $9.6k salary is definitely underpriced.

Xset

PureR – $10.3k – [.83, .72, .21] – Jett

thwifo – $9.0k – [.67, .65, .32] – Cypher, Breach

AYRIN – $8.5k – [.76, .71, .26] – Raze, Killjoy

BcJ – $11.7k – [.81, .66, .33] – Sova, Omen

Wedid – $9.4k – [.72, .71, .26] – Omen, Viper

Ayrin and PureR definitely look a bit underpriced here, Ayrin in particular. Remember with the scoring system raw kills are more important the KD, so even though he dies a lot he puts a solid amount of kills, especially for only $8.5k. PureR has big upside if he gets rolling.

Immortals

jcStani – $10.7k – [.74, .72, .26] – Omen

Genghsta – $9.9k – [.62, .60, .35] – Sova

ShoT UP – $12.1k – [.95, .68, .26] – Reyna, Phoenix

NaturE – $10.9k – [.70, .65, .22] – Killjoy, Cypher

Kehmicals – $11.5k – [.83, .68, .18] – Jett, Raze

Immortals are priced up like they’re massive favorites, when in reality this game is pretty close to a coin flip. That said, ShoT UP is still the best player on the slate, although it is worth noting his signature Reyna was changed a bit. It’s probably more of a nerf than a buff. Previously, Reyna could heal or self or become invulnerable after a kill up to 4 times per round. Now, the number of times has been reduced to twice per round, but Reyna can now use her ability a kill or an assist. I don’t expect it to make a huge difference in ShoT UP’s (or anyone else who plays Reyna) play, but I do want to point it out.

Gen.G

gMd – $8.2k – [.75, .64, .26] – Omen

huynh – $8.7k – [.75, .65, .18 ] – Jett

MkaeL – $10.1k – [.63, .58, .41] – Sova

Shawn – $11.6k – [.93, ..70, .28] – Raze, Reyna, Phoenix

koosta – $8.4k – [.70, .67, .27] – Cypher, Killjoy

Gen.G are priced way down like they’re massive underdogs. Fanduel is evidently putting much more stock in the beatdown Immortals put on Gen.G last time they played than Vegas is. I tend to side with Vegas, I think Gen.G were just off that day. huynh is way too cheap at $8.7k, and so is gMd at $8.2k. koosta is also a bit cheap at $8.4k. Shawn is probably the 2nd best fragger on the slate. I’ll have lots of Gen.G here, including some run back with ShoT UP.

100 Thieves

Asuna – $11.9k -[.88, .76, .32] – Reyna, Phoenix, Raze

dicey – $11.3k – [.72, .64, .20] – Jett

nitr0 – $10.5k – [.82, .65, .30] – Omen

Hiko – $9.6k – [.75, .54, .42] – Sova

steel – $9.2k – [.68, .67, .27] – Killjoy, Cypher

100 Thieves are probably the most popular team amongst fans, and the won the first big Valorant tournament. nitr0 and steel are among the best counterstrike pros to make the switch (it is the Team Liquid nitr0), and Hiko also played on top tier CS teams in the past. Asuna and Dicey are two young studs to mix in with the “Boomers” (Hiko is a whopping 30 years old). Speaking of Hiko, he and Nitro look pretty underpriced here. I’ll have plenty of each of them, as well as Asuna. Asuna could challenge Shawn and Shot UP as the top fragger on the slate.

Luminosity Gaming

aproto – $9.4k – [.81, .71, .21] – Cypher

stellar – $11.8k – [.69, .64, .29] – Sage, Killjoy, Omen

thief – $10.3k – [.83, .75, .22] –  Raze, Reyna, Jett, Phoenix

moose – $8.6k – [.67, .62, .30] – Sova

YaBoiDre – $9.1k – [.78, .73, .22] – Omen

Since we last saw Luminosity, they’re also switched up their roles a bit. YaBoiDre had been playing a good bit of duelists, he now plays almost exclusively Omen. That definitely lowers his fragging potential a big. Luminosity seems to be leaning towards a defensive, 1 duelist (most teams play 2) lineup. 100T probably have the best strategy of any team in NA, so I expect them to be able to pick apart this defensive oriented team. That said, the odds are still relatively close, and the pricing is all out of whack here. I have no idea why stellar is so expensive. aproto and thief are the targets here, and both come at very reasonable prices, especially aproto.

Strategy/Top Plays

I talked about this a bunch previously, but I want to reiterate, more maps = better, and more rounds = better. The way the scoring is set up, it’s pretty easy for players to outscore the 20 points they get as a sweep bonus on a losing map, and since there’s no RNP bonus with a map, with 13-11 is probably better than winning 13-0.

This means a couple of things. For starters, it definitely means winning “too fast” is a thing. If you think for example that the Sentinels vs Faze odds are correct and Sentinels is going to stomp Faze, you probably don’t want to put a Sentinels stack in every lineup. It also means that game stacking, or at least playing both sides of a matchup, is viable. If Immortals vs Gen.G goes to 3 closely contested maps, it’s likely both Shot UP and Shawn put up big scores. I am going to focus more on playing the best, and the most underpriced, players than I am on stacking, but of course taking into account stacking too. If I’m trying to decide between Asuna and Shawn for my last spot and I already have Hiko in my lineup, that will push me to Asuna, but I won’t play Dicey over someone I think is a better play just because I have Hiko.

My favorite underpriced plays are (in order when their games are, not how much I like the play):

Sick

Corey

kaboose

Purer

AYRIN

huynh

gMd

koosta

nitr0

Hiko

aproto

thief

My favorite plays for raw upside are (roughly in order of how much I like them):

Shot UP

Shawn

Asuna

Sick

Corey

Crashies

Purer

Nitr0

babybay

thief

aproto

Hiko

You’ll notice there are some names on both lists. As you can probably infer, those are my favorite plays, and will likely make up my core.

That’s it for me, good luck on Saturday!

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