After a couple of weeks off, Valorant is back! EU Challengers starts before NA, so Wednesday gives us a 4 game EU slate. Lock is at 8:00 am EDT and the games are:
BDS (66% implied win probability) vs TENSTAR
Liquid (67%) vs Vitality
Fnatic (66%) vs Alliance
Giants (68%) vs Rix.GG Thunder
I’ve tabulated every team’s FP/r over the past 2 months. Keep in mind that these numbers do not take into account odds at all (check out my projections where I do account for odds), they’re just raw stats to compare a team within itself. Basically, I wouldn’t use these stats to decide which team to play, but once you’ve selected the teams you want to play the stats are helpful for deciding who to play on that team.
BDS are priced way up even though all 4 favorites are roughly the same win probability. They’re also fairly balanced as a team, there’s no one standout and no one that’s really lagging behind. Expect super low ownership for them as a team, which makes them a little bit interesting in GPP’s, although with even the “big” $10 only 10 entry max, there are certainly better plays.
On the other side, TENSTAR are priced like they have no chance to win. Russ is the stud here (keep in mind TENSTAR have played many of their games against lower tier competition), but really all 4 players put up solid numbers. TENSTAR are definitely worth a look in GPP’s.
I’m not quite sure what happened with Kryptix price here. Everyone else looks about right, a bit high given that they again are not massive favorites. I’d expect a bit more ownership here than on BDS, mostly because of name recognition. It’s also worth noting that the FP/r gap between ScreaM and Jamppi is virtually non-existent, ScreaM has really come down to earth in the past couple months.
While there’s no Zywoo for this Vitality squad, they’re again priced like they have no shot to win. vakk ceNder and bramz are all worth a look in GPPs. Again, I want to stress don’t use these numbers to compare Vitality to TENSTAR. TENSTAR’s numbers come while winning almost 75% of their maps over the last 2 months while Vitality have only won 55%. So while vakk’s numbers are lower than Russ’ that doesn’t mean Russ is automatically a better play. You can see this in their projections where Russ is only projected for 5 more than vakk, aka 2.5 kills (which really isn’t much when you think about it). Also one last note is Shalaby is new to the team, most of his stats come from low tier play, so I wouldn’t automatically assume he’s a better play the LoWkii if you’re really trying to hit the bottom of the barrel savings. Personally I’d stick with the top 3 guys anyways.
The numbers on Fnatic look pretty drastically different than when we first saw them in Iceland. Back then Derke and doma were the clear top fraggers. Now, Magnum has actually snuck into that top spot. It’s probably no coincidence that Fnatic have been struggling lately, winning only 55% of their maps over the past 2 months. However, they are cheap considering they are just as big of favorites as the first two that were massively priced up. They also have strong name recognition, which matters since people are still hand building lineups. Expect some decent ownership here.
We have our first wildly mispriced team, or at least player. kAdavraa is far and away the top fragger (and he plays duelist so it’s not like this is a fluke), yet is priced at the very bottom of the team. He’s a strong play in GPP’s. hype looks like the best stacking partner based just on the stats.
Giants are the 4th and final favorite on the slate, and the only one that has never been on a DK slate. I’m hoping that helps keep their ownership down a tiny bit, because make no mistake this team should be the chalk. They’re the biggest favorites (just barely) and the cheapest favorite. Meddo and Davidp are great value plays, and really all 5 members of the team are too cheap. If you’re playing cash or SE a Giants stack is basically a lock and with only 10 entry max in the big GPP I like them there too.
On the other side, Rix are still definitely a live underdog. Keep in mind that no team on this slate has less than a 3/10 chance to win according to Vegas. The frei and Mickebwoy duo are definitely the top plays here, and make for a nice cheap stack and pivot off of Giants chalk in GPPs.
I’ll be the first to admit I don’t watch a ton of EU Valorant outside of challengers. That means I haven’t seen a lot of most of these teams. I’m going to approach this slate the same way I do CSGO slates when I don’t know a ton about the teams/players, and focus on the fundamentals. The first fundamental is lineup building. So far in Valorant we’ve seen 3/3 be super successful, even on 4 game slates. I’m speculating on the reasoning, but my thinking is that A) the tournaments are small so you don’t need to be anywhere close to perfect, and B) the prevalence of assists in Valorant makes it a lot easier for 3+ players on the same team to perform really well. It’s not uncommon in Valorant to see guys get 10+ assists on a map since there are just more ways to get assists. Tons of abilities give assists in Valorant it’s not just damage or flashes like it is in CSGO. Sova, Skye, Breach, and Sage players in particular pick up a ton of assists with their abilities. I’m personally going to run either 3/3 or 3/2/1. Running 2/2/2 or anything with less stacks I think is too thin for these small tournaments, you simply don’t need to do it.
The second fundamental is recognizing that people are going to barely play any underdogs even though all 4 are definitely live. Based on the Vegas odds, there’s only a 20% chance all 4 favorites win. Yet the underdogs will go virtually unowned. It’s tough to play a ton of them since it’s only 10 max in the $10, but out of those 10 lineups at least 3 or 4 should have exposure to an underdog one off or stack. Hell, even in single entry a guy like kAdavraa is a strong play.
Other than that my only real “takes” on the games are that Fnatic and Liquid are riding a bit on their reputation vs their recent form right now. I think both of their Vegas odds are a little high (probably should be around 60% each). What this means is in those few lineups I play underdogs, it’s likely to be Vitality or Alliance.
Good luck on Wednesday!