NA Challengers kicks off on Wednesday with a nice 4 game slate. Lock is at 3:00 pm EDT, and the games are:
Sentinels (92% implied win probability) vs Rise
TSM (55%) vs Envy
XSET (76%) vs Luminosity
100T (61%) vs Faze
Moose is back in for Luminosity, and Ban is benched. Mummay has also been benched by Envy in favor of yay. Sinatraaa is no longer on Sentinels. Don’t play any of Ban, Mummay, or Sinatraaa.
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.
Sentinels showed some cracks in their armor in Challengers 1, losing several maps and actually losing a series to Xset before coming back to stomp them in the Grand Finals. Just from looking at the stats, I’d attribute much of that to SicK’s numbers being down. He used to be right up there with Tenz, both were close to 1.30. Now Tenz is excelling while SicK has really struggled. All 4 of the non-Tenz players are close to the same in terms of FP/r lately. I still like SicK best of the group but you can justify playing anyone here.
I’m not planning on touching Rise but if you do supamen and Shanks are the best plays. Everyone on the team is basically the same price (free) so don’t read much into things being in the wrong order.
TSM are fairly overpriced, especially compared to Envy. This game is basically a coinflip but TSM are priced like they are heavy favorites. This makes them interesting in GPP’s. bang is a bit cheaper than his teammates and scores a solid FP/r, and if I’m playing TSM I’m always going to have Wardell.
I double checked those numbers for Yay, there’s no typo. Of course, they come from his time on Andbox, this is his debut match for Envy. But it’s not like Andbox are a T3 team, his stats all come from Challengers qualifiers, which is also where a large portion of the stats for these other squads come from. I don’t expect him to frag out quite as hard for Envy in general as he has a better team around him, but make no mistake he’s an elite talent. He should mostly remain on his signature Jett as Mummay was the Jett player/OPer. Everyone on Envy is a strong play on this slate because of how cheap they are.
AYRIN and dephh look like solid value plays here, as they score comparably to BcJ and PureR yet are quite a bit cheaper.
I think that bringing moose back into the lineup makes LG quite a bit better. Good enough to beat Xset? Probably not, but in the $5 GPP where you can enter 71 lineups it’s worth taking a shot on a handful of LG lineups. YaBoiDre is the clear top play, and I actually think Moose is number 2. Despite his numbers looking roughly the same as his teammates, those are his career numbers since he hasn’t won lately. He’s accrued them while winning ~59% of his maps played while his teammates’ stats come from matches where they’ve won ~74% of maps.
Nitro is definitely underpriced here, and Hiko is a bit too. Ethan is overpriced but makes for a slightly interesting GPP play as you have to figure that eventually his elite CS skills will translate.
Faze are very cheap considering they have a >30% chance to win according to Vegas. Corey and Babybay are the two studs here, and if Faze wins it’ll likely be off the back of their insane aggression working.
Not only do I think the pricing is egregious for Envy, I think the line is flat out wrong. I think Envy with Mummay should’ve been a favorite over TSM, and yay is a pretty big upgrade in raw skill. It’s also not like TSM are this team that’s been playing together forever, as Leviathan only just joined the team before Challengers 2. I’m going to be absolutely loaded up on Envy. The best 5 value plays according to my projections are all Envy players, and that’s even with leaving the odds that have TSM as small favorites.
For GPP’s this actually makes TSM fairly interesting. I think the line should be about 60/40 in favor of Envy, but TSM will still likely end up underowned even for that alternate line. With the $5 being 71 entry max if you’re anywhere near max entering you should definitely have a few TSM lineups.
With Envy’s mispricing, Faze will likely go overlooked. I do think their aggression is a stylistic issue for 100T, who play a more cerebral than aim based style. If Faze can force gunfights they have the aim to win them. I like Faze a lot in GPP’s.
Luminosity are every so slightly more live of dogs than Vegas is giving them credit for. Again, if you’re anywhere close to max entering the $5 I’d make sure to have a few LG lineups.
One last note is that there is finally at least one lineup builder for Valorant, so we’re likely to see a bunch of new (to Valorant) players in these contests. They’ll likely be a bit all over the place with their builds, so we can focus on fundamentals to get an edge. For me those fundamentals are running 3/2/1 lineups with no opponents in the same lineup. I think this field is getting too big for 3/3, although with how much success it’s had so far I wouldn’t begrudge you for trying it. 2/2/2 is OK I guess, but I’m personally going to stick with 3/2/1.
Good luck on Wednesday!