Welcome to the 2nd ever Valorant slate analysis article. I was fortunate enough to win the “big” $5.55 on the first ever slate, and I do mean fortunate. Before I jump into the 2/5 slate I’m going to do a quick lineup review and give a couple of takeaways from the 1st Valorant slate.
Winning Lineup Review
You’re probably wondering, “how the hell did he luckbox his way into that lineup winning”, and it’s a valid question. I’d love to say it was simply DFS greatness but it reality it was pretty lucky. I posted in Discord and updated my 2/4 article to mention that as I looked more at the FD scoring system, I thought gamestacks might be viable (more on this in a bit). I decided to run 5 out of my 32 lineups as game stacks. But then after I made my 4th gamestack, 1 for each game, my 31st hand built lineup overall, I didn’t really see a point in randomly picking a game to add a 2nd gamestack for. Instead, I decided to make a lineup with my favorite plays regardless of if they were opponents or not. Mostly, I was just tired of hand building lineups. It just so happened that everything fell into place for this lineup to take first place, but I definitely don’t think it means we should just ignore stacking at all. The 2nd place lineup (shoutout Wacokid5, another member of the TESD community), was a 3/2/1 stack that easily could’ve been the winning lineup. However there were a few interesting takeaways that we should take into consideration moving forward, especially those of us who have primarily playing DK CS:GO.
The biggest takeaway for me is how clearly important it is to play more rounds, both in terms of playing all 3 maps and playing as many rounds as possible per map. There is no such thing as RNP within a map on Fanduel. As long as a player average positive points in rounds lost, which is fairly easy with kills being worth 2, big bonuses for 3k, and 2 points for planting, it’s better to win 13-11 than it is 13-0. I have all kinds of thoughts on whether this is “good” or not, but it honestly doesn’t really matter, what’s important is we incorporate that into our lineup building. Beyond that, the 15 point sweep bonus is a joke. Players are scoring upwards of 30 points per map with regularity, even in losses, yet they only get 15 for the 3rd map of a sweep. Again, this being good or not doesn’t really matter. The way I’m personally going to incorporate this is to play more game stacks/opponents against each other. On Thursday my gamestack of the Immortals/Xset game ended up finishing 5th, and that was on a 4 game slate.
The 2nd key takeaway is that I overlooked assists when building my lineups. Sova players in particular get a ton of “free” assists. If their arrow or drone reveals an enemy who is then killed, Sova gets an assist. Plus, shock darts and a single tag from Sova’s ult also often lead to assists. Sage is similar in that if anyone she heals or rez’s goes on to get a kill after the heal/rez, Sage gets an assist. However, Sage is more of a situational pick these days while Sova is played on pretty much every map, so it’s easier to predict. This was definitely an oversight on my part, and lead me to having no MkaeL on Thursday when I definitely should’ve had some. I’ll be considering that more heavily when I build lineups for Thursday.
Also, bomb planting is something I’m going to have to study more and try to find team’s that have a dedicated planter. MkaeL again had 12 bomb plants across Gen.G’s 2 maps. Between assists and bomb plants MkaeL had 45 points in only 2 maps, over 1/3 of his points. I have yet to find a source of reliable bomb plant data, so for now I’ll just make notes based on my observations/Fanduel scores from Thursday.
On to Friday’s slate
Friday is a 2 game slate. Unfortunately this tournament is moving super rapidly, so while there are actually 4 games on Friday, the 2 losers of the games on the slate immediately play again in the losers bracket, which means those games obviously can’t be a part of the slate. Both games that are on the slate are at 3:00 pm EST, which should make for an exciting and quick slate. The games are:
Immortals (50% implied win probability) vs Gen.G
Envy (65%) vs Luminosity
I would say take these odds with a grain of salt since the games themselves are pretty much tossups but the odds for at least Immortals and Gen.G are saying that better than I ever could. All 4 teams are definitely live on this slate.
This is basically the same paragraph and data as Thursday, it was helpful for me when building so I’m going to keep it for at least the first few slates. I’m going to list each player, and then their KD in the form of [Kills per round, Deaths per round]. This should at least give everyone a baseline for who the top players are on each team, as we work towards comprehensive projections like we have for CS:GO. 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. I’ll do my best to make a note of primary bomb carriers, and like I mentioned above, 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.
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:
jcStani – $9.7k – [.72, .71] – Omen
Genghsta – $8.9k – [.69, .61] – Sova (increased assists)
ShoT UP – $12.2k – [.93, .69] – Reyna, Phoenix
NaturE – $10.6k – [.77, .69] – Killjoy, Cypher
Kehmicals – $11.6k – [.81, .67] – Jett, Raze
Immortals doesn’t really have a dedicated bomb planter, NaturE led the team with 10 plants on Thursday while jcStani and Genghsta both had 7. Pricing still pretty much makes sense here, nothing is horribly off. Because of the increased assists and getting a few bomb plants, Genghsta may be a bit underpriced.
gMd – $9.0k – [.79, .67] – Omen
huynh – $9.6k – [.76, .65] – Jett, Sage
MkaeL – $10.4k – [.68, .66] – Sova (increased assists)
Shawn – $11.7k – [.86, .67] – Raze, Phoenix
koosta – $9.8k – [.68, .64] – Cypher
On Thursday Mkael planted the bomb 12 times, far and away the primer planter. Between that and his elevated assists, he scores a lot more fantasy points than just his k/d implies. However, he has been priced up accordingly, and his actual K/D leaves a bit to be desired. huynh and gMd on the other hand are cheap and have higher fragging potential. Koosta is also rapidly improving, you can tell his skill as he wins most of his 1v1 aim duels, he just needs more time in Valorant. Thursday’s match alone moved his kills up by .02 per round, and he didn’t get the name recognition ownership bump I was expecting. I’d like him more in this spot if gMd and huynh weren’t so cheap.
mummAy – $9.2k – [.76, .64] – Jett, Raze
FNS – $8.4k – [.66, .69] – Cypher, Killjoy
kaboose – $10.9k – [.74, .72] – Omen
crashies – $11.9k – [.75, .65] – Sova, Skye (increased assists)
food – $9.9k – [.78, .67] – Sage, Phoenix
In addition to being the team’s top fragger, food also planted the bomb 9 times on Thursday, a pretty substantial number (full disclosure I didn’t dig thru to find FNS or kaboose but based on how many rounds they played it’s likely food led the team). His price dropped from an already underpriced $10.6k to $9.9k. I wouldn’t go so far as to say he’s a free square, but he’s pretty close to it. mummAy also looks underpriced at only $9.2k.
aproto – $11.1k – [.82, .71] – Cypher, Raze
stellar – $10.1k – [.67, .65] – Sage, Omen
thief – $9.5k – [.83, .74] – Reyna, Phoenix, Jett
moose – $8.3k – [.64, .62] – Sova, Omen
YaBoiDre – $8.6k – [.78, .72] – Raze, Omen
Thief has gone from being egregiously underpriced to just underpriced, as he now sits at $9.5k. None of the 3 main fraggers do much bomb planting, and moose and stellar don’t frag well enough for the potential bomb plants to make them attractive plays. That said, YaBoiDre is now underpriced at only $8.6k.
As I mentioned above, I think game stacking is viable because of how Fanduel does scoring. You also have to play players from 3 different teams, so 3/3’s are off the table on 2 game slates. With the smaller tournaments Friday, max entering means 19 lineups. In those lineups I’ll probably gamestack (either a 3/2 or 2/2, the 2/2 being 4 players, not the team slot) in a little less than half. The hope is that the gamestack goes to 3 long maps while the other game is 2 quick maps.
As for the plays I like, Shot Up is a virtual must play if you’re playing Immortals. He’s far and away the top fragger on the slate, and I’ll have him in most of my lineups. The field of course will too, especially after his absolutely massive performance on Thursday. That said, I don’t really see a way Immortals win without a big performance from him. The only way I won’t have him is when I gamestack the other game or I 3 stack Gen.G.
Shawn on the other side of that matchup is my 2nd highest priority player. He too puts up insane numbers, even if they’re a bit below Shot Up’s. I’ll have both of them in as many lineups as I can fit. To do that I’ll need some value. On Thursday I leaned on Thief for that value, and I’ll be going right back to that well on Friday. Same thing with food. They’re far and away my favorite value plays on the slate.
YaBoiDre, Genghsta, gMd, huynh, and mummAy are all also underpriced, and will make their way into a decent chunk of my lineups.
Good luck on Friday everyone, I know I’ll be fighting to keep my (self-proclaimed) world #1 Valorant DFS player title, but if I can’t keep it I hope one of you take it.