Many DFSers are choosing to take their talents to the eSports streets as the prizes have grown. One game that I (and many others) are looking to learn about from a DFS perspective is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO ). I know very little about any eSport, but applying cross-sport DFS concepts can help you develop a sound strategy to a new DFS sport. CSGO DraftKings has some parallels to LoL DraftKings strategy, but there are certainly some differences that we see in the top pros’ lineups.
This article will take a look at the No. 1 DFS player in the world, Alex ‘Awesemo’ Baker. We’ll dive into his CSGO DraftKings stacking preferences, captain spot usage and how he leverages ownership. If you want to learn more about the actual game play of CSGO, we will have a primer out shortly. We can get an in-depth look using Fantasy Cruncher’s Lineup Study, which we have available as an add-on with our eSports subscription, which includes Awesemo’s Projections, Ownership Projections and Top Stack Tool.
Learning to play a new DFS sport can be daunting, especially when you’re like me and have no idea how CSGO works. When this is the case, it can’t hurt to look at some familiar users to see which strategies they deploy.
Specifically, I like to look at the lineup construction of top players. Should you stack? If so, how much? How can you leverage the field’s ownership? How can you avoid tying with 100 other users in a tournament? And with CSGO DraftKings and CSGO FanDuel both having a CPT/MVP spot, how can you use that spot to your advantage like we’ve learned to do in other sports (think Showdown NFL)? There is no late swap on DraftKings CSGO, so again, you don’t have to grind through a bunch of news, which is a nice change of pace compared to NBA and NHL.
Taking a look at the April 12 (two-game) CSGO DraftKings slate (in which he split first place with two others), we can see right away that stacking looks to be essential in this sport. Of Alex’s 141 lineups that he entered, 148 had at least a three-man stack as well as a two-man stack. Stacking and game stacking appears to be a big part of his strategy.
Even on bigger slates, like April 9 (six games), Awesemo’s stacking strategy is, in general, to stack up at least three players from one team.
Stacking is a huge part of Alex’s strategy, which is not necessarily the same as some of the other top players. Others look to more 2-2 stacks or even 2-1-1-1-1, but Awesemo’s is one of the more aggressive stackers I’ve looked at so far, regardless of slate size.
Stacking – How Many Teams?
On short slates, you’ll see Awesemo stack every team, but that’s going to be the case for most who MME two- and three-game slates. On the larger ones, like the April 9 six-gamer (he stacked 11 of 12 teams), he might leave a team off if they project very poorly. In general, my strategy has been to stack a lot of teams, but in any stacking sport, it will depend on your risk tolerance and what you’re trying to achieve in your DFS game.
Looking through Awesemo’s 3-2 stacks on April 9, you can see the amount of differentiation he uses in his stacks. Many of these lineups are very close to the same ownership sum, but they’re reliant on two completely different (or in some cases, opposite) scenarios going his way.
Want to learn more about Awesemo’s DFS Lineups? Check out our Study A Pro LoL DFS Article where we break down some of the top pros’ strategies!
A huge reason why Awesemo and other long-time DFS players have success in multiple DFS sports is because they can leverage ownership better than anyone else. That’s not to say that he doesn’t play the chalkiest guys. In fact, from what we see in Awesemo’s exposures from his GPP-winning day on April 12, he plays a ton of chalk.
This is not to say the steps to conquering CSGO DFS are: slam the chalk, become rich. Instead, when you do land on these popular stacks, whether you’re hand-building or using an optimizer, you’ll want to avoid some of the popular pairings in large-field GPPs. This will help you avoid playing the very-most popular lineups, which are likely going to be -EV in the long term.
Avoiding Duplicate Lineups
There are few things more tilting than hitting the nuts and not even doubling your entry fees, or in some cases, not even profiting on the day. Winning the $20,000 top prize with three or four users? That’s a nice pay day. Sharing the top prize with 100 users or more, not so much. Even in a top-heavy GPP, playing heavily-duplicated lineups probably isn’t the best way to maximize your long-term ROI. In CSGO DFS, you’re going to have dupes — even one of Awesemo’s lineups was duped 196 times yesterday — but avoiding the mega-chalk, cookie-cutter lineups and going for slightly less-chalky lineups seems to be the play. Going for fewer dupes (within reason) is a solid strategy so you don’t end up like me when I “won” this tournament the other day. It was LoL DFS instead of CSGO, but if these CSGO tournaments get larger, and already having one fewer roster spot than LoL DFS, the type of thing you see below could be even more prevalent.
I entered 100 lineups in this tournament, scored as many points as anyone in a tournament that paid out $20,000 to first, and ended up losing almost half of my entry fees overall. Now, let’s take a look and see how Alex is combating the problem of dupes.
Going back to the April 9 slate (six games), Alex had only five lineups out of his 150 that were duped more than three times. In a sport that lends itself to stacking and a tournament with 7,477 entrants, that’s pretty difficult to pull off. From my perspective, it looks like avoiding dupes is essential in CSGO, similar to what we’ve seen in LoL DFS.
A great way to avoid a large amount of duplicate lineups is by using Awesemo’s CSGO Ownership Projections and Top Stack Tool, as they give you a great idea which teams, and more importantly, which lineups you might want to avoid on a given slate because they will go over-owned and/or will be popular fill-ins with other chalky stacks.
CSGO DFS Strategy: CPT Slot
This is mostly the same as LoL DFS. In order to take down a GPP, you’re going to have to nail your captain, and it because CSGO lends itself to stacking, you’ll see Awesemo stacking a couple additional players from the same team — the thought process being that if the captain performs well, the rest of the team is going to generate a lot of points, and you have a better chance of taking down a tournament. However, I myself have had trouble limiting my CPT usage because there aren’t positional requirements in CSGO DraftKings lineups.
One thing I would look to avoid after looking through some of Awesemo’s exposures is low-projected players in the CPT slot. While there are times that a cheap player with great value can bring you to a GPP-winning score, but these lineups will be popular amongst the field. Using expensive, high-projecting CPTs will probably not give you the highest projected lineups, but they will allow you to be different than most of the field. On the April 12 slate, Alex’s three highest-owned CPTs accounted for over 65% of his CPT usage, and those were also the three highest-owned players by the field. The CPT spot is probably not one where you want to get too cute.
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Everyone wants to frag the opposition in Counter-Strike Fantasy but first you have to know their location first. Ownership projections will give you an idea of which players will be the chalk and which will be sleepers.
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