For this Tuesday we have some opening round matches for the Eden Arena Malta Vibes Cup 4 on tap, and I need to point out that these two matches are a BEST OF ONE! Either way, some good contests are up for this slate, and I will be playing either way. So, let’s take a look!



Gambit Youngsters (Ranked 30th in World) vs Budapest Five (Ranked 82nd in World)

Our first best of one match for the Malta Vibes Cup 4 Event will be the opener for Group A between Gambit Youngsters and Budapest Five. Always a pleasure to get to watch one of the best AWPers in the World in Sh1ro, so we are always in for a treat with Gambit. Also, they are quite a large favorite in this match to win, as they are currently listed at -300 on the money line to take the lone map to be played. Both of these teams are fresh off a loss in their most recent matches, however, Gambit has won three of their last five, but two of their losses have been in their last three. Budapest Five are on a three-match skid at the moment and are looking to get back in the win column, but this will not be an easy task against Gambit. We have zero head-to-head data for these two, as it is pretty evident that GYs are on just a smidge of a higher level of competition than Budapest, so need to keep that in mind. With that said, we can analyze individual player performance over the last month. For Gambit, the team continues to rely heavily on two players – Sh1ro and Ax1Le. Both of these guys have been great lately, with Ax1Le really coming alive in the last couple of months as the premier number two behind Sh1ro. Sh1ro tops the list with a 1.21 rating, 0.76 KPR, 0.57 DPR, 1.19 IMP, and 77.4 ADR, while Ax1Le is not to far behind with a 1.17 rating, 0.78 KPR, 0.64 DPR, 1.15 IMP, and 85.7 ADR. For Budapest (13 maps), it is torzsi at the top with 1.13 rating, 0.77 KPR, 0.66 DPR, 1.19 IMP, and 76.2 ADR. Much like Gambit, there is a duo here as well that is pretty heads-above their teammates and that is Kory for Budapest, who sits right behind him with a 1.12 rating, 0.74 KPR, 0.74 DPR, 1.29 IMP, and 82.2 ADR. I know best of one matches are basically a coin flip when it comes down to map selection, but we will see if we can narrow it down at least.

So, looking at their map data over the last three months, it appears that the first ban maps for these two include Vertigo and Nuke. The next two maps with the highest percentage of ban for these two include Inferno and Overpass. This leaves us with Dust2, Mirage, and Train. Both Mirage and Train have been banned, but at 1% of the time lately. Mirage is the typical first choice for Buda, but both are winning this map roughly at 65% of the time lately. Dust2 has been played over double the amount of times for Gambit than Buda have played on it over the last three months, so likely see Buda ban this one. I think this one comes down to Mirage and Train. My educated guess is that we see Mirage. It has been picked as a first map choice about 2% higher than train by Gambit, and I feel it really comes down to what map will Gambit decide to ban last, and I feel it will be Train. I think we see Mirage. Let’s see if we have any major top performers for Mirage lately. I do believe Gambit will have a bit of leverage on Mirage, as they have played this map six times over the last month, compared to just the two attempts for Budapest. For Gambit on Mirage over last six tries, no shocker but it is Sh1ro at the top with 1.27 rating, 0.85 KPR, 0.60 DPR, 1.20 IMP, and 78 ADR. With Ax1Le being the only other option playing above average here with a 1.15 rating, 0.78 KPR, 0.69 DPR, 1.16 IMP, and 86.9 ADR. For Budapest (used last three months for larger sample at 11 opportunities) on Mirage, it is Kory at the top with a 1.22 rating, 0.80 KPR, 0.67 DPR, 1.33 IMP, and 83.8 ADR. Of course, torzsi is not very far behind, and is the last option to list here as well, sitting at 1.19 rating, 0.76 KPR, 0.64 DPR, 1.30 IMP, and 78.2 ADR. When looking at the two teams, it is pretty evident who the top players are, and with this slate being best of ones, you want max upside, so with that said, 2x2x2 could likely be the optimal lineup construction after reviewing this match using both top two players from this match alone, along with 2 from the next match (whether that is two from one team, or 1 from each in the next match). Let’s talk options.


ANCHOR: Sh1ro – (No brainer and will garner a very high ownership, but he carries tremendous upside and his DPR is very attractive in a one map match)

Top Stacking Options: Sh1ro, Ax1Le, nafany



ANCHOR: Kory – (Tops the projected map and literally neck-and-neck with torszi for lead on this team)

Top Stacking Options: Kory, torszi, bodito



FATE (Ranked 38th in World) vs LDLC (Ranked 75h in World)

In our final best of one match of this slate, we get another Group A opening match between FATE and LDLC. Interestingly enough, FATE is not as big of a favorite in this match as I would have expected, as they are currently only sitting at a -170 favorite on the money line. I really figured we would see closer to -200 to be honest. Which somewhat worries me, as I don’t usually feel very comfy when a team looks “too good to be true” especially if Vegas seems to be any bit of hesitant about a favorite. That being said, FATE is fresh off a 2-1 victory in their most recent match, and have only dropped one match, a 0-2 reverse sweep to Illuminar, in their last five. They have had some nice wins with a couple sweeps over ALT aTTaX, and Singularity, with a 2-1 victory over the team listed as the favorite in the above match – the Gambit Youngsters. LDLC have not looked great lately, dropping four of their last five matches, but their lone win was a best of one 16-8 victory on Nuke over the team that swept FATE in Illuminar, which is quite interesting as well. Once again, FATE is considered on close to the same tier as Gambit Youngsters, so these two have no history of head-to-head data to analyze. With that said, we will look once again at some recent individual performances for a bit of guidance. For FATE ( who have played SEVENTY-FIVE maps over the last month – that is bat-shit crazy by the way), it is mar leading the team with a 1.12 rating, 0.74 KPR, 0.68 DPR, 1.16 IMP, and 82.5 ADR. Three others have either attained or eclipsed the 1.0 rating threshold for FATE as well in this sample, starting with h4rn at 1.08, Patrick at 1.04, and blocker sitting right at 1.00. LDLC has not been a stranger to the server over the last month as well, as they have amassed 30 maps to their name in this span. Bodyy leads the team over this span with a 1.21 rating, 0.78 KPR, 0.69 DPR, 1.41 IMP, and 88.6 ADR. Behind him is hAdji at 1.13, and SIXER at 1.04 to round out the list above 1.0 ratings for the sample. Once again, we will try to narrow down a map choice for this match.

It is evident that both teams are pretty set on their first bans, as the two typically banned first lately include Mirage and Nuke. The next two with the highest ban percentage include Overpass, and Vertigo. Seeing as how this still leaves both team’s typical first map choices, and their best maps lately of Train and Dust2, I highly believe each team would not like to give the other their strengths in a map, so I think we could easily see Inferno as the map choice here. Again, I am not saying this with a whole ton of confidence, because these teams could strategize differently, but this makes quite a bit of sense to me. So, let’s see who has performed the best lately on Inferno for these two. For FATE (12 map sample over last month), it is actually Patrick that has the top numbers sitting at 1.07 rating, 0.65 KPR, 0.65 DPR, 1.13 IMP, and 75.1 ADR. Only mar follows him here with a 1.04 rating. For LDLC (five map sample over last month), it is bodyy at the top at 1.18 rating, 0.70 KPR, 0.69 DPR, 1.24 IMP, and 88.3 ADR. He is followed here by all of his teammates (suppose this could be a nice edge for the dog) starting with SIXER at 1.12, hAdji at 1.06, Lambert at 1.05, and lastly afroo at 1.03. I believe I am now seeing more why FATE isn’t a larger favorite to win this match, and I do believe that it is more closer than it seems, as both teams have played a ton lately, and LDLC look like quite a scrappy squad that might have ran into some bad luck lately. With it being a best of one, I think anything can happen, and this one could turn out much closer than the odds are listing it as. Let’s talk options.


ANCHOR: mar – (still their carry usually and has the most upside)

Top Stacking Options: mar, Patrick, h4rn



ANCHOR: bodyy – (Could be my second favorite play of the slate behind Sh1ro as he shows in his numbers some major upside, and I feel the matchup is fair)

Top Stacking Options: bodyy, SIXER, hAdji