Top 20 players of 2013: kennyS (12)
One of the best AWPers of the year, Kenny "kennyS" Schrub, takes the 12th place on our Top 20 of 2013 by eSportsventure.com. Even though the 18-year-old Frenchman was cut from VeryGames in May, he went on to help LDLC.com and Recursive achieve notable placements at both DreamHack events.
Basic info and history
Kenny "kennyS" Schrub showed talent at a very young age, and he was trialed by VeryGames in December of 2011 when he was only 16 years old. But he didn't have any kind of experience in his career at that point, so the French giants picked up Michael "mK" Zaidi instead.
He took his first steps on LAN with eXtensive in 2012, only to find VeryGames calling in April after Zaidi was removed. The youngster jumped at the opportunity and joined the most famous CS:Source team in history to help them get back on top after a 9th-12th place Copenhagen Games.
It wasn't long before the team switched to CS:GO in September, and Schrub was quickly labeled a rising star in the new game for his great performances at DreamHack Valencia and ESWC. The team would end up reaching the final of every event they attended but as a rule, losing to NiP when they got there. By the end of 2012 Schrub had become the team's top fragger despite being an AWPer, and was even putting up big numbers in losses to the Swedes.
At the start of 2013, VeryGames added Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom in hopes of going that one step further, but they didn't start so great as they lost to Virtus.pro in Fnatic FragOut CS:GO League to finish 3rd.
Mad Catz Vienna at the end of February was the first time we saw the new lineup in action, but they didn't do as well as expected, having lost to Anexis both in the group stage, and then in the semi-final, for their first 3rd place in CS:GO.
Schrub played solid having a 1.10 rating, but not at the same level as in previous tournaments since Benrlitom was now the team's primary fragger. He even used the AWP less than ever before, for 30% of his kills (compared to an average 44% at LAN events in 2012), and ended up with the event's 3rd best 0.22 AWP KPR.
kennyS in Vienna
Their fortunes didn't improve much at Copenhagen Games, with the team for the second time in a row failing to reach the final, this time losing to their old nemesis NiP and eventually 4-16 in the lower bracket final to their new nemesis ex-Anexis, now called Western Wolves.
Even though once again only 3rd best in his team, Schrub did better overall, with a 1.21 rating and putting up the most resistance in yet another loss to the Swedes. He also improved in the sniping department, having 0.37 kills per round and in total 8 maps with double digit AWP kills.
One week later they would finally climb to the top of the podium at Mad Catz Birmingham, although NiP and Virtus.pro didn't attend that event. They had some trouble early on, losing to British Anexis in the group stage, and then needing overtime to win the second semi-final map over fm.TOXiC, but in the final against fnatic everything went smoothly and VeryGames got their first title.
Schrub had one of his best tournaments of the year on this occasion, putting in an MVP worthy performance with the event's highest 1.30 rating. His AWP was also particularly on fire with 0.48 kills per round and 14 or more kills with it in 6 of his 8 maps, making it one of the best single event performances of the year in that regard.
kennyS with an MVP-worthy performance in Birmingham
"I have a lot of good memories about this year, I think the first was Madcatz Birmingham with VeryGames, it was the 1st major event that we won."
For their third event in three weekends, VeryGames travelled to Germany next for RaidCall EMS One Spring Finals. After getting revenge against the Brits of Anexis in what ended up being a close match (16-1, 9-16, 16-14), the Frenchmen had to meet NiP again.
Another attempt had failed (3-16, 14-16), but in no way thanks to Schrub as he once again put up a good fight against the Swedes, and played well in all other maps to finish with an impressive 1.23 tournament-rating despite his team boasting only a 2-3 map record for the tournament.
With no time to rest, next weekend saw VG travel across the pond to Dallas, Texas for ESEA Season 13 Global Finals. After a shaky start against Dynamic, they beat the Poles ESC (16-10, 16-9) and then met NiP in the upper bracket final.
They would come closer than ever but still lose two maps in a heartbreaking fashion, 14-16, despite leading at the half both times. To follow that up, the next day they lost to Spencer "Hiko" Martin's Quantic in a similar scenario (20-22, 14-16) for another disappointing 3rd place.
Even though he did well against NiP yet again, Schrub overall had his worst performance until that point, putting up only 0.66 kills per round for a below average 0.98 rating.
kennyS' last event in VeryGames
A few weeks after their return from United States VeryGames made the decision to remove Schrub from the team, deeming him as the reason for their recent losses and lack of progression, which was a really hard hit for the still 17-year-old player.
"It was very hard, I felt bad for a few months. For me it was expected but I thought I was being paranoid. Maybe because I felt below them, I was young when VeryGames recruited me, I didn't play at this level before, so it was my first year when I could play at the top level.
They removed me because I didn't make sufficient efforts to become better and help my team like I have to do. I was pretty immature, I lacked confidence in myself, that's why my playstyle was different with VeryGames than now." - about being cut from the team
It didn't take him long to find a new team, as he wound up joining LDLC.com to replace Fabien "atLaNtis" Deguiraud. And three days later they would already make their first boom, defeating VeryGames 16-13 in the first RaidCall EMS One Summer cup.
The team would continue building up its reputation with success online, getting to another final in cup #3, winning cup #4 and later qualifying for the LAN finals, although in 2nd place after Western Wolves.
In another online competition, Fnatic FragOut League Season 2, LDLC.com went on to defeat Virtus.pro in the quarters, Epsilon in the semis and eventually and to everyone's surprise NiP in the grand final (16-9, 25-23). Schrub was the team's main star on that road to his first victory over the Swedes, and he had also helped them secure a spot at DreamHack Summer by winning the league.
"[Another great memory was] the fnatic FragOut online tournament with LDLC, we had a lot of intense matches and we beat NiP in final, that was my 1st time, and even though it was on the internet we were really happy."
Despite their impressive form online, LDLC.com weren't yet seriously considered as one of the top teams in the scene but they would prove themselves in Jönköping, as would Schrub himself.
Starting with his best map performance of the year in a 16-1 win over ALTERNATE (24:6, 2.39 rating), Schrub went on to play great in every match, leading LDLC.com to the semi-final after beating Lemondogs 16-7 and then ESC Gaming in the quarter-final (19-16, 16-4).
They started great against Epsilon in the semis as well, taking the first map 16-10, but the young Swedes would take the second one on overtime 15-19 and then the third map would end 9-16, with LDLC having to settle for 3rd-4th place.
Young Schrub was the main reason for their success, as he had his best tournament of the year. With 0.88 kills per round and a 1.33 rating, he was one of the best players at the event, and his AWP was also on fire having 0.36 kills per round with it.
kennyS carried LDLC to 3rd place at DH Summer
"For this event we had a bootcamp before where we won over NiP, so we were really confident for DHS, we didn't have any difficulties to make the playoffs, and we were lucky with the bracket. We played ESC in the quarter and we made an amazing comeback on train and won pretty easily on nuke.
After that we played Epsilon, once again we were really confident, maybe too much... We won 16-10 on inferno as the 1st map, and the 2nd map was mirage. I don't remember how exactly it went, but I know that we led the map and I think the most important moment in the match was flusha's 1vs4 clutch when he was A ramp, it was a very important round and we lost the map after overtime. We were really disappointed about this result on mirage... On train they were better than us and we couldn't do anything..."
Next up a couple of weeks later was RaidCall EMS One Summer Finals and this time thanks to their success at DreamHack, LDLC.com were a lock-in for at least a semi-final berth. However, they lost to fnatic in the quarter-finals and had to go home early (13-16, 11-16), finishing in 5th-8th place.
"[Losing to Epsilon at DH Summer] was really frustrating for me, and after that I had a large drop in motivation. That's why I was a "ghost" few weeks later in EMS. Now I have a lot of regrets, because of my drop of motivation I made the biggest mistake in my career at this moment, the disbandment of LDLC."
The team officially disbanded due to a lack of motivation at the latter part of August, but before that Schrub had another event which would mark his year.
In the middle of July he was asked to attend Prague Challenge in Czech Republic with his teammate Dan "apEX" Madesclaire in an international mix team Nostalgie created by Alexey "OverDrive" Birukov (which also contained two Polish stars Filip "Neo" Kubski and Wiktor "TaZ" Wojtas).
Going into the event without big expectations or any kind of preparation, the team shocked the world, coming back from map down in each of their playoffs series – against GF-Gaming (10-16, 16-8, 16-9), Anexis (9-16, 16-13, 16-1) to eventually win the event over Natus Vincere (7-16, 16-12, 16-12).
Schrub was the first star of the tournament, putting in another MVP-worthy performance with 0.93 kills per round (0.45 with the AWP) and a 1.36 rating.
kennyS' best frags from Prague Challenge
"I think my best memory [of 2013] was the victory with Nostalgie because we were only challengers, and to be honest I expected top3 at this event. And of course I played with Neo and TaZ, I was very proud."
His lack of motivation which led to the disbandment of LDLC.com lasted until October, when he finally joined a team called WE GOT GAME, again linking up with his previous in-game leader Vincent "Happy" Cervoni.
After failing to qualify for RaidCall EMS One Fall Finals due to losses to NiP and Serbian side Refuse in the group stage, they made a lineup change bringing in Kévin "Uzzziii" Vernel in hopes of getting better ahead of the French ESWC qualifier.
However, they were bested by eventual finalists of the main event, VeryGames and Clan-Mystik, so Schrub had missed out on another big event after also missing DH Bucharest.
One more lineup change followed when Swiss player Mathieu "Maniac" Quiquerez joined to complete a trio from LDLC.com at the beginning of November. They immediately took part in the DreamHack Winter online qualifier and triumphed after wins over Xapso, mousesports and ENRO Griffins.
With a spot at the biggest event in Counter-Strike history, they soon announced they don't have enough funds for the trip, but Recursive quickly jumped in to help and Schrub would end up making an appearance at the $250,000 tournament.
They wound up in a group with NiP, North Americans iBUYPOWER and his Prague teammates from Poland who were now in a new team called Universal Soldiers. Not much was expected of Schrub's team, but somehow they managed to get through the group.
kennyS at DreamHack Winter
After losing to the Swedes, they beat the other two teams, while making one of the biggest comebacks of the year in the deciding match against US with a 13-1 second half (16-13 win). Quarter-final against fnatic immediately followed, but similarly to DreamHack Summer, Robin "flusha" Rönnquist & co. would outplay Schrub's team (9-16, 16-13, 10-16) and make them finish in 5th-8th place.
"At Dreamhack, in my opinion we had the most difficult groupstage so we weren't really confident. But everything is possible and we knew that, mainly after we saw Clan-Mystik win ESWC.
We thought iBUYPOWER was better but we beat them pretty easily. Against the Poles we played inferno and we started as T, we lost 3-12, it was a really bad side in which we weren't focused enough and we were like asleep. But in that kind of event we couldn't give up, and when we started the CT side we had a reboot when Maniac made an ace in the pistol round.
After that we made a great comeback, but I wasn't surprised about it because we had very good teamspirit, all of us were good during the whole of the tournament, we did our jobs, and when we won over US we achieved what we wanted.
We played fnatic in quarter right after we had a difficult group stage, so we were pretty tired On inferno, the 1stmap, we started badly like we did against US and this time we didn't make a comeback. The 2nd map was dust2 on which to be honest, we weren't really confident, because we didn't really play this map before as team. But we did it, we beat them pretty easily, and we were surprised.
On train it was the same thing, we weren't ready for this map (we had only 2 maps for this event...). Unfortunately it's one of their best maps, and I had one of my worst maps ever so we lost... But this top 8 was unexpected and we were really proud and glad to reach it."
Schrub himself did well in the group stage, especially during the comeback against US, but the fnatic series brought his overall performance below average as he finished with his year-low 0.93 rating. Nevertheless, he ended up as the 2nd best AWPer of the event with 0.29 kills per round.
After DreamHack Winter he helped Clan-Mystik reach the final of Fragbite Masters by standing-in for Hovik "KQLY" Tovmassian, but the Swedes were too much to take for the mixed squad in the end.
In his last outing of 2013, Schrub traveled to Belgrade, Serbia for the final of European Championship between France and Denmark. Unfortunately for him, despite winning the first map, France lost 1-3 and he came back home with a silver medal.
Silver medal with France in the European Championship
As one of the top 8 teams at DreamHack Winter, Recursive will have a spot at the next CS:GO major, EMS One Katowice, and Schrub definitely wants to do even better in 2014.
"I think our team is really good, we had a good result at DHW without a good preparation, but now every team will pay attention to us, so it will be even more difficult to get some results now!
But I believe in us. And about our goals for 2014? I don't know really, maybe win a major event, because everything is possible in CS:GO, and personally I want to work on my default and be more efficient.
I think this year was good for me, but if I'm 12th it's not enough and I want to be better and more consistent in 2014. But the most important is my team and my main goal is to see my team win!"
Why is he the 12th best player of 2013?
Kenny "kennyS" Schrub only turned 18 in May last year, but he already has more CS:GO experience than most players. Compared to the way he ended 2012, he didn't play on the same level in his VeryGames period in 2013, which was still quite good, and after moving on to his new teams he improved all of them with his presence.
One of the main things that make him the game changer that he is is AWPing, and he was no doubt one of the best in that role during the year in which he recorded 0.32 AWP kills per round.
As far as team achievements go, after a number of 3rd places and one title with VeryGames, he helped LDLC.com reach 3rd place at DreamHack Summer and later brought Recursive to the quarter-final of the biggest event of the year.
However, his only title was from a medium-competitive event Mad Catz Birmingham, and he was somewhat inconsistent, having a few below average events, which all brought him down to the 12th place.
On another note, he was the best pistol of the year, recording 0.17 kills per round with all possible pistols, more than any other player.
Just as a couple of players before him already did, Schrub predicted Clan-Mystik's AWPer as the next big star in the game.
Hovik "KQLY" Tovmassian
"KQLY was really impressive this year even though he has been known only for few a months. He is really efficient with his awp and with rifle as well, I won't be surprised if next year he's on this top20!"
What did you think of Kenny "kennyS" Schrub's performance in 2013? Is the 12th place too low, too high or just right for him?
Keep your browsers locked on HLTV.org as we have eleven more players in our Top 20 of 2013 ranking by eSportsventure.com!