Top 20 players of 2014: flusha (2)
Robin "flusha" Rönnquist is our #2 on the Top 20 players of 2014 ranking presented by Xtrfy! His consistency throughout the year was unmatched, and his level of play more often than not made him one of the best players of a tournament, especially at SLTV StarSeries X and Fragbite Masters 3 where he had MVP-worthy performances.
Robin "flusha" Rönnquist's story begins in 2011 when he first tried to swim out of Sweden's deep CS 1.6 talent pool. He never fully made it out, barring an appearance and a quick group stage exit at DH Winter 2011.
CS:GO's arrival in 2012 gave his rising career a breath of fresh air and he immediately started getting noticed as part of the SY&b team that brought on NiP's first ever defeat, albeit online.
He went on to prove himself on LAN throughout 2013 with great performances at Copenhagen Games, ESWC and most importantly the first major DreamHack Winter, where he was one of the keys to fnatic's big and unexpected triumph.
For those efforts he ended up 13th on our Top 20 players of 2013 ranking, but he remained in the shadow of his star teammate Jesper "JW" Wecksell who was the team's MVP during both of their big runs at DH Winter and Summer.
fnatic's first event in 2014 was DreamHack Stockholm, and all eyes were on the major champions in anticipation of either their rise to the very top or proving that the big triumph was a fluke.
But with the spotlight on them even more after that, fnatic didn't manage to defeat Titan or NiP, so they ended their first event in 3rd place.
With 94% involvement in fnatic's 34 round wins he was by far the most influential player in the team, which along with his overall great performance made him one of the most impressive players at the tournament.
While the Stockholm event did feature some of the best teams in the world, the real test came at the first major of 2014 – EMS One Katowice – where fnatic were tasked with defending the title.
Shaky start to the year for fnatic, but not for flusha
They couldn't have started worse than the 12-16 loss to Reason, despite brilliant play from flusha in that clash – 30:21 (1.49 rating).
He didn't perform as well when they knocked out iBUYPOWER, but he did in the re-match against Reason for the spot in the playoffs, putting in a Man of the Match performance with a 27:12 score (1.87 rating, 8 assists, VOD).
However, despite fnatic big trio's efforts, including another set of good displays by flusha, the team lost to their compatriots LGB in the quarter-final with a devastating 14-16 third map score.
flusha's almost-clutch at 14-14 on map 3 against LGB
He also ended up contributing less in the rounds fnatic won than znajder, so he wasn't the team's star on this occasion. On the other hand, it was his efforts that helped them get through another group stage at a major.
It was a similar story at Copenhagen Games, as fnatic fell in the quarter-final – this time to dignitas after two overtime maps 20-22, 16-19 – while flusha had the best rating in the team (1.19) but wasn't the one making the biggest difference in the rounds they won.
However, his consistent good play has to count for something, and he did put up the most resistance against the Danes, as well as had a Man of the Match performance in the previous round against Publiclir (30:14 on map one, 1.76 rating, POV).
Results went from bad to worse in the first half of the year
The situation was even worse after their next event, DreamHack Summer, where they lost to SK twice in the group stage and found themselves knocked out even before the playoffs.
But once again flusha wasn't to blame as he put up a solid fight against Faruk "pita" Pita's squad and was the Man of the Match of their only win which came against London Conspiracy (23:6, 1.74 rating, 5 entry kills, VOD).
He ended up as the team's best player in every regard at the tournament, with a 1.16 rating and contributing in 94% of round wins, but it was again without success.
Six months had already passed in the year and fnatic had achieved nothing, so the team decided it's time for a change. Jonatan "Devilwalk" Lundberg became the coach and znajder was removed, while Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson and Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer were brought in from an already disbanded LGB squad.
The new squad already fared better at their first event, reaching the semi-final of Gfinity 3 after a near-flawless group stage.
flusha was solid in the group stage, just like all of fnatic members, and he stepped up even more in the playoffs against mousesports. The new team ran into a lot of resistance from the Germans and they needed overtime on the third map to overcome them.
Fresh start with the new lineup at Gfinity 3
But flusha was there as the best player of the series with an 80:59 score (1.31 rating, 20 assists, map 1 CT POV, map 3 CT POV) while being involved with a kill, assist or surviving in an astonishing 98% of fnatic's round wins (44 of 45).
However, Titan were too much to handle for the Swedes, and despite flusha's Man of the Match performance on map two (25:11, 1.67 rating, 6 assists, POV), he underperformed in the other two maps and ended up with only 0.58 kills per round in the series.
Nevertheless, even though his 1.12 rating for the tournament ranked second in the team slightly behind KRIMZ, he was once again fnatic's top fragger (0.76 KPR) and by far the most influential player in their round wins.
ESL One Cologne was next, and the new roster showed its full potential on that occasion. After topping the group fnatic went on to eliminate Na`Vi and dignitas, before losing a nailbiter to Ninjas in Pyjamas in the grand final.
flusha was again solid in the group stage, and even better in the playoffs when it mattered more.
His performance in the quarter-final against Na`Vi was perhaps his highlight of the year considering the importance and the stage it was done at, as he put in a Man of the Match display on map three while clinching the victory with a 1-on-3 clutch (30:16, 1.53 rating, 7 assists, POV).
1-on-3 clutch to win the quarter-final series against Na`Vi at ESL One Cologne
He didn't stop there, continuing with another Man of the Match performance on the first map of the dignitas semi-final (25:13, 1.44 rating, 6 assists, POV), and later ending up as the top rated player of the series (49:31, 1.36 rating).
In the final he also played well on every map despite the loss, and he ended it as the team's top rated player (66:49, 1.24 rating, map 2 POV).
Thanks to the great playoff performance flusha had one of the best ratings of the tournament (1.24), although he was the second best fragger in the team with 0.81 KPR and he contributed slightly less than olofmeister in their round wins overall.
Nevertheless, it was a superb display from flusha at the major, and he followed it up with an even better one at SLTV StarSeries X Finals where he led fnatic to their first 2014 title as the MVP.
After starting with a Man of the Match performance against myXMG in the upper bracket semi-final (45:15, 1.88 rating, map 1 POV), he went on to play very well in both clashes against Na`Vi, especially getting the job done on the last map of the final – which was another 16-14 win against the Ukrainians – with a 26:16 score (1.33 rating, POV).
They followed up their first win with a disappointing semi-final exit at DreamHack Stockholm, once again at the hands of Titan.
flusha had his only below average performance on this occasion, although not too bad with a 0.95 rating. He did, however, underperform in the Titan loss, just like the majority of the team.
FACEIT Season 2 Finals saw both him and the team back in top shape, as they came out on top of iBUYPOWER in the final and clinched the second title.
fnatic with the FACEIT Season 2 trophy
He of course added more good play in the playoffs, although without much impact but contributing consistently in the semi-final against Virtus.pro, and then as the second best player of the final against iBUYPOWER, along with a Man of the Match performance on the third of four maps (25:14, 1.67 rating, CT side POV).
The Swedes added another title at ESWC, although flusha this time didn't stand out in any match. However, he continued contributing consistently and playing well in almost every match.
Still, he was actually fourth in the team with a 1.13 rating, and he didn't make impact in the round wins more than any of the team's three stars at that event, so it was technically one of his less influential performances.
However, he didn't fail to leave a mark by recording one of his best moves of the year during the group stage match against Na`Vi:
Clutch against Na`Vi in the group stage at ESWC
flusha bounced back a week later at Fragbite Masters 3 Finals where he put in his best performance of the year, leading fnatic to another title, from the lower bracket no less, with an MVP performance.
As the best or second best player in each series, and as the Man of the Match on 4 out of 8 maps, flusha ended up with a 1.30 rating and contributed in 74% of rounds with a kill, assist or surviving (92% of rounds won), both highest at the tournament.
His best performances came on the first map of the Virtus.pro consolidation final (26:8, 2.17 rating, POV) and the first map of the grand final against LDLC (30:15, 1.68 rating, contributed in all round wins, POV). He was also the team's best on the fourth and last map of the LDLC clash with 25:17 (1.31 rating, 5 assists), rounding up his already strong MVP claim.
But in the two weeks after that win and before DreamHack Winter and following a VAC-ban that hit Hovik "KQLY" Tovmassian, accusations about flusha's possible cheating started appearing and gathering speed.
Nevertheless, the Swedes came into the last major as the main favorites for taking the $100,000 prize due to their recent winning streak.
Difficult times at the last major of the year
However, after an easy match against South African Bravado where flusha went crazy and had a 26:7 score (2.41 rating, 10 assists, POV), he underperformed in a 14-16 loss against HellRaisers, scoring a kill in only 10 of 30 rounds.
He made up for it with solid play in the win over Cloud9 (19:8, 1.40 rating) that sent them to playoffs, but more problems hit them there.
flusha ended up as the team's highest rated player at another major with a 1.26 rating, although it was largely influenced by his performance in the opening match.
If we remove the Bravado clash from the equation, he would end up with a 1.05 rating from the remaining two group stage matches and the first two maps against LDLC, ranking third in the team. Nevertheless, even then he contributed in the most rounds for the team (66%).
Despite that, they cooled their heads off and attended ESEA Season 17 Global Finals a week later, where they notched up their 5th title of the year.
Back to winning ways at ESEA S17 Finals
flusha had another good set of performances leading up to the final, where he somehow disappeared on a couple of maps, but he still ended up as one of the team's best in the tournament with a 1.08 rating. He was second in terms of impact on round wins, and he had an incredible 10 clutches won throughout the event.
Why is he the 2nd best player of 2014?
Robin "flusha" Rönnquist was the most consistent player of the year across all events, as he put up good performances regardless of his team's results, including the silent period in the first half of the year and the winning streak in the second half.
Although notably, he didn't excel during some of the main success runs for fnatic - such as their biggest triumph at ESWC, and sometimes wasn't the one making the most impact when they reached the podium - such as at FACEIT Season 2 Finals or ESL One Cologne.
But despite that, he performed great at all of those occasions, especially at their most successful major run in Cologne where his playoff performance was remarkable. Overall, he had a 1.23 rating in the majors, ranking 4th overall and third among those who played all three $250,000 events.
He also had two MVP-worthy performances throughout the year, although it was during the smallest events his team won, SLTV StarSeries X and Fragbite Masters 3.
Consistent throughout the whole year
He was one of the best fraggers overall with 0.80 kills per round (3rd), although he had the most assisted kills out of all players (0.20 per round, or 25% of all his kills). On the other hand, he was also one of the best assisters with 0.19 assists per round.
Furthermore, he was the best rated player on the CT-side throughout the year with a 1.41 rating and one of the best clutchers with 35 1-on-X situations won.
Regarding his consistency, not only did he have second most maps with a rating above 1.00 (74%), but he had a rating above 1.10 in 11 of his 13 tournaments, and was even one of the players who contributed most often on a per round basis – 67.7% of rounds with a kill, assist or survived (7th).
Overall, his consistency and such a high level of play at the biggest stages, in the big matches, and during his team's title runs put him in contention for the first spot, but the fact that he wasn't the one stepping up when it mattered most during the best runs his team had (ESWC, FACEIT S2, ESL One Cologne) prevented him from getting the first place.
What is your take on Robin "flusha" Rönnquist's performance in 2014? Is the 2nd place the right one for him?