Top 20 players of 2014: Happy (10)
Number 10 on our Top 20 players of 2014 ranking presented by Xtrfy is Vincent "Happy" Cervoni. He was LDLC's linchpin throughout the year, featuring as a prominent member of both editions of the French squad and turning into a star near the end with his MVP worthy performance at DreamHack Winter.
They quickly rose to become one of the best teams in the country after adding Ludovic "Shokkk" Martin and Cédric "RpK" Guipouy to the roster in early 2008, although the French scene wasn't yet as strong back then.
Then in July that year the youngsters made their name by winning The eXperience LAN in Denmark where all of the best European CS:S sides were in attendance.
Not long after that Happy, who during his CS:S career used the alias "EMSTQD", left to captain his own teams throughout 2009, only to rejoin Ex6TenZ in VeryGames in October and shortly place second at DreamHack Winter – behind Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács's Reason.
In February 2010 he left VeryGames as he couldn't devote the needed time to the game, so his next few years saw him become the in-game leader of some less impactful teams. However, he did manage a 3rd place finish at Copenhagen Games 2011 with a 3DMAX squad that contained Dan "apEX" Madesclaire, Richard "shox" Papillon and Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom.
They also added Kenny "kennyS" Schrub soon and then managed to reach the semi-final at DreamHack Summer 2013, but shortly after the team fell apart. Happy picked up the pieces and created a squad called WE GOT GAME, slowly reintegrating Maniac and kennyS into the lineup and leading them to the first CS:GO major, DreamHack Winter.
Under the Recursive banner in Sweden they managed to put up a great fight against NiP, defeat iBUYPOWER, and then surprisingly knock out Universal Soldiers after a big comeback to proceed to the playoffs. Happy & co. even had a great display against the eventual champions fnatic in the quarter-final, pushing them to three maps, but it was as far as they would go.
At the beginning of 2014 the team lost Recursive's support and went looking for a new organization. They found their way to their old home, LDLC, but not before changing two players. Surprisingly kennyS was ousted while apEX was brought back together with his Clan-Mystik teammate Hovik "KQLY" Tovmassian.
As they still had three members of the team that made it to playoffs at DH Winter, their spot for EMS One Katowice was safe.
With over a month to prepare with the new roster and some solid warm up online they went to Poland to take on a group containing NiP, 3DMAX and Vox Eminor.
After initial struggles against the Australians they won 16-13, but NiP was once again too strong for Happy's squad. Nevertheless, they made it to the playoffs with another close 16-13 win over 3DMAX.
But Virtus.pro was in incredible form and there was nothing LDLC could do about it so they bowed out in the quarter-final, 3-16, 8-16.
LDLC played well in Katowice, but not well enough for Virtus.pro
Happy didn't stand out much with a 1.01 rating, but he was LDLC's most consistent contributor (in 66.9% rounds), second best fragger with 0.77 KPR and he had 5 clutches (four 1-on-1s and one 1-on-2).
He ended up with the same rating at Copenhagen Games, although less impactful with 0.71 kills per round. Actually, he mostly did well in the earlier rounds against Karnage and mousesports where he had 7 of his 9 clutches, while it was KQLY and Maniac who excelled in the team's big quarter-final win over Titan.
In the semi-final of the Danish event they met Virtus.pro and lost again, although this time they did a lot better and took a map off of the Poles.
The squad already then knew they would miss DreamHack Summer due to exams, so they focused on some of the online leagues before their next big event.
Before Cph Games they were ranked 8th in our April world ranking, but after the semi-final finish in Denmark and a 4th place in FACEIT Spring League, they went into their next event DreamHack Valencia as big favorites considering the attendance list that only had HellRaisers and Epsilon as other notable teams.
They didn't show much dominance however, as they struggled throughout the playoffs against Planetkey, k1ck and in the final against shox's Epsilon, but they wound up winning their first international title.
During also his own first international title campaign, Happy contributed significantly – having 72.1% rounds with a kill, assist or survival - the most in the tournament - scoring the team's second highest 0.77 kills per round and having a 1.09 rating.
Most importantly he did even better than his tournament averages show in the grand final vs. Epsilon – 59:43 (1.23 rating, contributed in 72.9% rounds).
LDLC got their first title at DreamHack Valencia
Coupled with their previous achievement, this brought LDLC up to 5th place in the world according to our July ranking. They then decided to skip Gfinity 3 as well and waited for the next major, ESL One Cologne.
There, spurred on by apEX's out of this world performance, LDLC topped their group and went on to for the first time defeat Virtus.pro and secure a place in the semi-final. Not only that, but millimeters separated them from the grand final as they lost the series against NiP with the closest of margins, 14-16 on map three.
And while apEX was the superstar of all LDLC wins during this semi-final run, Happy was always right behind in second place. Best example of that was his play against Natus Vincere in the group stage (29:18, 1.41 rating, POV), or in the quarter-final against Virtus.pro on map two (27:17, 1.40 rating, POV).
The success at Cologne was spearheaded by apEX and Happy
He ended up with his, to date, career high 0.83 kills per round and a 1.17 rating, all of that while being the team's in-game leader.
They instantly showed higher potential than the previous lineup, defeating Titan 16-13, demolishing NiP 16-3 in the group stage and then making it to the final over Finns from 3DMAX.
Everyone played great in the new star-studded team and Happy was no exception, putting in a Man of the Match performance against the Finns on map two of the semi-final where he got at least one kill in each of the 16 rounds they won (27:13, 1.37 rating, POV).
But then he was the worst player of the final where they lost to Titan, scoring only 0.50 kills per round. That spoiled the impression of his overall performance as he ended up with just an average 1.01 rating for the tournament.
New LDLC finished second at their first event
With around a month to fine tune their play, LDLC prepared for the busy end of the year schedule. First on the calendar was the Kiev event SLTV StarSeries XI Finals in mid-October, which they reached by eliminating NiP in the online stage.
In their first two matches they stormed past Na`Vi and Titan, but then ran into some resilience by the Ukrainians in the grand final. Despite that they closed off the series 3-2 with a 16-6 win on the last map.
Happy had the team's lowest 1.10 rating, which was probably the highest rating anyone's had while being the last in the team throughout the year, which says enough about how well LDLC played.
In fact, while he was their worst fragger overall with 0.71 KPR, he was their best fragger in the grand final, even putting in a Man of the Match performance on map one (23:12, 1.45 rating, VOD).
A week later LDLC were in Milan, Italy attending the FACEIT Season 2 Finals, but despite another good start by beating Cloud9 and Virtus.pro in the group stage, they surprisingly fell to iBUYPOWER in the semi-final.
Happy hardly put a foot wrong throughout the tournament, as he played well in every match and ended up as the top fragger in the team with 0.79 kills per round but the team just couldn't get past the North Americans.
ESWC was important for the team
With only a few days before the next event, the Frenchmen didn't have time to work on their mistakes so they went straight to Paris for ESWC. However, first there was the matter of getting a spot for the main tournament through the four-team French qualifier, where they ended up losing to Titan 3-16 and then 1-2 in the final.
They still got the spot due to reaching the final, but LDLC saw something wasn't working, so during that qualifier Happy claimed back the in-game leader role.
At the main tournament they made it out of their group despite a loss to Virtus.pro, and then they got revenge on Titan 16-7, 16-10 in the quarter-final. Natus Vincere were also no match for them in the semis, but despite big expectations on the stage in front of the home fans, LDLC lost to fnatic 0-2 in the final.
It wasn't due to Happy's performance though, as he continued his reliable play in every match, even in the fnatic loss. He ended up as the team's second highest rated player with a 1.12 rating and contributed in team-high 57.4% of rounds with a kill or assist.
There was no time to rest for LDLC as they traveled to Stockholm a week later to attend Fragbite Masters Season 3 Finals.
After losing the first map of the upper final against Virtus.pro in which he had a bad showing, Happy stepped up and led the team to convincing victories on the next two maps with Man of the Match performances – 24:15 on Dust2 (10 assists, 1.49 rating, 6 entry kills, VOD) and 25:8 on Inferno (2.33 rating, POV).
Happy's 4K against fnatic at Fragbite Masters 3 Finals
He also played well in the map LDLC won against fnatic in the final (31:20, 1.31 rating) but like the rest of the team couldn't do much against the Swedes otherwise as they ended up losing 1-3.
Thanks to those standout displays Happy was this time by far the best in his team with a 1.12 rating and he contributed in 70% of the rounds.
After those two grand final losses in a row against fnatic, LDLC finally got a two week break ahead of the last major of the year, DreamHack Winter.
And there not only did Happy continue his streak of playoff appearances at the majors, but he led LDLC to win the whole thing while being the MVP of the tournament.
First he top fragged in both group stage wins, against ESC and NiP, and after that had another great performance in the semi-final against Natus Vincere (45:33, 1.22 rating).
But none of that was as crucial as his play in the grand final where they met NiP again. His first map performance was one for the school books, as he did everything right and managed to top the scoreboard in an impressive fashion with 28:13 (6 assists, 1.58 rating, had a kill, assist or survived 23 of the 26 rounds).
Happy's POV vs. NiP in the DreamHack Winter grand final
He was also one of the team's best on the third map where he had a big 1-on-1 clutch in the overtime that paved the way to victory.
In the end it was an MVP-worthy performance by the Frenchman who had his tied-highest rating of the year with 1.17, but this time as the team's star. And while he was very impactful on this occasion with a number of standout performances, he was also the team's most consistent contributor - getting a kill, assist or surviving in 70.5% of rounds.
At the end of the year LDLC were ranked 2nd in the world according to our December ranking, and they managed to secure a spot for MLG X-Games Aspen, the first big tournament of 2015.
Why is he the 10th best player of 2014?
Vincent "Happy" Schopenhauer played for LDLC for the entirety of 2014, but it was in two different rosters. Despite being the in-game leader for the most part, he was always one of the best players in those squads and he even grew into a star at the very end.
He made it to the playoffs of every major, managing to win DreamHack Winter and get to the semi-final of ESL One Cologne. Even besides that he was one of the most decorated players of the year, getting two more titles (SLTV StarSeries XI and DH Valencia), three second places and three semi-final finishes.
The MVP performance at DreamHack Winter was of course his peak and highlight of the year, while he also had a great tournament as the team's star at Fragbite Masters 3.
But even before that he was playing at a very high level, at ESWC, FACEIT S2 Finals, SLTV StarSeries XI Finals, as well as in the previous LDLC roster at ESL One Cologne and DH Valencia.
Happy was an incredibly stable player all year long
Interestingly, despite being the in-game leader he was one of the best T-side players of 2014, recording a 1.00 rating which ranks fourth overall. Furthermore, he scored at least one kill in 66.5% of LDLC's Terrorist side round wins, ranking first among the players who made the most direct impact on the T side.
He was also one of the best clutchers, winning 35 one-on-X situations throughout all the big LAN events. Just how good that was perhaps shows that the average player gets a clutch once per 94 rounds, but he had one every 58 rounds.
Happy was also one of the most consistent contributors, having a kill, assist or surviving 68.4% of his rounds (3rd most of all players).
With all those impressive stats and his MVP performance from DreamHack Winter, he managed to get into the top 10 of the ranking, but he wasn't as impactful throughout the year having only a 1.01 rating in LDLC's round wins, 3rd lowest of the Top 20 players.
What is your take on Vincent "Happy" Schopenhauer's performance in 2014? Is the 10th place the right one for him?