Top 20 players of 2014: KRiMZ (9)
Freddy "KRiMZ" Johansson is #9 on our Top 20 players of 2014 ranking presented by Xtrfy. He had a breakout year with LGB and fnatic as one of the most consistent players, and he even dominated for a short period of time with a couple of MVP performances at FACEIT Season 2 and ESWC.
Unlike most of top players these days, Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson is a very new name in the scene. While he did play CS 1.6 in the past, it was never in a team but only for fun.
The first records of KRIMZ playing competitively appear in late 2012, in CS:GO, when he took part in a local qualifier for DreamHack Winter together with Jesper "JW" Wecksell and Alexander "SKYTTEN" Carlsson.
They made it to the groups where they even beat Copenhagen Wolves and Astana Dragons, and later pushed VeryGames to their very limits in the quarter-final of the battle for China.
The good play online earned them an invite for DreamHack Bucharest, but as they were unable to find financial support, LGB skipped the Romanian event.
Nevertheless, their LAN attendance slowly started picking up, with KRIMZ going to his first international tournament at the end of September 2013 – Techlabs Minsk – and defeating Na`Vi in a best-of-three series.
Later the team went to ESWC where they lost to eventual winners Clan-Mystik and compLexity in the group stage, and then finally proved themselves at the first ever $250,000 tournament, DreamHack Winter.
This time they beat Clan-Mystik, as well as Na`Vi, to get out of the group stage, and then even won the first map against NiP in the quarter-final which was enough to get rid of their online reputation.
During the whole early LGB period, KRIMZ was never noticed much, always being the one near or at the bottom of the scoreboard, while his teammates Dennis "dennis" Edman and Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer made the big plays and picked up all the praise.
In February 2014 the team made a big lineup change, removing two of KRIMZ's longtime teammates Maikelele and SKYTTEN and adding Simon "twist" Eliasson and Isak "cype" Rydman as they "could not evolve their gameplay any further".
The first event for the new roster was EMS One Katowice, where they were to once again meet their familiar opponents in the groups - compLexity, Natus Vincere and Clan-Mystik.
Somewhat surprisingly the Swedes made light work of their group stage, defeating Na`Vi 16-8 and compLexity 16-11 to move on as first placed, while KRIMZ was playing great and was right behind dennis in the fragging department.
In the quarter-final they had a nail-biting clash against fnatic, which they eventually came out on top of with a 16-14 win on the third map. KRIMZ once again had a solid series, especially on map two when he was the Man of the Match with a 28:19 score (1.39 rating, 9 entry kills, VOD).
There was still a chance to go further than that, but Virtus.pro and their numerous local supporters in the crowd stood in LGB's way in the semi-final, and even though the Swedes managed to take the second map, they weren't very close to winning the series.
LGB on stage against Virtus.pro at EMS One Katowice
KRIMZ ended up with only slightly above average 1.04 rating due to some inconsistency, far behind the team's star of the event dennis. While he did have a few great maps he ended up contributing in a below average 61.2% of rounds, but nevertheless he was an important factor on their road to the semi-final.
After their biggest success yet LGB were looking to improve on their stature at Copenhagen Games the next month, but Virtus.pro were once again in their way, this time already in the quarter-final.
Even though KRIMZ was putting up good resistance, they were unable to even take a map against the Poles this time. He didn't, however, make much impact in their previous round win over his former teammate Maikelele's Property, so KRIMZ ended up as 4th in the team with a 1.10 rating. It was still a very good individual performance though, as he contributed in a well above average 72.2% of rounds.
Having shown themselves as able to play against the very best in the world, the team decided to look for better financial support and left LGB. However, despite rumors of a big organization picking them up, the plans fell through and the star player dennis left the team.
Joined fnatic at the end of June
Gfinity 3 was the debut event for the new look fnatic, and they had a full month to prepare for it. The group stage went almost flawlessly as they beat NiP, Epsilon, LC and Infused, and drew against iBUYPOWER to come out first.
KRIMZ was doing great at the start as fnatic's top rated player in the group stage, although he was actually the one standing out the least in the rounds they won.
Then in the quarter-final against mousesports he made a lot more impact, putting in a Man of the Match performance on map one Mirage (32:16, 9 assists, 1.66 rating, 8 entry kills) and also doing well on map three (26:20, 7 assists, 1.30 rating).
Near-flawless Mirage CT side play by KRiMZ vs. mousesports in G3 quarter-final
However, he wasn't able to replicate that impact in the semi-final against Titan where he only had a kill in 27 of 72 rounds and contributed in 50% of rounds with a kill, assist or survival, the least on the server.
In the end it was a good tournament by KRIMZ who ended up as the highest rated in fnatic with a 1.13 rating, but he was only third in terms of contribution in the rounds they won, and even that was mainly thanks to the mousesports performance.
However, while Gfinity was a very competitive tournament, the really big test for the new lineup came a few weeks later in form of the second major of the year – ESL One Cologne.
They were placed in a group with the previous major's winners and Gfinity champions Virtus.pro, as well as iBUYPOWER and dAT.
It was a tough battle, but fnatic managed to defeat the Poles after overtime – which was KRIMZ's first LAN triumph against them – and they topped the group.
Eventually fnatic also made it past Natus Vincere and dignitas in the playoffs, only to suffer a devastating 13-16 loss against NiP on the third map of the grand final.
Overall KRIMZ wasn't anywhere close to being the star of the team or the event with his 1.04 rating, but he was still very useful as he contributed in 70.2% of rounds, or even team high 89.7% of round wins. However, that was without making a lot of direct impact and largely by staying alive, or getting an assist (he had his year-high 0.25 assists per round at this event).
KRiMZ's CT side POV vs. dignitas in the semi-final of ESL One Cologne
Not long after that second place in Cologne, KRIMZ brought his first title home as well, coming back as winner of SLTV StarSeries X at the end of August.
He also played a much more prominent role during this triumph, ending up as the shared-highest rated with a 1.28 rating, same as his teammate Robin "flusha" Rönnquist.
It initially looked like an easy event for fnatic as they strolled to the grand final, but it actually ended up coming down to the last map against Natus Vincere which they won 16-14.
KRIMZ was even the highest rated player of that clash, but it was mainly thanks to his performance in the first two maps – 30:22 (10 assists, 1.30 rating) in a 17-19 loss and 22:9 (1.79 rating, POV) in a 16-3 win, so he didn't end up being the best player of the event as his teammate flusha was slightly more influential.
But just as they showed their winning potential, fnatic stumbled at their next event – DreamHack Stockholm – again losing to Titan in the semi-final.
And same like the most of the team, KRIMZ had his worst performance at this event, scoring only 0.56 kills per round and ending up with a 0.83 rating, mainly thanks to the performance in the Titan series.
A month after the Stockholm crumbling, fnatic made their next trip to FACEIT Season 2 Finals and conquered the Italian event in a dominant fashion, this time largely thanks to KRIMZ.
As the team mauled their opponents on the way to the final, he was playing in his usual not too impactful but very useful way. Then he exploded in the big match and played like never before.
As fnatic overcame iBUYPOWER 3-1 in the grand final, KRIMZ was the Man of the Match with two very dominant performances on maps two (33:13, 6 assists, 2.03 rating, POV) and four (32:17, 8 assists, 1.65 rating, CT side POV) which was enough to give him the MVP claim this time.
KRiMZ's POV vs. iBUYPOWER in the FACEIT S2 grand final
But actually, that turned out only being the introduction to the KRiMZ-show we would see at ESWC. This time he started dominating even earlier, in the quarter-final against HellRaisers where he was the Man of the Match on both maps – with 29:16 (1.68 rating, POV) and 25:11 (1.45 rating).
After that he did very well against Virtus.pro in the semi-final and then once again took over in the grand final against LDLC (54:33, 1.43 rating), particularly exceling on map two with 31:17 (1.63 rating, VOD).
KRIMZ ended up being fnatic's best player on 5 of their 11 maps in France and he got his career high 1.38 rating. Not only was that an MVP-worthy performance, but it was one of the best individual displays anyone had all year.
Amazing hot streak near the end of the year
He continued where he left off a week later, dominating in a match against dignitas at the Fragbite Masters 3 Finals (53:29, 1.62 rating, VOD). And while he also did well against Virtus.pro, who they beat for the third tournament in a row to get to the final, he settled down against LDLC and took a back seat to his three star teammates.
In the end he had a 1.15 rating while fnatic snatched another title, and he was fourth in line in terms of direct contribution in their round wins.
After a short break it was time to take part in another $250,000 tournament, DreamHack Winter, but in the meantime a string of cheating accusations arose around their team after Titan's Hovik "KQLY" Tovmassian was banned.
Despite that, fnatic came to the big event as favorites, but they were surprised already in the group stage by HellRaisers. The Swedes still advanced to the playoffs, but more problems awaited there when they met LDLC and ended up forfeiting the match after the infamous boost incident.
KRIMZ played solid in this shortened campaign, although again not standing out much as fourth in the team with a 1.10 rating.
It was a similar story in terms of his performance at their last event in 2014, ESEA Season 17 Global Finals. The team struggled a bit on day one and even lost to Virtus.pro, but then came back on day two and ran over iBP and the Poles to win their fifth title.
KRIMZ had visibly quieted down from his hot streak earlier in the year and he went back to more decent numbers and less direct impact with a 1.05 rating (4th in the team), but still contributing consistently in 67.5% of rounds.
Why is he the 9th best player of 2014?
It was a breakout year for Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson who came out of nowhere and went on to dominate for a short period of time in fnatic. And while his LGB and the rest of fnatic days were quiet, he was still one of the most useful players of the year.
He managed to win 5 titles with fnatic, and get a second place at ESL One Cologne and 3rd-4th at Gfinity 3 and DH Stockholm, as well as a 3rd-4th place at the first major EMS One Katowice with LGB.
Throughout most of the year he was a support player, which can even be seen in stats as no other Top 20 player had as many rounds without a kill, but with still getting an assist or surviving (21.3%). He also made little direct impact in the rounds his teams won overall, contributing with a kill the least often out of all Top 20 players (58.8% of round wins).
But there was that short period of time when none of that was the case and he was dominating as the star of his team. It resulted in MVP performances at FACEIT Season 2 and more impressively at ESWC, which was one of the best individual displays of the year.
World-class CT side player and consistent contributor
His usefulness to the team can be seen in stats as well, which show that no other player in the world contributed in more rounds with a kill, assist or surviving than him – 68.8%, which largely comes from his ability to stay alive (0.61 deaths per round, ranks 2nd) and his assist count (0.19 assists per round, ranks 9th).
Often praised for his CT side play, he was indeed one of the best throughout 2014. He recorded a 1.32 CT-side rating which ranks 6th of all players, while surviving almost half of his CT rounds (0.51 DPR, shared 1st)
In the end his amazing MVP displays pushed him high up the ranking, but they couldn't push him higher as other players, even in his team, contributed more directly to the success they achieved overall. In addition to that he impressed the least in the majors out of all remaining Top 20 members.
As far as maps are concerned he was perhaps the best player in the world on Mirage in 2014, as he has the shared highest rating (1.28) and has contributed in by far the most rounds on it (73.1%).
He was also very good on Overpass, and surprisingly Nuke where his 1.38 rating ranks 1st, although he played it only 5 times throughout the year. On the other hand, Dust2 is the map where he makes the least impact (0.97 rating).
What is your take on Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson's performance in 2014? Is the 9th place the right one for him?