Top 20 players of 2014: kennyS (6)
Kenny "kennyS" Schrub displayed a very high level of play throughout 2014, but it led to little success for his teams and therefore he ended up 6th on our Top 20 players of 2014 ranking presented by Xtrfy. He was the best fragger of the year and his MVP worthy performance led Titan to win DreamHack Stockholm, while he also played superbly at Gfinity 3 and ESEA S17.
19 year old Frenchman Kenny "kennyS" Schrub started his professional career three years ago when he joined VeryGames' CS:Source squad, and he quickly rose to stardom when the switch to CS:GO came.
After initially proving to be one of the most talented players in the game, he was removed from the squad in May 2013, and he went on to look for success in LDLC and later Recursive.
After an unimpressive end to the year he ended up in 12th place on our Top 20 players of 2013 ranking, but his Recursive squad did make it to playoffs at the first major, DreamHack Winter.
At the beginning of 2014 kennyS was in for an unpleasant surprise - his teammates had decided to merge with two Clan-Mystik players, while he was left out of the process.
They ended up in a tough group in Poland, having to make it past Natus Vincere, LGB and compLexity. But despite a win over Na`Vi spurred on by a Man of the Match performance by kennyS (25:17, 7 assists, 1.20 rating, 5:0 entry score) the French side lost to compLexity two times and failed to make the playoffs.
The 18-year-old didn't excel against the North Americans, and he even somewhat disappointed in the deciding match when he got a kill in only 12 of the 28 rounds and had a 0.84 rating.
Started the year with Clan-Mystik
He was still Clan-Mystik's best player at the event with a 1.03 rating but it was definitely not the start of the year the young Frenchman wanted.
The squad then surprisingly skipped the next big event, Copenhagen Games, and attended and won a local LAN Gamers Assembly instead.
It wasn't long after that kennyS received an offer he couldn't refuse – Titan, his former team, wanted him back to replace Richard "shox" Papillon. He of course accepted and the roster from early 2013 was reformed.
Without much time to practice they went into SLTV StarSeries IX Finals. Titan had come off from two disappointing finishes in Katowice and Cph Games, so they desperately needed a good result with the new-old lineup.
And it started well, they defeated Virtus.pro 2-0 in the opening match while kennyS had a great showing (54:33, 1.32 rating). But then the surprise of the tournament, Natus Vincere, struck them down in the upper final where kennyS didn't make much impact.
He was better in the series against NiP in the consolidation final, but it was not enough to push the team to the grand final as they ended up losing map three 3-16.
kennyS finished the event as team's second best due to the poor performance against Na`Vi (1.15 rating), but nevertheless it was a good first showing for the young returnee.
Titan were much better prepared for their next event, DreamHack Summer, as it was a month and a half later, but it didn't help them a lot.
The team lost to HellRaisers in the group stage, same as in Katowice, and instead of tipping the scales to their favor, the new addition kennyS was perhaps the worst player of the match with getting a kill in only 6 of 22 rounds.
He redeemed himself in the next match against Reason, putting in a Man of the Match performance that propelled Titan to the playoffs (32:13, 2.16 rating).
kennyS' POV vs. Reason at DreamHack Summer
But as they finished second in the group, they were drawn to meet NiP already in the quarter-final. And once again despite taking a map against the Swedes, they lost and ended up eliminated from the tournament.
He ended up being the second highest rated player of the tournament with a 1.35 rating, but it was to no avail as Titan had a short campaign.
Efforts at DH Summer were fruitless
In the meantime Titan had fallen down to 9th place in our July world ranking, the lowest in the team's CS:GO history.
Gfinity 3 provided a chance for them to show their worth before traveling to Cologne, and they took it. Despite losing to dignitas in the opening match, Titan went on to reach the grand final where they were stopped by Virtus.pro.
kennyS's play was of course one of the main reasons for their success, as he was the Man of the Match on no less than 6 of their 12 maps.
He started off in the group stage with near perfect play at the end of the clash with Virtus.pro, including a 1-on-3 clutch to tie the game (33:14, 1.65 rating, 21 AWP kills, POV). He also played amazingly in wins over fm-eSports (25:6, 2.05 rating) and mousesports (23:7, 1.95 rating, POV) which led Titan to finish second in their group.
1-on-3 clutch to tie the match against Virtus.pro at Gfinity 3
He continued his highlight reel in the quarter-final against iBUYPOWER with another superb display on the second map (30:15, 1.79 rating, POV) and in the semi-final in both map wins against fnatic – 23:8 (1.74 rating, POV) and 28:17 (1.57 rating, POV).
However, he couldn't keep the level up in the final against Virtus.pro, but was still one of the team's best players in the 0-2 loss.
In the end he had a 1.31 rating and was of course one of the most impressive players of the tournament while Titan showed they still have it in them to go far in tournaments.
It was a good showing ahead of ESL One Cologne, but at the big event they once again disappointed. They lost a double overtime clash against Cloud9 at the start, and after getting a 16-1 win over Vox Eminor, the Frenchmen suffered a devastating loss with the same result against dignitas, failing to reach the playoffs.
kennyS had a solid showing against Cloud9 and a Man of the Match performance against the Australians (26:6, 2.32 rating, POV), but in the deciding match against dignitas he was nowhere to be found – scoring only 4 kills and not making any impact in 14 of the 17 rounds.
kennyS had to pack up early at another major
After their second failure at a major Titan and the team's leader Kévin "Ex6TenZ" Droolans decided it was time for a change. This time, however, kennyS remained as the piece to build around while three new players were added from LDLC – Dan "apEX" Madesclaire, Hovik "KQLY" Tovmassian and Mathieu "Maniac" Quiquerez.
DreamHack Stockholm was the first event for the new squad, and it looked like they made the right move. Despite a loss to LDLC in the group stage, Titan defeated NiP, then fnatic in the semi-final and in the end got revenge on the French rivals in the grand final.
kennyS won his first and only title of the year, and was without a doubt the MVP of the tournament. He put in several Man of the Match performances, most importantly against NiP in the group (24:16, 1.24 rating, match-winning clutch, VOD) and in the second map of the final against LDLC (30:23, 1.27 rating, 22 AWP kills, VOD).
DreamHack Stockholm #2 champions
He finished with the event's highest 1.35 rating, an incredible 0.51 AWP kills per round and the most entry kills (30 total, 0.16 per round).
A month later at their second event, the new Titan didn't have such a good showing. LDLC demolished them in the upper bracket final, and then they even fell to Natus Vincere to finish in 3rd place.
kennyS was still by far the team's best player with a 1.10 rating, but even he was very ineffective in the match versus the local rivals.
But the event that mattered more to them was ESWC a few weeks later, and they came into it on the wings of two victories against LDLC in the French qualifier.
It all looked well after group stage, despite a loss to HellRaisers, as they came out in 2nd place following a dominant 16-1 win over NiP.
kennyS was per usual one of the team's best in every match, especially in the big win over the Swedes when he had a 25:6 score (2.20 rating, 7 assists, 17 AWP kills, 9:0 entry score).
kennyS' POV vs. NiP at ESWC
However, he couldn't get himself going when it mattered even more, in the quarter-final where he recorded a kill in 21 of 49 rounds, while the team fell to their new big rivals LDLC.
The team then turned their full focus to the last major of the year, DreamHack Winter. However, when it was only a few days left until the event they were hit by horrifying news of one of their star players, KQLY, receiving a VAC-ban.
Subsequently they were removed from the big tournament and weren't allowed to re-qualify with a new roster, leaving the team in despair.
As the major passed and others competed for glory, kennyS and co. decided to focus on preparing for ESEA Season 17 Global Finals, as they were allowed to participate with their coach-analyst Jeremy "ioRek" Vuillermet.
But despite kennyS's historic efforts of a 1.41 rating and 0.96 kills per round in the tournament, they only made it to 5th-6th place. He was still the best player of every series, including the win over Denial (75:42, 1.69 rating) as well as losses to fnatic and iBUYPOWER but it wasn't enough to push the team any further.
At the very end of 2014, kennyS traveled with the French national team to Serbia for the European Championship Finals, and came home with the trophy after leading the team with another MVP performance.
Why is he the 6th best player of 2014?
Individually Kenny "kennyS" Schrub was by far the most impressive player of the year, but on the other hand his great play led to barely any achievements.
His list of top three places is only four rows long – first place at DreamHack Stockholm, second place at Gfinity 3 and two third places at SLTV StarSeries IX and XI.
He made no impact at the majors and despite having good numbers to show from those events, he didn't play well in Clan-Mystik or Titan's deciding matches in Katowice and Cologne.
But nevertheless, he was the best player in his teams throughout the whole year and he played well at every event he attended. His peaks were at Gfinity 3 where he dominated on the way to the final and DreamHack Stockholm, which he crowned with an MVP performance. Furthermore, his play at ESEA Season 17 Finals was one of the best individual displays of the year.
kennyS had impressive stats but they didn't lead to much success
Overall he ended up topping the charts in many categories – he was the best fragger of the year with 0.86 kills per round, he had the most AWP kills per round (0.44), had the highest T side rating (1.15), highest success in entry duels (61%) and the most T-side entry kills (0.13 per round).
However, none of that was enough to push him higher in the ranking as it didn't lead to much success, while his best performances were at relatively smaller events. His play at the majors and the glaring underperformances in key matches there also didn't help.
But he did have more than enough impressive tournaments to get to the 6th place overall, namely DreamHack Stockholm, Gfinity 3, DreamHack Summer, ESWC and ESEA S17.
What is your take on Kenny "kennyS" Schrub's performance in 2014? Is the 6th place the right one for him?