Top 20 players of 2015: JW (10)
As we delve into the second half of our Top 20 players of 2015 we have Jesper "JW" Wecksell in 10th place, whose ability to open up rounds and efficiency while doing so had a big impact on fnatic's success.
JW's career spans across about four years, as he only started showing himself on the international stage in mid-2012, towards the end of Counter-Strike 1.6's life.
After switching to CS:GO he would go on to prove himself in Epsilon at DreamHack Summer, before the team moved to fnatic in the second half of 2013 and won the first major, DreamHack Winter 2013.
Since then he stayed in the organization, albeit with only one of his teammates from back then, Robin "flusha" Rönnquist, and became a part of what is now widely considered the most successful CS:GO lineup of all time.
The start of 2015 was somewhat unsatisfying for fnatic, who were one of the main favourites at MLG X Games Aspen, and by extension to JW. The AWPer only had positive ratings on two maps out of eight, both of which were against North American competition in one-sided matches. His 1.00 rating in Aspen, Colorado was still good enough for second place within fnatic as his teammates also didn't shine in what ended up being a fourth place campaign.
Inferno Online Pantamera Challenge followed, where fnatic took their first victory in 2015, and the story was very different for JW as well. Despite fnatic's matches always going to double digits, with the exception of one map out of 10, the AWPer dropped below 0.85 only once. On six maps he was on the positive side, and he was fnatic's best player in the grand final against Titan with a 1.20 rating. He was also the only one to have survived Kenny "kennyS" Schrub's frenzy in that match, as the Swede had a 15-13 record in duels against the French superstar over the whole grand final.
A similar story to MLG X Games occured in Katowice, the first major of 2015, as he once again only had two maps in the green, against Vox Eminor, and on the first map against PENTA in the quarter-final. Despite fnatic winning the event, his rating in Katowice was his worst in the first half of 2015 (0.99), although he did help the team's campaign as one of the best at getting the opening kills at the event (0.15 per round).
At Gfinity Spring Masters 1, where JW temporarily rejoined his former fnatic teammate Andreas "znajder" Lindberg in Property, he was the team's best player in two out of three series there. Only against NiP did his friend and ex-teammate surpass him, and JW went home with another individually successful event behind him.
JW's record in the first half of 2015 was beyond impressive
After his stand-in stint in Property, he and fnatic went on to finish in second place at ESEA Invite Season 18 Global Finals. Apart from having a somewhat poor record against Titan in the four maps they played, JW had a solid performance across the pond. He was the team's second best overall (1.11 rating), and he carried fnatic on the one map they grabbed from Virtus.pro in the grand final. He also recorded second most opening kills per round (0.16), as well as fourth most AWP kills per round (0.25). His all-in-one performance against CLG is also worth mentioning, as he was the team's best in all five categories featured in our Top players box (Most kills, assists, AWP kills, first kills, and best rating).
CCS Kick-off Season Finals was another good event for the Swede overall. He started off with a superb showing in the opener against TSM, which fnatic lost 12-16 and 13-16, the team's best by far (1.26 rating). The numbers in the one-sided win against NiP in the consolidation final were also very good from him, but he had a couple of poor performances in close encounters of two different series, de_inferno against EnVyUs and de_mirage against TSM in the grand final.
fnatic went on to lose another series to TSM at FACEIT Stage 1 Finals, this time in the semi-finals. JW recorded his arguably best performance on a very close map there, on de_mirage against the Danes, which fnatic ended up losing.
JW's POV video from de_mirage in the Stage 1 Finals semi-final (33-18 score, 1.66 rating in a 13-16 loss)
fnatic went back to winning ways at the next two events, the first of which being DreamHack Open Tours. JW proved to be highly valuable to fnatic in France, as he only found himself below a 0.85 rating once (0.84 in an overtime loss to HR). More importantly, though, he stood his ground in the grand final versus EnVyUs, especially in the 7-16 loss on map one, de_dust2. He was fnatic's second-best player in the grand final (1.21 rating) overall.
JW had a big say in fnatic's gold medal at Gfinity Spring Masters 2 as well. fnatic tied three best-of-twos in the group stage, one with each of NiP, Renegades, and Liquid, but still managed to advance. The sniper was a solid player in all three of them, especially against NiP, and he stepped it up in time for playoffs. He ended up being the best fragger of the event, had the most opening kills in total (70), as well as per round (0.18). And to top it off, he was a solid clutcher for fnatic with seven 1-on-X situations won.
JW finished off his long streak of good performances at Fragbite Masters Season 4 Finals. He earned a second place within fnatic with a 1.14 rating on home turf. He was fnatic's second best player on the seven maps they have played at the event against TSM. On three of the seven maps he recorded a rating of above 1.30, most notably on the decider of the first series, de_inferno, where he topped the scoreboard with 27-12 (1.76 rating).
DreamHack Open Summer was where he first started showing signs of underperformance. It was his first bad event in 2015 after a very impressive first half of the year, as he dropped significantly below 1.00 as the only one in fnatic (0.93), who went on to add another trophy to their already full list of achievements.
At DreamHack Open Summer JW showed first signs of bad form
He went back to being a stable player for fnatic in the next couple of months, although he was nowhere near his level from the first six months. ESL ESEA Pro League S1 Finals turned out to be his best event in the second half of 2015 (2nd best fragger in fnatic in another title run, 1.07 rating), as he dropped to a 1.00-1.05 rating at the three events afterwards.
Those included FACEIT Stage 2 Finals and a couple of $250,000 events, ESL One Cologne and ESL ESEA Dubai Invitational. In Valencia it was his measly 5-23 (0.25 rating) score in the group stage against TSM that dragged him down, because he went back to being fnatic's second-best player at the remainder of the event.
The major was somewhat unsatisfying from him, mostly because of another non-factor performance in a close encounter—17-31 (0.52 rating) in the grand final's overtime battle versus EnVyUs on de_dust2—, in the other matches he was quite stable.
After ESL ESEA Dubai Invitational, another solid event from the Swede despite a 3rd-4th finish, things turned grey. After JW fell to a 0.94 rating at Gfinity Champion of Champions—where he once again didn't show up to a couple of close maps—, he dropped even further to 0.89 at PGL Season 1 Finals, and even worse to 0.77 at DreamHack Open Cluj-Napoca. The last major was by far the biggest blow to his 2015 performance, as he didn't play a single map above a 1.00 rating, and it was one of the two events where he was the team's worst player rating-wise, which certainly didn't help them as their dreams of a triple major triumph ended in the quarter-final.
JW started shying away from the AWP after the major
When fnatic swapped in-game leader Markus "pronax" Wallsten for Dennis "dennis" Edman, JW somewhat recovered from the bad couple of months and returned to his post-EEPL S1 Finals form. In the three victories fnatic snatched at the end of the year, he started picking up rifles much more, and stayed around the 1.00 rating mark. It's worth mentioning that he was the team's second best player behind Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer in fnatic's grand final versus NiP at Fragbite Masters Season 5 Finals.
Why is he the 10th best player of 2015?
Despite his significant drop in performance after Fragbite Masters Season 4 Finals, especially in the last three months, JW boasts some largely impressive statistics.
What had a big impact on his placing is his superb ability to open up rounds, and the impact of his opening kills on round wins. He ranks first in opening kills in total with 736, which is a 110 more than the second highest, and fourth in opening kills per round with 0.15.
With a 54.7% success rate in opening duels and a ratio of 1.35 between rounds won after his opening kills and rounds lost after his opening deaths, JW's aggression was certainly justified, as he was one of the most efficient players in that regard in 2015.
While JW didn't pick up the AWP as much as other dedicated snipers—he placed 14th in AWP kills per round with 0.24—, his AWP kills had one of the biggest impacts. When he got at least one kill with the big green gun, his team won the round in 73.6% cases (3rd highest).
His rating in big matches is about average (1.01), but in the 99 maps of big matches fnatic played he was the team's second biggest contributor in round wins.
It's important to note that he was able to garner the aforementioned stats despite playing the biggest amount of maps against the other top six teams, 117, which makes for 62% of his maps in total; much harder competition in comparison to the average player even in the top 20.
He couldn't be placed higher mostly due to a couple of things. First of all, after being the team's second or third-best player at nearly every event in the first half of the year, he dropped to fourth place within fnatic due to the lower impact he had in the second half of 2015.
Secondly, JW's record at majors is one of the worst out of all players in the ranking (0.93 rating), even though he did well in the other four $250,000 events.
What are your thoughts on JW's level of play in 2015? Did he deserve the 10th place in the ranking? Let us know what your thoughts are by commenting below.
Stay tuned to our Top 20 players of 2015 ranking powered by EGB.com and keep track of the list over at the Introduction article.