Top 20 players of 2015: KRIMZ (7)
Next up on our Top 20 players of 2015 list is fnatic's third-best player, Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson, who earned the seventh place due to his incredible consistency in contributing to his team's success, clutch play, and performances at big events.
Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson is one of the newest players in the top-tier scene, having only emerged in CS:GO after playing Counter-Strike 1.6 casually.
After slowly making his way to international success, placing 5th-8th at the first major, KRIMZ would go on to finish in the top four of EMS One Katowice before he broke out in the last three quarters of 2014 with fnatic, which earned him a 9th place in our 2014 ranking.
After a very successful end of 2014, fnatic's first event in 2015 at MLG X-Games Aspen didn't turn out quite as they had hoped for. No thanks to KRIMZ did they place fourth after losses to LDLC in the group stage, NiP in the semi-finals, and dignitas in the third-place decider. The Swedish support carried fnatic throughout the entire tournament, especially on the five maps they played in playoffs, in each of which he was the best player within the team. Against dignitas he even provided a 1.32 rating in an 0-2 loss (7-16 de_nuke, 17-19 de_mirage), but he was the only one to have turned up. Despite fnatic's result there, KRIMZ was the second-highest rated player of the event.
He wasn't quite as alone at Inferno Online Pantamera Challenge, the first of fnatic's ten titles in 2015. The event as a whole was somewhat average for KRIMZ, but it was still a solid showing from him—on nine out of ten maps he had a rating of above 0.85 despite very close results on most of them.
KRIMZ's head was held high at ESL One Katowice as well. He didn't turn up with a particularly special performance in Poland (3rd best in fnatic with a 1.11 rating), however he was still a stable player for fnatic, and the best player of the Virtus.pro semi-final (54-40, 1.32 rating). The major was also a showcase of his support capabilities. At the event he had the second highest percentage of support rounds (23.1%), as well as third highest survived, kill or assist percentage (71.4%), making him instrumental in fnatic's victory.
In Katowice KRIMZ set a standard for his big event performances
The next couple of events proved to be a contrast for KRIMZ, while for fnatic as a whole they meant a couple of silver medals. At ESEA Invite Season 18 Global Finals he was fnatic's best, and one of the best players of the entire event. He placed in the top five of 13 leaderboards, most notably first in survived, kill or assist percentage (75.0%), second in rating (1.21), and first in 1+ kill rounds (54.2%).
At CCS Kick-off Season Finals, however, he turned in his first below-1.00 rating performance (0.98, fourth in fnatic), most of which could be accounted to his poor overall record in the two lost series against TSM. Once again though he was rated highest in support rounds with 24.7%, second highest in surived, kill or assist percentage with 71.1%, and interestingly had the most success in opening duels (67.4%).
Rating-wise KRIMZ's best event came right afterwards, FACEIT Stage 1 Finals, thanks to an absolutely monstrous group stage record: 49-14 (2.26 rating) against Liquid (POV video from de_mirage, where he had 28-8), and 49-24 (1.59 rating) against NiP. A closer look however reveals that his struggles against TSM didn't end in Romania, as in London his 0.72 rating in a close 0-2 series was partially the reason fnatic's journey came to an end in the semi-finals.
His truly best event, one he also deserved an MVP title for, was DreamHack Open Tours in May. On six out of eight maps he played in France he recorded a rating of above 1.15, which includes fnatic's 7-16 loss on map one of the grand final. A glance upon leaderboards of the event shows his complete dominance: 1.28 rating (1st), 0.92 kills + assists per round (1st), 0.52 deaths per round (1st), 57.0% 1+ kill rounds (1st), 75.1% survived, kill or assist (1st), 75.0% success in opening duels (1st). The whole team played very well in Tours, but KRIMZ was on a level above the rest.
fnatic travelled back to the United Kingdom on the next weekend, this time for Gfinity Spring Masters 2. fnatic's road in London was bumpy, as was KRIMZ's group stage. In the two surprising best-of-two ties, one opposing Vox Eminor and one against Liquid, he played significantly below average. On the other hand, Natus Vincere were a walk in the park for him (54:30, 1.40 rating), and he played very well against NiP in another tie as well, the best out of his team, in fact. He was back to his stable self in time for playoffs, and proved to be highly valuable for his team in the semi-final and grand final wins.
KRIMZ's POV from fnatic's 16-10 de_overpass win against Natus Vincere in the group stage (30-13 score, 1.68 rating)
The same couldn't be said for Fragbite Masters Season 4 Finals, as it was KRIMZ's first of only two truly bad showings. Interestingly it was an event where fnatic met TSM twice, and in both series KRIMZ played poorly in the losses, yet again.
He didn't seem to show any weaknesses to any other team, at least not consistently, as he bounced back at a TSM-less DreamHack Open Summer in style (1.31 rating). KRIMZ found himself at the top of numerous charts, although the event's MVP was snatched by his teammate olofmeister.
When the calendar turned to July, KRIMZ turned with it. Both ESL ESEA Pro League Season 1 Finals and FACEIT Stage 2 Finals that month were somewhat unsatisfying from the Swede, especially the Spanish event. At both he found himself below a 1.00 rating, albeit slightly (0.98 and 0.97, respectively).
By then ESL One Cologne was around the corner, and fortunately for fnatic, KRIMZ was able to come back to form in time. He only recorded one map significantly below 1.00 rating (0.71 in a 6-16 loss to Virtus.pro in semi-finals) during the entire event, and he was pivotal on map two of the semi-final, as well as in the whole grand final. That time it was Robin "flusha" Rönnquist to pick up the MVP, but KRIMZ was a cornerstone to fnatic reaching their second major title in 2015.
KRiMZ's 1-on-3 allowed fnatic to come back on Dust2 in the grand final
Along with fnatic's disappointment with a 3rd-4th finish at ESL ESEA Dubai Invitational down went KRIMZ, who found himself in truly bad form for the second time in 2015 in the United Arab Emirates. The one good match he played was a group decider against Titan, but the remainder was very uncharacteristic for the Swede, who couldn't make much of an impact at the event.
That kind of form didn't last long at all, his road at Gfinity Champion of Champions was somewhat rocky, but by PGL Season 1 Finals he returned to form again, despite the team's result there. A third place finish (out of four, only beating Liquid) was no stop sign to KRIMZ, who finally broke his own TSM curse (1.12 rating in a 0-2 loss), and was fnatic's best player in all three series.
While fnatic continued to go on a decline at DreamHack Open Cluj-Napoca, KRIMZ stood as a rock alongside flusha at the third major. The only sub-1.00 rating came from a 2-16 loss on the last map of the EnVyUs quarter-final, and the Swede returned home with a constellation prize of a 1.14 rating at a major.
The $250,000 events were a showcase of KRIMZ's consistency
When fnatic replaced Markus "pronax" Wallsten with KRIMZ's former teammate dennis, the support player was the team's second best at FACEIT Stage 3 Finals, and one of the best of the event. He even stepped up to olofmeister's challenge at Fragbite Masters Season 5 Finals afterwards, and earned his second MVP title there. At both events he showed up at the top of various leaderboards (FACEIT leaders, Fragbite leaders), proving his immense worth for fnatic in two of their three golden runs towards the end of 2015.
He and the whole team—with the exception of olofmeister—dropped off at the last event of the year, ESL ESEA Pro League Season 2 Finals. KRIMZ didn't play badly at the event (1.01 rating), but his last performance of 2015 wasn't anywhere near his level at the two events beforehand.
Why is he the 7th best player of 2015?
One of the factors that speak to KRIMZ's worth in 2015 is his incredible consistency—he rarely had a bad map: 80.7% of the 181 maps he played were rated above 0.85, and 64.6% above 1.00.
In every single tournament he attended, KRIMZ contributed in an above average number of rounds. Overall that accounts to 69.7% of rounds; by far the most of all players. He also holds number one in deaths per round with 0.61, making him the hardest to kill in 2015.
It's fair to say his passive playstyle has been paying off, as he holds the highest amount of clutches won (79, with 56 of them being 1-on-1's), which makes his ability to survive even more valuable.
What placed him above some of the previous players was his performance at majors (1.14, 5th) and the seven $250,000 events overall, five of which fnatic managed to win. His best $250,000 event was ESL One Cologne, where in the playoffs he played an instrumental role in fnatic's victory, as previously mentioned.
MVPs from DreamHack Tours and Fragbite Masters Season 5 Finals surely didn't hurt, although it was his lack of stardom at the biggest events and in big matches that cost him a higher place in the ranking; while he was nearly always a big factor in fnatic's success, he was rarely the most impactful player in their deep runs.
What do you make of KRIMZ's performances in 2015? Where would you have rated him? Let us know your opinion in the comments 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.