As we enter the last five of our Top 20 players of 2015 powered by EGB.com, it's time for Robin "flusha" Rönnquist, who always turned up the heat for big events, majors especially.
Similarly to most of his fnatic teammates, except for Dennis "dennis" Edman, Robin "flusha" Rönnquist has never gained much notoriety until CS:GO was released. Throughout the first year of CS:GO he was putting together what would later on become a lineup of fnatic, who went on to take the first major title at DreamHack Winter 2013.
After an unsatisfying first half of the year 2014 he joined up with current teammates Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson and Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer, and worked his way up to becoming one of the very best players in the game. He deserved a place in both player rankings we have completed so far in CS:GO, as he was the 13th-best player of 2013, and second-best of 2014.
flusha's start in 2015 correlated with fnatic's. After finishing 2014 on a very high note, MLG X-Games Aspen was a disappointment from the team, especially the Swede, whose first tournament in 2015 was in the red zone (0.83 rating, the lowest in fnatic by a big margin) and ended up being his lowest point all year.
The next tournament, Inferno Online Pantamera Challenge, turned out much better for both him and the team. flusha stepped back into positives on home turf, and while he wasn't the carry we've known him to be in 2014, he still had solid showings in both playoffs series (against EnVyUs and Titan), helping fnatic bring home the first significant title of the year.
He stepped up a bit more in time for the first major of the year, ESL One Katowice. After fnatic advanced from the group with a couple of one-sided games (16-3 against Vox Eminor, 16-7 against Natus Vincere), flusha helped destroy PENTA on one of the quarter-final maps. His best map at the event came from the Virtus.pro semi-final, as he stepped into the spotlight when it mattered—in a 19-17 victory on de_cbble (27-17, 1.32 rating). Overall he was fnatic's second-best player against the Poles as well as versus NiP in the final, where he was the swing vote on one of the maps as well (1.17 rating in a 16-14 de_dust2 win).
flusha was the best-rated player at majors in 2015, starting with a strong Katowice showing
After another solid showing at ESEA Invite Season 18 Global Finals (1.08 rating, third highest in fnatic), he had three above-1.20 rating performances in a row, the most important of which was CCS Kick-off Season Finals. Not only was he the best from his team, he was one of the best overall, thanks to six out of nine maps above 1.25 rating. In Bucharest flusha topped rating (1.21), kills+assists per round (0.87), kills per round (0.81) and number of clutches won (7).
The other two events, FACEIT Stage 1 Finals and DreamHack Open Tours, weren't as dominant from the Swede. In both cases KRIMZ was the star of the team, although flusha's sparks of his Bucharest form burst out in both semi-finals: against TSM in London (1.15 rating from two close lost maps), and against HellRaisers in France (29-13, 2.04 on de_dust2).
fnatic attended another event in London the following weekend, Gfinity Spring Masters 2. flusha was the reason why fnatic even survived a Vox Eminor surprise with a tie (1.23 rating from two 29-round maps), but his main contribution came in the playoffs. He wasn't fnatic's best player in either of the series, but he brought a high level of play in both of them.
After a couple of slightly above-average performances at Fragbite Masters Season 4 Finals and DreamHack Open Summer, the second $250,000 event was around the corner. flusha's group stage record at ESL ESEA Pro League Season 1 finals wasn't the greatest, but he turned up the heat for playoffs. He helped defeat Virtus.pro in the semi-finals with a 1.22 rating (highest in the series), and he was the best-rated player of the best-of-five grand final against Cloud9 as well. He also recorded one of his best maps in a close encounter in the final, turning in a 1.52 rating in a 16-14 victory on de_overpass (POV video).
flusha's memorable action against NiP at DreamHack Summer
FACEIT Stage 2 Finals at DreamHack Valencia was the second event where flusha dropped into the red zone (0.91). While the lost matches at that event were especially underwhelming from him, he was one of the best players of the semi-final opposing NiP with a 1.18 rating in two 16-14 victories, on de_train and de_mirage.
The Spanish event as a whole was a worrying sign for flusha, seeing as ESL One Cologne was fnatic's next event. After a month fnatic had to prepare though, he flipped a switch. As usual, flusha turned up for the major, and his level there was spectacular. After destroying the group stage with two 16-2 blowouts, he certainly didn't stop against Luminosity in quarter-finals. Virtus.pro got a taste of their own medicine afterwards, as this time it was flusha holding the plow (68-48, 1.27 rating). Finally, his 51-33 score in the grand final against EnVyUs put him on the highest of pedestals; the MVP of a major, and a dominant one at that.
He turned up with an above-1.00 rating on all nine maps, eight of which were even above 1.15. Leaderboards of the event are filled with flusha at the very top: Among other categories, he was ranked first in rating (1.38), kills per round (0.91), 1+ kill rounds (58.4%), assists per round (0.21), and in survived, kill or assist percentage (77.6%). He was also one of the hardest to kill in Cologne, holding 0.53 deaths per round (second best at the event). If anything could compete with olofmeister's force at ESL One Katowice, it is flusha's dominance at the second major.
flusha's POV from de_dust2 of the EnVyUs grand final (28-18, 1.31 rating in a 19-15 victory)
He also proved his worth at another $250,000 event, the fourth of the year, ESL ESEA Dubai Invitational. A 1.22 rating there was the team's highest, although it was also one of the six events where fnatic placed outside of the grand final. flusha played well above average up until two blowouts in the Virtus.pro semi-final, especially in an overtime loss against TSM (29-17, 1.30 rating) in the group stage, and in a close encounter with Titan in the group decider (28-18, 1.42).
His capabilities in close matches were showcased at Gfinity Champion of Champions as well, specifically on two maps against NiP (32-17, 1.62 on a 16-13 de_mirage, POV; 35-24, 1.36 on a 17-19 de_inferno), and one in the EnVyUs grand final (26-14, 1.47 on a 16-12 de_train). It wasn't enough to add another trophy to fnatic's cabinet, but it was a good consolation prize for the Swede who recorded a 1.15 rating, the second highest at the event.
His form at the dawn of another major dropped off once again. PGL Season 1 Finals was one of the few cases in which the Swede didn't have much of an impact, and it also showed in fnatic's end result—a third place out of four teams.
flusha didn't let that affect the major though, as he was—barring KRIMZ—the only one to turn up at DreamHack Open Cluj-Napoca in good form overall. He destroyed EnVyUs on map one of their quarter-final after a great group stage, but he dropped off significantly on map two and three in fnatic's only exit outside of the top four in 2015.
flusha turned in another good major performance in Cluj
A big change in fnatic's structure was ahead. Markus "pronax" Wallsten's exit from the team meant flusha would start calling full-time, not just as a test run, and it showed. Not at the first event with dennis, FACEIT Stage 3 Finals (one of the seven $250,000 events), as he was still fnatic's third-best player there, but at both events at the end of the year.
Fragbite Masters Season 5 Finals was measly from him—a 0.88 rating was caused by his extreme inconsistency. In somewhat comfortable wins he had solid showings, but he couldn't make an impact when it mattered. He recorded a below-0.40 rating on one of the maps of all fnatic's three-map series.
The last $250,000 event of the year was the only one out of seven where he didn't have a rating of at least 1.10. His performance at ESL ESEA Pro League Season 2 Finals wasn't particularly bad, but it was still slightly below average (0.97), and the inconsistency was still there, too. A very good score on de_dust2 of the grand final with Natus Vincere (26-18 in a 16-14 win) was completely negated by a measly one on de_inferno (13-24 in a 16-14 win), while the remainder was average within fnatic. His team still finished the year with three titles in a row despite his significant drop in form, arguably because of his leadership duties.
Why is he the 5th best player of 2015?
Despite a few underwhelming events by flusha, he boasts some of the most impressive statistics which had a large impact on his high placing in the ranking.
The Swede was one of the best clutchers of the year, having won 67 clutch rounds (fourth most), nearly half of which were at least 1-on-2's. Also, when he got at least one kill, his team won in 70.6% of cases (fourth most).
He holds first place in a largely impactful statistic, rating at majors: a superb 1.22. In all seven $250,000 events combined he is the second best-rated player with a 1.13 rating. His monstrous level of play at ESL One Cologne (1.38 rating) was the best tournament performance of the year, with olofmeister's at ESL One Katowice trailing in second place.
What also played a part in his placing was his rating in grand finals (1.07, seventh highest), which, combined with the aforementioned, is why he is in the top five despite not being as consistent as others in the top eight.
On the other hand, apart from Cologne he was never the star in his team's biggest title wins, although he came very close at ESL ESEA Pro League Season 1 Finals thanks to his playoffs performance. What also cost him a higher place in the ranking is that he wasn't the main impact player in his team, but was more of a stable contributor.
What do you make of flusha's 2015? Where would you have rated him? Let us know your opinion in the comment section 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.