As January has come to an end we'll take a closer look at all the notable LAN events we covered and select the MVP in each of them, as well as point out other top players.
This article aims to bring back a feature long lost which was selecting the MVP and other top players of each big LAN event we cover, which we last did back in 2014 for SLTV StarSeries IX Finals (and also retroactively for all events counted for our yearly Top 20).
However, with a far busier LAN schedule these days compared to 2014 we restart the series with a monthly recap instead, collecting all events and their top players in one place.
So if you missed some of the action in January and you want to see which players are in form, who were the stars of the big events and who the rising stars from smaller ones, this is the place to be.
In addition to the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of each event, we'll also select EVPs (exceptionally valuable players) and VPs (valuable players) in order to have somewhat of a hierarchy and also to reward exceptional performances that don't earn an MVP.
Finally, we're happy to announce that we are introducing damage stats into our system, and while they're not ready for site-wide use yet, we will be including various stats based around damage dealt (and received) in this article's stats leader boards and analysis.
To make it easier for you to find your way to the places of interest throughout the article we made a table of contents:
1. SL-i League StarSeries XIV Finals
2. DreamHack ZOWIE Open Leipzig 2016
3. PGL Regional Minor Championship Europe
4. IEM Taipei 2016
5. MLG Americas Minor Championship
6. StarLadder Regional Minor Championship CIS
MVP (Most Valuable Player) – the best performer of the event who at the same time greatly contributed to his team's notable success and played well in the most important matches.
EVP (Exceptionally Valuable Player) – player who performed exceptionally throughout the event, standing out either by consistent high level displays or superb displays in big matches that led to team's success.
VP (Valuable Player) – player who stood out with good performances at the event regardless of team success
Note: This feature is based on statistical analysis and players' contribution on the server. We acknowledge that players can contribute in ways that are not seen in stats and outside of the server whether strategically, tactically, motivationally or otherwise, so this article should only be taken as a possible interpretation of player performances.
We'll start from the biggest event in January, the $200,000 Finals of the latest StarSeries season, this time co-organized by Starladder and i-League.
fnatic ended up winners of this event with a 2-0 landslide victory over Natus Vincere in the final as their superstar lineup continued impressing with a record-fourth straight title. EnVyUs and Luminosity came in at 3rd-4th place after topping their groups, while questionmark and G2 lost in the quarter-final.
Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer (fnatic)
olofmeister continued where he left off in 2015, putting up another MVP performance at a big event. It wasn't a clear-cut case as in most of the other events, as his teammate Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson and Na`Vi's Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács put in a lot of work as well (and even had higher rating), but olofmeister was the biggest contributor for fnatic in their title campaign and he achieved that with great overall performance and peaks in the biggest matches.
Just like everyone in fnatic, he started the tournament with a poor display in the EnVyUs loss (which proved to be inconsequential for the Swedes), but he played well in each of the five series after that.
He was the MotM on three occasions, the 3rd map against ex-Titan in the group B elimination match (22:8, 6 assists with contribution in 95% of rounds), map two against G2 in the 1/4 final (20:10) and map two of the Luminosity 1/2 final (23:15, 7 assists, 131 average damage in round wins).
olofmeister continued where he left off in 2015
But it's not just his peaks in each of those key series on the way to the final that made him the MVP, it's also his play in other maps as he averaged over 100 ADR six times (86 ADR overall, 2nd highest at the event), including both grand final maps which may have actually been his best series overall.
Although a teammate overshadowed olofmeister on the first map against Na`Vi, he was easily the second best player with his event-high 114 ADR and a 19:9 score with 7 assists. He had a similar performance on map two (22:12, 104 ADR) and ended up as the one who contributed in the most rounds of the series – 86%.
Overall he had +11.6 net round shares, the most in fnatic and 2nd most at the event, but if we look at the playoffs in isolation he made by far the most difference with +12.8 net round shares.
What's even more important for a title-winning campaign is that olofmeister was the most influential in the rounds fnatic won, having 21.8% of their round win shares which is also backed up by his 106 ADR in round wins.
The MV in the MVP can also be glanced through the following stat: fnatic won 76.6% of rounds when olofmeister had at least 1 kill and lost 61.7% when he didn't have a kill, both numbers highest in the team.
Although his 1.12 rating (the 2.0 version, which includes assists, opening kills, clutches and few more stats) ranks only 6th overall, he was well tested with 15 maps played and 6 different teams faced. He did have a few poor performances, but as it turned out that was in maps that didn't make much difference in the final placing and he ended up with shared-most 8 maps with a 1.15 or higher rating, 5 of those in the playoffs.
So that's enough reasons to pick olofmeister as the MVP of the first big event in 2016, as he continued his impressive form from the end of the year when he was fnatic's best player in two of the three title runs, and of course our Player of the Year.
Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács (Na`Vi)
Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson (fnatic)
Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo (Luminosity)
Robin "flusha" Rönnquist (fnatic)
Marcelo "coldzera" David (Luminosity)
Dennis "dennis" Edman (fnatic)
There were six exceptionally valuable players at this event outside of the MVP, starting with Na`Vi's GuardiaN who, like on many occasions last year, ended up being the sole carrier of his team's torch. That was mainly the case because of the final where even his heroics (and 0.81 KPR) couldn't make up for the fact the rest of the team averaged only 0.41 kills per round.
The Slovakian also played well in every series his team won prior to that, especially in the semi-final vs. EnVyUs (44:23, 27 AWP kills and 10 opening kills) and was a key ingredient in Na`Vi's round wins, contributing in 90% of them.
Fnatic's KRIMZ was another big star of the event as the most consistent player (contributed in 72% of rounds), the best clutcher (7 rounds won 1-on-X) and the one who made the most damage difference (+15.6). He practically didn't have a bad map (rating above 0.85 in 14 of 15 maps) and his contribution (kill, assist or surviving) actually was missed the most in the team as fnatic only won 17% of rounds without it.
FalleN started the year with a bang, outplaying Na`Vi's GuardiaN in their individual duel and topping the AWP charts for the first big tournament. Although he wasn't the highest rated player in his team, he was the best in the matches that led Luminosity to the semi-final and he made the most damage difference for the Brazilians.
Advanced stats show that flusha was an exceptionally valuable player in Minsk
Fnatic's in-game leader flusha didn't earn a place in this category due to the calls he made but due to his impressive playoff performances (second most net round shares in the playoffs, +10.4). He showed up when his team faced the toughest obstacle, map 3 of the semi-final against Luminosity, which largely due to his impressive 36:20 contribution ended 16-14 in fnatic's favor. He also led the tournament in total hits per round with 3.5, indicating he often softened up the enemy for his teammates.
Luminosity's coldzera was another EVP thanks to his amazing consistency and play in the big matches. He made his mark with a 1-on-4 clutch for the map win against Na`Vi and he put up the best performance in the semi-final against fnatic, eventually even ending up as the top fragger of the tournament.
Lastly, another fnatic member earned his spot under the spotlight mainly due to his beyond-impressive play in the grand final. dennis had the best single-map performance of the tournament which will likely stay on as one of the best of the year, and it was when the most was on the line - he put up 29:7 (2.61 rating) in the first map win over Na`Vi with four 4-kill rounds, including both pistols.
And while that did push him into EVP category due to the match's importance, he also went from 1-13 in the first half to one of the heroes of the 3rd map comeback vs. Luminosity. Lastly, much like olofmeister and KRIMZ his contribution increased fnatic's win percentage by 55%, from 22% to 77%, which when taking into account his slight inconsitency made him the team's X-factor.
Jesper "JW" Wecksell (fnatic)
Egor "flamie" Vasilyev (Na`Vi)
Danylo "Zeus" Teslenko (Na`Vi)
Lincoln "fnx" Lau (Luminosity)
Fernando "fer" Alvarenga (Luminosity)
Dan "apEX" Madesclaire (EnVyUs)
Nathan "NBK-" Schmitt (EnVyUs)
Vincent "Happy" Schopenhauer (EnVyUs)
Bin "Savage" Liu (CyberZen)
Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen (?)
Joakim "jkaem" Myrbostad (G2)
Philip "aizy" Aistrup (G2)
Another 11 players deserve a mention for their performances in Minsk, but we won't go into too much depth about their play.
JW was actually the most often top rated player in the tournament (in 4 maps), but that was in less important matches. He was also the most efficient at opening rounds.
flamie was Na`Vi's second best player, while Luminosity's pair fnx and fer were above average in kills, assists and survived rounds, something only two other people achieved at the tournament, fnatic's flusha and olofmeister.
Zeus was in that company too before the final, where he had a horrendous display, but still ended up with 80.5 damage dealt per round and was the best assister of the event.
apEX dealt the most damage, 90.2 per round, and performed great in matches that pushed EnVyUs to the semis, as did NBK- and Happy. The latter however, is here mainly due to his display against questionmark, while overall in the tournament he's the player whose contribution made the least difference for his team (only +22% increase in win %).
CyberZen's Savage was the player who contributed the most in his team's round wins out of everyone in the tournament (24.1% of round win shares, 122 ADR in wins) and he put up world class numbers with the AWP (0.42 kills per round, 4.7 kill to death ratio), putting himself back on the map after years of hiatus with what was his CS:GO debut internationally.
Lastly, dupreeh was the best in questionmark and the best aimer of the tournament with 0.44 headshot kills per round and 0.54 headshot hits, while jkaem made the most difference in every regard for G2, especially with a superb performance against Na`Vi (64:46, 1.40 rating)
One week after the big event in Minsk, another one followed in Leipzig, Germany, this time with $100,000 up for grabs and with a few less top 10 teams in attendance.
Natus Vincere won the event after a nail-biting final with two overtime maps against Luminosity, while dignitas surprised many by reaching the semi-finals and ending up on the same level as their countrymen from the newly-announced organization Astralis.
Egor "flamie" Vasilyev (Na`Vi)
The MVP race in Leipzig wasn't as exciting as StarSeries, mainly because flamie went berserk in the grand final where he put up 69:43 score (1.48 rating) in two 19-16 victories against Luminosity.
Thanks to that and his overall performance he ended up as the top rated player of the tournament, the one who had the best damage difference (+19.3), the best fragger and had the highest net round shares.
flamie back in the spotlight after an impressive grand final display at DH Leipzig
He also dealt the most damage among the players who were in the playoffs (89.8 ADR), and was the one who contributed the most in Na`Vi's round wins (106 ADR, at least 1 kill in 67% of rounds).
Rounding up his MVP claim is his consistency during the event, as he didn't have a bad map, he contributed in the most rounds of all players along with a teammate of his (71%), he had 3.3 hits per round and barely had any rounds where he dealt no damage (only 18%, the least in the tournament).
Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo (Luminosity)
Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács (Na`Vi)
Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye (dignitas)
Marcelo "coldzera" David (Luminosity)
Danylo "Zeus" Teslenko (Na`Vi)
Fernando "fer" Alvarenga (Luminosity)
If it wasn't for flamie's monstrous performance in the final, first on the MVP list would have been the IGL FalleN – even if Luminosity still lost. His contribution was so crucial that of rounds when he just died without contributing the Brazilians won only 16% while when he had a kill, assist or survived they won 77% - overall a +61% difference, by far highest at the event.
Second best in that metric, at least out of those who were consistent contributors, is Na`Vi's GuardiaN who improved his team's winning percentage by 51%. The Slovakian wasn't the most impactful player for his team on this occasion, but he still contributed in most of their round wins (88%). Additionally, even though he once again didn't outplay his Brazilian AWP counterpart, he was overall the most efficient with it in Leipzig (0.48 kills per round).
At DH Leipzig he finally had his first big performance against a top team – 84:60 (1.32 rating) in an upset win to eliminate Virtus.pro, including a monster display in the nail-biting decider on Cobblestone (45:26, 1.58 rating in a 22:20 victory).
Kjaerbye was a monster in Leipzig
He didn't stop there though, as he also had great series against mousesports and then Na`Vi in the semi-final, where he also recorded the most memorable highlight of the tournament – a 1-on-4 deagle-headshots clutch. Lastly, he was the most efficient aimer with 0.61 headshot hits and 0.46 headshot kills per round.
Luminosity's star coldzera added yet another superb, consistent and faultless display to his impressive event history, once again topping the fragging charts for his team (although this time not for the whole tournament). Nevertheless, he ranks second overall in net round shares with +8.7, which in large part stems from not making mistakes that cost his team rounds.
fer, on the other hand, was somewhat error prone, especially in the opening loss to FaZe, but he was also the one who dealt the most damage on average in the Brazilian side (84 ADR overall, 110 in round wins) and had the most hits per round (3.2).
Last but not the least exceptional of the EVPs is Na`Vi's Zeus who had one of the best tournaments of his CS:GO career. He performed well in every series and was one of the most consistent players, had event-high 5 clutches and most notably had superb impact with multikill rounds. As a matter of fact, he had 2 or more kills in 19% of his rounds, well above average, and most of them led to round wins for Natus Vincere (30 of 32, or 94%).
Ioann "Edward" Sukhariev (Na`Vi)
Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth (Astralis)
Denis "seized" Kostin (Na`Vi)
Lincoln "fnx" Lau (Luminosity)
Nicolai "device" Reedtz (Astralis)
Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen (Astralis)
Nikola "NiKo" Kovač (mousesports)
Chris "chrisJ" de Jong (mousesports)
Jesper "TENZKI" Plougmann (dignitas)
Kristian "k0nfig" Wienecke (dignitas)
Filip "NEO" Kubski (Virtus.pro)
Håvard "rain" Nygaard (FaZe)
The last two Na`Vi members, Edward and seized didn't stand out much, but performed consistently well throughout the tournament, while Luminosity's X-factor player fnx contributed in slightly below average amount of rounds and still managed to have 82 ADR.
Astralis' Xyp9x was the best in the organization's debut, having clutched 5 rounds and performed well in their 22-19 win over mouz as well as the semi-final loss against Luminosity.
The Bosnian youngster was even statistically the most impressive player of the tournament – he dealt the most damage on average (99 ADR), was the second best fragger (0.85 KPR) and best at opening rounds (0.20 first kills per round). Not only that but no one carried their team to round wins more than him with a monstrous 136 damage per round and at least 1 kill in 75% of round wins.
Lastly, rain had similar influence on FaZe (129 ADR in round wins, 88 overall) while NEO stood out in an otherwise disappointing Virtus.pro with at least one kill in event-high 58% of rounds and 90 ADR, second highest.
First of four minors that we'll analyze is the European one held by PGL last weekend, which saw HellRaisers run away with the $30,000 cheque and a spot in the major qualifier in Columbus later this month.
They beat E-frag in the final, a team that looked in much better form heading into the last match, while in general struggling in every match with all of their Bo3s going to 3 maps and the initial best of one against Lemondogs ending 16-14.
PixelFire and PENTA gave solid accounts of themselves and finished 3rd-4th, while CG – a young and very inexperienced Nordic mixture - proved once again how deep the talent pool is in Northern Europe by upsetting and eliminating one of the favorites LDLC White and putting up a great fight vs. PENTA.
Kamen "bubble" Kostadinov (E-frag)
It may come as a surprise to some that the MVP isn't a player from the winning team, but in what was a combination of lack of incredible performances by a HellRaisers player and absolute domination by bubble throughout the tournament, the Bulgarian player received this imaginary prize.
A flawless MVP display by bubble despite losing the final
bubble led the tournament in numerous ways – rating, kill-death difference, damage difference, he was the top fragger, most consistent player and the one with the most net round shares (all shown above in the stats leader picture).
And it cannot be said that he achieved that in earlier, less important matches, as he was the MotM of the semi-final victory against PixelFire and the top fragger of the grand final.
In addition to that he didn't have a single bad map throughout the tournament (all 9 above 0.85, 8 above 1.00 rating) and he contributed in by far the most rounds (75.9%), so his consistency was exemplary.
The main MVP candidate from the winning team was oskar, the team's main AWPer who even though he didn't dominate, played well in every single map, just like bubble and on top of that he put in his best performances in the playoffs.
The Czech player was also the best AWPer out of the playoff participants, and he was the most important player for HellRaisers in the rounds they won, having contributed in 90% of them, and seeing the team's win percentage go from 15% without his contribution to 70% with it.
oskar brings HellRaisers their first title in 2016
E-frag's IGL spyleadeR kept pace with his teammate bubble all the way until the final (where he played quite badly in the two lost maps) and was actually the player who dealt the most damage on average in the tournament (89 ADR). His usefulness was also evident through the fact that he was the most efficient player at opening rounds (1.93 ratio of first kills leading to wins vs. first deaths leading to losses), as well as his tournament-high 3.8 hits per round.
HellRaisers' ANGE1 was not as impactful as oskar due to his aggressive playstyle that often saw him directly lose rounds for his team as well, but he actually dealt more damage than the Czech and was the second most involved in their round wins (89%).
One of the more interesting storylines of the PGL Minor is the comeback of BARBARR to the professional circuit. Several years ago the now 25-year-old was a promising youngster in CS 1.6, but after initially dipping his toes into CS:GO he went inactive until a few months ago.
Now he's back in PixelFire (or Orgless as of now) and at the minor he showed that he still has a lot to bring to the table as he was statistically the second best performer in many categories and even led the way in multi-kill rounds. And just like E-frag's bubble and HR's oskar he never had a bad map and was even more important in his team's round wins, accumulating 24.1% of PixelFire's round win shares.
The last EVP from the European minor is PENTA's mikeS, who did have a few very bad performances throughout the event (especially in the map that knocked his team out of the semis), but was also the main reason they even made the playoffs. His performance against CG in the group decider was one of the best at the event, especially in the second map overtime win (38:25, 1.35 rating, with 14 kills and two clutches in overtime). Besides that, he was PENTA's best player overall with the most round win shares and the least round loss shares in the team.
William "draken" Sundin (CG)
Bence "DeadFox" Böröcz (PixelFire)
Benjamin "tabu" Vangstrup (PixelFire)
Martin "STYKO" Styk (HellRaisers)
Emil "kUcheR" Akhundov (HellRaisers)
Viktor "v1c7oR" Dyankov (E-frag)
Nikolay "pNshr" Paunin (E-frag)
Johannes "tabseN" Wodarz (PENTA)
Fredrik "REZ" Sterner (CG)
Jesse "zehN" Linjala (CG)
Miran "Dumas" Matković (DenDD)
Jerry "xelos" Råberg (Lemondogs)
Timothée "DEVIL" Démolon (LDLC White)
Swedish 20 year old draken was the revelation of the tournament. In his first international LAN event he displayed incredible AWPing throughout his team's matches, although he was unable to bring then into playoffs in the end.
DeadFox was in a similar situation, although he has attended a few regional LANs last year, as he managed to showcase his skill at the minor and notably, he played very well in what is now the longest CS:GO map on LAN ever (41-38 win over DenDD).
tabu is another PixelFire member who had a memorable tournament and will see his stock rise as a result of it, as he displayed incredible composure by winning 12 clutches overall, including a few when facing match points in that multi-overtime game.
The Asian-Oceanic minor was played at IEM Taipei and aside from the disqualification of TyLoo, it featured the most interesting storyline of the month.
TheMongolz appeared in superb form after apparently practicing in Vietnam for two months and they overran Australia's best to win the tournament, and with that $30,000 and spots at IEM Katowice and MLG Columbus main qualifier.
Enkhtaivan "Machinegun" Lkhagva (TheMongolz)
The player who has been topping our stat charts the last few months with his online performances, Machinegun, showed up in Taipei in amazing form and recorded 0.90 kills per round.
He had strong opposition in the MVP race in a teammate of his who was more consistent, but despite some lapses that led to Machinegun having the most round loss shares in his team, he contributed by far the most in their round wins, having at least one kill in 72% of them.
Machinegun dominated in Taipei and led TheMongolz to the title
And we can look from another perspective to see how valuable he was - the team's record in the 80 rounds in which he had at least one kill was 67-13 (84%) and inversely 26-46 (36%) when he didn't have a kill, both of which make him by far the most important player in the team.
To further demonstrate how dominant he was: he had 2 or more kills in 24% of his rounds (the most at the event) and TheMongolz won 97% of those (36 of 37).
He also led the tournament in average damage per round (93 ADR) and his team in damage dealt in their round wins with an incredible 123 ADR.
In almost any other tournament the performance that Zilkenberg put up would have been enough to earn the MVP award, as he had all the ingredients – he was the most consistent player, contributed in the most rounds, had the most clutches, dealt over 90 damage per round – but in Taipei he was overshadowed by his teammate Machinegun.
This 24 years old Mongolian player still contributed in the most round wins for his team – an unbelievable 97% (89 of 93), but he wasn't as dominant as the MVP in them, scoring far less kills and dealing far less damage.
Just like the two abovementioned players, Renegades' youngster jks didn't have a bad map at the tournament and he even played well in the final while being on the losing side. He contributed in 75% of all rounds (2nd most) and his importance to the team reflects through the 6-33 record Renegades had in rounds when he didn't have a kill, assist or survived.
AZR was even better than him before the final, putting up the best numbers in the Australian team's round wins (101 ADR), but a poor performance in the last map didn't help his case.
The last EVP of IEM Taipei is another player of TheMongolz, Tsogoo, who had a great performance in the grand final (41:24, 1.45 rating) and was a very consistent contributor for the winning team (71% of rounds).
Chad "SPUNJ" Burchill (Renegades)
Azad "topguN" Orami (Chiefs)
Otgonjargal "Menace" Ganzorig (TheMongolz)
Bold "ncl" Batsuh (TheMongolz)
Ryan "zewsy" Palmer (Chiefs)
Bin "Savage" Liu (CyberZen)
WeiJie "zhokiNg" Zhong (CyberZen)
ZhiHong "aumaN" Liu (CyberZen)
Abdulaziz "Nami" Al-Hammadi (Risky)
Love "havoK" Paras (Risky)
Yi-Wei "Kny" Lu (Eat You Alive)
SPUNJ was a very useful part of the Renegades machinery as his aggression often paid off and he ended up as one of the best at opening rounds and the best assister of the tournament, meaning he did a great job setting his teammates up for kills and winning rounds. In fact, 32 of RNG's 88 round wins followed SPUNJ's involvement in the opening duel and the team lost only 13 rounds after his first death.
Chiefs' stand-in and former major attendee topguN was the key reason the team made it to the playoffs, where he also performed well. His 18 year old teammate from New Zealand, zewsy, was less impactful in round wins but more consistent overall and he ranked 3rd in the tournament in ADR with 84.9.
Risky's 18 year old Nami showcased some solid AWPing skill and indicated that the Middle East region also has talent to offer to the world.
The first minor chronologically was the one in the US, which due to visa issues for Brazilian teams and compLexity's roster changes ended up featuring only 7 NA teams, including two replacements in EZG and Leader-1.
Enemy wound up storming through the tournament without even dropping double digits to any of their opponents, while SPLYCE surprised big favorites OpTic in the semi-final.
Kenneth "koosta" Suen (Enemy)
The American minor provided by far the easiest task of chosing the event's MVP as 19 year old koosta put in a performance that blew everyone else out of the water, dominating from start to finish.
Usually you could say that a rating of 1.25 means that someone was clearly a level above the opposition in a given tournament, but koosta had a 1.67 rating which indicates he was almost three levels above everyone else at the event.
And looking at his other numbers, you couldn't make a case for the opposite even if you wanted to – he had 1.06 kills per round, dealt 104 damage per round and had an insane +37.5 damage difference on average.
He not only played well in every map, he had a rating above 1.20 in all 6 of them including a monstrous performance in the grand final (61:24, 2.03 rating).
Lastly, he had a world class level 0.58 AWP kills per round, ending up with a ratio of 20 between AWP kills and AWP deaths, or more precisely he killed his opponents 81 times and was killed by an AWP only 4 times throughout the tournament.
Once again the second best player of the tournament comes from the winning team, which in this case goes to show how dominant Enemy were. Uber was every bit as consistent as koosta, having no poor performances and contributing in 75% of rounds, although he wasn't as dominant as his teammate.
Nevertheless, that's one more 19 year old for the NA region to put some hope in, as he showed that he is ready for the next level.
The main contributor from the second placed team SPLYCE was arya, who dealt the most damage (87 ADR) for the team and had the most impact in their round wins.
OpTic's ShahZaM was similarly influential as one of the top rated players of the tournament, whereas MAiNLiNE was only third best in Enemy, yet he had no bad games and was the 5th best fragger of the event.
Terry "dsr" Rioux (Obey.Alliance)
David "DAVEY" Stafford (SPLYCE)
Daniel "virtus" Carrillo (Leader-1)
Cory "APE" Bate (Obey.Alliance)
Will "RUSH" Wierzba (OpTic)
Keith "NAF" Markovic (OpTic)
Abraham "abE" Fazli (SPLYCE)
Paul "MORViD" Beam (EZG)
Todd "anger" Williams (Winterfox)
20-year-old Canadian dsr had problems coming to the venue due to a cancelled flight, which forced his team to forfeit their opening match. Obey.Alliance ended up only playing a best-of-3 against Winterfox in the group decider on day two and that was enough for dsr to show us his talent as he played well in all 3 maps, averaging 87 damage dealt and bringing his team 28% of their round wins.
virtus from Leader-1 led his team to an upset 16-14 win over SPLYCE in the opening match of the tournament with an amazing performance (35:20, 1.58 rating) and the player who contributed to his team's round wins the most in the whole event.
Lastly, a completely unknown 15 year old MORViD got his chance unexpectedly when EZG were invited and he took it and showed his region that he has talent many teams could use in the future. He played well in both of his maps and ended up with 0.87 kills per round despite losing.
The CIS minor provided the least unexpected results, but also had some of the most interesting matches, which included two multi-overtime thrillers and a 15-0 comeback in a semi-final.
The newly formed Gambit were the favorites and they did end up taking the first place ahead of Rebels, while the other two known sides from the CIS region, Arcade and Method, bowed out in the semi-finals.
Rustem "mou" Telepov (Gambit)
Here we had another clear-cut MVP choice - mou was the best player of the CIS minor from start to finish, as he led the way for Gambit to score a $30,000 loot and a spot in Columbus at the main qualifier.
He topped the tournament charts in kills per round (0.91), damage difference (+22.2), rounds contributed (71.8%), clutches won (6) and more. He was also the most consistent player at the minor as well as the best AWPer, all of which make a clear case for him as the MVP.
One of the most talented Russian youngsters, 17 year old electronic, was recently added to the Rebels (now Empire) roster and he showed what he's got with an excellent performance at the minor.
He went head to head with Gambit's mou in the MVP race until the final, especially when he had a century of frags in the group stage clash with the favorites, and he played above average in every other map before the big match.
Gambit's secondary stars were Dosia and wayLander, the duo which ended up dominating in the grand final after having some consistency issues throughout the tournament. Nevertheless, both of them ended up right behind mou in the net round shares column with +11.
Another exceptionally valuable player came from Russia's developing talent pool – Method's 18 year old spaze had no poor performances throughout the tournament and he topped the ADR chart with 94.7 damage on average.
Dauren "AdreN" Kystaubayev (Gambit)
Sergey "spaz" Skrypchik (Rebels)
Roman "CyberFocus" Dergach (Rebels)
Evgeny "fenvicious" Mitsik (Quest)
Alexey "ub1que" Polivanov (Method)
Dmitriy "facecrack" Alekseyev (Method)
Pavel "COLDYY1" Veklenko (Arcade)
Pavel "hutji" Lashkov (Arcade)
Alexander "spiker" Ivanov (Rebels)
Vladimir "ROBO" Neskey (Fluffly Gangsters)
Gregory "balblna" Oleinick (Binary Dragons)
ub1que and facecrack provided solid help in Method, especially during the 15-0 comeback against Gambit in the semi-final, while in the other 3rd-4th place finisher Arcade COLDYY1 and hutji made the most difference.
That concludes our recap of the best players in January 2016. Do you think some of the MVP awards were undeserved? Are there any other players that you think deserved to be mentioned for their performances? Let us know in the comments below.