EPICENTER: Top players
The newest HLTV MVP by ZOWIE medal went to Kristian "k0nfig" Wienecke for his performance at EPICENTER: Moscow. We'll explain here why he got it ahead of his teammate Emil "Magiskb0Y" Reif, and who the other stars were at the Russian event.
Moscow, Russia hosted EPICENTER's first ever CS:GO event with $490,000 in prize money on offer. Six of the eight teams in attendance were amongst the top 10 of our October 17th ranking, with fnatic and HellRaisers coming in as outside challengers.
The event went to the maximum 39 maps that were possible within the selected format (round robin Bo2 in groups and Bo3 single elimination playoffs), with all playoff series going to three maps.
It was dignitas that brought back the trophy after series wins over fnatic, Natus Vincere and Virtus.pro, while one of the surprises was that contenders NiP finished in last place, albeit in a four-way tie scenario in their group.
k0nfig with his HLTV MVP by ZOWIE medal
Following the conclusion of the event we named Kristian "k0nfig" Wienecke the HLTV MVP by ZOWIE and he was presented the accompanying medal on stage. We will go into further detail about why he was our choice, as well as which of the other 39 players at the event stood out.
As last time in our ESL One New York: Top players article we will be using rating 2.0 throughout this analysis, as well as referencing "Player of the Map" picks we made during the event on our Twitter account.
You can click on each player's name in the following list to jump to the section describing their performance, while if you are unfamiliar with the terms used in this article you can head to our glossary at the end of the article.
HLTV MVP by ZOWIE
Kristian "k0nfig" Wienecke (dignitas)
Exceptionally Valuable Players
Marcelo "coldzera" David (SK)
Janusz "Snax" Pogorzelski (Virtus.pro)
Richard "shox" Papillon (G2)
Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom (G2)
René "cajunb" Borg (dignitas)
Denis "seized" Kostin (Natus Vincere)
Wiktor "TaZ" Wojtas (Virtus.pro)
Lincoln "fnx" Lau (SK)
Adam "friberg" Friberg (NiP)
Dennis "dennis" Edman (fnatic)
Simon "twist" Eliasson (fnatic)
HLTV MVP by ZOWIE – k0nfig makes it to the next level
dignitas' 19-year-old k0nfig entered the semi-professional scene as a part of Reason Gaming in spring 2015. He had his international LAN debut last September as a member of SK at DreamHack Open London, and two months later he joined his current team dignitas.
More recently he stood out as a Valuable Player of StarSeries S2 Finals and DreamHack Open Bucharest, as dignitas started to record more notable results with the new lineup – semi-final finishes in both of those cases. The most recent event for the team was WESG EU & CIS Regional Finals where they took first place and k0nfig gave an MVP-level performance (1.34 rating, 100.2 ADR), indicating a rise in his form.
This time the team went above and beyond, bringing home the $250,000 first place prize from EPICENTER – the biggest success in each of the five members' careers – while k0nfig also received his first MVP medal.
First reason for that is that he was the Player of the Map tournament-high five times, including one map in each playoff series – the Mirage decider against fnatic (29:19, 108.9 ADR, 1.46 rating), Cobblestone vs. Na`Vi (23:15, 86.1 ADR, 1.42 rating, 2x 1vs2) and last map of the grand final against Virtus.pro, Mirage (20:12, 108.0 ADR, 1.49 rating, POV). And even when he wasn't the PotM, he managed to make a mark on a map, such as the 1vs3 defuse against fnatic, the consecutive entry kills vs. Virtus.pro's Snax on Cobblestone in the final or the 23:15, 117.0 ADR, 1.51 rating performance in the group stage opener against Na`Vi.
Second, in the case of the winning team it is useful filtering out lost maps, as those don't have an influence on the final placement, and seeing how players performed in the team's map wins – and that is where k0nfig particularly stands out.
Player stats in dignitas' 9 map wins
In those nine maps he equaled Emil "Magisk" Reif at a 1.28 rating; he has the five PotM awards vs. his teammate's one; he dealt more damage per round (90.6) and he had over 100 damage in 62% of the rounds dignitas won compared to Magisk's 51%.
Also testifying to how much impact he had in those maps is the fact that when he got two or more kills dignitas won 96% of the rounds (49 of 51). Additionally, when he got the opening kill dignitas also won 96% of the rounds (45 of 47), whereas for the rest of the team that win percentage was 74 on average. If that's not enough, consider that even when he had at least one kill the team won 82% of rounds opposed to 43% when he didn't get a kill, a +39% increase, the highest in the team.
Granted, k0nfig did have a few bad performances throughout the tournament which is what brought down his overall rating, but just like Magisk he was rated above 1.00 in 12 of their 15 maps, making him one of the most consistent players in Moscow in that regard. Additionally he led the tournament with 0.16 opening kills per round, 9 1vsX situations won, 24 rounds with 3+ kills (all of which his team won), he ranked 5th in ADR (84.1) and provided the opening kill in 25% of the rounds dignitas won (ranks #2, after HR's Kirill "ANGE1" Karasiow).
All of those things, along with the aforementioned impact in the maps that actually brought the Danish team the trophy, made him the Most Valuable Player of the event.
EVPs – Magiskb0Y provides unmatched stability, s1mple continues where he left off, FalleN excels on Train
But don't mistake his runner-up position in the MVP race for a much worse performance. It was mere details separating the two Danes, and the 18-year-old showed world class displays throughout the event.
During his second EVP performance in a row at a notable event – following DreamHack Open Bucharest – Magisk barely put a foot wrong, having no bad maps (over 0.85 rating in all 15) and finishing with a 1.21 rating, second highest of all players.
Although he was only Player of the Map once, in the Mirage group stage clash with Na`Vi (25:12, 111.2 ADR, 1.64 rating, POV), he performed great in the grand final against Virtus.pro (63:41, 88.3 ADR, 1.28 rating for the series) and Cobblestone wins over fnatic and Na`Vi in the playoffs.
But the main value of Magisk's contribution were not his peaks, it was the unmatched stability he provided to the team, getting at least 1 kill in 57% of his rounds (ranks #2) and surviving 39% of time (also ranks #2).
He also had the third highest ADR (87.2) and third most rounds with a contribution (75%), led the event with an amazing +90 kill-death difference and was second with 8 1vsX situations won.
All of that describes his superstar-level performance and continues his story that began back in ELEAGUE Season 1, going through his three month adventure in dignitas to lead to where we are now, with Magisk becoming one of the most in-form players in the world.
Talking about in-form players, there is no one in better form right now than Na`Vi's Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev. The 19-year-old Ukrainian had already had a good month coming into Moscow, having won his first ever international trophy at ESL One New York and received the HLTV MVP medal along with it.
At EPICENTER he continued where he left off, as he was once again the top rated player of the event with a 1.25 rating, had a superb 0.98 kills per round and dealt the most damage on average (96.1).
However, while he even top fragged in the semi-final series against dignitas it wasn't enough to push Na`Vi past the Danish side, just as his tournament-high 37-kill performance against G2 in the group stage wasn't enough to bring a victory there.
Interestingly, despite such a good all-round performance, s1mple was PotM only once out of Na`Vi's four map victories - 16-9 over G2 on Train in the group stage (29:15, 116.0 ADR, 1.58 rating).
That is pretty much how s1mple's week went by, with him bringing the firepower on every map (even topping the headshots per round category ahead of Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom with 0.55) but Na`Vi faltering unless his teammates stepped up to the plate.
After map one of the grand final, Virtus.pro's Paweł "byali" Bieliński was well on his way to grab his first ever MVP award. The usually unflamboyant 22-year-old Pole was this time the star of the team throughout the event, and he put in a great performance in that opening Nuke win (22:16, 95.4 ADR, 1.27 rating) which put Virtus only one step away from the big trophy.
But unfortunately for him, dignitas outplayed Virtus.pro and snatched the first place from the Poles, also leaving byali without an MVP medal.
Heading into the final he was PotM three times, twice in the group stage and once, the most important one, in the semi-final against SK. It was the second map of the series, following the 1-16 thrashing Virtus received on Train, where byali stepped up with 27:17, 94.6 ADR, 1.35 rating and a number of key plays to secure a 16-13 victory (POV). In this map he was so crucial that he had at least 1 kill in all 16 rounds Virtus won, a feat that no one else achieved throughout the tournament in a map win.
With this performance, he now has three EVP selections in a row, following DreamHack Open Bucharest and ESL One New York. Therefore, he is another player whose form after the summer break has been largely exceptional.
Just like his team, Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo had a quiet start at EPICENTER, not making much noise as SK fell to a 1-3 record in the first two days.
But he woke up for the do-or-die HellRaisers match on Overpass, putting in the first of his four PotM performances in the next six maps. FalleN then starred in the G2 quarter-final series as the best player of both map wins, as well as in the first map of the Virtus.pro semi-final.
It was the two Train performances in each of those playoff series that will remain etched in our memories, as he led his team to a 16-0 win over G2 with 24:4, 122.9 ADR, 2.10 rating and then a 16-1 win over Virtus.pro with another 24:4, 116.2 ADR, 2.03 rating performance.
In those two maps he had tournament-high 19 AWP kills on each occasion, and he ended the tournament with the most total AWP kills (122), highest AWP KPR (0.44) and his team relied on his AWP kills the most (44% of their round wins had one).
Aside from being clearly the best AWPer in Moscow, he was also one of the best at opening rounds with 0.15 opening kills on average and a 63% success rate in opening duels, ranking 3rd in both categories. Furthermore, he was the highest rated player in the playoffs with a 1.22 rating, which along with his 4 PotMs made him a clear EVP of EPICENTER.
The 22-year-old started off slow in the group stage but was still a very useful player, contributing in 75% of his rounds in spite of not putting up big numbers (0.94 rating).
As his team entered the playoffs, RUBINO turned into the third star of the team, acquiring two PotM awards, one against fnatic and one against Na`Vi, and playing great in both map wins of the Virtus.pro grand final.
He played particularly well in the Nuke decider of the Na`Vi semi-final, as he led the team with 26:15, 115.1 ADR, 1.56 rating while contributing in 93% of rounds in what was possibly their hardest and most important map win of the event.
RUBINO ended up with a 1.11 rating in the playoffs (4th highest), had a 1.18 rating in the maps dignitas won and he was the most consistent player of the event on a round-to-round basis, with a contribution in 76% of his rounds. That contribution was also a result of his willingness to sacrifice himself for the team, as 28% of his deaths were traded quickly – third most at the event.
The MVP of both Majors in 2016, Marcelo "coldzera" David started off great at EPICENTER, with a 32:16 and 23:18 displays in two map losses to Virtus.pro, and ended up as one of the best rated players of the group stage (1.16 rating).
He played decently in the playoffs too, only faltering in the last map as the team lost to Virtus.pro on Cobblestone, which put him on a 1.09 rating for the tournament (5th) highest. Overall he ranked 2nd as one of the players who contributed in the most rounds (76%), once again providing the reliability he is known for.
But as in ESL One New York, he left something to be desired with his performance and he'll need to produce a more explosive display at the next few events to restore the value of his stock.
Another player who left something to be desired is Virtus.pro's superstar Janusz "Snax" Pogorzelski.
In fairness, the 23-year-old played great in the group stage and in the semi-final against SK (if we ignore the 1-16 first map loss), coming into the grand final as one of the MVP candidates with a 1.09 rating.
But then against dignitas he barely made any notable impact, ending the tournament with a 1.01 rating.
After all was said and done though, he was an important figure in Virtus.pro second place campaign, he won the third most 1vsX situations at the event (7) and was one of the hardest players to kill (survived 35% of his rounds, 5th most).
After a relatively poor performance in New York a few weeks ago, Richard "shox" Papillon returned to form in Moscow, dishing out 2nd-most damage per round in the tournament (89.8) and leading his team through the minefield that was group A with two PotM performances (against NiP and Na`Vi).
He played well against SK too, with the exception of the 0-16 loss, ending up with team-high 1.07 rating for the event.
The Belgian made his mark in the key win over dignitas on Overpass that sent G2 to playoffs and the Dust2 series equalizer against SK in the quarter-final. Additionally, he was the team's most consistent player with a contribution in 70% of rounds, and the most 1vsX situations won with 6.
René "cajunb" Borg had a bit of a rough start in the group stage, showing a surprising for him inconsistent performance. But he showed his consistency during the playoffs where he made a contribution in 74% of rounds without making too much noise (no PotM awards), and with good displays in both the Na`Vi semi-final and Virtus.pro grand final.
Denis "seized" Kostin's first big event in his home country was most memorable for his influence on the big comeback on Overpass against dignitas in the semi-final, where his 1vs3 clutch spurred Na`Vi to overturn a 3-12 deficit into a 16-13 win.
But aside from that PotM performance, he put up over 85 ADR in four of the six group stage maps, helping the team top group A and reach the semi-finals directly. And he was one of the best clutchers of the event, having three 1vs2 wins and two 1vs1s in addition to the aforementioned semi-final clutch.
Virtus.pro's third best player at this event was Wiktor "TaZ" Wojtas. The 30-year-old put up solid numbers from start to finish, with a couple of great maps against SK – first in the tournament opener where he was the PotM on Mirage and then in the 3rd map of the semi-final on Cobblestone where he was the top fragger with 21:9.
In addition to his decent fragging output and consistency, TaZ showed his commitment to teamplay once again with 28% of his deaths being trades.
Despite the rumors about being on the chopping block in SK thoughout the past week, Lincoln "fnx" Lau had an excellent event in Moscow and demonstrated just how important he is to the team.
His usefulness extended well beyond getting kills. Despite ranking only fourth in his team in that regard he dealt the most damage on average in SK (81.8).
A big part of that ADR served to help his teammates get the kills, as he led the event with 26.4 "support damage" per round (damage that didn't lead to his own kills), as well as with 7.3 grenade damage per round.
That resulted in event-high 0.20 assists per round for fnx, and along with having 30% of his deaths traded and a contribution in 96% of the rounds SK won (both also event-highs), he was clearly the best support player of the tournament.
Adam "friberg" Friberg was the only valuable player who did not make the playoffs, a testament to his impressive performances for NiP at this event.
The 25 year old Swede saw his team finish last in their group despite a 3-3 record and despite his early heroics which brought him two PotM awards for the performances against G2 and dignitas.
He also played well in their third win, against Na`Vi, and most impressively ended up with 124.5 average damage in rounds NiP won at the tournament, the most of all players.
While fnatic's biggest star Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer was very inconsistent throughout the tournament, his partner in crime Dennis "dennis" Edman had a rating above 1.00 in six of their nine maps – the most in fnatic.
He also made the most impact in their round wins, especially on the way to the playoffs, as he played well in each of the team's three wins despite not getting any PotM nods.
The other fnatic star from this event was Simon "twist" Eliasson, who dealt the most damage for the team (82.7 on average, 6th most at the event), and was also an important factor of all three group stage victories, with a PotM award against Virtus.pro.
That's the complete list of our "Top players" of EPICENTER: Moscow, but an honorable mention goes out to dignitas' in-game leader Mathias "MSL" Lauridsen who despite putting up low numbers (0.89 rating) was the team's X-factor (they won 75% of rounds when he got a kill, the highest percentage at the event) and a very good support player (0.18 assists per round, 28% traded deaths, 2nd most in both).
Some interesting stats for the end:
- Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund had the least rounds with 0 damage, only 20%
- Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács dealt 0 damage in 50% of Na`Vi's lost rounds, the highest percentage of all players
- Bence "DeadFox" Böröcz was involved in the most trade kills (0.39 per round)
- Virtus.pro won 20 of the 22 rounds when Jarosław "pashaBiceps" Jarząbkowski had an AWP kill
- Richard "shox" Papillon had 24 kills with the Mac10, while the next closest are his teammates bodyy and RpK with 12 each
- Janusz "Snax" Pogorzelski had 17 MAG7 kills, followed by RUBINO with 5
- Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev had the most kills with both the rifles (0.65) and the pistols (0.24)
That's the end of our EPICENTER: Moscow coverage as we quickly turn to ESL Pro League Season 4 Finals, where we'll be handing out another one of our HLTV MVP by ZOWIE medals.
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 his team's success.
VP (Valuable Player) – player who stood out with good performances at the event
KPR – kills per round
DPR – deaths per round (shown as less being better)
ADR – average damage per round
Impact rating – a new formula that accounts for a player's impact through multi-kill rounds, opening kills and clutches
Consistency – how often the player contributed with a kill, assist, surviving or a death that was traded in a round
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 one possible interpretation of player performances.