As one of the most consistent and well-rounded players of the year, Astralis' Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen clinches the 10th place in our Top 20 players of 2017 powered by EGB.com, making his fourth and highest placing in the ranking since his first entry in 2013.
|Top 20 players of 2017: Introduction|
After having played Counter-Strike Source at a lower level in the last years of the game, Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen enjoyed a quick growth following the switch to CS:GO mid-2012. Putting himself on the radar with 3DMAX, he got picked up by Copenhagen Wolves in 2013 and soon created the core alongside Nicolai "device" Reedtz and Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth, with Henrik "FeTiSh" Christensen behind them as the in-game leader. Throughout the year, dupreeh began proving himself a star, placing 18th in the top 20 as one of the best entry-fraggers of the year.
dupreeh jumped two spots in the next year's ranking after dignitas — the same team's new organization for 2014 — grabbed four semi-final finishes at some of the biggest events of the year, including the first two Majors, EMS One Katowice and ESL One Cologne.
dupreeh continued his rise as the 12th best player of 2015 in TSM's (as they were known at the time) highlight year up to that point, as the team reached new heights, clinching five international titles with their new in-game leader, Finn "karrigan" Andersen, restructuring the squad.
After creating the Astralis brand in early 2016, dupreeh & company deteriorated and ended up replacing two players, as René "cajunb" Borg departed to make way for Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye, and karrigan followed suit towards the end of the year, replaced by Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander. Relocated from an entry-fragging role to a lurker to give Kjaerbye space at the helm of the team, dupreeh had to evolve and adapt.
"Ever since Kjaerbye joined the team we've had somewhat of a roleclash, as we both wanted to play as the entry-fragger and the person to play aggressive to gain map control either as CT or T. We came to the conclusion to let Kjaerbye take that role, as I saw him being better at communicating and taking the necessary initiative, where I am a much more tunnel-visioned entry-fragger who works best alone, and working alone is very much what a lurker does."
"Honestly I've never been super comfortable around lurking, I don't think it is my strength to play off timings, so I adapted and changed my lurking into a more aggressive solo player, always trying to keep two players at a position or at least one super-occupied, either getting the kill or making a lot of noise, making it easier for my teammates to get map control elsewhere."
"2016 was in general a really bad year for me on the personal front, so I had a lot to deal with and that took a lot of focus from me. I guess that getting a new role, a new fresh start, and a new IGL made me realize how much I love playing CS and how much I love my life, so it gave me new energy and since then I've had a different view on what I do for a living. My coach, zonic, really helped me through this period, so I owe him a lot."
The changes clearly worked out for the best. To finish the year on a high note, the Danish powerhouse placed 3rd-4th at IEM Oakland, second at ELEAGUE Season 2, and first at ECS Season 2 Finals, setting themselves up as the best team in the world and the favorites going into the ELEAGUE Major at the start of 2017.
And Astralis indeed delivered in Atlanta. In the Danes' run for the title, the newly-appointed lurker was a consistent performer every step of the way, aside from the team's shocking loss to GODSENT in the first match of the group stage. dupreeh played his part while Astralis passed Na`Vi and fnatic in the playoffs and showed up in the incredible grand final with Virtus.pro as well, although he didn't earn an EVP mention as Kjaerbye and device outshined him.
"It sure was a rollercoaster. Going in as favourites and losing the opening game, and losing against SK in a super close game, and then making it out of groups by destroying Liquid was a very intense start. I found myself crying after our win against G2 actually, as I started out pretty poorly in the first game against GODSENT, I gave my 110% and played great and, from there, everything just started working for us."
"Playoffs were intense and the final against VP was the craziest moment I've experienced so far in my career. To finally win a Major and to be the first Danish players to achieve it was something special."
With his confidence getting a big boost, the 24-year-old was in the spotlight during DreamHack Masters Las Vegas as the team's best-rated player thanks to fantastic play up until the semi-finals, where Virtus.pro took their revenge, winning two out of three maps of the series in dominant fashion. dupreeh finished the tournament with great statistics as the fourth-best player in rating (1.30), ADR (89.3), and KPR (0.88), and with a high success in opening duels as well, earning his first EVP.
"I think the Major win gave me a lot of confidence. I always play great when I am confident, which comes in waves, and I was at my peak at DreamHack Masters Las Vegas, confidence-wise. I'm trying to figure out what started that thing still, as I did play great. I always try to learn from my past events."
While the Polish side then went into a slump, a new threat entered the fray in the form of FaZe, who ended up facing Astralis in the playoffs at three tournaments in a row. At the first, IEM Katowice, the Danes prevailed while dupreeh grabbed his second EVP mention, in large part thanks to his peak performances on two maps of the best-of-five final against the European mixture.
From that point on, Astralis' reign came to an end. Led by their former in-game leader karrigan, FaZe bested them in the grand final of the following event, StarSeries, in April. Even though dupreeh was unable to reach the same level of impact in that series as he had in the Katowice final, he played great throughout the previous stages of the tournament, enough so to earn his third EVP in a row.
That streak came to an end at IEM Sydney, where Astralis went out in 3rd-4th place following another narrow loss to FaZe as the rivalry shifted in karrigan's team's favor.
"I guess [the reason why FaZe had our number after Katowice is] a mix of things, both karrigan being a good IGL, knowing how we play and how to play against us, and then they are just good individually. That's how top CS is. The IEM Katowice win was very important for us. I guess the rivalry was even better since it was karrigan who was leading FaZe, since there's a story between both parties."
Due to missing the ESL Pro League Season 5 Finals, Astralis' next event was the ECS Season 3 Finals, almost two months later. The London tournament was another show of dupreeh's consistency, as he put up a 1.09 rating throughout, while that time SK stopped the Danes in the semi-finals.
Astralis then skipped another big event, ESL One Cologne, to give themselves more time to prepare for the big finale of the season, PGL Major Krakow. That plan probably didn't work out as well as the Danish side hoped it to, although Astralis still came away with a respectable 3rd-4th place after they took down SK in the quarter-finals and lost to Gambit in the semis.
"We played godlike against SK, I don't think we had ever played that great before. Everything just worked smoothly. Everyone hit their shots and everyone was on point communication-wise and took all the initiative we needed. We just played so well."
"We played less good against Gambit, but Gambit also played extremely well. They were hungry for a win and Zeus made some great calls while the players hit some great shots, and they eventually cracked us on train and won. They deserved it in every way. They have always impressed me."
"Top Tier CS is so much about hitting your level on the right day. We hit it against SK, and Gambit hit it against us. That's just how the game goes."
The Polish event was one of dupreeh's best of the entire year, as he particularly excelled at opening duels (0.17 entry kills per round vs. 0.08 opening deaths per round). However, he mentioned a detail about the deciding map against Gambit and listed it as his biggest regret of the year:
"Telling my teammates in the semi final of the PGL Major to not worry about popdog, as I would always kill two people if they tried to take it, after dominating Gambit round after round. After that I got killed twice in a row without a frag and we eventually lost. Jinxed."
Even though titles continued to elude Astralis since their triumph at IEM Katowice in March, Denmark's number one team kept their streak of top-four finishes with gla1ve up to that point, reaching 10 tournaments in a row.
"We're just that good [winks] - being consistent is a team effort. We might be super consistent, but we lack a bit of stand out performances from some of us, because that's what you need to have to win tournaments, and that's where SK and FaZe outperforms us.However, I know with our teamwork we can win without the stand out performances, but with them it would make it easier.
That streak would soon run its course, though, as Astralis started trending downwards after the off-season, with a 5th-8th finish at DreamHack Masters Malmö — losing to Gambit once more in their last match — and a group stage exit at ESL One New York following a tough series with Liquid.
"The form was lacking, but it was never a question of being unmotivated, but more like poor planning and getting exhausted by playing too much practice and too many online games, and travelling back and forth. I think we needed some time to get hungry again. It's funny, we were exhausted but still wanted to play to keep improving, but it ended up being a very stagnant period."
Shortly afterwards, it was time for ELEAGUE Premier, where Astralis recovered while dupreeh kept a good level up until the grand final, peaking in the quarter-finals against fnatic with a 1.88 rating in the series. However, the 24-year-old's performance dipped as FaZe snatched the title away from the Danes after two maps, with only Cache getting close.
Despite having practically no bad maps, dupreeh then recorded his worst event of the year at EPICENTER, still a solid 1.03 rating across the 11 maps Astralis played in Saint Petersburg. The team managed a semi-final finish, beating Liquid and North in series along the way before SK stopped them, while G2 defeated the Danes in the third-place decider.
IEM Oakland followed and Astralis barely missed out on the playoffs despite grabbing two wins, over TheMongolz and EnVyUs, and an overtime victory against SK in the round robin, ending up in fourth place with eight points, to SK's and Cloud9's nine in second and third place, respectively.
It was after that event when it was announced that device would at least miss BLAST Pro Series, and later it came to light that the team's star would also skip the last two events, ESL Pro League Season 6 Finals and ECS Season 4 Finals to focus on recovering from his medical issues. That also meant that the squad needed an AWPer, so dupreeh answered the call and took over those duties.
"It was a crazy experience, fun, but also very hard. I never thought it would be such a challenge. It gave me a lot of experience with the AWP, a good understanding of the weapon both in terms of mechanics and how to play it, but I still have tons and tons of things to learn about it. Hitting the shot is one thing, but positioning and getting the most out of it are just as important."
It certainly was a crazy and fun experience for the temporary sniper, who played well in the group stage at BLAST Pro Series despite the circumstances, to help the team reach the grand final. He was also a massive factor in Astralis' win on the first map of the final against SK, Mirage, clutching two big rounds in a row, although the Danes came short in the end, losing Inferno 8-16 and the decider, Cache, in overtime.
"I think we had all looked so much forward to playing in front of the home crowd, so everyone was super hyped and dennis just fit in so well playstyle-wise and personality-wise. He is such a great guy. It was such a great experience to have him with us. I think the pre-vetoes were also a very big factor behind my success, as I only had to prepare AWPing on two maps instead of all six or seven, and it helped us a lot."
Astralis could be happy with how they played with a stand-in at BLAST, though not so much about how things went down at the ESL Pro League Season 6 Finals, where Ruben "RUBINO" Villarroel stepped in as Dennis "dennis" Edman could not play due to the roster rules. In Odense, Astralis won just one match in five, against Luminosity, and didn't get the chance to play in front of the home crowd again.
The Norwegian stayed on for ECS Season 4 Finals as well, and there, Astralis beat Cloud9 and FaZe in the groups to advance to the semi-finals, though that's where their journey ended as mousesports were too strong to handle. dupreeh seemed to have grown better accustomed to his new role, putting up a 1.15 rating with just one slightly below-average map in the semis.
"I am very proud of how the team treated the situation with device and the players we played with. We always wanted to win, but of course it wasn't the same. Personally, I had a really hard time losing my longtime buddy in crime and partner in-game, and changing so much in my own game to get things to work again. But we had some fine results, and we did better than we could have expected."
"I am very, very pleased to have him back. I have gotten a lot of motivation and hunger to improve and work as team, and I can actually feel the rewards that come from practice, compared to always playing with a stand-in who would eventually get replaced."
"Team-wise, I want to get back to being the best in the world, which eventually will happen again. As for me individually, I am very pleased with my 10th spot, as I missed the cut last year after being previously ranked 18th, 16th and 12th, so breaking into the top 10 had been a goal of mine since 2014, so let's go for that top five now!"
Why is he the 10th best player of 2017?
With a rating of 1.03 or higher at all 15 of his tournaments, dupreeh was first and foremost one of 2017's most consistent players.
Some of his best performances throughout the year led to five EVPs from big events — a barrier only eight players managed to cross —, a part of which came from three of the year's most competitive events: DreamHack Masters Las Vegas, PGL Major Krakow, and ELEAGUE Premier.
While dupreeh doesn't stand out in almost any particular statistic, he was simply a well-rounded player with above average numbers in almost every way. He averaged a 1.10 rating or higher on both CT and T side — as one of only 10 players to accomplish that —, often opened up rounds (0.12 opening kills per round, 19th most), dealt a lot of damage (79.3 per round, 19th most), was a consistent contributor (70.5% KAST, 19th most), and got multi-kills frequently (three or more kills in 5.3% of his rounds, 13th most).
One way in which he did stand out and that describes his usefulness was that when he got at least one kill (in 48% of his rounds, 20th most often), his team won the round 70.2% of the time, ranking third out of all players with 50 or more maps played.
While his consistency and all-roundedness was what put him in the top 10, the fact that he didn't stand out as one of the most impactful players of the year prevented him from venturing further in the ranking.
While he generally played well in playoffs, dupreeh also tended to drop off in the grand finals with a 0.91 rating on average across 15 maps, despite putting up great performances in the IEM Katowice grand final and on the first map at BLAST Pro Series.
Following the lead of Ricardo "boltz" Prass and Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski, dupreeh was the third Top 20 player to put 18-year-old Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken into the spotlight as someone who could make his first entry in the next year's ranking:
"There are a lot of players who have impressed me, both watching them on streams but also playing against them, but one guy impressed me the most, and that would be Twistzz. Crazy good aimer and I feel like he has a really good understanding of the game and how to position himself in many situations."