StarSeries i-League S4 and IEM Katowice: the EVPs
We took a look back at SL i-League StarSeries Season 4 and IEM Katowice and went through the numbers to reveal our EVPs of these two international tournaments.
StarSeries and IEM Katowice, the two big events of February, ended with unlikely winners, MOUZ and fnatic, respectively, with both teams fending off some serious competition to take the crown. If you want to know more about these two tournaments, you can read our "winners and losers" feature written by Zvonimir "Professeur" Burazin in the aftermath of the Polish tournament.
Natus Vincere star Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of StarSeries, making history by being the first player to earn such a distinction despite not being on the winning team. Even if his numbers did not add up to team success, the 20-year-old was in stunning form, with his 1.32 rating, 100 opening kills and 19 clutches won just some of his most impressive feats.
In Katowice, it was Robin "flusha" Rönnquist who stood out from the bunch. The 24-year-old had the highest tournament rating at 1.32 and propelled fnatic to win the tournament with a team-leading 1.30 rating in the grand final against FaZe, in which he pulled off two sensational clutches on Train.
We now reveal who the Exceptionally Valuable Players (EVPs) of these two events were. These are players who stood out from the pack, either by performing consistently on a high level or by putting in great displays in big matches that led to team success.
Below is the list of our EVPs for StarSeries Season 4 and IEM Katowice, with each player's nickname linking to the part of the article describing his performance:
|HLTV.org's EVP Picks (by order)|
|SL i-League StarSeries Season 4||IEM Katowice|
|Tomáš "oskar" Šťastný||Nikola "NiKo" Kovač|
|Miikka "suNny" Kemppi||Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson|
|Keith "NAF" Markovic||Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács|
|Robin "ropz" Kool||Keith "NAF" Markovic|
|Egor "flamie" Vasilyev||Jonas "Lekr0" Olofsson|
|Håvard "rain" Nygaard||Nicolai "device" Reedtz|
|Nikola "NiKo" Kovač||William "draken" Sundin|
|Dan "apEX" Madesclaire||Timothy "autimatic" Ta|
|Marcelo "coldzera" David||Marcelo "coldzera" David|
|Fernando "fer" Alvarenga|
|Chris "chrisJ" de Jong|
Nikola "NiKo" Kovač - StarSeries & IEM Katowice
Just like at the Major, NiKo had a dominant showing in the Swiss stage of StarSeries, averaging a 1.34 rating, but his level dropped off a bit when it came to the playoffs (1.14), even though he was still FaZe’s second-best player in the knockout rounds.
NiKo’s most memorable performance came in FaZe’s 2-0 thrashing of Cloud9 as he averaged a team-leading 1.62 Rating and 99.5 damage per round, but he also acquitted himself well against Renegades in the quarter-finals (1.39 rating). He ended the tournament with a very high 1.44 rating in map victories in matches his team won, but he could not perform at his usual level on the maps that his team eventually lost in the semi-finals and in the third-place decider.
The Bosnian then stepped it up another notch as he played at a very high level in FaZe’s runner-up finish at IEM Katowice, beginning the tournament with a bang as he put in a 2.70 rating against ORDER. Not only was he the best player in the group stage, boasting an incredible 1.51 rating, but he was also a very consistent performer in the playoffs, in which his 1.23 rating ranked him third, behind MVP flusha and Ninjas in Pyjamas’s William "draken" Sundin.
NiKo had the highest Impact rating of all players, 1.49, the highest rating in map wins that led to series victories, 1.48, and the highest number of maps with 1.30+ ratings, nine, one more than MVP flusha, who, however, played two games fewer than the Bosnian.
In the end, the 21-year-old made the tournament leaderboards in 11 different categories, leading five of them, including opening kills (57), kills per round (0.87) and KDD (+86).
Marcelo "coldzera" David - StarSeries & IEM Katowice
coldzera was in stunning form at the StarSeries event, where he had the highest rating of the Swiss stage (1.38) after putting in 1+ ratings in all nine games SK played, including in the two the Brazilians lost to MOUZ. In the quarter-final match against Liquid, he was SK's second-best performer, with a 1.07 rating, but had the highest KDD of his team (+8).
Of the 12 maps that SK played in Kiev, coldzera had 1.30+ ratings in six of them, which goes to show how dominant he was despite his team’s shortcomings. He had the second-highest T rating of the tournament (1.44) and the best rating in map wins that led to series victories (1.45), while his opening duel success rated him fifth overall.
SK travelled to Katowice hoping to end their title drought, but they crashed out in the group stage following defeats to Astralis and Cloud9. coldzera still had reasons to smile, however, as he put in a 1.23 rating (15% higher than the team’s average) and an 81.9 ADR, and pulled off five 1vsX situations won.
coldzera was the hardest player to kill of the tournament, with 0.57 deaths per round, and he had 1+ ratings in eight of the nine maps he played, three of which with ratings higher than 1.30. With such performances, it should come as no surprise to see him on the list of IEM Katowice EVPs even though his team did not make the playoffs.
Keith "NAF" Markovic - StarSeries & IEM Katowice
NAF continued his streak of big performances on LAN at StarSeries, where he averaged a 1.23 rating, the fourth highest overall and 13% above Liquid’s average, playing a key role in the team’s third-place run in Kiev.
The Canadian player was Liquid’s best player in both the Swiss stage (1.26 rating) and in the playoffs (1.12), with his CT side rating (1.36) being surpassed only by Dan "apEX" Madesclaire’s (1.48). Together with s1mple, he was the player with the most PotM picks by HLTV.org, seven, and he was second in 1vsX situations won, with 12, the same as teammate Nick "nitr0" Cannella.
NAF, who finished half of the maps he played with ratings higher than 1.30, also had one of the highest ADRs of the tournament (89.0, fourth) and was the only player who did not reach the grand final and that still features in the opening kills leaderboard, with 76 (third).
In Katowice, he completely outshined his teammates, putting in a 1.20 rating (21% higher than Liquid’s average), and an 88.5 ADR, the fourth highest overall. He boasted a high 1.24 Impact Rating, while his 1.45 rating in map wins was unmatched (flusha came very close, with 1.44).
He was one of the top five performers in the double-elimination group stage, with an average 1.27 rating, topping the scoreboard in each of Liquid’s matches including in the 1-2 defeat to Astralis, a series in which he was the team’s only player with a 1+ rating. When it came to the playoffs, his rating dropped to 1.11 - still only second only to Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken’s 1.13 in the team.
Tomáš "oskar" Šťastný - StarSeries
The 26-year-old ended 17 of the 22 maps he played in Kiev with 1+ ratings, peaking in MOUZ’ 16-2 thrashing of G2 in the group stage, in which he posted a 2.04 rating - curiously, in his worst series of the tournament (1.04 rating).
oskar had a 1.17 rating at at StarSeries (joint best on MOUZ with Miikka "suNny" Kemppi), but what makes his run so memorable was the fact that he stepped up immensely in the knockout stages of the tournament, going from a 1.15 rating in the Swiss stage to a 1.22 rating in the playoffs - the third highest overall, only behind s1mple’s 1.38 and Håvard "rain" Nygaard’s 1.28.
The Czech player was notably the best AWPer of the tournament, averaging 0.48 kills per round with the 'Big Green', which put him ahead of other big names like Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács (0.43) and even s1mple (0.41). He was also by far MOUZ’ best player on the Terrorist side with a 1.26 rating - his closest suitor being Robin "ropz" Kool at 1.14.
Miikka "suNny" Kemppi - StarSeries
And while his tournament rating was on par with oskar’s, it must be noted that he had MOUZ’ highest impact rating (1.25, almost 15% higher than the team’s average), averaged the highest damage per round (81.6) of the team and was also their best player on the CT side (1.22 rating). The Finnish player also had four PotM (Player of the Map) picks, twice as many as oskar.
The 23-year-old led the tournament charts in terms of total headshots (216), together with teammate ropz, but, more importantly, he was second in opening kills (78) and fourth in assists (86).
Robin "ropz" Kool - StarSeries
Consistency seems to be the word for the Estonian, who was the only player on MOUZ who never went below the 0.85 rating mark in a game while having seven games with 1.3+ ratings - just as many as oskar and only two fewer than suNny. He was also one of just two mouz players who performed better in the playoffs (1.21) than in the Swiss stage (1.15), and he was ranked second in the team on the CT (1.17 rating) and the T (1.14) sides.
Egor "flamie" Vasilyev - StarSeries
Counter-Strike fans were treated to quite the show in January, when flamie delivered a 2.99 rating on Mirage against Quantum Bellator Fire. And while he did not play at the same level he had at the ELEAGUE Major, his performances for the losing finalist at StarSeries were solid enough to warrant his second EVP nod of the year.
flamie had the second-highest tournament rating on Na`Vi at StarSeries - 1.09 -, and it is worth mentioning that he elevated his game in the playoffs, in which he averaged a 1.17 rating (going up from just 1.03 in the Swiss stage). He was the team’s best player in the semi-final series against FaZe (1.39 rating, 100.5 ADR), while also raising eyebrows on Train against Astralis (2.00 rating, 122 ADR) and on Overpass against MOUZ (1.54 rating, 96 ADR).
The Russian talent was the only Na`Vi player apart from s1mple to end the tournament with a positive KDD (+21), and he was ranked first in the team in terms of deaths traded (22.3%) and KAST (73.0%).
Håvard "rain" Nygaard - StarSeries
rain earned his first EVP nod of 2018 after averaging a 1.14 rating — second only to NiKo’s 1.16 in FaZe. But while the Bosnian blew everyone away in the Swiss stage with a 1.34 rating, the Norwegian stole the show in the knockout stages, in which his 1.28 rating was only surpassed by s1mple’s (1.38).
The 23-year-old was FaZe's top performer in the semi-final match against Natus Vincere, in which he averaged a 1.26 rating, putting in +1 ratings even in his team's 16-7 beatings on Overpass and Train.
rain had three PoTM picks in the tournament — two more than NiKo —and had the highest ADR (83.0) and Impact rating (1.19) in the team. He also led the way in terms of opening kills (49), even though his success ratio in this specific area (55.1%) was slightly lower than NiKo’s (57.8%) and Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer’s (56.3%).
Dan "apEX" Madesclaire - StarSeries
apEX reminded everyone of just how explosive he can be as he impressed in StarSeries’ Swiss stage, firing G2 to the playoffs with a 1.35 rating, the second-highest overall. The French team crashed out in the playoffs after just one match, but it was certainly not because of apEX, who put in a 1.19 rating in the 0-2 defeat to MOUZ.
He was selected as the PotM in half of his team's six map wins and finished seven of the ten maps he played with 1.30+ ratings. His 96.5 ADR, 1.48 CT Rating and 0.21 assists per round were unmatched, while he was also in the top five in many other stats categories, including rating (1.32), kills per round (0.84) and KAST (75.9%).
Fernando "fer" Alvarenga - StarSeries
fer is the second SK player to deserve an EVP mention after impressing in SK’s quarter-final run in Kiev. He had the team’s second-highest rating in the Swiss stage, 1.24 and was their top performer in the quarter-final loss to Liquid (1.17 rating and 92.4 ADR).
Despite the fact that his KDD (+26) was significantly lower than coldzera’s and Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo’s, fer had by far the highest ADR (88.6, fourth highest overall) and Impact rating (1.42) on the team, which he also led when it came to opening kills (48 total with a 60.8% success ratio).
Chris "chrisJ" de Jong - StarSeries
chrisJ’s inclusion on this list may seem odd to some, given his fairly low event rating (1.05), but he stood out at times for his team and had four PotM nods, just as many as suNny and ropz, and two more than oskar.
One of those times was in the grand final game on Mirage, where he rescued his team to take the series to a third map. But he hit a few more peaks in Kiev, posting a 1.82 rating against Virtus.pro on Mirage, and 1.50+ ratings in the decisive Train games against Cloud9 and Liquid.
The Dutchman’s 1.14 Impact rating and 73 opening kills were the second-highest on MOUZ, while his percentage of traded deaths (24.0%) was the best of the team.
Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson - IEM Katowice
Up until the grand final of IEM Katowice, KRIMZ was one of the two main contenders for an MVP award alongside NiKo. He has been fnatic's best player for months now and he continued to show why throughout the tournament, averaging a 1.26 rating thanks to all-round great play on the 10 maps the Swedes won (1.00+ rating in all of them) out of 13 in total.
KRIMZ hit a few huge peaks along the way — one in each series up until the final: 1.73 rating in the 16-10 win on Mirage against G2, 1.78 rating on Inferno against FaZe in the match for first place in groups, and 1.78 rating on Mirage in the semi-final versus Liquid. He contributed greatly in the grand final as well — particularly in the three maps fnatic won —, but, in the end, flusha overtook his teammate following an incredible carry performance in the best-of-five series to earn the MVP medal.
KRIMZ placed in the top-five of several leaderboards, including overall rating (third highest), ADR (88.9, third most), KPR (0.83, third most), KAST (75.9%, fourth most), and even clutches won (6, tied fourth).
Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács - IEM Katowice
Like KRIMZ, GuardiaN was the second-best player of his team, with only NiKo surpassing him. The Slovakian AWPer was simply a stable player all the way through, having recorded two out of 15 maps only slightly below 1.00 rating for an overall 1.18 rating.
GuardiaN seemed impervious to pressure. Two series in which he stood out in particular were the close ones; the match for a spot in the quarter-finals against Cloud9 (1.26, +25 KDD) and the best-of-five grand final (1.11, +16 KDD).
It should come as no surprise that he was the best AWPer of the tournament with the most AWP kills per round (0.48) by quite some margin, but he was also a high-impact player thanks to his clutches (8 won, tied first) and well-above-average numbers in opening duels and multi-kills.
Jonas "Lekr0" Olofsson - IEM Katowice
Lekr0 was fnatic's third-best player at IEM Katowice in almost every regard, standing in the middle of the pack in each match with an overall 1.14 rating following solid contribution to fnatic's title-winning campaign
As flusha and KRIMZ surpassed him in most ways each step of the event, Lekr0 was never in contention for the MVP award. However, the Swede did stand out in two regards: he was one of the very best players on the Terrorist side (1.25 rating, highest in fnatic and third highest overall) and he had plenty of success in opening duels (65.2%, third highest).
Nicolai "device" Reedtz - IEM Katowice
After a poor Major performance, device recovered well at StarSeries and IEM Katowice, particularly at the latter tournament, propelling Astralis to the playoffs after wins over Renegades, SK, and Liquid.
The return to the AWP seemed to put the 22-year-old back in his comfort zone, as he averaged a 1.29 rating throughout groups, leading Astralis to the semi-finals in the series against the Brazilians and the North American squad.
Although device dropped off in the top-four stage versus FaZe — just as the rest of the team did —, he still finished the event as the fourth-best fragger overall (0.80 KPR) as well as one of the best with the AWP (0.41 AWP KPR, tied second). A lot of his impact came from opening up the rounds for his team with 0.14 opening kills per round and putting up multi-kills (in 21.7% of rounds).
William "draken" Sundin - IEM Katowice
Another sniper with plenty of impact in his team's showing at IEM Katowice was draken, who helped Ninjas in Pyjamas reach quarter-finals in their debut with Dennis "dennis" Edman, as they defeated ORDER, G2, and North in series on the way to playoffs.
The young AWPer played particularly well in the deciding series against the Danes (1.29 rating, 19:5 in opening duels) and in the Liquid quarter-final, where he was by far Ninjas in Pyjamas's best player (1.28 rating, 15:8 in opening duels), especially on Overpass and Mirage.
Opening up rounds for his team was generally what draken excelled at, with second-most opening kills per round (0.17) and the second-highest success in opening duels (65.4%), alongside the fifth-highest rating (1.21) overall.
Timothy "autimatic" Ta - IEM Katowice
autimatic continues to prove that he is currently Cloud9's best player in somewhat of a tough period following the Americans' win at the ELEAGUE Major. Although he looked in better form at StarSeries, he received the EVP mention for Katowice due to his performance leading to a playoff finish.
The 21-year-old once again outperformed the rest of the team in Poland and was the main reason Cloud9 pulled off a win against SK in their group's deciding match, putting up 1.61 and 1.31 ratings on the close affairs on Mirage and Inferno, respectively. Even though the team fell short in the FaZe quarter-final, autimatic also played a big part in Cloud9's efforts on the decider, Inferno, which went to double overtime.
Overall, autimatic stood out in damage per round (85.7, fifth highest) and in CT side rating (1.30). His performance was simply the biggest reason Cloud9 made it to the playoffs, with a 1.40 rating in the team's wins.
It is worth mentioning that the North American came very close to earning an EVP mention for his performances at StarSeries, where he posted some incredible stats despite Cloud9 bowing out of the tournament in the Swiss stage: 1.32 rating, +47 KDD, 92.0 ADR, 1.44 impact rating, and seven out of ten maps with 1.30+ ratings.