Player stock shift: March
In our next installment of the monthly Player stock shift series, we analyzed all players who competed in the international tournaments in March and found nine whose stock rose or fell throughout the month.
No big events took place in March aside from IEM Katowice, which we covered in February's Player stock shift, but there were plenty of international tournaments of a smaller stature: WESG World Finals, StarLadder ImbaTV Invitational Chongqing, V4 Future Sports Festival, and Copenhagen Games.
We took a look at each of the four events and gathered players whom we had predicted to do better, and whose stock fell as a result, as well as those who exceeded our expectations, causing their stock to rise. In the end, we found nine noteworthy cases — fewer than in the previous editions of the stock shift, which is a result of the lack of big events in March.
Some players who had found themselves in the falling category in February improved in March, such as Jarosław "pashaBiceps" Jarząbkowski, Hansel "BnTeT" Ferdinand, and William "RUSH" Wierzba. However, we have decided to keep them where they are for the time being due to the average level of teams at last month's events and keep a closer eye on said players in the near future, when they will compete in large-scale tournaments.
You can find the previous Player stock shifts below:
As a player who has had very little exposure from international play, TeamOne's Alencar "trk" Rossato has flown under the radar, but in truth he has been one of Brazil's most intriguing prospects for over a year now.
He finally proved himself at the WESG World Finals, where TeamOne made the semi-finals after beating Cloud9 in a best-of-three series. The 22-year-old rising star put in a godlike performance on the two maps TeamOne won against the American side, which spearheaded the massive upset.
TYLOO's newest addition, Kevin "xccurate" Susanto, also played at WESG, albeit with Recca due to the tournament's nationality restrictions. The Indonesian player showed a good level in Haikou, with a 1.00+ rating on seven out of nine maps and particularly great play versus Envy in the groups.
The main reason for his place here, however, was his play in his second international tournament of March, in Chongqing, with TYLOO. Headlining their journey to the StarLadder Invitational title, xccurate put in 1.15+ ratings on eight out of nine maps to receive an unofficial MVP award.
Fresh off changes, Virtus.pro and the new member, Michał "MICHU" Müller, looked unimpressive, placing 12th-14th at StarSeries and dead last at IEM Katowice with very few positives to take away from their first tournaments together.
However, the V4 Future Sports Festival saw the team come together to reach the grand final, with MICHU at the helm as a solid MVP candidate until the very end. Although MOUZ claimed the title and Tomáš "oskar" Šťastný snatched the medal after a hard-fought battle in the end, the 21-year-old was one of the best players of the tournament with the highest ADR (89.3) and second-highest rating (1.26).
With a few big experiences under his belt, the Turkish AWPer has become HellRaisers' star over the past few months, proving himself at ESL Pro League Season 6 Finals and StarSeries Season 4.
Last month, Özgür "woxic" Eker took his skills to Hungary, where he helped HellRaisers split maps with FaZe in the groups and take MOUZ to a tight series in semis, averaging a 1.30 rating across the two close maps.
Rokas "EspiranTo" Milasauskas had made his name in FPL before he joined up with MANS NOT HOT, who became Imperial in early March, and played his first notable international tournament at Copenhagen Games.
After flying past the competition in the BYOC qualifier, the international mixture continued to surprise in the main tournament. Spearheading Imperial's way through groups, where they beat Kinguin and Sprout, the 16-year-old star proceeded to shine with a 1.40 rating against North in the semis. Three of his teammates surpassed him in the grand final, where Imperial triumphed over Heroic, but that didn't take away EspiranTo's status as the best player of the tournament.
Epitacio "TACO" de Melo was the lowest-rated player of WESG 2017 World Finals, where SK shockingly went out in the first group stage after losses to BIG and Russia, which ultimately led to the 23-year-old's departure from the roster.
It must be pointed out that SK only played two maps in the tournament, which is a very small sample size, so we'll monitor TACO at his next stop and bump him back up if he returns to form. If he ends up joining Liquid by then, as is expected, that will be DreamHack Masters Marseille, in less than two weeks' time.
Cédric "RpK" Guipouy had been expected to shine against the level of teams Envy faced in groups at WESG World Finals, but he was barely able to keep up, producing average performances despite the underwhelming competition. Losing to the Russia mix-team and splitting maps with Recca as well as MVP PK, nV exited the $1.5 million tournament in the second group stage.
The Frenchman has looked out of shape ever since he was hospitalized during the ELEAGUE Major Main Qualifier, as even his online form in ECS Season 5 and ESL Pro League Season 7 has taken a hit.
Dating back to the ELEAGUE Major, the star duo of Vega Squadron, Leonid "chopper" Vishnyakov and Nikolay "mir" Bityukov, have been nothing but disappointing, as they had both gone missing at cs_summit 2, and things didn't change in March, when they competed at the StarLadder Invitational in Chongqing.