IEM Sydney: the EVPs
We looked back at IEM Sydney and analyzed the players' performances to determine our Exceptionally Valuable Players (EVPs) of the $250,000 tournament.
IEM Sydney came to a close on Sunday as FaZe surprised the tournament's heavy favorites, Astralis, after a best-of-five grand final which saw all of its three maps go to at least 30 rounds, with Cache and Overpass reaching overtimes.
After the conclusion of IEM Sydney, we revealed the tournament's Most Valuable Player, Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács, who clinched the medal after a head-turning display throughout the event, especially in the grand final, where he led the way for FaZe with a 1.28 rating and 86.1 ADR.
Now we take a look at the $250,000 tournament's Exceptionally Valuable Players (EVPs), who shaped their teams' successes in Sydney with notable performances. We awarded two more players from the winning team, FaZe, alongside three from Astralis as the runners-up, and two from the tournament's surprise, TYLOO.
Here is the list of our EVPs for IEM Sydney, with each player's nickname linking to the section of the article in which we describe his performance.
|HLTV.org's EVP picks (by order)|
|Nikola "NiKo" Kovač|
|Emil "Magisk" Reif|
|Nicolai "device" Reedtz|
|Hansel "BnTeT" Ferdinand|
|Håvard "rain" Nygaard|
|Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen|
|HaoWen "somebody" Xu|
Nikola "NiKo" Kovač garners his fourth EVP mention this year after yet another impressive showing at IEM Sydney, which, alongside GuardiaN's MVP-worthy play, played a huge part in FaZe's journey to their first title in 2018.
The Bosnian superstar was, in fact, a very close second candidate for the highest award, being the event's fifth-highest rated player with a 1.23 rating across the 17 maps FaZe played throughout the Australian tournament, as well as the third-best rated in the playoffs (1.22) behind his Slovakian teammate and Emil "Magisk" Reif.
The 21-year-old put in 1.00+ ratings in 15 out of 17 maps, with the remaining two nearly making the cut as well (0.96 on Inferno vs. TYLOO and 0.99 on Cache vs. Astralis in the last two stages of the tournament), while in 12 of them he recorded 1.15+ ratings; the most out of everyone.
Aside from his incredible consistency, NiKo deserved his place among the close contenders for the MVP award as by far his team's best-rated player on the Terrorist side with a 1.28 rating. He was also one of the tournament's best damage dealers (85.2 ADR, 4th), fraggers (0.81 KPR, 2nd), and clutchers (6 clutches, tied 3rd).
Magisk comes in second place of the list of IEM Sydney EVPs — after earning such an award in Astralis's title-winning campaign at DreamHack Masters Marseille less than two weeks before — as the tournament's highest-rated player, recording a 1.30 rating over 11 maps the Danes played and a 1.31 rating in the playoffs.
Like NiKo, the Dane was very consistent throughout the $250,000 tournament with 10 out of 11 maps above a 1.00 rating (the last being a 0.96 rating on the last map of the grand final, Train), and seven maps above a 1.15 rating. Although Astralis ended up falling short on both occasions, Magisk hit incredible peaks in two close affairs in the latest stages of IEM Sydney, on Inferno against MOUZ and on Overpass against FaZe.
The 20-year-old was featured in several leaderboards of the Australian event alongside overall rating, such as kills per round (0.83, 1st), damage per round (88.1, 3rd), and rounds with at least one kill (53.2%, 3rd). He also finished the event with the highest impact rating (1.38), in part thanks to putting up 0.15 opening kills per round.
After a slow start to 2018, Nicolai "device" Reedtz clinches his third EVP award in a row after posting impressive numbers at IEM Sydney, such as a 1.23 overall rating, his second-best this year after DreamHack Masters Marseille.
Just like Magisk, device recorded 1.15+ ratings on seven out of 11 maps, although unlike his teammate he dropped off in the grand final against FaZe, which brought down his playoffs rating to 1.15, compared to his 1.34 rating in the group stage.
Nonetheless, the AWPer was a great contributor throughout the event as one of the best fraggers (0.80 KPR, 5th) while also being one of the hardest to kill (0.59 DPR, 4th). His Terrorist-sided rating was slightly below average, but he shone above all on the defense with the event-highest 1.49 rating.
A surprising member of the list of EVPs comes in the form of Hansel "BnTeT" Ferdinand. With his career-best performance so far, he spearheaded TYLOO's campaign at IEM Sydney, where the team made playoffs for the first time at a big event since DreamHack Masters Malmö 2016.
The Indonesian star, who recently became TYLOO's in-game leader, was the second-highest rated player of the tournament thanks to fantastic play in the groups, which he finished with a staggering 1.42 rating.
Most of BnTeT's impact came from the CT sides, where his 1.45 rating was second only to device. He led a few of the tournament's other leaderboards as well, including deaths per round (0.54, 1st), KAST (78.0%, shared 1st), and clutches (7, shared 1st), while also scoring high in other categories, such as KPR (0.77) and ADR (82.7).
After having received his first EVP mention of the year at StarSeries, Håvard "rain" Nygaard snatches his second award after a great display at IEM Sydney as FaZe's third-best player at the $250,000 tournament.
Similarly to GuardiaN and NiKo, the Norwegian was a very stable player throughout the event, recording 0.85+ ratings on all 17 maps — 1.00+ ratings on 14 of them. Although rain didn't stand out in any particular way, aside from scoring assists (0.18 APR, shared 6th), he put up above-average numbers in just about every way he could, with a 1.15 rating, 82.9 ADR, and 0.12 opening kills per round.
Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen has earned his first EVP award this year on the back of amazing play right until the grand final of IEM Sydney. The Dane was leading the MVP race before the last stage of the tournament, much thanks to his astounding efficiency in opening duels (0.18 opening kills per round, 72.5% success rate) alongside a 1.34 rating after the semi-finals were over.
However, the grand final, in which dupreeh dipped into below-average numbers, brought his opening duel statistics down to 0.16 opening kills per round (still tied 1st out of all players) and a 61.5% success rate, as well as an overall 1.18 rating, which sees the 25-year-old drop below his teammates, Magisk and device, in the list of EVPs.
Like his teammate BnTeT, HaoWen "somebody" Xu clinched his first EVP mention at a big event last weekend after the best performance of his career in Sydney, where TYLOO made semi-finals by placing first in their group.
The Chinese player rounds out the list after spearheading the way to the playoffs alongside his Indonesian teammate, with particularly noteworthy play in TYLOO's close opener against SK (1.41 rating) and in the first-place decider against Renegades (1.27 rating), as well as a great effort in the quarter-finals versus FaZe (1.13 rating).