Player stock shift: May
With Na`Vi crowned champions at StarSeries i-League Season 5 and Space Soldiers returning home with a title from DreamHack Open Austin, May has come to a close, which means it's time for the monthly Player stock shift.
A plethora of notable international tournaments took place in May. Two big events headlined the month, ESL Pro League Season 7 Finals and StarSeries i-League Season 5, accompanied by a few smaller ones, such as the DreamHack Open stops in Tours and Austin, and the Adrenaline Cyber League; all of which had their say in this month's stock shift.
With a busy month behind us, the latest edition of the Player stock shift sees ten players rise and nine fall — the second-highest total amount since January. As always, there are several more players on whom we will be keeping an eye at the upcoming tournaments, such as Marcelo "coldzera" David, whose form improved but not yet enough for us to be convinced that the best player of 2017 is back to his best.
If you missed some of our previous editions of the Player stock shift, here they are:
And here are May's rising and falling players:
Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen
Michał "snatchie" Rudzki
Daniel "mertz" Mertz
Ethan "Ethan" Arnold
René "cajunb" Borg
Kristian "k0nfig" Wienecke
Hampus "hampus" Poser
Buğra "Calyx" Arkın
Issa "ISSAA" Murad
Dzhami "Jame" Ali
Last month, four of Astralis' players' stock rose, but we excluded dupreeh because he improved the least and continued showcasing his tendency to drop off in the big matches. That wasn't the case at ESL Pro League Season 7 Finals.
Following an MVP-worthy performance in Dallas, his first in a long career, dupreeh proved himself a riser, so he deservedly joins his teammates as one of the most improved players of the last two months.
Although he dropped off in the quarter-finals against North, which cost him an EVP mention, and AGO couldn't live up to their promise from the groups, he's certainly on our radar as a potential future star.
After starting out slowly, his addition to North is finally paying off. The AWPer, who was stellar with the big green and particularly in opening duels at both tournaments, now has two EVPs to his name after helping the team get back on their feet.
Perhaps a bit less surprising, though equally impressive, was Ethan's level of play last month. He had already acquitted himself well at ESL Pro League Season 7 Finals, although mostly due to his performance against MVP PK.
However, the reason for his appearance here is his EVP-level display at StarSeries, where he kept up a fantastic level from the third round of the Swiss group stage all the way to the grand final.
cajunb and k0nfig left things on a rather disappointing note at the beginning of the year, when they departed North after a string of uninspiring performances and went on to create OpTic, whose first edition came to an abrupt split as the core wanted to proceed with a fully-Danish lineup.
The duo played their first offline tournaments in four months at ESL Pro League Season 7 Finals and DreamHack Open Austin and looked completely reinvigorated, showing up in solid form at both tournaments despite exiting both in the group stage.
hampus proved himself a rising star in May at the first big tournament of his career, StarSeries i-League Season 5 Finals, after an up-and-down DreamHack Open Tours, where GODSENT had finished 3rd-4th.
In Kiev, the 19-year-old lacked consistency, but he hit several massive peaks en route to the fifth round of the Swiss stage, including two against Renegades, one against Liquid, and two against TYLOO.
The 19-year-old then travelled to Austin with the squad for the DreamHack Open stop and helped them take their revenge on the Danish side in the group stage. In the end, he surpassed everyone in the MVP race, carrying the team in the playoffs against Heroic and Rogue.
Despite a rather average showing from ISSAA at the bigger event of the two HellRaisers attended in May, StarSeries, he deserves his place among the risers after putting in a dominant performance at DreamHack Open Tours.
After an opening loss to Envy, the Jordanian spearheaded HR's campaign and pushed the team to the grand final, in which he kept up a solid level to earn his first MVP medal in spite of the runner-up finish.
Jame had appeared in the Player stock shift twice before, rising in January after the ELEAGUE Major Main Qualifier and falling back down in March, when he collapsed at IEM Katowice.
We are bumping AVANGAR's AWPer back up mainly because of his solid level at StarSeries, where he averaged a 1.11 rating with great play in series against Gambit, GODSENT, and Liquid, as well as due to his fantastic opening maps versus Virtus.pro and SK at Adrenaline Cyber League.
dennis suffered the most noticeable drop compared to his first two tournaments with NiP with a sub-par 0.89 rating across the two tournaments, closely followed by GeT_RiGhT with 0.91. We have kept a closer eye on draken since April, when he dipped to average numbers in Marseille, and now he joins his two (now former) teammates in the falling category after failing to impress again.
MICHU appeared in the rising players in March following the V4 Future Sports Festival. He showed plenty of promise in Hungary as Virtus.pro's best player at the tournament, earning his first EVP mention, but he couldn't live up to it in April and May.
Placing 4th at Bets.net Masters, 3rd-4th at Adrenaline Cyber League, and 12th-14th at StarSeries i-League Season 5 with the team, MICHU averaged a 0.94 rating, which means his stock drops back to where it was before the Budapest event.
We have been following fer closely for the past two months, as he's been uncharacteristically up and down with a couple of unimpressive displays at WESG and DreamHack Masters Marseille, which he made up for at IEM Sydney.
Last month, he did not show any of the excellence we have come to know him for, with the exception of a few maps throughout the three tournaments SK attended — Pro League, ACL, and StarSeries —, so he drops for the second time this year.
EspiranTo enjoyed a promising couple of months after great play at Copenhagen Games, where he was the unofficial MVP, and at the Qi Invitational, but his foray into a slightly better competition at DreamHack Tours ended catastrophically.
Perhaps we should have included Dosia in the falling players in February already, when he followed a great Major with underwhelming displays at the fourth season of StarSeries and at IEM Katowice, but he proceeded to keep an encouraging level in March and April.
Three tournaments later, the Russian seems unable to stabilize while Gambit continuously change things up, with only a 0.90 rating across 18 maps.
xccurate's stock had already fallen once, last month, when he had been barely average over a few smaller tournaments and IEM Sydney.
Having looked like a rising star a mere two months ago, the Indonesian drops further and further after being one of the worst players of StarSeries i-League Season 5 alongside TYLOO's stand-in at the event, Yue "AE" Yu, despite his match-winning 1v3 clutch in the opener against Na`Vi.
AZR has been showing signs of inconsistency for quite a while, though he still had his ups at most tournaments he had played this year. In May, there were significantly more downsides to his overall showing, with only five maps above a 1.00 rating across the ESL Pro League Season 7 Finals and StarSeries i-League Season 5.