ECS S5 Finals and ESL One Belo Horizonte: the EVPs
We take a look back at ECS Season 5 Finals and ESL One Belo Horizonte to present our EVPs (Exceptionally Valuable Players) of June's two big international events.
June's big international tournaments ended with Astralis hoisting their third trophy this year after an undefeated run at ECS Season 5 Finals, while FaZe claimed their second title of 2018 at ESL One Belo Horizonte, where Astralis did not travel.
At ECS, Nicolai "device" Reedtz was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP), beating Keith "NAF" Markovic to the award after spearheading Astralis' title-winning campaign in London, where he had the shared-highest rating (1.30) and the most opening kills per round (0.19) as well as success in opening duels (71.4%).
Belo Horizonte saw Nikola "NiKo" Kovač edge out serious competition in his teammate, Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács, and his opponent in the grand final, Chris "chrisJ" de Jong, to secure his first MVP medal of the year (third overall) with a consistent performance throughout the Brazilian event.
It is now time to present our Exceptionally Valuable Players, the players who shaped their teams' successes, of the two prestigious tournaments.
Below is an ordered list of the ECS Season 5 Finals and ESL One Belo Horizonte EVPs. You will find that all of the EVPs were the respective events' finalists; other players didn't make the cut, as none of the semi-finalists stood out enough in the playoffs to deserve the award.
As mentioned above, NAF's play throughout ECS Season 5 Finals put him in contention for the MVP award up until the second map of the grand final, as he was a consistent force throughout the tournament with just one map below a 1.00 rating, in the team's group stage loss to Astralis.
The Canadian star earned his place at the top of the EVPs by leading Liquid to their narrow triumph in the opening match against fnatic as well as to the semi-final victory versus NRG, where he averaged a 1.75 rating and 111 ADR over the two convincing maps. NAF also kept up a great level on the first map of the grand final against Astralis, though to no success, as the North American side fell 14-16 on Mirage.
Over the entire tournament, the 20-year-old averaged a 1.30 rating, the highest at the ECS (shared with device), as well as 88.3 ADR (third most), 0.59 deaths per round (second fewest), as well as 75.6% KAST (fourth highest), which goes on to show his round-to-round consistency.
Magisk started the event neck-and-neck with his teammate device, as the two of them led Astralis to first place in their group, with the 20-year-old earning his only Player of the Match award in the close opener against Cloud9 after fantastic play on the CT side, where the Danes made a comeback from a 3-12 deficit.
He continued to perform as one of the team's best players of the winners' match against Liquid, but he dropped off in the semi-finals against FaZe and didn't make up for it enough in the grand final to get back to even ground with device, averaging a 1.04 playoffs rating. Still, Astralis's newest addition finished the tournament as his team's second-best player thanks to immense impact in the groups and a solid level in playoffs.
EliGE comes in with his second EVP mention of 2018 after maintaining a great level throughout the London tournament and hitting high peaks in the latter stages, particularly on the two Nukes Liquid played at the tournament, in the group stage decider against fnatic and in the semi-final versus NRG.
The American star fell behind NAF despite posting similar statistics, such as 1.27 rating (fourth highest), 88.3 ADR (fourth most), 0.84 KPR (third most), and 77.6% KAST (second highest), as his Canadian teammate outperformed him with two PotMs to his name.
Though never in contention for the MVP award, gla1ve put in a consistent showing at the tournament with five out of six maps above a 1.00 rating and an especially high peak in the semi-finals, where he earned a Player of the Match award for the second map, Inferno, against FaZe with a 1.73 rating.
He was also a big reason why Astralis prevailed in their close Mirage encounter with Liquid in the grand final, putting up a 1.61 rating on the CT side, helping his team claim 11 rounds on the defense.
GuardiaN was, alongside NiKo and chrisJ, among the main contenders for the MVP award in Belo Horizonte, as he kept up the pace with his teammate up until the grand final with a few huge peaks in each series, most notably on Overpass against Ghost in the opening match and versus Liquid on Nuke in the semi-finals.
Although the Slovakian had plenty of impact in the team's wins in the grand final, especially on the last two maps, NiKo was simply too good throughout the best-of-five series not to come away with the MVP award, leaving GuardiaN as a close second-best.
The AWPer was the among the best players in 13 leaderboards, including overall rating (1.30, second-highest), ADR (83.3, fifth most), KPR (0.84, second most), deaths per round (0.56, second fewest), KAST (76.5%), and clutches (four 1vsX won, tied second most). His 1.45 rating in FaZe's wins, which is slightly higher compared to NiKo (1.42), also shows just how much he contributed to his team's success.
chrisJ was undoubtedly one of the biggest surprises of the tournament, as he stepped up massively after taking over the role of the main AWPer while MOUZ played with Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert instead of Tomáš "oskar" Šťastný in Brazil.
The Dutch player kicked off the tournament with a PotM award in a close Mirage affair against Não Tem Como and proceeded to show up in similar form against Liquid to clinch first place in the group with a 1.38 group stage rating. In the playoffs, he distanced himself from suNny and ropz, leading MOUZ to their win over SK in semis and giving a great performance in the grand final.
ESL One Belo Horizonte goes down as chrisJ's best tournament so far, having recorded 1.15 or higher ratings on nine out of 11 maps, a staggering 1.56 impact rating (by far the highest at the event, with NiKo's 1.36 being the second-highest), the third-highest rating overall (1.29), fourth-most kills per round (0.81), the most opening kills per round (0.23), and the second-highest success in opening duels (68.1%).
suNny kicked off the event at least as well as chrisJ with particularly dominant performances on the two Trains MOUZ played in groups, against Não Tem Como and Liquid (2.09 and 1.75 ratings, respectively), which helped him put in the highest group stage rating out of all players (1.54).
The Finn maintained a good level in the semi-final versus SK, most notably on the closer map of the two, another Train. However, suNny dropped off heavily in the grand final, where he only played up to par with some of his previous performances on another Train, helping MOUZ grab a 2-1 lead in the series. Overall, he finished the final with a 0.96 rating after disappointing on the other four maps.
rain sat on the back seat throughout the group stage, where he averaged a 1.10 rating, the second lowest in FaZe, while NiKo and GuardiaN dominated their opponents to cruise through to the semis from first place.
Things didn't improve for the 23-year-old in the semis versus Liquid, as he only had one good map out of the three and his worst map of the event on Dust2, but the grand final was another story. While rain put in 0.83 and 0.87 ratings on the maps FaZe lost, the three maps his team won — those that matter in the end — in the best-of-five were rain's highest-rated out of the 12 FaZe played at ESL One.
Although the Norwegian was clearly up-and-down, there's no denying that a significant portion of the grand final triumph rested on his shoulders. Overall, he mainly stood out in the number of his deaths that were traded — an impressive 30.6%, the most out of all players by a large margin.
After warming up to the big stage at ECS Season 5 Finals, FaZe's stand-in, cromen, impressed at ESL One Belo Horizonte with a consistent showing and a few peaks that earned him two Player of the Match awards; one on Inferno versus Space Soldiers in Group A's winners' match and one from Mirage in the semi-final against Liquid.
The "other Norwegian" actually looked to surpass rain after the semi-finals, though his compatriot edged him out slightly thanks to having more impact in the grand final.
cromen grabs his first EVP at the third big event of his career after posting a 1.18 rating, 0.57 deaths per round (third fewest), 77.6% KAST (second highest), and four clutches (tied second), three of which he scored in the grand final.
Though he already dropped off noticeably compared to the group stage, the 18-year-old played his part in the semi-final versus SK as well, especially on Train where his 1.74 CT side rating helped MOUZ come back from a 5-10 half.
While the Estonian's play on Cache and Train was one of the reasons why MOUZ managed to clinch the two close maps in the best-of-five grand final, he failed to impress in the losses with below 1.00 ratings in each one, ending the tournament with a 0.99 playoffs rating.