Player stock shift: July
July is nearly over and with the start of the off-season comes the new Player Stock shift, in which we take a look at the players on the rise as well as those who plummeted over the course of the month.
The big events of the month played the biggest factor in July's stock shift, as 12 out of 15 players featured in this edition played at least one of ESL One Cologne and ELEAGUE Premier. Players who competed at the smaller events, namely DreamHack Open Valencia and the four Minor Championships, were also considered and make up the remaining trio on the list.
Many are now on our watchlist as potential rising or falling players in future editions. Some of the most notable are Robin "ropz" Kool, Marcelo "coldzera" David, and Håvard "rain" Nygaard, whose stock could plummet if they don't make up for some of their latest event performances, while the likes of Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken and Fernando "fer" Alvarenga are looking to cement themselves as players on the rise.
Here are all the previous Player stock shift editions in case you missed any:
And here are all the players featured in this month's stock shift:
Johannes "nex" Maget
Johannes "tabseN" Wodarz
Denis "electronic" Sharipov
Jere "sergej" Salo
Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer
Kevin "xccurate" Susanto
Nicklas "gade" Gade
ESL One Cologne saw several players surprise us with great performances. nex in particular was likely the most noticeable in that regard, as the German tournament went down as his best to date. The 26-year-old had once been considered his country's best player, but his reputation for breaking down in the playoffs overshadowed his talents, and he never quite recovered until now. At the home tournament, nex took a big step towards ending the repute, putting up great numbers throughout BIG's incredible run to the grand final.
We had of course expected tabseN to show up in solid form as usual, but he exceeded that with one of the best and most consistent big-event performances, even in the grand final, in which Na`Vi ran out 3-1 victors.
electronic makes his second appearance in the stock shift, in which he had been featured for the first time at the end of April after showing the potential to become a top-10 player in the world at DreamHack Masters Marseille.
Over the last three months — and especially at ESL One Cologne —, the Russian youngster has made a step up to the top-five with amazing big-event numbers, such as a 1.24 rating (fourth highest), 85.7 ADR (third best), 0.77 KPR (fourth highest), while also having the most clutches (24 across 52 maps).
Sixteen-year-old sergej played his first big event at ESL One Cologne and it's fair to say that he surpassed everyone's expectations after facing three top-five teams, Astralis, mousesports, and Natus Vincere, as well as NIP. Although ENCE ended up going out in the group stage at the last hurdle, the young Finn put in world-class numbers, including a 1.31 rating (second highest), 92.5 ADR (second highest), 0.86 KPR (second highest), and 76.4% KAST (third highest).
olofmeister's return may not have gone well for FaZe, as their streak of playoffs finishes ended at 13 in a row following their last-place finish at ELEAGUE Premier, but the Swede has plenty to be encouraged by when it comes to his individual form.
Despite having spent nearly four months away from competition while he was dealing with personal issues, olofmeister was a consistent force in FaZe's series against mousesports and fnatic in Atlanta with four out of five maps above a 1.00 rating and an overall average of 1.16. We need to be careful given the small sample size (only five maps), but it certainly wasn't expected of him to turn up in this kind of form — better than the one when he had left —, nonetheless.
xccurate is now a regular of the Player stock shift with a total of four appearances in the last five months, including this one. The standards we need to hold him to feature him in the rising stock begin to change, as we now expect him to fluctuate. That is, in part, why he wasn't included in last month's edition following the CS:GO Asia Championships, where he made up for some measly performances in previous months.
In July, he topped it off with a very consistent level at the Asia Minor, so we're cautiously moving him up now and await TYLOO's next events to find out whether he has fully recovered or whether he will continue to blow hot and cold.
gade rounds out the rising stock after leading OpTic to a spot in the New Challengers Stage with a 1.49 rating in his team's wins en-route to the grand final of the Europe Minor. The former North Academy member had a bit of a slow start in the new squad, but with some much-needed experience under his belt, he looks to become one of their stars on the back of his stellar performances in London.
mousesports were one of the teams to attend both big tournaments of July and at neither were their players in particularly impressive form, as they exited ESL One Cologne in groups and grabbed a semi-final finish at ELEAGUE Premier.
In the end, only two mouz members ended up on the list despite all five looking less stable than usual, perhaps due to the roster change from STYKO to Janusz "Snax" Pogorzelski. The first is suNny, whose consistency took a hit at the two tournaments, as he only recorded 1.00+ ratings on about half of the maps mousesports played — compared to 75% of maps over the course of the previous three tournaments.
Meanwhile, after a solid performance in Cologne, chrisJ reverted to his pre-ESL One Belo Horizonte level at ELEAGUE Premier with a disappointing 0.92 rating for an overall 0.99 across 17 maps in July.
AdreN has been on our watchlist since May, as he dropped off from an inspired level at DreamHack Masters Marseille a month later at DreamHack Open Tours and continued to fluctuate over the next couple of months.
Although we can't blame him alone for Gambit's early exit at ESL One Cologne, as none of the team's players turned up in good form in Germany, AdreN hasn't been able to live up to his Marseille level, for which he had earned a place in the rising stock in April, for the last three months.
It seems ridiculous to feature a player in the falling stock despite his team winning another big event, but such is the case of Xyp9x, who — alongside pretty much all of his teammates — had raised the bar ever since Astralis' first win at DreamHack Masters Marseille.
This month, Xyp9x plummeted with an off series against Na`Vi in the Cologne semi-finals and a generally unimpressive level at ELEAGUE Premier. It's hard to fault him for the latter as he clearly wasn't needed to put up big numbers, seeing as Astralis cruised to the title undefeated, but it is a noticeable drop in individual form.
At ESL One Cologne, it was mostly inconsistency that brought him down below a 1.00 rating, as he stood his ground in most of the wins that gave Natus Vincere the trophy. In Atlanta, he went missing in the semi-final series against Liquid, where the team's journey ended, although he wasn't alone as even the team's stars couldn't perform at their usual level.
STYKO joins his now-temporary teammate Maikil "Golden" Selim among the players who had already been expected to stagger and proceeded to plummet further. After his departure from mousesports, for whom he normally hovered around a 0.95 rating, the Slovakian's tenure in Cloud9 saw him drop down to a 0.76 rating over the course of two tournaments, ESL One Cologne and ELEAGUE Premier, where the North American side placed 9th-12th and 7th-8th, respectively.
mertz had started showing promise following a great DreamHack Open Tours and a breakout performance at StarSeries i-League Season 5, which earned him a place in the rising stock in May.
His spot in the limelight was short-lived, as in North's campaigns at DreamHack Open Summer in June and ESL One Cologne at the beginning of July, mertz's form dipped and he was subsequently removed from the active roster.
ScreaM was looking to get back in form after some amazing play at the CS:GO Asia Championships, where he led the then-EnVyUs to a semi-final appearance. His stock drops in July just as suddenly as it took off last month, as the Belgian was a shadow of himself at the Europe Minor, where losses to ENCE and 3DMAX saw LeftOut crash out of the event in last place.