FACEIT Major: the EVPs
We took a look back and went through the numbers to present our nine Exceptionally Valuable Players (EVPs) of the FACEIT Major, which ended with Astralis lifting the trophy.
The British event of the year came to a close on Sunday with red-hot favourites picking up their second Major title at a packed SSE Arena after defeating Natus Vincere in a quick two-map series.
Nicolai "device" Reedtz was rewarded for his heroics with the Most Valuable Player (MVP) honour, extending his medal count of the year to three. The Danish AWPer averaged a 1.26 rating over the New Legends and the Champions stages - the highest in Astralis -, and he was also at the forefront in his team in terms of impact in round wins.
Looking at the other players who stood out, Astralis are the most represented side, with four picks, followed by Natus Vincere, who provide three players, while the losing semi-finalists, MIBR and Liquid, have one player apiece. The full list looks as follows:
HLTV.org's EVP picks (by order):
Denis "electronic" Sharipov
Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev
Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen
Emil "Magisk" Reif
Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth
Egor "flamie" Vasilyev
Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander
Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo
Keith "NAF" Markovic
Leading the list of EVPs is Russian prodigy Denis "electronic" Sharipov, who garners his fifth EVP nod of the year after inspiring Natus Vincere to a runner-up finish in London with a 1.36 tournament rating - his joint-highest at a Big Event, equal with DreamHack Masters Marseille, where he had lost the MVP award to teammate Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev.
This time around, however, electronic was the bigger star for Na`Vi, not only in the New Legends Stage (1.44 rating), but also in the playoffs (1.30), in which he was the top performer overall, despite the fact that the one-sided grand final skewed his average a bit.
electronic did not hit the same peaks as s1mple, who had two more maps with ratings over 1.30 than his teammate, but the Russian youngster was far more consistent, ending nine out of ten maps with ratings higher than 1.15 (s1mple had just seven).
The 20-year-old ended the tournament with the highest ADR (89.0), Impact rating (1.51) and KDD (+63), while he was tied with Owen "smooya" Butterfield for the highest kills per round ratio (0.86) and was the second-best at opening up rounds, averaging 0.15 opening duels per round.
s1mple gets his first EVP mention of the year (after four MVPs at Big Events and one at the CS:GO Asia Championships) for his important role in Na`Vi's runner-up finish in Major, where he averaged a 1.34 rating, his fourth best of the year, after DreamHack Masters Marseille (1.52), StarSeries i-League Season 5 (1.40) and ESL One Cologne (1.37).
The Ukrainian talent led the way for his team in the Swiss stage matches against Astralis and FaZe, while in the playoffs he was Na`Vi's top performer against MIBR after being tied with Ioann "Edward" Sukhariev at the top of the scoreboard against BIG. However, he was on the fringes of the action in the title decider against Astralis, with a 0.81 rating, which ended up bringing his playoff rating down to 1.28 - still the second-highest overall.
s1mple had the highest rating among Na`Vi's players in terms of map wins that led to victories (1.51), which highlights his importance in the team's road to the final. He also had the highest KAST in the team (81.6%) and the most clutches won (five), and was four times picked as the Player of the Map (PotM) - three more than electronic.
Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen earns his fourth EVP nod of the year (on top of an MVP medal) after being a solid contributor in Astralis' title-winning campaign, especially in the playoffs, in which he was the team's top performer, with an average 1.25 rating.
He put in just one map with a below-average rating, in Astralis' 16-12 victory against FaZe on Inferno, but still finished that series as the team's second-best player thanks to his 30-bomb on Mirage. He gave a great account of himself in the next two matches, especially in the final against Natus Vincere, which he finished with a 1.27 rating.
The ESL Pro League Season 7 MVP was ranked third overall in terms of KAST (77.8%) and in opening duel success (70.2%), while he was Astralis' second-best clutcher, with five 1vsX situations won.
Emil "Magisk" Reif continues to show why he is one of the best signings of the year as he picked up his sixth EVP mention since joining Astralis. His 1.25 tournament rating in London was his third best of the year at a Big Event and ranked him second in the team, only behind device.
The 23-year-old began the tournament on a high note, with team-leading performances against Na`Vi (1.32 rating) and Vega Squadron (2.08). However, he then had to endure a trough as he was in the red against Liquid - his only under-1.00 rating map in London -, while he barely got in on the action against MIBR, picking up just seven frags in the 16-0 demolition of the Brazilians. He remained a solid contributor in the playoffs, peaking in the 2-0 victory against Liquid, a series he ended with an impressive 1.42 rating.
Magisk had a team-high impact rating (1.38) and ADR (83.9), and he cemented his position as a vital cog in Astralis' machine with tournament highs of 53 assists, 0,17 opening kills per round and 25% of support rounds.
Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth makes the cut mainly due to his performances in the playoffs, having been Astralis' worst player in the New Legends Stage (1.06 rating). When the tournament hit the knockout stages, he stepped up to the plate, especially in the last two series, averaging a 1.44 rating against Liquid and a 1.24 rating against Na`Vi.
Despite some shortcomings, Xyp9x still ended the tournament with the second-highest KAST (80.6%) and percentage of support rounds (24.6%), while his six clutches won ranked him third in London, together with Vladyslav "bondik" Nechyporchuk.
Egor "flamie" Vasilyev is the third Natus Vincere to get an EVP mention (his fourth of the year) from the FACEIT Major after averaging a 1.18 rating in the British capital. He stood out in the New Legends Stage in particular, in which he put up a 1.28 rating after impressing against the Swedes of NIP (1.79) and fnatic (1.40).
Once the tournament hit the Champions Stage, however, flamie dropped off a bit, averaging a 1.11 rating - a far cry from the team's star duo and also from veteran Edward, who impressed in the best-of-three series.
The Russian talent, who had two PotM picks, one more than electronic and two fewer than s1mple, was one of the best players of the tournament on the Terrorist side with an average 1.34 rating (his rating on the CT side, by contrast, was a mere 1.05). He also featured in the stats leaderboards as one of the hardest players to kill, with 0.57 deaths per round.
Astralis's in-game leader has also made the list of EVPs, proving that the Danes' triumph in London was very much a team effort. Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander made his impact known in six of his team's nine map wins during the FACEIT Major, with three PotM awards (second most in Astralis) and three map EVP mentions.
That includes four maps in the playoffs; one against each of FaZe and Liquid and two in the grand final against Natus Vincere, in which the 23-year-old was the best player with a 1.35 rating and a 1.40 impact rating over the course of the convincing series.
Walking down the path to becoming an elite team again, MIBR made the semi-finals at the FACEIT Major, and the AWPer played a big part in his team's successes in London.
Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo was MIBR's best player in their six map wins with a 1.39 rating, earning PotM picks in the group stage triumphs against MOUZ, G2, and on the deciding map against NIP, as well as on the second map of their quarter-final affair against Complexity.
Aside from being one of the hardest players to kill (0.57 deaths per round) while also having great success in opening duels (68% win rate with an above-average 0.13 opening kills per round), the in-game leader particularly stood out in flash assists as the best player of the event in that regard, with 0.15 flash assists per round.
The Canadian put in a great performance in Liquid's journey to a 3-0 record in the group stage, especially as the Player of the Map in the lineup's first ever victory against Astralis in the overtime match in round three. He continued that trend in the quarter-final series against HellRaisers, in which he was by far the highest-rated player (1.39).
NAF appeared in several leaderboards of the FACEIT Major, most notably in dealing damage (87.4 ADR, fifth most), assists per round (0.19, fifth most), and KAST (76.7%, fourth most).