Player stock shift: October
The latest Player stock shift is in, with five rising and four falling players who were in action at October's important tournaments.
Two notable international tournaments took place this month: StarSeries i-League Season 6, where ENCE became victorious after fending off serious competition, and EPICENTER, which saw FaZe hoist their first trophy with Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer in 2018 and their third this year overall.
All nine players featured in this article made their case at the former tournament, as at EPICENTER everyone performed according to expectations, perhaps with the exception of Dzhami "Jame" Ali, whose tournament-to-tournament inconsistency has, however, kept him from being included in this edition of the stock shift.
Several other players were also not included just yet despite looking like serious candidates, earning their place on the watchlist for the months to come. These are the cases of Miikka "suNny" Kemppi and Fredrik "REZ" Sterner, who had off tournaments in Kiev and Moscow, or Nikolaj "niko" Kristensen, who looked in better shape at StarSeries. We will keep an eye on them in the future to see whether it becomes a trend.
If you missed any of the previous editions, here is a list of all of them:
Without further ado, let's look at the changes of this month:
Even though ENCE couldn't deliver the goods towards the end of the month at EPICENTER, the Finns were certainly one of the biggest names of October following their win at StarSeries i-League Season 6, where they beat teams such as mousesports and BIG en route to the title.
Jere "sergej" Salo was on fire as expected alongside Aleksi "allu" Jalli, but Aerial's play came as a surprise as the 25-year-old went toe-to-toe with his young teammate with consistent performances throughout the entire tournament. In the end, the MVP medal went to the youngster, but Aerial was in close contention and eventually came away with an EVP mention from the tournament.
NRG as a whole were a bit of a disappointment after they failed to live up to their status as one of the favorites for StarSeries and went out in the semi-finals, but two of their players definitely delivered, namely Ethan "Ethan" Arnold and Brehze.
Ethan had already appeared on the list in May, now it's time for Brehze to join his teammate among the rising stars after being on our radar for the past few months. ESL One New York and StarSeries i-League Season 6 convinced us he should have his place here, as well.
Another positive surprise of October were Fragsters, who, as one of the lowest ranked teams at StarSeries, managed to make it to playoffs after beating BIG, Gambit, and North, before falling to eventual finalists Vega Squadron in the quarter-finals.
refrezh was at the helm of the team throughout their run in the group stage, hitting some high peaks in the aforementioned wins, especially against Gambit and North, in which he surpassed 1.60 ratings in the close affairs. After he had already shown up with solid play at DreamHack Open Valencia, in July, and an admirable level at Games Clash Masters, in September, there's no question refrezh's stock has risen.
Vega Squadron's runner-up finish has not gone unnoticed, either. The CIS-based squad had their best LAN finish in Kiev, and it's no surprise given that a couple of their players stepped up.
Despite somewhat unimpressive ratings, tonyblack and jR were instrumental in Vega's success at StarSeries, with both players earning EVP mentions for their efforts - as did the team's usual star, Leonid "chopper" Vishnyakov. The Ukrainian AWPer also had a solid level in the FACEIT Major New Challengers stage in September to go along with it.
Lekr0 makes his second appearance in the Player stock shift after rising in January following the ELEAGUE Major, when he was still part of fnatic, and his form looked improved over the next couple of months.
Since then, he has been up and down, although, at the last three tournaments (dating back to the New Legends stage of the FACEIT Major) it has been more of the latter, as Lekr0 is hitting a new low in 2018.
somebody also hit rock bottom over the last couple of tournaments, which helps to explain TYLOO's inability to make deep runs at the FACEIT Major and StarSeries i-League Season 6, with the latter being a tournament where the Chinese side were among the higher ranked teams.
Over the course of those two tournaments, the 23-year-old averaged 0.67 and 0.77 ratings, respectively, making him one of the worst performing players of both tournaments, so it should come as no surprise to see his stock fall in October.
aizy returns to the Player stock shift after a brief stint as a rising player at a time when he and the rest of North were making waves with their stunning title-winning campaign at DreamHack Masters Stockholm, at the end of August.
At the two tournaments since then - the FACEIT Major and StarSeries i-League Season 6 - aizy has reverted to his previous level, if not below, which puts his stock back where it has been for most of the year.
The Bulgarian AWPer is also a returning player when it comes to the stock shift, as he had risen in June after turning heads with great play at tournaments such as IEM Sydney and ECS Season 5 Finals.