StarSeries i-League Season 7: the EVPs
With StarSeries i-League Season 7 coming to a close on Sunday, it's time to look back and crunch the numbers again to present our eight Exceptionally Valuable Players (EVPs) of the $500,000 tournament.
The event came to its end on Sunday, with Natus Vincere claiming the trophy over fnatic in what was quite a confident journey through the tournament, spearheaded by none other than 2018's best player Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev, who was awarded his ninth Most Valuable Player award after putting up some incredible numbers.
Now it is time to look back again and present eight more players who were exceptionally valuable to their team's successes. This time, it's quite a spread among the teams who made it to the playoffs, with one from the winning team, two from fnatic as the runners-up, two from each of the semi-finalists, NRG and Renegades, and one from one of the quarter-finalists, ENCE.
HLTV.org's EVP picks (by order):
Denis "electroNic" Sharipov
Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson
Justin "jks" Savage
Ethan "Ethan" Arnold
Simon "twist" Eliasson
Joakim "jkaem" Myrbostad
Jere "sergej" Salo
Vincent "Brehze" Cayonte
After missing out on an EVP mention at the IEM Katowice Major, electroNic picks up his first award of 2019 after an incredible run at StarSeries i-League Season 7, where he was only bested by his superstar teammate s1mple, continuing a rather familiar trend from the last year.
Although the Russian was unlikely to ever catch up to the best player of 2018, who showcased a level that seems unreachable for just about anyone else in the world, he was still far ahead of the rest of the competition as the tournament's second-best player, averaging 1.33 across the 19 maps Natus Vincere played in Shanghai en route to their first title in 2019.
electroNic was an instrumental figure in almost all of Na`Vi's map wins with 1.15+ ratings in all but two, consistently hitting high peaks including a massive 2.17 rating in their semi-final affair against Renegades on the deciding Train. Apart from overall rating, the 20-year-old appeared towards the top of nine other leaderboards alongside his aforementioned teammate, including ADR (90.0), KAST (75.7%), and clutches (10).
KRIMZ has continued to be the main force for fnatic at the beginning of the year and now receives a Big-Event accolade in his best showing of the year so far at StarSeries, after leading his team to a runners-up finish.
The Swede had a flawless group stage, in which he averaged a team-high 1.25 rating as fnatic went 3-0 to qualify for playoffs, beating Ninjas in Pyjamas, NRG, and Vitality, and he continued to top the charts for his team in the quarter-final affair with North. His only stumble came in the narrow semi-final series against NRG, where he was the lowest-rated player of the series, but he was back in great form in time for Na`Vi on championship Sunday, although to no avail.
KRIMZ ended the event as his team's highest-rated player overall (1.19), the best fragger (0.80 KPR), with the most overall contribution (72.6% KAST) and map-to-map consistency (all maps above a 0.85 rating), as well as with the second-highest impact rating behind Jesper "JW" Wecksell (1.16), which helps explain why he earned his spot this high on the list.
Putting up one of personal best performances to date with an average 1.28 rating, his career second-highest rating at tournaments with the "Big Event" tag, jks earned the third place on this list as the main ingredient in Renegades's strong run to the semi-finals in China.
Even though jkaem outdid him in the map wins, solid consistency helped jks finish all but one series (the quarter-finals affair against Ninjas in Pyjamas) as the Australian side's highest-rated player, with some great play on close maps such as a 1.56 rating in the opening match against TYLOO on Inferno and 1.46 on Train against FaZe earning him Player of the Map awards, of which he had three.
The 23-year-old mainly dominated on the CT sides, with a staggering 1.43 rating rivaling s1mple's, and he made it to the top five in several categories, including overall rating (1.28), kills per round (0.83), deaths per round (0.60), while also co-leading the event in clutches (11) alongside Viktor "sdy" Orudzhev and Ethan.
The other semi-finalists, NRG, had their best player in Ethan, who was awarded his first EVP of 2019 at StarSeries on the back of an overall 1.22 rating in Shanghai, keeping up a high level from late last year.
It was all about the stability when it comes to Ethan, who was only once the Player of the Map but also never staggered unlike his teammates, with all 15 maps rated above 0.85, and he finished the event as his team's best player in many other regards: ADR (88.4), Impact rating (1.30), rating on both T (1.13) and CT sides (1.31), and rating in wins (1.29).
Dealing damage was one of the main ways in which the young star stood out among everyone at the tournament, which also helped him score a lot of assists (0.17 per round), and, as mentioned above, he belonged to the best clutchers with 11 1vX situations won to his name.
twist’s 1.09 rating made it easy to overlook his contribution, but the Swede played a critical role in fnatic’s deep run in Shanghai, especially in the Swiss stage, in which he had his best match of the tournament as he put in a team-leading 1.24 rating in the 2-1 victory over Ninjas in Pyjamas.
The 24-year-old entered the knockout stages with a 1.19 rating, the second-highest in fnatic, and remained a steady contributor in the victories against North and NRG. But then his troubles began. He was in the red across the grand final series against Natus Vincere and sat at the foot of the scoreboard on two of the three maps, which dragged his playoff rating down to 1.00, the second worst in the team.
Together with JW, twist was the best clutcher in fnatic with six 1vsX situations won. He had the team’s highest rating in map wins leading to victories (1.21) and was second to KRIMZ for KDD (+43) and number of maps with 1.30+ ratings (five).
The Norwegian player was often overshadowed by jks and was only Renegades’ top performer in the quarter-final sweep over Ninjas in Pyjamas (1.66). Still, he had the team’s highest rating in map wins leading to victories (1.42), which goes to show how big a role he can play in the squad’s chances.
The former FaZe member had the highest number of Player of the Map (PotM) picks in Renegades, four, and the highest KAST (74.8%). On a negative note, he had just three flash assists throughout the tournament, which was the lowest out of any player who reached the playoffs.
sergej gets his second consecutive EVP mention after averaging a team-leading 1.15 rating in ENCE’s quarter-final run in Shanghai. The Finnish youngster went through peaks and troughs in form in the Swiss stage, in which he had four below-average ratings but also five 1.30+ rated maps, entering the playoffs with a 1.14 rating, the second best in the team.
ENCE got the short end of the stick in the form of a quarter-final showdown against Natus Vincere, and that was exactly when sergej took centre stage. The 17-year-old acquitted himself well on all three maps to end the series with a 1.22 rating – the only ENCE player who was not in the red in the match.
sergej, who was third for Terrorist rating among players who reached the playoffs, had by far the highest ADR in ENCE (81.5) and had six 1.30+ rated maps, three more than any other player in his team.
Brehze had a slow start to the tournament as he struggled for consistency in the Swiss stage, in which he averaged a 1.08 rating. The North American player’s best ratings all came in one-sided games and he also had a poor contribution in NRG’s close map wins over North and BIG.
However, once the tournament hit the playoff stage, the 20-year-old rose to the occasion, starting in the triple-overtime victory over Vitality on Overpass, in which he racked up 52 frags. He went on to finish that series with a team-leading 1.44 rating before topping the scoreboard in the nail-biting series against fnatic with a 1.10 rating – which was still not enough to send NRG through to the final.
Brehze didn't stand out in any particular way but was NRG’s second-best performer on both the T side (1.05) and the CT side (1.24), while he boasted the highest percentage of deaths traded within the team (25.3%).