ECS Season 7 Finals: the EVPs
ECS Season 7 Finals concluded last weekend with Vitality emerging victorious and Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut receiving the MVP award. We are taking another look at the $500,000 event's best players to reveal the six Exceptionally Valuable Players (EVPs).
ZywOo became a two-time MVP on Sunday after leading Vitality at ECS Season 7 Finals, where the French side took down FURIA in a one-sided grand final affair to hoist their second trophy in three weeks following their triumph at cs_summit 4.
It's time to take a second look at the tournament's best players and present those who contributed most to their teams' runs with EVP awards. A total of six earned the honor this time, two of whom represent the winning side, one the runners-up, one from each of the semi-finalists, North and NRG, and a single player from those who did not make it to the bracket stage.
HLTV.org's EVP picks (by order):
Vitality's apEX finishes atop the list, booking his first big-event EVP since StarSeries i-League Season 4 in February 2018, when he led G2 to their last playoffs finish before he was benched alongside Nathan "NBK-" Schmitt.
The Frenchman played the role of a secondary star to ZywOo in the early stages of the tournament held in London. An impressive level from apEX in both of Vitality's wins against Complexity propelled them into the playoffs, and he continued to put up great numbers in the bracket stage with 1.34 and 1.30 series ratings against NRG and FURIA, respectively.
In only his fifth attendance at a Big Event, his teammate ALEX has collected a career-first EVP from a tournament worthy of the status after playing a key role in Vitality's title-winning campaign at ECS Season 7 Finals.
Like apEX, ALEX maintained superb form in his team's victories, as his 1.30+ ratings in six out of eight maps won across the event go on to show. The recently-appointed in-game leader especially stood out in Vitality's group decider against Complexity as his team's highest-rated player there, and in the grand final versus FURIA, where he outshone apEX.
With his last big-event EVP dating back to his late Astralis days at the end of 2017, Kjaerbye is on a path back to stardom as by far North's best player at ECS Season 7 Finals, where the 21-year-old led the Danes to a semi-finals finish with an average rating of 1.24.
Kjaerbye put up consistent numbers over the entire tournament with all six maps rated 1.00 or above and was the difference maker in four of them, namely across the three-map series against Vitality, putting North in first place of their group, and in a losing effort against FURIA in the semi-finals.
Having missed out on an award at DreamHack Masters Dallas, Brehze obtains his third EVP in the four Big Events he has attended since March as statistically one of the very best players of ECS Season 7 Finals.
A stable level throughout NRG's run, in which they beat NiP and FURIA in two close encounters in the groups and finally fell short to Vitality in the semis, and a couple of big peaks against the Brazilian and French opponents saw Brehze finish the London tournament with the third-highest overall rating (1.24), as well as the most damage (95.5) and kills (0.89 per round).
KSCERATO joins ALEX in acquiring his first big EVP mention after ECS Season 7 Finals, where FURIA surprised everyone by beating Astralis twice, resulting in the Danes' first elimination in the group stage, and placing second following a loss to Vitality in the title decider.
The Brazilian does not look like a standout player by the raw numbers alone; none of FURIA's members do, as everyone aside from the 19-year-old finished below the 1.00 rating mark and his 1.04 barely breaks the top half of the participants, which speaks to the fashion in which the team made it as far as they did.
KSCERATO was his team's most consistent player on the way to the final with seven out of eight maps rated above 0.85, and was the key factor in two of their wins: in the first encounter with Astralis (1.42 rating in a 16-14 win on Nuke) and on the opening map of the semi-final against North (1.46 rating in a 16-11 win on Inferno). That put him in contention for the MVP before the final, but an underwhelming level in the title decider diminished his position, after all.
device rounds out the list as one of the rare cases in which a player eliminated in the group stage earns a mention as one of the tournament's best, which goes on to show how dominant the AWPer had been throughout ECS Season 7 Finals.
He never once dropped below a 1.00 rating, but more importantly he stood out as one of the best on the server on five occasions, which includes all three of Astralis' losses and their single win against FURIA, as well as one map in the one-sided victory versus NiP. A heroic effort from device ended with a number of appearances in the leaderboards, most notably placing first in overall contribution (79.5% KAST) and in opening duel success (83.3%), second in overall rating (1.37), average damage dealt (92.5), and deaths per round (0.56), and third in kills per round (0.85).