Player stock shift: May-June
The Player stock shift returns with the third edition of 2019, covering events of May and June such as BLAST Pro Series Madrid, DreamHack Masters Dallas, ECS Season 7 Finals, and ESL Pro League Season 9 Finals.
Last time, we made the cut-off following IEM Sydney to recognize some of the biggest movers from the previous two months, and that is where we pick up with the newest edition of the stock shift, which covers quite a large variety of tournaments.
Some of the entire year's biggest events such as DreamHack Masters Dallas and ESL Pro League Season 9 Finals as well as smaller-scale ones the likes of cs_summit 4 and DreamHack Opens in Tours and Jönköping took place over the last two months, all of which were considered for the third stock shift of 2019.
A total of 14 players are featured this time, hailing from teams residing in all echelons of the current top-30, with just two exceptions in the currently teamless Matthew "WARDELL" Yu and in João "felps" Vasconcellos, who has just traded places with Lucas "LUCAS1" Teles between MIBR and Luminosity.
The first time ZywOo appeared in the stock shift, Vitality had just won their first LAN event, DreamHack Open Atlanta, on the back of the 18-year-old's amazing play at only his second international tournament. In the eight months that have passed since, he has shown the same capability when the stakes and competition were much higher, most notably earning his first MVPs from cs_summit 4 and ECS Season 7 Finals and an EVP at DreamHack Masters Dallas to push Vitality to greater heights.
As one of North America's best players and Liquid's main stars, EliGE has kept up a high level for the better part of the last three years. However, outside of two placings in the top-20 in a row, awards have eluded him — up until now, that is. The 21-year-old's improvement in 2019 has led to consecutive MVP-worthy showings at DreamHack Masters Dallas and ESL Pro League Season 9 Finals, which puts him above everyone else when it comes to big-event medals in 2019.
Kjaerbye is another first timer in this article series, but perhaps he should have been featured at some point this year due to an underwhelming period dating between November and April, when he went from being one of North's best-performing players to one of the worst. We are remedying that situation now by setting somewhat of a standard for the 21-year-old as he is returning to better form in the latest iteration of the Danish squad.
AMANEK's beginnings in G2 looked like he was still adapting to a new position as his individual output plummeted, resulting in a falling appearance in the March-April release of the stock shift. The last two months have seen him bounce back while the French side made a return to the big stages with a 5th-6th placing at DreamHack Masters Dallas and a runners-up finish at ESL Pro League Season 9 finals, where G2's newest addition was their best and second-best player, respectively.
Similarly, ALEX's first events with Vitality put him at the bottom of the team, statistically, as he struggled to find form after joining the French squad. Shortly after taking up leadership, the Briton has been looking much more comfortable, with the squad's latest title-winning run at ECS Season 7 Finals even earning him a high EVP placing.
Ethan makes his second-ever appearance following a rise to stardom back in May 2018, when he started proving himself one of North America's hottest prospects immediately after linking up with NRG. Although he is still an above-average player, the 19-year-old isn't quite up to par with that level as May and June have seen him drop off while the squad were on a tight schedule, attending four tournaments within one month.
valde was seen by many as the best Danish player outside of Astralis in 2018, which was further fueled by his top-20 placing at the end of the year, and he continued to play up to that standard as the calendar turned to 2019 and the first events took place.
After Casper "cadiaN" Møller was let go, valde took up the mantle of the team's in-game leader following underwhelming results and, somewhat opposite to Kjaerbye, his individual level deteriorated at the first three tournaments. If his ESL Pro League Season 9 Finals showing, featuring some impressive play in close matches with Liquid and MIBR, is any indication, the former Heroic member might be on the way to a very quick recovery and we will keep an eye on that, but he falls for now.
KRIMZ last showed up on the list as one of November's risers following a resurgence of himself and the whole of fnatic at IEM Chicago with their then-new lineup. He has since fluctuated a little, though not enough so to warrant a spot in the falling players until now, when he recorded his two lowest-rated events since September at DreamHack Masters Dallas and ESL Pro League Season 9 Finals.
WARDELL impressed back in August 2018 with impactful play against some of the world's best teams, leading Ghost in a couple of big upsets and surprises. Although he has had some more great maps in tough matchups over the next few months, more recently he has been lacking some of those performances while the team was heading for disbandment, as all of his teammates' contracts expired.
ISSAA's sole previous appearance came in May of 2018 following his run to the losing MVP at DreamHack Open Tours and a couple of impressive big-event showings beforehand, which set him up for a great first year at the top as he played the role of a sidekick to Özgür "woxic" Eker in HellRaisers. Since his last event alongside the Turk, IEM Katowice, ISSAA hasn't quite been looking like his former self, even recording his lowest-rated tournament ever in Montpellier.
The recreation of the 2017 SK roster hasn't gone according to plan for MIBR. felps has been cut once again after hitting poor form reminiscent of the last time he had been removed from the same lineup nearly two years ago, as the finals of ECS Season 7 and ESL Pro League Season 9 rank just as low on his resumé as his last two tournaments as part of SK (excluding his temporary return for the ELEAGUE Major).
Ninjas in Pyjamas have been going through a rough patch with finishes outside of the playoffs at four of the last five tournaments they attended, which has already resulted in a lineup change as Dennis "dennis" Edman was replaced by Nicolas "Plopski" Gonzalez Zamora while the team is also figuring out GeT_RiGhT's future on the roster. However, it isn't just the veteran who has been looking in poor shape throughout this period, with eight tournaments in a row rated below 1.00 (far below, in most cases), as Lekr0 is in a similar boat with seven in a row, while REZ has also fallen off in the past three months with just one good event in the last six.