ESL Pro League Season 9 Finals: the EVPs
We went through the numbers of the ESL Pro League Season 9 Finals to present you our list of Exceptionally Valuable Players (EVP) of the French event.
With this victory, the North Americans took their trophy tally for the Intel Grand Slam season to three and now have seven chances to pick up a fourth title and claim the $1 million prize.
Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski was awarded the Most Valuable Player (MVP) medal, the second of his career, for his tremendous impact throughout the tournament, beating off competition from Kenny "kennyS" Schrub for the award. The French sniper is one of the eight players who made the EVP list, which features one more player from G2, two from Liquid and Astralis, and one from both MOUZ and NRG.
HLTV.org's EVP picks (by order):
Kenny "kennyS" Schrub
Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken
François "AMANEK" Delaunay
Chris "chrisJ" de Jong
Keith "NAF" Markovic
Vincent "Brehze" Cayonte
Nicolai "device" Reedtz
Emil "Magisk" Reif
kennyS showed in Montpellier the level of form that had once made him one of the most feared players in the game as he led G2 to a second place with an impressive 1.25 tournament rating - his highest since IEM Oakland 2017.
The French AWPer excelled throughout the tournament, particularly after it was down to eight teams. Of his 13 maps with 1.15+ ratings, ten came in the post-top 8 stages, in which he had the second-highest rating overall at 1.31. His tremendous impact in the latter stages of the tournament can also be seen from the fact that his closest teammates in terms of post-top 8 rating were AMANEK and Audric "JACKZ" Jug at 1.05.
kennyS, who led the tournament charts for KDD (+107, a career high) and AWP kills (225), had the second-highest number of maps with 1.30+ ratings (seven) and flash assists (37). He was featured in the top five in six other stats categories, including rating, AWP kills per round (0.46) and deaths per round (0.59).
Twistzz was a solid contributor during the early stages of the Pro League Finals, averaging a 1.24 rating in the pre-top 8 matches. His performances dropped in the series against MIBR and Astralis, but he made up for that with some stellar play in the semi-final series against MOUZ (1.32 rating) and in the grand final against G2 (1.21 rating, +28 KDD), which is the main reason why he features so high on this list.
He outshined his teammates on the Terrorist side, with a 1.19 rating, but struggled on the defense, averaging a team-low 1.10 rating. And while he had ten 1.15+ rated maps (only two fewer than EliGE), his four 1.30+ rated maps were the second-lowest on Liquid, and he was also close to the bottom in the team in terms of ADR (72.8) and Impact (0.99).
The Canadian player was top of the pile for headshot percentage (69.8%) and headshots per round (0.50), and featured in the leaderboards in five categories, most notably KAST (76.3%), clutches won (8) and KDD (+63).
AMANEK makes his first-ever appearance on an EVP list off the back of a series of solid displays in G2's second-place finish in Montpellier. The former LDLC player had a rough first few months with the squad but seems to have already found his footing as he followed up on a team-leading 1.14 rating at DreamHack Masters Dallas with a 1.08 rating at the Pro League Finals - the second-highest in the team.
The 25-year-old did not exactly look like a standout player, but it is important to note that he averaged a 1.24 rating in map wins leading to victories, which shows how big a role he played in the matches that went G2's way. He also had seven 1.15+ rated maps throughout the tournament and was a key player on the offensive side, where he boasted a 1.11 rating, the second-highest in the team.
With his last EVP dating back to last year's ESL One New York event, chrisJ looked eager to remind everyone of just how deadly he can be when he is in form as he put in the second-best rating (1.27) of all players in Montpellier. It was also the third-highest Big Event rating of his entire career, after ELEAGUE Season 2 (1.37) and ESL One Belo Horizonte 2018 (1.29).
The Dutchman had 1.30+ ratings in four of the seven maps that he played in southern France and was in the red just once, in the one-sided Overpass defeat to Liquid. He was top of the pile for rating in map wins resulting in victories (1.48) in part thanks to his team-leading efforts against HellRaisers (1.39 series rating) and FaZe (1.64).
chrisJ averaged more kills per round than any other player (0.85) and was ranked second for damage per round (89.6) and fifth for headshots per round (0.42).
NAF gets his fourth EVP mention of 2019 mostly for his impact during the early stages of the tournament, having topped the scoreboard in Liquid's victories over TYLOO (1.48) and HellRaisers (1.26). After that, he struggled to make his mark at the event, leaving Montpellier with the lowest post-top 8 rating in the team, 1.04, and just two 1.30+ rated maps in the latter stages, in one-sided maps against Astralis and G2.
The Canadian player had the second-highest ADR of his team (81.3) and was in the top five overall in four categories, most notably assists per round (0.17) and total opening kills (50).
Brehze continued his streak of solid tournament performances, with his 1.10 average rating landing him his fourth EVP of the year. The 21-year-old had some peaks and troughs, but it is important to note that his two worst ratings came in losses during series that his team actually won and, as such, they did not affect the squad's progress. At the same time, he played a key role in NRG's semi-final run with a 1.19 rating in map wins leading to victories - his closest teammate being Tarik "tarik" Celik at 1.11.
The 21-year-old was the only NRG player above the 1.00 mark for T side rating and was the team's second-best defender with a 1.16 CT rating. He also led his team for clutches won (six) and KDD (+28), while his percentage of deaths traded (16.8%) was the second-lowest among the players who reached the semi-finals.
Astralis have found trophies very hard to come by this year but that has not been down to the individual level of device, who picked up his fourth EVP of 2019 (on top of an MVP medal from BLAST Pro Series São Paulo) in Montpellier after averaging a 1.25 rating, the fourth-highest overall.
The Danish sniper acquitted himself really well in the derby against Heroic (1.47 rating, second-highest in the team) before topping the scoreboard against NRG on account of his impressive 2.05 rating on Nuke as he finished the other two maps in the red. He was still a solid performer in the quarter-final series against Liquid, but, unlike Magisk, his best performance came in the sound defeat on Inferno.
device had the fourth-highest Impact rating overall (1.34) and featured in the tournament leaderboards in four categories besides rating: KDD (+38), ADR (87.6), kills per round (0.82) and percentage of rounds with at least one kill (53.2%).
Magisk rounds out the EVP list of the French tournament with a 1.22 tournament rating, his highest since the IEM Katowice Major, where he claimed the MVP medal. He enjoyed a dream start to the tournament, ending the pre-top 8 stage with the highest rating overall (1.49) after wreaking havoc against Cloud9 and Heroic.
The Danish rifler, who stood out as the best player in the server on three occasions, one more than device, was also top of the charts for KAST (77.5%) as well as percentage of traded deaths (29.3%).