ESL One New York & DreamHack Masters Malmö: the EVPs
With ESL One New York and DreamHack Masters Malmö in the rearview mirror, we went through the numbers to present the Exceptionally Valuable Players (EVPs) of the two Big Events.
ESL One New York saw the former NRG team break their Big Event title duck on their debut for Evil Geniuses after defeating Astralis in the final, with Vincent "Brehze" Cayonte edging out teammate Tsvetelin "CeRq" Dimitrov in the race for the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award.
The North Americans could not build on that success at DreamHack Masters Malmö, where fnatic defied the odds and reigned supreme in their first event with the new line-up. With their impressive teamplay, the Swedes were able to nullify Vitality, who still boasted the tournament MVP in Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut.
After analyzing the players who stood out in their teams' runs, we came up with eight EVPs for both tournaments, with our picks looking as follows:
Tsvetelin "CeRq" Dimitrov
Keith "NAF" Markovic
Tarik "tarik" Celik
Emil "Magisk" Reif
Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken
Ethan "Ethan" Arnold
Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander
Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen
ESL One New York
CeRq was a valuable sidekick to MVP Brehze on the road to Evil Geniuses' victory in New York - the first Big Event title in the history of the team. The Bulgarian went neck-and-neck with his teammate in the race for the medal, ultimately falling short due to recording slightly worse performances in the title decider against Astralis.
Despite being overshadowed by his teammate in the final, CeRq was still Evil Geniuses' top performer in the playoffs with a 1.27 rating on account of his team-leading display against G2 in the semi-finals. He was also the best CT player overall, averaging a 1.32 rating on the defensive side, and had the most 1.15+ rated maps on his team (nine), though he only hit the 1.30+ mark on three occasions, two fewer than Brehze.
The Bulgarian sniper, who averaged a tournament-high 0.49 AWP kills per round, had the highest KAST of the tournament (78.4%) and was the hardest player to kill (0.53 deaths per round). He featured in the stats leaderboards in eight other categories, most notably rating (1.27), kills per round (0.76), percentage of rounds with at least one kill (53%) and opening frags per round (0.13).
After enduring a disappointing StarLadder Major, the Canadian returned to his best form as he posted a team-high 1.26 rating in Liquid's semi-final run in New York. He was the best performer overall in the group stage, which he finished with a 1.39 rating thanks to his dominant Mirage performance against eUnited (2.27 rating, his second-highest map rating at a Big Event).
NAF had a slow start in the semi-final series against Astralis with a 0.72 rating on Vertigo - his sole below-average rating of the tournament -, but he held his own in the team's Dust2 victory (1.09 rating). He ended that match with a top-of-the scoreboard performance on Overpass (1.40), which was not enough for his team to run out victorious.
The Canadian player ranked first for ADR (89.3), damage difference per round (+16.9) and percentage of rounds with at least one kill (57.1%), while he was the second-best player on the Terrorist side, on which he averaged a 1.40 rating.
The ELEAGUE Major Boston MVP gets his first EVP mention of the year after being an important cog in the Evil Geniuses machine in New York, where he averaged a 1.15 rating - his second-highest at a Big Event in 2019, only behind his 1.18 rating from IEM Sydney.
"Consistency" is the word that best describes tarik's influence during the tournament: only twice did he post below-average ratings but he was very close to the 1.0 mark on both occasions. He also kept a very stable level of performances in both the group stage (1.16 rating) and in the playoffs (1.16), excelling on the CT side, where he averaged the second-highest rating overall (1.31). Still, it is worth mentioning that the 23-year-old struggled on the offense, where he was EG's worst performer with a 1.00 rating.
Magisk earns his fifth EVP presence of 2019 for his crucial role in Astralis' grand final run in New York. Just like every other player in the Danish team, he had peaks and troughs in form, and even though he left New York with a 1.05 rating (second-lowest in the squad), he had the most maps 1.0+ rated maps (nine) and 1.15+ rated maps (seven).
The Danish rifler had the most clutches (four) and Player of the Map awards (three) of his team, in addition to the highest ADR (77.3). He also topped the tournament's assist charts (57), averaging 0.17 per round, the fourth-highest overall together with Nikolaj "niko" Kristensen.
With Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski a far cry from his usual contributions, Twistzz stepped up to the plate and joined NAF as the the two main providers for Liquid in their top-four finish in New York. The 19-year-old was the team's third-best performer in the group stage (1.27 rating), where he surpassed the 1.20 rating mark on all but one of the five maps that he played, and he held his own in the semi-final series against Astralis, in which he impressed on Dust2 with a 1.42 rating.
The Canadian player had the lowest entry kill ratio among the players who reached the playoffs (0.06), but he made up for that by appearing in nine stats leaderboards, including rating, ADR (81.6), KAST (76.1%) and headshots per round (0.54).
The 19-year-old has often come under criticism for his lack of consistency, but he showed in New York just how high his ceiling is. He had seven maps with above-average ratings (Brehze and CeRq both had ten), but on four of those he surpassed the 1.30 rating mark.
Ethan had a slow start to the tournament, averaging just a 1.03 rating in the group stage, but he showed his true colours in the playoffs. After putting in a 1.39 rating in the 2-0 victory over G2, he gave a good account of himself on Inferno and Nuke against Astralis to end the knockout stages with a solid 1.21 rating. He was joint-second for flash assists (0.08 per round) and had the third-highest percentage of support rounds (23.5%).
After an impressive 2018 with nine EVP presences, Astralis' in-game leader makes his first list this year after averaging a 1.07 rating in New York - his second-highest tournament rating of 2019 as far as Big Events are concerned.
gla1ve was a nuisance to OpTic in the groups, which helps to explain why he ended this stage with a 1.13 rating. He began the playoffs with a bang as he topped the scoreboard against Liquid (1.15 rating) thanks to his 30-bomb on Vertigo before he struggled to make an impact in the grand final against Evil Geniuses (0.94 rating, still the team's second-highest).
Surprisingly enough, the Danish tactician had the highest Impact on Astralis (1.17) and he was the team's best player on the offense with a 1.07 rating. He also had the most flash assists of any player in New York (27), averaging 0.08 per round (second-highest overall).
dupreeh rounds out the list from ESL New York after averaging a team-high 1.10 rating throughout the tournament, earning his fifth EVP presence of 2019, his second in a row. He struggled to have an impact in his first game, against OpTic, but held his own in the remainder of the group stage, even in the defeat to Evil Geniuses, to enter the playoffs with a 1.23 rating.
He put in solid performances on Dust2 and Overpass in the semi-final series against Liquid to walk away as joint top performer (1.15 rating), while in the grand final against EG he could only muster a 1.0+ rating in the overtime victory on Train. dupreeh, who curiously was the only Astralis player who did not get a single Player of the Map award, appeared in five stats leaderboards, most notably KAST (74.9%) and headshots per round (0.36).
DreamHack Masters Malmö
After a couple of unimpressive showings during a dark period for fnatic, KRIMZ returned to his best form as he led his team to glory with a 1.22 rating - his highest at a Big Event since last year's IEM Chicago stop. Curiously, he endured a slow start with below-average ratings in his first two games, but once he hit his stride there was no stopping him.
The Swede ended the pre-top 8 stage with a 1.43 rating (second-highest overall) thanks to his jaw-dropping performance against the new G2 line-up on Train (2.82 rating, +27 KDD, and third-highest ADR recorded on a single-map, 175.9). He followed that up with solid displays against FURIA (1.26 rating) and Ninjas in Pyjamas (1.16) before ending the tournament in style as he led fnatic's comeback against Vitality in the final (1.24 rating on Inferno and 1.36 on Mirage).
In the end, KRIMZ could not match ZywOo's godlike standards, but there is no taking away from the fact that the Swede was in stunning form and was a genuine contender for the MVP award. He had seven 1.30+ rated maps (three fewer than Vitality's star), and featured in the stats leaderboards in seven categories, including rating, KDD (+78), kills per round (0.78).
The Danish AWPer erased from his memory a disappointing individual tournament in New York with some memorable performances in Malmö, where he averaged a 1.42 rating - the second highest in his career at a Big Event -, with no one on his team even reaching the 1.10 mark. He finished five of the seven maps that he played with ratings higher than 1.45, earning his highest rating in the Vertigo thrashing of Vitality (2.45 rating, +22 KDD).
The only downside to device's performances in Malmö was his bottom-of-the-scoreboard display on the first map against fnatic (0.64), but he bounced back by leading Astralis' efforts on Nuke, which would still go the Swedes' way.
Such was his impact that he managed to top several stats categories in a tournament that had ZywOo in top form. The Danish player had the highest rating on the Terrorist side (1.43) and was the second-best CT player (1.41,) and boasted a staggering 1.63 impact. He ranked first for rating, ADR (92.5), damage difference per round (+25.6) and kills per round (0.91), while featuring in the top five in four other leaderboards, including percentage of rounds with at least one kill (56.1%) and opening duel success (68.2%).
JW earned his second EVP presence of the year for his solid contribution throughout fnatic's title-winning campaign. He may not have been as flashy as KRIMZ, but he was still consistent enough to be in contention for the MVP medal until the very end, ultimately settling for a spot on the higher end of the EVP list of the tournament.
The Swedish player took the AWP once again following Simon "twist" Eliasson's departure and averaged a solid 0.29 frags per round with the Big Green - though it was still not enough to make the top five in this category. He ended half of the 16 maps that he played with ratings higher than 1.15, five of which with 1.30+ ratings, pushing fnatic over the line in the semi-final series against Astralis with a team-high 1.36 series rating before putting in a solid performance in the final as he topped the scoreboard for his side on the first two maps against Vitality.
The Turkish AWPer got his hands on his first EVP of the year as he matched his career-high Big Event rating of 1.26 to power MOUZ to a quarter-final appearance on Swedish soil. The former HellRaisers player had a quiet first game in Malmö as he was in the red against the new Ninjas in Pyjamas squad, but he showed his true colours in the following matches as he topped the scoreboard against Evil Geniuses (1.31 rating), OpTic (1.51) and Grayhound (1.63), even surpassing the 2.0 rating mark on the opening map against the Australians.
Only two players had more 1.30+ rated maps than woxic (five), who was just as prolific on the Terrorist side (1.26 rating) as he was on the CT side (1.27). He stood out in seven categories, most notably rating, KDD (+73, a career best), kills per round (0.82) and AWP kills per round (0.41).
The Swedish youngster opens the lower half of the list as the third player featured from the winning team. Brollan, who matched his career-best 1.12 rating from StarSeries i-League Season 5, had a disastrous start in Malmö, with four below-average ratings on his first six maps in between a 2.03 rating against TYLOO, but he picked up form as the tournament went on.
Brollan averaged a 1.14 rating in the post-top8 stages, which put him on par with KRIMZ and just slightly behind JW. He was either fnatic's top performer or second-best player in the series against FURIA, Ninjas in Pyjamas and Astralis, but a dip in form in the final against Vitality (0.97 rating) cost him a higher place on the list.
s1mple played up to his usual high standards in the group stage, which made him a firm candidate for the MVP award leading up to the playoffs. With the Ukrainian averaging a 1.38 rating to help Natus Vincere cruise through the early stages, it looked like the best player of 2018 would add another MVP medal to his collection, but then the CIS giants found themselves on the receiving end of a comeback from Vitality in the semi-finals.
The Ukrainian opened the series with a 1.49 rating on Nuke but then fell off the pace and hardly had an impact on the remaining maps. His 0.94 series rating ultimately hurt his numbers, but, despite that, he stood out in several categories such as clutches (six), headshots per round (0.40), damage difference per round (+13.8) and deaths per round (0.57).
ropz earns his first EVP presence of the year for his map-to-map consistency in Sweden, having posted just two below-average ratings, which came in the Inferno loss to Grayhound and in the Mirage game against Vitality. The Estonian also hit some remarkable peaks, including a 30-bomb against the French side on Inferno and a team-leading display against Evil Geniuses on Train.
The 19-year-old recorded 1.15+ ratings on seven of the 11 maps that he played and even surpassed teammate woxic when it comes to CT rating (1.28). He stood out in terms of ADR (83.5), clutches won (six) and success in opening duels (64.8%).
KSCERATO made the list without reaching the playoffs, which speaks volumes about how crucial he was to FURIA's top-eight finish. The Brazilian youngster, who secured his second EVP presence, stole the show in the team's victories over Envy and ENCE, picking up four 1.30+ rated maps on Swedish soil, two more than any of his teammates. KSCERATO also didn't have a single bad map, as even in the 0.93-rated Overpass loss to fnatic (34-32 overtime marathon), he had plenty of positive contributions.
The 20-year-old, who was the third-highest rated player on the Terrorist side (1.40) in Malmö, ranked first for KAST (77.2%) and headshots per round (0.43), and was in the top five in four other categories: rating (1.24), ADR (84.7), damage difference per round (+18.3) and deaths per round (0.58).