Top 20 players of 2010: Zeus (19)
At the 19th place of our Top 20 players of 2010 list we have the best in-game leader of the year, Danylo "Zeus" Teslenko, who also proved that having that role in the team doesn't necessarily mean losing your fragging capabilities.
Player: Danylo "Zeus" Teslenko
Team achievements in 2010:
1st - IEM4 World Championship, ESWC 2010, WCG 2010, Arbalet Cup Dallas, DreamHack Winter 2010, Arbalet Cup Best of Four, Arbalet Cup Asia
2nd - Arbalet Cup Europe
3rd - GameGune 2010, IEM5 Global Challenge Shanghai
Stats from major LAN tournaments in 2010:
Kills per round: 0.72
Deaths per round: 0.63
Rating: 1.08 (?)
Maps played: 127
MoM: 14 times top rated in a match
Best tounament: Arbalet Cup Best of Four
Best map: de_train
Most notable stat: Top fragger of Arbalet Cup Best of Four (368 kills)
Near the end of a somewhat turbulent 2009 for him in which he was a member of several different lineups, Danylo "Zeus" Teslenko joined up with a few other Ukrainian star players and was appointed that team's in-game leader.
2010 proved to be very different for him with that lineup which didn't change all year, but has instead caused other teams to change their lineups due to the domination of the Ukrainians. His teammate Sergey "starix" Ischuk recently stated that Teslenko's fearlessness and confidence were some of the keys to their success in 2010, and despite the fact that he wasn't one of the main stars of the team, his contribution to that success was indeed invaluable.
Rise to fame
Playing under the name of his and two of his teammates' former team (KerchNET) at their first big tournament, IEM4 European Finals, they ended up placing 5th and have therefore managed to qualify for the year's biggest tournament - IEM4 World Championship. During the European Finals, they first turned some heads when they made one of the biggest comebacks of the year in a group stage match against mTw, winning 14 straight rounds after being down 3-13. Teslenko was one of the key players in that match, as well as in their 5th place decider the next day against oXmoze, where he recorded his best rating of the year (1.99) on the second map.
A few weeks later at the end of January, they attended Arbalet Cup Asia which hosted most of the best teams from the eastern hemisphere. This time playing under the tag /A/, they managed to win their first title of the year and Teslenko was awarded the trophy for Best Player of the tournament. He earned the award thanks to his heroics in the quarter final against TyLoo.raw and in the final versus forZe.
Zeus with his trophy for Best Player of Arbalet Cup Asia
March came around and it was time for IEM4 World Championship in Hannover, where the team (now with the official name Na´Vi), won their first major title of the year and became a force to be reckoned with. Teslenko had a very good tournament individually, finishing as the 7th best rated player overall (1.14 rating), rarely putting in a bad performance. His most important individual contribution came in the relegation match versus mousesports, where he was the team's best rated player in the 3 maps.
In the team's next tournament, Arbalet Cup Best of Four, where they needed to prove that their earlier success wasn't a one-time thing, Teslenko's form peaked and he largely contributed to winning another trophy. In competition with star players from fnatic and SK, as well as from his own team, Teslenko ended up as the tournaments best fragger and 2nd best rated player (1.18 rating). He was top rated in 5 matches, all of which were in the first 2 days of the event when Na´Vi collected most of their points and practically secured the win in this tournament.
Top fragger at Arbalet Cup Best of Four
Arbalet Cup Europe followed and Teslenko was again very solid overall with a 1.10 rating (8th best overall), excelling in the semi-final against mTw as the team's best rated player over the 2 maps. Additionally, Teslenko made his highlight round of the year in this tournament by winning a 1vs5 situation during their match versus forZe in the second group stage. However, it ended up being the only tournament where Na´Vi lost after reaching the final as fnatic got the better of them.
At DreamHack Summer, Na´Vi was again stopped, losing to SK in the quarter-final, but Teslenko didn't disappoint with a 1.16 rating as the team's second best player, although he shined mostly in the group stage. ESWC in Paris followed shortly after and it brought the team back to the top after another huge title. Teslenko finished the event with an average 1.00 rating, but if we look into his performance more closely, we will see that this time he excelled in the playoffs when it mattered more and against stronger opposition. Even though he was still only the team's 4th best player in the playoffs, he recorded a great 1.14 rating in their matches against fnatic, mTw and SK on the road to 1st place.
Arbalet Cup Dallas was their next stop, an average tournament for Teslenko, as he didn't play particularly well, but he also didn't disappoint in any way while leading the team to another big win. Only a few days later at GameGune, he recorded his best tournament rating of the year (1.26, 8th best at the event), but the team finished only at 3rd place. This time he played well against some less dangerous opponents, both in the group stage and later in the playoffs against bet4gamers and k1ck.
A drop in form in the second part of the year
Soon after visiting United States and Spain, Na´Vi traveled to China for IEM5 Global Challenge Shanghai where Teslenko had by far his worst tournament of the year. Recording only a 0.79 rating, he was his team's worst player, but they still managed to finish at 3rd place. At the end of August, another 3rd place followed for Na´Vi at ASUS Summer at their home turf in Kiev, while Teslenko had another average tournament.
In late September it was time to go to United States again, this time to Los Angeles and take part at the World Cyber Games. Teslenko didn't disappoint but neither did he excel much, still putting in a few good performances in the playoffs while leading his team to another trophy. He was top rated in the second map of the semi-final against Frag eXecutors and later once more in the 3rd map of the epic final match versus mTw, putting up a 34-24 score after double overtime.
Na´Vi celebrating their WCG 2010 victory
Next was another trip to China that wasn't too successful for Teslenko and his team, as they finished 4th at WEM. He performed well in their two wins and not so well in the two losses. After that, at the last major tournament of the year, DreamHack Winter, he was again, just like in his previous 3 tournaments, the worst rated player in his team, but this time with a good 1.09 rating as he led them to yet another trophy.
In the mean time, Na´Vi easily secured the first place in the online group stage of IEM5 European Championship and therefore a place at the IEM5 European Championship Finals. Teslenko played very well during those matches having a 1.14 rating, even though he was still his team's lowest rated player.
Best in-game leader of the year
We can say without any doubt in mind that Teslenko was the best in-game leader in 2010. And that is not based only on his individual stats compared to other players in that role, but also on the fact that he led his team to 8 finals of big tournaments last year and lost only one of those. Throughout the year it became a known fact how well he reads the game and analyzes an opponent's play before and during a match, so he put that to work when it mattered most and hugely influenced winning 7 of 8 finals.
In addition to his team's 7 trophies he also won one individual award (Best Player of Arbalet Cup Asia) and was also the top fragger at Arbalet Cup Best of Four. However, he had a slight drop in form in the second half of the year, which hindered him from making it any further up the list, as he ends up occupying the 19th position.
Recommended demos of Zeus in 2010:
If you want to check out some of his matches that were mentioned in this article, you can find links to those demos right here:
|mTw||train||IEM4 Eu Finals (Group stage)||25-18||POV|
|oXmoze||train||IEM4 Eu Finals (5th place, map 2)||20-6||POV|
|TyLoo.raw||inferno||Arbalet Asia (Quarter-final, map 1)||23-12||HLTV|
|forZe||inferno||Arbalet Asia (Final)||20-11||HLTV|
|mousesports||dust2||IEM4 World (Relegation, map 1)||27-15||HLTV|
|SK||nuke||Arbalet Best of Four (day 1)||32-16||HLTV|
|UNiTED||tuscan||Arbalet Best of Four (day 2)||34-17||HLTV|
|UNiTED||dust2||Arbalet Best of Four (day 2)||30-15||HLTV|
|mTw||dust2||Arbalet Europe (Semi-final, map 2)||24-13||HLTV|
|mTw||train||ESWC (Semi-final, map 3)||18-4||POV|
|bet4gamers||dust2||GameGune (Upper quarter-final)||19-9||POV|
|k1ck||inferno||GameGune (Lower semi-final)||18-4||HLTV|
|Fx||tuscan||WCG (Semi-final, map 2)||24-14||HLTV|
|mTw||train||WCG (Final, map 3)||34-24||HLTV|
What do you think about the performance of Zeus in 2010? Does he deserve a place in the Top 20? What was your biggest impression of him this year? Feel free to leave a comment on this topic and stay tuned to HLTV.org if you want to see what the rest of Top 20 looks like, as we will bring you number 18 tomorrow.