Photo: By Adela Sznajder for ESL
‘Chiu on This’ is a short and regular opinion blast
With IEM Katowice 2019 finished, I wanted to pick out my top six players at the event. The criteria I used was consistency, peak play and impact. I weighed games more heavily the playoff phase as I think those are the games with the highest amount of pressure and competition. I also considered the context of the players relative to their teams.
1. Xyp9x – The clutch minister himself comes in first. I went back and forth on this and my second place choice for a long period of time, but eventually sided with Xyp9x. It’s strange since I think that s1mple was the best player at this event as he had to play at the highest level of any single individual player here. However, if I look at the entire overview of the tournament, Xyp9x’s consistency outshined s1mple and his impact was at a similar level.
What made this hard to grade was that Xyp9x plays on Astralis and a large part of my list is filled with Astralis players and Astralis are the best team in the world. That usually weights in favor for s1mple, but the problem was that Na`Vi as a team played fairly well at this event (though not Astralis levels). What clinched it for xyp9x over s1mple was that s1mple didn’t play at ridiculous levels in the FaZe series (arguably one of his worst playoff series I’ve seen). As that’s the case, I gave Xyp9x the nod over s1mple.
2. S1mple – Coming in second place for me was s1mple. While Xyp9x was the MVP of the tournament with ridiculous consistency and impact, s1mple won out in the criteria for peak play. No one in this tournament played at a higher level than s1mple did in the third game between Na`Vi vs ENCE. That was classic s1mple vs the world stuff and will go down as the best map of this event. For that reason, I have s1mple second.
3. Coldzera – The Brazilian phenom had a fantastic tournament at IEM Katowice 2019. If nothing else, the Brazilian reunion was worth it just to see Coldzera play at his peak powers once again. His level of consistency and impact was off the charts for the group stages. He played a good game in the playoff series against Renegades and a good first game against Astralis on Overpass. I had a difficult time thinking of where to place Coldzera in this list, but decided that third was the most appropriate.
4. Magisk – Fourth and fifth were extremely close. In terms of overall consistency, impact, and peak player, both Magisk and device were extremely close to each other. Device shined in the group stages as the best player in the game. However, Magisk played at a higher level in the playoff stages of the event, particularly in the overpass game against MIBR. In the end I had to take Magisk over device as I put a heavier emphasis on performance in the playoffs.
5. device – Coming in fifth is device. He was easily the best player in the group stages of the Major, but slowed down once the playoffs started. While he had good consistency and impact throughout the event, his level of impact was behind both Xyp9x and Magisk when it came to the playoffs.
6. xseveN – Among all of the ENCE players, I think xseveN had the biggest impact for their team’s success in the playoffs. Allu had a magnificent series against Liquid. Aerial was a strong entry-fragger in the Na`Vi series. XseveN though played far above his normal level statistically. In terms of impact in 1v1 situations, he was extremely consistent throughout the entire playoff run for ENCE. As thtat’s the case, he takes my sixth slot on this list.