There’s little to no doubt that the two best individual players in the world right now are Na’Vi’s s1mple and Astralis’ device (with perhaps NiKo occasionally entering the conversation), towering over the rest of the field with their skill and ability. Here’s how their HLTV rankings compare on the different LAN events since the ELEAGUE Major, where Astralis bombed out in the New Champions Stage to the shock of the community, way before there would be any talk of an era for the Danes:
(click on the image to view in full size)
Out of the 29 events (not counting the major qualifiers) featured in this list, they’ve picked up 15 MVP awards between one another, and their respective teams won seventeen of them.
You’d be hard-pressed to find any event where they’ve underperformed: s1mple has no event with a sub-1 rating in the period, and even device only has two to his name (0.91 and 0.94), the first coming at the ELEAGUE Major where the entire team underperformed and the second at Miami’s recent BLAST Pro event. Curiously, Miami was also s1mple’s worst LAN event on the list, though only by a fraction and still with a more than commendable 1.19 HLTV rating.
The graph also does a good job highlighting the teams’ schedule management. While Astralis were praised last year for taking certain breaks when the calendar necessitated them, you can see how they never skipped more than one premiere event in a row in 2018. Not only that, but they then also participated in 5-6 huge events in a row, sometimes with little to no breaks between them. Needless to say, the same can’t be said about their 2019 schedule so far.
In 2018 (post-ELEAGUE), these two titans were both present at twelve tournaments – s1mple got the better rating at ten(!) of those. In 2019, they’ve only participated alongside one another at the Katowice major and BLAST Pro Series Madrid to date. While it’s still going to take a bit longer for us to see the two in action at the same event, the data and the eye test both guarantees a spectacle at Cologne in July.
Do you agree with these observations? Anything else worth pointing out? Let us know at @RivalryGLHF on Twitter!