Liquid players supplant Complexity on Dust2.us' Team of the Month for January 2024
Dust2.us is back with our Team of the Month for January to highlight North America's best and brightest across the three tiers of competitive play. As always, Dust2.us' list consists of two professional-level players, two players from ESL Challenger League, and one standout name from ESEA Advanced. Additionally, the list includes the most impactful coach regardless of tier.
Complexity have finally been supplanted in the pro category of Dust2.us Team of the Month thanks to the emergence of Liquid's new roster. While it is early days, Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken and Keith "NAF" Markovic both had fantastic months domestically and abroad. Notably, the duo posted 1.16 ratings over thirteen maps against top 30 opposition. While one of those matches was a win against a Spirit without Danil "donk" Kryshkovets, seeing the Canadian duo fired up is a great sign for the future of this team.
Moving onto ECL-level teams, Deni "dea" Ediev has continued to be an absolute revelation since joining Badass/timbermen. The Chechen AWPer was a terror at the PGL Major Copenhagen Americas RMR Closed Qualifier, lighting up the scoreboard while ultimately ending the event with a 1.40 rating over eight maps. While the team as a whole played great, dea in particular is shaping up to be an imported gem akin to Mario "malbsMd" Samayoa and Maxim "wippie" Shepelev in their earlier days.
Switching from an imported talent to a native-born star, Matthew "d4rty" Paplawskas also had a fantastic month as he helped BOSS to the Americas RMR. After being the toast of the town earlier in his career, d4rty has lived up to that legacy, helping BOSS easily make the RMR with a 1.39 rating over five maps. In a team of older, more experienced names, d4rty might be the biggest revelation of them all as he has continued to hone his craft after only really breaking out as a player in mid-2022.
For our Advanced Player of the Month, we wanted to give Alexandre "kakaveL" Peres and LOS kudos for sticking true to their promise of keeping the team in North America rather than cutting and running after trying to snatch an RMR spot. With that decision, LOS have been playing in ESEA Advanced this season and absolutely tearing it up, boasting a 7-0 record at the time of publication. In that effort, Jhonatan "JOTA" Willian has been the tip of the spear, posting some great performances while reminding NA teams of the terror Brazilian teams used to elicit back in 2021.
As for our coach of the month, the honor has to once again go to Rory "dephh" Jackson. With M80 announcing that Marcus "maNkz" Kjeldsen would be missing both IEM Katowice 2024 and the PGL Major Copenhagen Americas RMR, dephh has had to continue to step up as the team's IGL in far from ideal circumstances. Considering the Americas RMR in particular is such an important event for M80 as they look to make their first Major, it is clear dephh is taking the responsibility seriously as he looks to roll back the clock after last playing in 2019.
Dust2.us’ Team of the Month for January is:
Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken (Pro)
Keith "NAF" Markovic (Pro)
Deni "dea" Ediev (ECL)
Matthew "d4rty" Paplawskas (ECL)
Jhonatan "JOTA" Willian (Advanced)
Rory "dephh" Jackson (Coach)