The Best Players and Most Valuable Rookie of ESL Challenger League Season 47

Here are the best and brightest of ECL S47.

ESL Challenger League Season 47 came to a close back on June 9th with M80 winning their second season in a row by beating Wildcard 3-1 in the grand finals. Their dominant performance was driven by fantastic performances from a number of key stars, paramount among them being Mario "malbsMd" Samayoa.

Guatemala malbsMd - de-facto MVP

In what may well be the Guatemalan's final season of ECL, malbsMd was a force to be reckoned with, posting a league-high 1.38 HLTV rating over 29 maps while one of the most aggressive players in the league. Over the course of 596 rounds, malbsMd attempted to find an Opening Kill 38.3% of the time and had a stellar Success Rate of 61% with a 1.58 Opening Kill Rating. malbsMd created an incredible amount of space for M80 and forced man advantage situations in the majority of rounds where he attempted to find an opening kill.

Compared to other ECL players, malbsMd is truly in a class all his own. The only player with a similar Opening Kill Attempt rate is Take Flyte's John "mds" Marin with a 33.8% rate, and that comes with mds having a far lower 43.3% Success Rate and a 1.08 Opening Kill Rating.

malbsMd was also one of the best pistol players in the league, trailing just behind Derek "dare" Brown with a 1.55 rating and +22 Kill/Death differential during pistol rounds.

Overall, malbsMd was a fantastic piece for M80 that they will be hard-pressed to replace, with his aggressiveness and overall skill being a key factor in M80's success, especially as domestic rivals Wildcard and Nouns lack a player with similar qualities.

After dominating in ECL, it is clear malbsMd is ready for the next step in his career

United States JBa - Clutch Machine in Training

Wildcard's 20-year-old rifler, Josh "JBa" Barutt was a massive factor in Wildcard's run to the ECL grand finals against M80, being their highest-rated player with a 1.23 rating, and an excellent lurker and clutch player. JBa ended the season with a 77.2% KAST, the third best in the league, while also winning 17 clutches, once again the third best in the league, over the course of the 38 maps Wildcard played in ECL. He also demonstrates a level of survivability only comparable to AWPers in the league, having finished the season with a +142 Kill/Death differential just behind Paytyn "junior" Johnson.

Additionally, JBa demonstrated a high level of mechanical proficiency, having the highest number of headshots in the league (380 headshots), the fourth-highest number of headshots per round (0.48) and the league's fourth-highest number of kills per round (0.79). While JBa doesn't take the gold in more than a few stats, it is very easy to see why many have been suggesting JBa should be the next player to be called up from the league after malbsMd.

JBa is a fantastic player in the making

United States dare - A Source of Consistent Firepower

While Elevate's fortunes as a team have waned in recent months, Derek "dare" Brown has continued to be one of the most consistent riflers in the league and a strong piece for Elevate. The 22-year-old finished ECL S47 with the third-highest HLTV rating, 1.25, while also being the league's best pistol player with an impressive 1.60 rating.

Also, dare is one of the most successful players when going for Opening Kills. While his 25.3% Attempt Rate is lower than hyper aggressive players like malbsMd and mds, when dare finds his moment he is highly proficient — posting a 56.2% Success Rate and a 1.19 Opening Kill Rating.

While dare has been iced out of joining other teams due to his mixed past, he very well may be someone worth giving another look to as the NA shuffle seems far from over this off season.

dare has blossomed into a consistent piece under snav

United States Lake - NA's Future Aggro Star?

Mason "Lake" Sanderson has been a player on everyone's mind as a potential replacement for malbsMd, and it's easy to see why the relatively inexperienced 19-year-old is eliciting so much excitement. To start, Lake was the second highest-rated player in the league right behind malbsMd with a 1.26 rating. Considering his Carpe Diem were far less successful than M80 and he has lesser pieces to play with, this rating in isolation in quite exciting. Other parts of his stat line are also praise worthy as Lake was the second-best player in terms of ADR (94.5), Kills Per Round (0.84), and overall Impact Rating (1.46).

More importantly however for constructing a narrative of Lake replacing malbsMd is his overall level of aggression. While few are as aggressive as malbsMd, Lake still attempted to find an Opening Kill 29.9% of the time which is the fifth-highest in the league. Although his success rate of only 49.2% leaves something to be desired, with better positioning and stronger supportive elements, his success rate could climb.

While it is unknown at this time if Lake will be called up, don't be surprised if M80 or anyone else decides to take the gamble after he is already showing great things in just his second season of ECL.

slaxz- - Best AWPer Bar None

M80's German import, Fritz "slaxz-" Dietrich joins this list thanks to being the best AWPer in ECL S47. While many were expecting this to be the case after he was picked up by M80 in November 2023, slaxz- continued to prove his prowess this season with a 1.24 rating over 23 maps.

As an AWPer, slaxz- does not go for opening kills very often, especially on the T-side, but on the CT-side when he does slaxz- is a turret. In ECL S47 slaxz- posted a 76.4% CT-side Opening Kill Success Rate, which translates into a 1.42 CT-Side Opening Kill Rating. While many of NA's domestic AWPers struggle with streakiness and missing "easy shots", when slaxz- is choosing to take fights on the CT-side at the beginning of the round he can be counted on to consistently find a kill and set up a man advantage situation.

For a team like M80 that could also count on malbsMd to be aggressive on the CT-side, this setup helps shut down M80's ECL opposition on the T-side which helps to explain the team's dominant form in the league. Moreover, slaxz- is able to spend more time with the AWP than other players in the league thanks to having the best DPR (0.53) which is another reason he is such an exciting piece for M80.

slaxz- has proven to be an invaluable signing for M80

ogwizard - Rookie of the Season

Overall, it is quite rare for ECL rookies to perform well in the league, with many players and teams struggling to make the jump from ESEA Advanced to ECL in a graceful manner. However, LAG appears to be the exception to this rule as the European-American stack made playoffs in their first season while taking a number of unexpected scalps.

Without a doubt, Bogdan "ogwizard" Savula was a key factor in this early success as the 18-year-old Ukrainian rifler was their top-rated player with a 1.16 rating over 32 maps while also having many positive qualities uncommon for a player of his experience. ogwizard seems to have a keen sense of how and where to use flashbangs as he posted the league's highest success rate of 0.89 while throwing relatively few flashbangs per round.

ogwizard also proved himself to be a competent pistol player in ECL S47, posting a 1.24 rating on par with Lake and slightly ahead of far more experienced players like Timothy "autimatic" Ta and Danny "czxi" Strzelczyk.

While it is still early days for ogwizard, there is much to excited about as he continues to develop in the league especially under the auspices of a capable European IGL like Deniz "Experative" Mutlum, who has been lauded by his teammates for his leadership style while working with his young roster.

Overall, in the North American scene there is currently an exciting new class of players developing one year into the release of CS2, and it will be exciting to see what future seasons hold for NA's hopeful.

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#1(With 0 replies)
June 29, 2024 03:42PM
wa la la la
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