2021 has left us with no doubt who the best player in the world is, and even less about who the GOAT is. It’s incredibly hard, also, to suggest ZywOo isn’t the second best player in the world, despite a dysfunctional assemble flanking him.
But then the third best is completely up in the air.
Did you forget NiKo?
No, I didn’t. Do you not realise how incredible YEKINDAR is?
NiKo is as good a hard-carry rifler as you can get with resources – give him space and watch him destroy teams. In fairness to NiKo, he’s also a solid guy for making space. He has an excellent op. duel success rate (57.5%) and takes just over 25%, which is incredible.
But like… YEKINDAR takes over 34%. And is still winning more than he loses.
The only players to even come close to having a positive success rate with anywhere near that high attempt rate are arT (who has under 50%), iMORR (tier 3) and felps (in tier 2 NA).
Opening kills are undervalued, generally, by most rating systems – both human and computed – even though getting the opening kill instead of losing it triples your chance to win the round (approximately). YEKINDAR is the most reliable and fearless entry-fragger in the world, in a game where the entry frag is the most important kill to get.
YEKINDAR pictured with SANJI
Think about how high VP have been placing at events, despite JAME pissing time away hiding in corners and SANJI dropping about 7 kills a game. Think about how JAME is known as being a great late round player, and then ask yourself how they consistently get into decent late round situations for him to actually win.
You can swap NiKo for a similar player (think ELiGE, maybe ropz, etc) and while there would be a change and a drop off, it’s not going to be as severe as VP suddenly losing the opening kill much more often, as they would if they had anyone else. JAME would have to save more, as he normally does in 4v5s, and VP would basically cease to exist as the entity they currently do.
NiKo’s op. kill success is somewhat bolstered by his usage of the AWP, while YEKINDAR is a based rifle enjoyer, too.
Not a single other player could reliably do what YEKINDAR does, and would be able to drag an otherwise lethargic VP side to the top 10. Time to put some respect on one of the best ever in the most important role in the game.