Neslyn A. April 22, 2019
Fans were in for a big surprise with the Most Valuable Player prize was awarded at ESL One Mumbai, as the player was not from winning team Keen Gaming.
Kim "Febby" Yong-min drove home a brand-new Mercedez-Benz car for being named ESL One Mumbai MVP. The automobile is worth €50,000.
Febby temporarily replaced Ryan "Bimbo" Jay Qui in the Mineski lineup due to visa issues. The team dominated the upper bracket to secure a grand finals slot.
Chinese side Keen Gaming took a longer route through the lower bracket, but ended the tournament without dropping a single game in three consecutive series played including a finals victory over Mineski.
After the MVP announcement, Febby was interviewed and admitted that it was a rollercoaster day for him given that Mineski was not able to chalk up a win during the championship series.
He was disappointed with the lost series but grateful for winning the award.
“I definitely feel that I don’t deserve this,” Febby said.
It’s the first time that the MVP award was given to the losing team in the grand finals. Viewers were quick to criticize ESL One for not giving the MVP to one of the Keen Gaming players after their clean sweep of Mineski.
Most people claimed that Febby was voted for to garner attention. The MVP announcement seemed to steal some of Keen Gaming’s thunder as ESL One champions.
ESL One defines MVP as a player who made the sickest plays, the most glorious kills, or shows the most outstanding support skills. People cast their votes through the ESL One website and its Twitter page.
Contrary to claims that it was a popularity vote, the ESL One MVP award has always been a mix of community and expert votes.The tournament’s organizers did not give a fixed percentage explaining how these votes were divided.
Many speculated that the expert votes might have been divided towards different Keen Gaming players such as Ren "eLeVeN" Yangwei, Wang "old chicken" Zhiyong, and Hu "Kaka" Liangzhi. This may have caused a more dramatic impact from community votes for Febby.