Denis “seized” Kostin managed a little bit of payback against his former team at IEM New York Online, and it’s demonstrative of why his old team might want him back.
IEM New York Online has been a trouble spot for teams across all three of its regional showdowns, but there’s one name that has reappeared on the scene after some time out of the spotlight. While organizations like Natus Vincere have struggled for various in-game reasons, they’ve also been handicapped by Ilya “Perfecto” Zalutskiy’s sudden illness, leaving Virtus.pro of all teams to dominate the region’s competition. But the revival of former Na`Vi player Denis “seized” Kostin has been impressive, especially given the fact that his team, Cyber Legacy, has lost every match in the tournament. seized’s recent play against superior teams means he might rebound back into a top-tier CSGO team sometime soon.
The former CIS standout has been on absolute fire in the competition, and despite posting average ratings on a few maps, has been punishing stronger teams. There’s no better stat to show that than seized’s opening duel win percentage. As players get older, they tend to rotate out of the entry position as even a millisecond of reaction time can make the difference between a successful execute or a site defense. But for not seized. He’s entrying at a level reserved for young and snappy aimers with a strong 1.25 opening kill rating. Cyber Legacy goes on to win those rounds much less often than other teams, meaning that despite seized’s ability to give his team that advantage, his teammates are often unable to follow up.
siezed was never the star of Natus Vincere, often overshadowed by the roster’s more famous players such as Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev, especially towards the end of seized’s time with the CIS region’s most famous team. But seized isn’t just winning opening duels, he’s winning clutches too. His two one versus two clutches against Na`Vi showed that seized still has it.
The fact that the two impressive closeouts happened on two very different maps lends weight to the idea that seized still has everything it takes to compete at the top level. He’s one of many players that have stepped up their game, es over the course of 2020, especially online. With Perfecto out of Na`Vi for an extended period of time, Na`Vi might want to consider bringing back their former teammate as the season continues. Valve’s penalties for roster swaps mean less now than ever with the extension of Regional Ranking tournaments, and seized’s performances have shown that while he can’t carry a team on his own, he’s a solid player that any team could find a place for.
CSGO’s online season is set to continue through at least the end of October, but it’s looking increasingly likely that it may go even longer. WIth Perfecto falling ill, tournament organizers might want to consider the health and safety of their players above all. That might come with further considerations of where players are located, especially with the latency associated with online Counter-Strike. And with seized currently performing well above many players in the CIS region, a team should take a flyer on the veteran player while they can.
seized and Cyber Legacy take on K23 on October 21, and fans should pay special attention to seized’s play. If he keeps it up, he might have a chance at a return to CSGO’s top tier.