A Statistical Comparison of Zywoo and Simple at ESL Pro League Season 14
This past week saw the conclusion of one of Counter Strike’s premier events, ESL Pro League. The 14th season of Counter Strike’s most preeminent competition took place over the last few weeks, and it was apt that it only concluded after a captivating five-map affair between S1mple and Zywoo, two of the most electrifying players in the scene. It was only fitting that the finals be a battle between the two, after all, they were the foremost leading candidates for the MVP award of the tournament. This article aims to use an open-source demo parsing framework in order to get a more granular statistical comparison between the two.
First I took a look at the volume of maps played, as my intention was to break down statistics by each map. Both of them have a map in the pool that they don’t play, de_ancient for Zywoo and de_vertigo for S1mple, while also having a decent amount of commonality for the more frequently played maps. Both of their teams frequently played mirage, inferno, nuke, and overpass which removes some of our worry about selection bias.
Above you also see a frequency distribution for kills per weapon type on two maps, overpass and nuke. Not much needs to be said other than the fact that they have relatively similar usage rates and clearly both function as all-rounders for their team.
Directly below you see a comparison between s1mple and Zywoo on de_mirage. While the volume in kills appears to put them on a similar plane once you look across the board it clearly shows that s1mple is the standout performer on mirage. The most interesting feature for comparison purposes is definitely the 25 point differential in ADR. That is quite a large differential in terms of ADR, and it is not like Zywoo’s ADR is affected by a gap in sniper usage, in fact, Zywoo has only had 12 more kills with the AWP on the map (something that doesn’t seem ridiculous when you consider Vitality has played the map one more time than Na’vi).
Furthermore, s1mple also has over a .2 KPR (Kills Per Round) lead on Zywoo, a nonnegligible difference in magnitude. Finally, s1mple also has a higher K-D differential by a bonkers margin of 15. It is safe to say that if Zywoo acts like a lethal gun on de_mirage, s1mple functions like a roaming tank, dealing ludicrous amounts of damage while being incredibly difficult to take out.
This next box score comparison is for Overpass, and in this case there is not much of a disparity between the two. While s1mple does have the higher ADR, there is a smaller gap in KDR (Kill Death Ratio), and FK (First Kill’s) on this map. It is safe to say that there was not much of a gap in the level of play between the two competitors on de_overpass at EPL.
Next, you see the disparity on Inferno. S1mple clearly was not at his peak level on these maps, though that might also come as a result of the ancillary pieces on Na’vi playing at a high level (especially versus Faze and EG). However it must be noted that Vitality and Natus Vincere did play on Inferno in the finals, with Vitality quickly romping to a victory, and as such credit must be given to Zywoo. In fact, Zywoo’s play on Inferno stands toe to toe with S1mple on any other map, the 1.0 KPR and 1.84 KDR being higher than S1mple on any map in the pool. To maintain a 24 kill average over 5 maps, while averaging less than 14 deaths is truly ludicrous. It will be interesting to monitor Zywoo’s play specifically on inferno moving forward.
Finally, I took a look at the raw fragging numbers on de_nuke. Both players were absolutely ridiculous on the map, each averaging over 25 frags per game. Zywoo was impressive in terms of how little he died but despite that, I’d have to give more credit to s1mple as he kept ludicrous statistics while playing a higher volume of rounds.
For me, this section is what illustrates the largest difference between S1mple and Zywoo that I see. Below you see kill distribution heatmaps on the CT side for both players on the map mirage. What I personally find interesting is that s1mple’s kills tend to be more spread out and from orthodox fragging positions. On zywoo’s heatmaps, you see clear clustering around typical textbook positions, on the contrary, on s1mple’s heatmaps, there are clusters of kills that would require a higher level of aggression.
To me, this bird’s eye level observation jives with what I see on the server from s1mple. Quite often I see s1mple taking aggressive fights, that textbook wise would be low EV fights, which he makes work thanks to his prodigious level of skill. Zywoo, on the other hand, when I watch him tends to feel like a player that is at the right moment, at the right time constantly cleaning up. Not to downplay Zywoo’s skill by any means, but to me, it just seems that S1mple’s aggressive playstyle stands out even amongst his peer of superstars.