The best team of the year needs some of the best players of the year to succeed. JoyStiCK was consistently one of the key contributors to Empire's stunning run in Year 4, leading the way on the scoreboard and into the bombsite for his team.
The Russians' year began with high expectations after having finished in second place at Year 3's Six Invitational. JoyStiCK was critical in Empire's run through the online stage of Season 9. He was one of the most aggressive players in Pro League this season, taking an absurd 46% of his team's opening fights. He did not win an unreasonably high percentage of them but instead set up his team for success (and favorable trades) regardless of the outcome of the first duel in the round. JoyStiCK would also prove valuable at the Milan Pro League Finals where Empire would claim their first international trophy.
Where he really hit his stride was Year 4's summer Major in Raleigh. JoyStiCK was a force for his team, completely dominating the opening duels where he used to have mixed results, finishing with a 63% winrate. Most famously, he would take over the final map of the grand final with a 15-5 scoreline in order to secure the championship for his team and snap G2's streak of three consecutive Majors.
Here are each of JoyStiCK's performances this year:
|PL S9 EU||1.15||138-107 (+31)||0.93 KPR|
|S9 Finals||1.07||74-59 (+15)||52% Headshots|
|Raleigh Major||1.13||143-111 (+32)||32-19 OK-OD|
|PL S10 EU||1.02||119-107 (+12)||2 1vX Clutches|
|PL S11a EU||0.92||45-49 (-4)||Thatcher/Jager Main|
|SI 2020||1.04||65-61 (+4)||67% KOST|
We also had a chance to speak with JoyStiCK about his performance this year:
How do you feel about your reputation and nickname as “The Russian Cyborg”? Do you think it accurately reflects you as a player, and do you think a very calm playstyle is advantageous?
I think they gave me such a nickname because cyborgs do not have a brain and I play on Ash/Jager LOL, in fact, I don’t know at all cause of what everyone began to call me that.
Team Empire is famous for having a very structured playstyle, but you seem to be the one given the most freedom to make plays. Why do you think you’re effective at this and how does your team help set you up for big moments?
I think that for me the free style of the game is very important, I hate to hold positions and I constantly need to do something, I can’t stand still and wait for something, sometimes it can be very bad because I aggress where I don’t need to, but sometimes this risk can win a round.
This year we saw the ascent of the CIS region to prominence with Team Empire’s run as the number one team, as well as Forze making top four at the Major and qualifying for Pro League. What do you think the future of the CIS region looks like in Siege?
There are a lot of talented players in the CIS and I am sure that in the future there will be even more competitive teams, but the problem is that few people know about the game in the CIS because at the moment CS:GO is in the first place, but our scene is evolving, more and more people start to know about this game and its really cool.
How are you feeling about the future of Siege as an esport?
I see how developers are trying to correct mistakes and listen to the players ’opinion, it’s very difficult, but they are going in the right direction and I like it, there are more and more tournaments and prize pools are growing this is amazing, game popularity is growing all over the world.
What are you going to work on to improve your success next year?
All the same, as we usually do. Work hard and keep track of how the meta is changing and try to adapt to it because new operators force you to do this.
Is there anything you would like to say to your fans and the wider Siege community?
It’s always difficult to answer such a question, because the answer is always the same, because I don’t know how to express my feelings in English, we all love you and thank you for supporting our team.
You can also watch JoyStiCK's best plays of the year in the fragmovie below:
Stay tuned for more of the top ten players, you can check out the full list in the awards hub and make sure to let us know what you think about each one on social media!