The first name on the Top Ten list is Alec "Fultz" Fultz of Spacetation Gaming, who is also appearing on the list for the first time in his career.
His year began with a season of solid play in Stage 1 of 2020 and the August Major, in which SSG would place third after leading the US Division through the regular season. This split was highlighted by consistent play from Fultz, with a 71% KOST through the online season alongside three of his teammates who also hit that mark or better.
Where Fultz's play really took off this year was in the November Major cycle, though. After a bit of a slip in Stage 2, SSG finished fourth in the US Division and was forced to qualify for the November Major. Fultz propelled SSG to 2-0 wins over Mirage and the Soniqs, followed by a narrow 3-2 win over Disrupt. In this final match, Fultz led his team with a 1.17 Rating, earning SSG a coveted spot in the November Major.
At the Major itself Fultz was far and away the best performing player, sporting a 1.29 Rating, +31 kill differential, and +6 entry differential across just 9 maps played. It was not enough, as Spacestation would fall 1-3 against TSM in the Grand Final, with their sole map win coming as a default due to their upper bracket advantage. Nevertheless, Fultz would earn his first-ever EVP medal for his efforts.
|NAL 2020 Stage 1||1.08||110-97 (+13)|
|August NA Major||1.03||84-77 (+7)|
|NAL 2020 Stage 2||1.05||74-67 (+7)|
|November NA Major Quals||1.16||81-61 (+20)|
|November NA Major||1.29||89-58 (+31)|
|US Division Finals||0.87||17-24 (-7)|
|NAL 2021 Stage 1||1.14||82-63 (+19)|
|Six Invitational 2021||0.98||84-85 (-1)|
Fultz would close out the year with a strong performance in Stage 1 of the 2021 NAL, being the top-rated player on SSG. Following this, the team would struggle at the Six Invitational, but Fultz would still manage a respectable performance.
One of Fultz's best plays of the year came at the recent Six Invitational 2021. The defending world champions found themselves in a 2-5 hole against Parabellum Esports. Certainly SSG was not as strong as they were at the beginning of the year, but most viewers would agree they should not fall behind against a team like PB.
In this moment of crisis, Fultz stepped up in a big way. First he aced as Goyo in round 8, pulling SSG closer to their opponents. He followed it up with a 4k as Valkyrie in the next round, totaling nine kills in two rounds, seven of them headshots.
Fultz taking over the server for back-to-back rounds helped SSG recover from a dangerous situation and eventually force overtime (though they would wind up losing the game 7-8).
Fultz has been a force since joining SSG in 2019, but in 2020 he was able to bring his game to another level. With SSG's new roster featuring Hotancold, the future looks bright for the team in Year 6.
The above is number ten in our Top Players Year 5 series. Click here to view all of the awards, the announcement schedule, and their winners. Check back in each day for new awards to be announced!