SENSEi, cheater or misunderstood genius?

SENSEi, cheater or misunderstood genius?

The 23-year-old Ukrainian sniper is among the best players in the world in terms of his individual statistics and has achieved a 2021 season as well as a start to 2022 that is simply staggering. Yet he does not find a contract in the professionals, why such a gap for the one who is nicknamed the new s1mple “?

The new s1mple?

He got that “new s1mple” nickname last year, when on May 25, 2021 he and his Akuma team managed to crush the Natus Vincere 2-0 (02-16 Mirage / 10-16 Inferno) in the quarterfinals of the EPIC CIS League Spring 2021, a Russian-speaking zone qualifying event for the PGL Major Stockholm 2021. This performance had caused a lot of reaction and will have allowed, perhaps not as he would have liked, to shine the spotlight on this already controversial player but whose statistics at the time, and still today, made him one of the 5 best snipers in the world. This beating inflicted on the Ukrainian star Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev will have been considered as such by the one who will win the Major a few months later and will be elected best player of the world that year. At the end of this meeting, in this tournament which was played online because of the pandemic of COVID-19, Dmytro “SENSEi” Shvorak was in first place of the competition with a rating of 1.44, the second was none other than the captain of Dzhami “Jame” Ali who was at 1.29. In short you understood it, even if Europe already knew that in the subtop SENSEi was a player to be wary of, being at such a high level of performance when you play the world top 10, it is simply suspicious.

Dmytro “SENSEi” Shvorak at CR4ZY in 2020

And yet, despite the accusations of cheating and a letter signed by the majority of the teams present at this RMR (Regional Major Ranking), with the exception of SENSEi’s Akuma and ex-Marlian since left for B8 Esports and also under strong suspicions of cheating, even today the Ukrainian sniper remains one of the best at his position at the global level. So when we know that clubs are ready to pay sums around half a million dollars to buy a precision shooter, why is nobody interested in Dmytro “SENSEi” Shvorak who, let’s remember, is not under any sanction from the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) or from Valve and is totally free? So let’s go back to the history of the sniper to try to understand why this is the case.

Native of the city of Kryvyï Rih, an industrial city in eastern Ukraine and close to the Russian border, he was hit by the conflict that broke out as early as 2014 in the Donbass region. As a young soccer player, he could have also turned to a career as an athlete due to his results with the round ball but also in athletics or gymnastics, two other sports in which he showed some predispositions. However it is towards esport that will turn, because Dmytro “SENSEi” Shvorak will discover Counter-Strike thanks to his elder brother. He explained his late entry at the highest level of the fact of the refusal of his parents who insisted that he finishes his studies. Indeed he only started in the competitive circuit in 2018, when he was already 19 years old, within the Ukrainian mix MAJESTY and it is at the beginning of the year 2020, only a few weeks before the beginning of the era of the all online linked to the pandemic, that he makes himself noticed by being recruited by the structure Project X. Initially a fan of the legend Yehor “markeloff” Markelov, who played at NAVI from 2010 to 2013 on Counter-Strike 1.6 and then Global Offensive, it is then quite naturally that he followed the evolution of the other star of his country: Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev. Already his attraction to the green sniper rifle is very marked and he is moving towards a career that he dreams similar to his two idols.

I started playing Counter-Strike because of my brother, I followed him, I liked it. At first I played for fun with friends, then I started collecting teams. On 1.6 I did pretty well, after a while I switched to CSGO. Once I saw a professional game. Like all Ukrainians, I followed NAVI, I liked this team very much. I liked the scene: the emotions it brings, the actions. Even from the outside, it all looked very cool. I was pretty good at CS so I wanted to go all out. When I was 14 years old, my parents forbade me to play until late at night, they told me I had to study because it’s the most important thing in life. Because of this, I fell behind in my progress.

Dmytro “SENSEi” Shvorak – Escore

One of the things that is incriminating against the Ukrainian is precisely his incredible progress when the LANs ended. He actually went between the first three months of 2020 (pre-confinement period) and the rest of the year from 1.09 rating to 1.17 (+7.34%). In detail, it is in all statistical categories that his evolution is dazzling making him evolve de facto from unknown player to hope of the world Counter-Strike. He is only 21 years old and by joining Project X, he may not know it yet, but he has just taken a wrong direction that will follow him all his career. First he meets the people who will become his teammates at Akuma Oleksandr “Psycho” Zlobin, Serhii “DemQQ” Demchenko and his captain Serhii “Sergiz” Atamanchuk. Then they set foot in a club whose owner is a gambler and a proven match fixer who will be excluded from the scene later after being convinced of his guilt by the ESIC. In short, between the meteoric rise, the entourage of players still controversial today and a club that actively participates in a network to arrange matches, one suspects that the cocktail is rather explosive.

SENSEi’s pre- and post-pandemic performance in 2020 (c) HLTV

However, in his defense the Project X team will be transferred to the more recognized CR4ZY as of February 2020, and another player managed to get a pro contract despite his stint under this tag, it is the new sniper of Team Spirit Ihor “w0nderful” Zhdanov. In addition, the trial that is made as to the progress of SENSEi, which would be in perfect correlation with the end of LANs, is hardly verifiable since in 2019 already, the player had achieved excellent performances and finished this season at 1.15 rating, which showed some potential in him. And then in the subtop it’s not as common as it used to be to participate in LANs. On the other hand when you find yourself in a competition as important as an RMR qualifier at the Major, you are scrutinized and all your exploits are examined.

Accused of cheating, notably via the use of a “radar hack” or with the help of an administrator who would have allowed Akuma players to have access to the live broadcast of their matches, no sanctions or conclusions of any investigation will be published at the end of this competition where the Ukrainians will finish surprisingly third. On the other hand, the ESIC will broadcast a note advising not to play these players together anymore without further explanation. And Dmytro “SENSEi” Shvorak will be one of the first by the way to slam the door, along with his teammate Evhen “j3kie” Serhachev. Door that they will hasten to reopen four days later certainly to keep their chances to participate in the PGL Major Stockholm 2021. During all this last season, particularly trying for him because of the controversy that surrounds him, SENSEi will not have the opportunity to prove his value in LAN since he will only play online competitions. Nevertheless, he will finish with a rating of 1.24 (a new meteoric rise) which will allow him to finish the year at the 12th place in the world, at the same level as the Russian Dmitriy “sh1ro” Sokolov or the English Owen “smooya” Butterfield. To make matters worse, only a few days after the controversy the Ukrainian was banned from his Twitch channel for comments deemed not in line, he who was amusing the accusations by broadcasting his games with a radar drawn on paper that he looked at smiling and called the premium radar.

The premium radar drawn to his left (c) Twitch

A reaction to add to the errors in the communication of the sniper who, if he was never confused, nevertheless remains a character that does not necessarily have the codes that match what a professional club expects. Provocative, sometimes overly expressive and also knowing how to be downright toxic, he doesn’t come across as a particularly nice teammate to be included.

Combined with the failure to qualify for the PGL Major Stockholm and the extremely disappointing performance of Akuma while particularly scrutinized (SENSEi ends the last RMR of 2021 with a rating of 0.98 totally unusual), will again lead the sniper behind the scenes in the European subtop where he will continue to play. However, his name has recently come back to the forefront, simply because his start of the 2022 season is thundering (1.25 rating at the moment) and above all he has finally participated in a LAN. It was the European Championship 2022 organized by the European Esports Federation, a kind of European Cup qualifying for the World Cup (IESF World Esports Championship 2022) which was played in Oradea in Romania and where each team had to be composed entirely of players of the same nationality. For Ukraine, we found the ex-Akuma and they will finish together at the second place of the event behind BLUEJAYS which represented Northern Macedonia. A defeat in the final 1-2 (16-05 Dust2 / 05-16 Mirage / 13-16 Vertigo) that will not prevent the sniper to receive the title of best player of the competition thanks to his stratospheric performances throughout the tournament.

SENSEi ahead of s1mple,sdy, mir and Jame (c) HLTV

So lately he’s been testing on the Entropiq side where his name has been considered to replace Aleksey “El1an” Gusev. However four games later for the closed qualification for the ESL Challenger Rotterdam 2022 and the Ukrainian was released in favor of a new player tested, the English Alex “znx” Webster. However, it should be noted that when the controversy around Akuma broke out in the spring of 2021, the current coach of Entropiq Dmitriy “hooch” Bogdanov was one of the signatories of the letter of accusation against the team. Today SENSEi has found another club, it is the more modest Esports Club Kyiv (56th in the world). Based in Ukraine, he has found a place to try out alongside his former comrade Evgeniy “j3kie” Sergachev, perhaps this time he will be able to settle down and definitively prove his worth? Because even today no one can conclude definitively that the sniper is not really among the best in the world. One thing is certain, his communication and career choices will have had disastrous consequences on his career and this until today.

Composition Esports Club Kyiv

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