Top 20 of 2014: Kronos (4) - ManiaActu - News for TrackMania, ShootMania, and QuestMania
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This is the seventeenth in a series of articles revealing the top twenty TrackMania²: Stadium tech players of 2014. For more information, see the first post.


The fourth best player of 2014 was fr Benjamin "Kronos" Suzenne, an active player who rose to stardom last year after showing lots of potential in 2013.
Although now under the Against All Authority banner, Suzenne was still playing in Happy Multigaming at the start of the 2014. His first event was the TrackMania Masters Cup Series, in which he made it to the grand final. dk Thomas "Serbi" Pedersen started the final really well, while Suzenne was initially somewhat shaky. Pedersen went on to dominate the match. Meanwhile, Suzenne found himself battling with fr Dylan "Zack" Delhaye and de Fabien "beat" Kuehn for a podium spot. Suzenne managed to improve his already good driving, and took second place as a result.
The next event for Suzenne was Gamers Assembly 2014. He was one of the favorites, alongside established players such as sk Marek "tween" Pacher and fr Yoann "YoYo" Cook. His first of the harder matches he played was the third round winners bracket match against Cook, sk Erik "hakkiJunior" Leštach and fr Côme "Cocow" Marquet. Despite driving against players who have had success in LAN events before, Suzenne held his nerve and managed to win the match, and continued unbeaten to the final of the winners bracket.
This time, eSuba players Leštach and Pacher were too good for the Frenchman, and he with Cook, fr Laouenan "zo0m" Le Corguillé and fr Florian "aswer" Domitile had to drive for the last two grand final spots. To the surprise of many, Le Corguillé was the one to win the match, but Suzenne took second and earned his place. Suzenne played well, but Pacher was simply too difficult of an opponent for the Frenchman to overcome. Suzenne did, however, get revenge on Leštach, and finished in second place in front of the Slovakian, who took third. The result was as good as we expected from Suzenne, although few anticipated he would reach the final through the losers bracket.
Suzenne between the eSuba players on podium. Picture: RedBull
After success at Gamers Assembly, the next competition in line for Suzenne was ESL CPS13. Despite proving himself as a serious opponent to top players, he continued in his team, Happy, this time in second division. They finished as the fourth team of division two, winning matches against GamersLeague and Fanatics!, but at best earning draws from their other matches. He had numerous impressive performances, and was one of the best players of the division along with de Florian "oNio" Roschu from Easykiller. If not earlier, at this point it was clear that Suzenne would benefit from joining a team of similarly-skilled players, and he subsequently joined Against All Authority soon after the ESL season finished.
While CPS13 took place, Suzenne took part in two myRevenge Cups. In the second cup—the first one he played—he made it to the grand final. His opponents were nl Tim "Spam" Lunenburg, who took second in the semi-final Suzenne won; de Dennis "Massa" Løtze and ro Ördög "Royal" Botond. However, Suzenne collapsed in the final, and while Lunenburg won the cup, he ended up fourth. Although he drove fairly solidly, many assumed, quite reasonably, that Suzenne would make the podium, if not win the event.
In the third myRevenge Cup, Suzenne made it to yet another grand final. He didn't win any of his matches leading up the final itself, instead consistently taking second in order to progress through the competition. Like last time, Suzenne took the fourth place, while Botond won and cz Michal "Flyer" Vo took third between fr Titouan “OmnipotZ” Le Maner and Suzenne. Another commendable performance, but also, another example of a time when the Frenchman appeared to underachieve.
Soon after CPS Suzenne took part in THC SoloCup 3. He (rather easily) made it into final, where he met de Fabien "beat" Kuehn, fr Yoann "YoYo" Cook and de Tobias “shorty” Rouschal. The match was quite tight, and no one seemed to be a clear favourite at the halfway point; Rouschal led, with the others close behind. Despite this, it was Kuehn who got finalist before the rest, but Cook denied his victory by beating him with 14 thousands of a second, and then took another first place the following round. Thanks to that, Suzenne, Cook and Kuehn were all finalists, and it was open for anyone. Kuehn had a dream start, but Suzenne came back strongly when it mattered the most and won the round, securing first place in the cup.
Suzenne participated in Stadium Giant Cup 1 in September. Suzenne, a favourite to excel in the tournament, continued his impressive streak and made it into final, where he met Lunenburg, no Fredrik "Bergie" Bergmann and be Dennis "Scrapie" Heinen. Lunenburg was a strong opponent right from the start, and hung close to Suzenne in second place while Heinen and Bergmann were clearly weaker. Suzenne reached finalist mode while Lunenburg was still over 10 points away from the limit, which allowed him two attempts to win a round before someone else would be able to do the same. On his first try, Lunenburg won over the Frenchman with two hundreds of a second, but Suzenne took the first place the following round. His victory puts him alongside previous Giant Cup winners se Kalle "frostBeule" Videkull, nl Robert "Tamarillo" Crone and (now retired) fr Vincent "ArtiShöw" Woźnica.
In late October, we saw the best TrackMania²: Stadium tech players compete at Electronic Sports World Cup in Paris. Suzenne, like almost all French players, had to take part in ESWC France to fight for one of two spots in the main event (Cook was given a direct spot in the international competition due to his previous achievements). Suzenne won the time attack seedings in front of Le Maner, and after a couple of matches he found himself in the winners bracket final against Le Maner, fr Florian "aswer" Domitile and legendary 2006 ESWC champion fr Dorian "Carl" Vallet. Le Maner was the first player to reach the finalist mode and also won the match, but Suzenne took second and secured a spot in the grand final.
The four players from the winners bracket final met again in the grand final, as both Vallet and Domitile survived the consolidation final. Suzenne started off as he would have hoped, dominating the first half of the match, but began to lose his lead to Vallet and Le Maner as the match went on. By the latter stages of the final, all three of the aforementioned had similar points totals, and as a result they all reached finalist mode at the same time. Suzenne was the one to win the following round, and was crowned French Champion.
The next day, players from all over the world were set to give it their best in the international main event. Suzenne and Le Maner were placed in the same group due to how they did in the Time Attack qualifications, and they beat fi Kasperi "klovni" Aaltonen and cz Jakub "kubayz" Faul without major difficulties.
Suzenne’s match was against be Dennis “Scrapie” Heinen, nl Tim "Spam" Lunenburg and no Peter "znik" Skarstein. Suzenne managed to win, and continued in the winners bracket to meet current world champion ca Carl-Antoni "Carl Jr." Cloutier, gb Andy "Sabre" Wilson and nl Koen "Koenz" Schobbers. The players were all performing at a high level, with Cloutier playing one of his best matches of the tournament, and to the surprise of some Suzenne was knocked to losers bracket after being the worst player of the match.
The next matches were played the following day, mainly on stage in front of a live crowd. In the losers bracket, Suzenne once again met Le Maner, and the pair were joined by Cook and while de Dennis "Massa" Løtze. The match was close, and the two spots in the losers bracket final could have been taken by any of the four contestants. After the dust settled, Cook and Le Maner came out ahead, ending Suzenne’s ESWC journey and ensuring that he finished in 11-12th place. Not a bad result for his first Electronic Sports World Cup, but it somewhat showed that Suzenne had trouble performing as he did online when under pressure at LAN.
Before ESWC took place, Against All Authority played matches in Stadium Team Championship 10, with Suzenne leading the way. For example, he scored the most points against Easykiller (eK) during the group-stage on two maps out of three, and was just two points behind de Andy "TripleX" Ko on the last one. 
It was in the playoffs that Suzenne, with a new team and against harder opponents, showed that he could be the most influential player among other skilled drivers. aAa met Positive Vibrations (vplus) in their first playoffs match. On the first map of the match, "STC10/NC9 Hearts of the Yukon", Suzenne “went godmode”, taking 98 points, 23 more than next-best player nl Daniel "danös" Eiling and 33 points more than third fr Romain "Roa" Aillet, carrying aAa to win the map 7-4. He continued his dominance on the second map, taking 111 points, exactly 20 more than Alliet and Eiling, but vplus was better overall as Against All Authority drivers, such as fr Yoann "YoYo" Cook, underperformed heavily. If that wasn't enough, Suzenne also gained the most points on decider multilap, and because Cook found his form again, aAa took the match and proceeded to the quarter-finals.
However, Penta Sports proved to be too tough an opponent for the French team.. Suzenne again played spectacularly, but Penta was clearly the stronger team, and gave aAa just one round win in two maps, continuing to the semis and leaving Suzenne’s squad in their wake.
Suzenne dominating against vplus.
Coinciding with STC was Nations Cup 9, and Suzenne was the star amongst an array of fantastic French talent. He was one of the best if not the best on each map he drove in group stage and playoffs. In the grand final, France met Germany, and this was the first match in which Team France were truly challenged. Surprisingly, Suzenne was the worst player of his team on the first map, but thanks to fr Dylan "Zack" Delhaye and fr Titouan "OmnipotZ" Le Maner, France won it 7-5. Suzenne stepped it up and showed his skill on the second map, topping the scoreboard for France’s 7-3 win. Suzenne’s work helped to ensure that France were—once again—crowned as the champions of the long-running competition.
At the end of the year, ESL organized Go4TM cups alongside CPS14. The first Go4 event saw Suzenne make it to the final, in which he met no Peter "znik" Skarstein, gb Andy "Sabre" Wilson and gb Thomas "Pac!" Cole. Everybody except Cole was in finalist mode, and Suzenne took the match home after just barely beating Cole in a close round. He also took part in second Go4TM cup, ending up third behind de Florian "oNio" Roschu and de Dennis "Massa" Løtze.
In the CPS14 group stage, Suzenne played as we have to come to expect: fast and consistent, and more so than almost any other. He defeated dk Joachim "xxRider" Andersen in one-on-one and dominated the five-on-five against Funteam. He also won against Cole in the one-on-one submatch in Against All Authority’s meeting with Team Dignitas, and again gathered the most points in the five versus five (by a huge margin). In spite of that, aAa wasn't able to win the match, but it was clear that Suzenne had reached the point where he could regularly beat almost any player.
For fr Benjamin "Kronos" Suzenne, 2014 was a breakthrough year. He finally moved to play for a top-tier team in late-summer, and frequently showed amazing performances over the year. He also proved himself mentally strong in both Gamers Assembly and ESWC France, and even though the international ESWC competition didn't go as planned, winning THC SoloCup, SGC1, one Go4TM cup and ESWC France ensure that he won more large solo cups than any other player in 2014. If he had secured a slightly better result at ESWC, the biggest offline event of the year, then there is no doubt that he would have made the podium in our ranking. All things considered, he takes a very respectable fourth place.
Video:  ESWC France grand final, casted by Kalle "frostBeule" Videkull.

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#1 by frostBeule on 2015-03-23 at 18:40 Modified 2015-03-23 at 18:57
A bit surprised he's not in top 3. Completely dominated pretty much all the big online tournaments and won several titles during the whole year which is an amazing feat of consistency. To top it off he took 2nd at Gamers Assembly and won ESWC France showing that he wasn't just good online. No one except tween can challenge him when it comes down to showing consistent good results, and if it doesn't come down to that then what does it come down to? Popularity?

Sure he wasn't as successful in team-tournaments in terms of winning titles (although he did win Nations Cup which is a pretty big achievement imo) but he pretty much always dominated the matches he played. In any case, based on earlier rankings in the list I got the assumption team-results didn't matter as much anyway. So, I'm a bit surprised.

#2 by Marius89 on 2015-03-23 at 20:31
It was probably close with Spam for 3rd place, but I assumed Kronos being fourth, because ESWC seems to have a big influence in these rankings.

Anyway the top6 were pretty clear and top3 won't be much of a surprise:
3rd) Spam
2nd) tween
1st) CarlJr

#3 by frostBeule on 2015-03-23 at 20:52 Modified 2015-03-23 at 20:57
Yeah the main ESWC event seems to be what have influenced these rankings by quite a lot, but I think it's a bit too much focus on that tournament. While it should have the highest status, it's still only 1 tournament over a whole year. In my opinion this kinda ranking should try to summarize the whole year from start to finish, and to me it's very clear that Kronos deserves to be top 3 if you base it on that.

I assume the reason why spam is 3rd is because he reached the grand final of that ESWC tournament. But I think it should be noted he didn't play that well in the final and placed outside of the podium, and besides that tournament he didn't show enough consistent good results or won enough individual titles over the year to warrant a top 3 placement. Still he didn't do badly. In my own ranking I put him at 5th.

#4 by leo on 2015-03-23 at 21:42

We understand where you are coming from, and it raises a good point about the rankings as a whole. It was hard for us to figure out exactly how much weight to give to each event, mainly because of the different formats: team and solo, online and offline.

With that in mind, we are still not sure how accurate our ranking is. This was our one concern with publishing a list, but we thought it worthwhile anyway to get the project off the ground, as we plan to do the same for 2015.

After the number one player is announced, we are going to make a 'reflections' post in order to gather feedback about the list, and to talk about some things that we feel should be changed for next time. We value your opinion, and the opinions of everybody else to comment on our articles (we actually discuss them on Skype almost every day), so don't hesitate to send us more feedback in the future.

#5 by wormi on 2015-03-23 at 21:59
As's (Tgwri1s) Top 20 list about Counter-Strike players was the role model for this project, it values offline events a bit more than online, even with only some of them. Also, like the cs-list does, it values team results just like player success in team matches, so if you play half of the years in 2/3 division teams, result isn't as good as playing against the best player whole year. After all the list is still opinion based, despite having actual data about results as main factor. It depends on what you value more.

Like Leo said, giving feedback is very welcome! We hope to be able to make this project next year as well, and we already know some things we are going to do different.

And well, you will see it this week why we ranked the 3rd player higher than Kronos. Wasn't an easy decision after all, but at least I'm happy about it. You might have forgotten some details over the year.

#6 by frostBeule on 2015-03-23 at 22:09 Modified 2015-03-23 at 22:20
Leo: Sounds good. Despite disagreeing with some things, I still think this project is great and I look forward to see it continue in the future.

wormi: If you value team-results then I think it should only be based on how good the player performed and not at all based on the player simply being part of a good and successful team. Kronos did amazingly in basically all team matches he played and against good opponents (and again he was a big reason why France won Nations Cup). Sure spam did good too in the team-tournaments, but I don't think it's comparable to Kronos. He just always did really well and truly carried his team.

I don't think he should be punished just because he didn't play for any of the top teams and thus didn't win any titles. And likewise, a player shouldn't be rewarded for just being part of a successful team. It's how well _you_ did and nothing more.

#7 by wormi on 2015-03-23 at 23:58
fB: This was discussed in CSGO community after kennyS was 6th best player having the best rating. However, his team didn't win anything important, and he didn't perform as well against top 3 teams than against others, so he was just 6th best player with less influence than "worse" players in front of him. Smaller but similar case here I assume. Imagine yourself in a mid-tier team without winning anything, would you call yourself better than someone in division 1 winning team? That was the Kronos's state for first 6 months of the year, even though he already played really well. And he playing so well that he is fourth here, very respectable result.
#8 by frostBeule on 2015-03-24 at 00:19 Modified 2015-03-24 at 00:33
It seems like you really think the CSGO community did the right thing then. But one important difference is that CSGO is only a team game for competitions, while TM is both a team and individual game. I don't think the CSGO-ranking should be seen as comparable or looked up to too much for that reason.

I think you're focusing too much on winning the titles for the team tournaments here. It makes way more sense for CSGO since that is purely about team results which makes it more complex since those are the only titles to consider, but for TM I don't think the focus should lie on the titles for team too much since we do have the luxury to also consider results in individual tournaments - which should weigh a bit more as you guys have expressed before.

As I see it it should mainly be about how good the player performed in the team tournaments, and then combine that with what they did in individual tournaments and see what titles they have there and take those into consideration. It's not possible to do that in CSGO, but in TM it is and it makes sense to me to base the ranking that way since this is an individual ranking. And if you look it that way, then you'll find Kronos won more titles, and he also played better overall in team tournaments.

#9 by Silver on 2015-03-24 at 00:32
You guys say that kronos didn't diserve the podium because he was in happy basically, but don't forget the TMM, we lost in 1/4 against Funteam by one point in tennis mode on the last map, and we previously won against Fureur and Vintage so.
#10 by wormi on 2015-03-24 at 10:28
I think it's ESWC basically since LANs are prioritized. Also, I didn't have influence in ranking, it's just my opinion about system what I said. I ranked him 3rd in my own thoughts. Remember no one has said anything like he was "too bad", he's amazing player :)
#11 by frostBeule on 2015-03-24 at 11:01 Modified 2015-03-24 at 11:06
Oh ok, I thought you were one of the main organizers of this project.

Yeah I also think spam should be ranked high up in the rankings, but I just think Kronos deserves to be top 3 simply based on the results he got during the whole year. It will be interesting to read the motivation for spam getting 3rd. I don't really think you can argue it's because of LANs though because Kronos had two podium-positions in LANs while spam had none. Instead it seems to be because of that ESWC 4th place and winning the team-titles that puts him ahead of Kronos - but I'd argue he was not even the main force for winning the team-titles for his team. Instead that was much thanks to CarlJr. and KarjeN as I see it. Without them I don't think Team Dignitas would have won the tournaments they did. Because when they didn't play, they lost (STC).

#12 by koennieej on 2015-03-24 at 12:05
Still great stuff you do and make guys. Keep it up
#13 by Spam on 2015-03-24 at 13:30
Knew people would flame on me for getting 3rd. Want to write more but lets not put more salt in the wound :)
#14 by frostBeule on 2015-03-24 at 15:15 Modified 2015-03-24 at 15:17
No one is flaming* anyone here. I'm simply just stating that I think Kronos should be in top 3 and writing my reasoning for it. No need to try make this into something that it's not.

* Definition: "Flaming is a hostile and insulting interaction between Internet users, often involving the use of profanity."

#15 by Spam on 2015-03-24 at 15:29
I feel offended, you stated facts that I didn't win any LAN this year. Which is not true and we both know that :) let's just wait and see the post. Anyway what place should I be at then in your opinion?
#16 by frostBeule on 2015-03-24 at 15:37 Modified 2015-03-24 at 15:43
Yeah you're right, I forgot you won The Gathering which I also happened to have cast. My intention was not to insult with that statement whatsoever though, I just forgot about that win.

I hope I didn't forget any others. If so, I still think Kronos should be ranked 3rd for previously mentioned arguments and that's all I'm saying.

I mentioned I ranked you at 5th in my own ranking, but that was without taking into consideration that The Gathering win. So I think you should be 4th behind Kronos at 3rd, tween at 2nd and Carl Jr. at 1st.

#17 by Aken on 2015-04-13 at 15:21
What a surprise, I've left the TM scene for a couple of years now and I could not expect such a great player to have emerged here. Good luck to him!

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