Gambit‘s 19-year-old AWPer Dmitry “sh1ro” Sokolov claimed the IEM Katowice 2021 MVP award after he and his teammates defeated Virtus.pro in the grand final after battling their way to the title from the lower bracket following an initial loss to Evil Geniuses.
The Russian squad, who were also the lowest ranking team in the field, eliminated five teams on the way to the final, leaving behind mousesports, Heroic, G2, Natus Vincere and Spirit before being crowned champions with a 3-1 victory in the best-of-five grand final.
On his way to being awarded the MVP title sh1ro had above average ratings in 15 of the 17 maps played, topping five different stats leaderboards: KD difference (+111), damage difference per round (+20), deaths per round (0.48), KAST (77.8%), and clutches, with 19 1vsX situations won — the same number as the current Big Event record holder, Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev.
One of sh1ro‘s highlights in a consistently strong tournament all around came in the quarter-final match against Natus Vincere, where he topped the board with a 1.45 rating and 86% KAST, and although he wasn’t as impactful in the last two series, he was still a consistent positive influence in Gambit‘s victories deep in the bracket while everyone else on the team stepped up at different times.
In the end sh1ro was able to put in enough work in the grand final to outdo the other outstanding performer at IEM Katowice 2021, Mareks “YEKINDAR” Gaļinskis, to come out on top in the race for the MVP and earn the accolade for the first time in his career.