Back in 2014 he wanted to quit Starcraft, now he is the most successful player in the world. Meet Jens ‚Snute‘ Aasgaard, the new number 1 of our Starcraft 2 World Ranking.
Usually, Norway isn’t known for his outstanding esport players but Snute is definitely the exception to this rule. It has taken him more than five years since the release of Starcraft 2 but now he finally reached the top of the Starcraft 2 World Ranking. This crowns him as the most successful player of the past 12 months. So let’s take a look back on how that became possible.
Snutes humble beginnings in 2012
Snute is one of the few players who are a constant part of the World Ranking since its first edition in August 2012. Back then he debuted on rank 117 but already with 15 appearances in tournaments and league in his pocket. The Gathering Easter 2011 was his first participation: The biggest scandinavian LAN was won by Swedens Sjow. Snute made it to the round of 8 after beating well known players like Bischu but finally lost to mover.
It took half a year before we saw the Norwegian once again. He won the national qualifier for the ESWC 2011 and thus made it to the LAN Finals in Paris. It was his first major tournament and he didn’t play a significant role. He lost to Strelok, Axslav and Nerchio in his group, dropping out as the 17th best player of the tournament. The former two have ended their careers meanwhile.
But Snute learned quickly: Another six months later he won his first tournament, the „One Nation of Gamers“ Invitational, worth 2,000 dollars. On his run he beat the korean player Swagger twice (and with a very close 4-3 in the finals). Swagger was well known at this time – a month later he finished GSL Code S in the Round of 8.
During the summer of 2012 Snute made an appearance at almost every major tournament. He got invited to the HomeStory Cup (#9 in the end), played at Dreamhack (#17) and MLG (#25). In time his results got better as did his World Rank. By December 2012, Snute was the 58th best player in the world.
The first victory: HomeStory Cup VI
That’s when he turned it up a notch: In this december he finished Dreamhack as the fifth best player and then moved on to win the HomeStory Cup VI in Krefeld, Germany. Stephano was the only one who could even take two maps from the 22-year-old back then. He finished the tournament with 14-2 maps and 10,000 dollars in his pocket, leaving his opponents like MaNa, Grubby and Symbol (twice) behind.
The victory boosted him to rank 35 in the World Ranking, but Snute didn’t stop there: From January to March 2013 he won eight (!) tournaments and debuted at the IEM World Championships in Katowice, though losing all his group matches and finishing on the last place. Nevertheless, by April 2013 Snute was 18th in the World Ranking.
Struggle and almost quitting
The rest of the year didn’t go as smooth: Snute won some minor tournaments but apart from a second place at HomeStory Cup VII he disappointed at a lot of major ones. By New Years Eve 2013 he was seriously considering to quit Starcraft 2 as he told later in an interview.
Thankfully he didn’t do it, because by summer 2014, Snute reached the next level of his play: Again in February and March he won three consecutive tournaments. After qualifying for the WCS Premier League he reached the round of 8, finishing it as the best foreigner. By September he also held this title in the World Ranking, reaching the top 20 once again.
He followed it up with constant good efforts at major tournaments: Round of 8 at Dreamhack, Intel Extreme Masters or HomeStory Cup became a rule instead of an exception. In July 2015 Snute reached another peak in his career: Rank 13 in the World Ranking.
Snutes best year
His best year was yet to come though and it definitely started in November of 2015. Not a full year ago Snute won the GPL International Challenge beating the korean legend Jaedong amongst others. A few months later in March he was runner-up of the first WCS Circuit in Katowice (the former IEM World Championships), losing only the final to Polt after an impressive 12-4 maps run beating viOLet and Hydra amongst others. He was also runner-up at the Gold Series International and third at Dreamhack Austin. By April, Snute reached rank 5 of the World Ranking.
The next Dreamhack at Valencia in May ended also with a third place for the now 26-year-old. After that he went on to win the NEO Star League against Cyan and uThermal – his biggest victory to date, worth 22,500 dollars. The final touch for rank 1 of the World Ranking came last month: The WCS Copa International. With 10-2 maps Snute won over other upcoming foreigner such as ShoWTimE and Neeb, crowning himself the most successful player in Starcraft at the moment.
The best foreigner of all time
Let’s end this article with a summary of Snutes career: In total he has played astonishing 164 tournaments 34 of them were in the past year, which makes him the second most active player behind Bly at the moment. He reached 48 finals and won 31 of them – which is both times the second best effort of all players. Only Nerchio is better with 51 finals and 37 tournament wins. In the alltime-ranking of all Starcraft players, Snute is the best foreigner and twelvth most successful player in total.