Hidden Gems is a series of articles dedicated to pointing out CS players from around the world under or at 21 years of age before they take the world by storm. This article is based on Conquer’s AWPer, Ville “myltsi” Vilkman, 17, and their Rifler Jimi “Jimpphat” Salo, 15, the two Finnish wonderkids in Tier 2 CS.
Conquer Gaming: Quick Recap & Insight
Conquer Gaming are a Finnish organization, founded in 2016, competing in ESEA Advanced Season 40 as the #115 ranked team in the world, as judged by HLTV’s World Rankings. They’ve had several established players such as sLowi and doto in the past, and now bolster a roster mixed with several high-potential stars and veteran members of the Finnish scene.
Who are myltsi and Jimpphat?
I fortunately got the chance to speak to both players and get some insight on who they are and what they believe their future to look like,
myltsi, the star-studded Finnish AWPer at 17 years old has joined Conquer Gaming recently and shown out, and is one of the highest-ceiling prospects currently in CS.
If you can recall, around what time did you first start playing CS?
“I think I started playing CS:GO in the start of 2015.”
Who would you say was the most influential teammate you’ve had so far?
“I think the most influential teammate I’ve ever had is obviously Elfern. He has taught me a lot about the game.”
(Elfern is myltsi’s longstanding teammate, playing on both teams that myltsi was a part of before Conquer)
What has been the most memorable game you’ve played yet that you can recall?
“The most memorable series is surely Fragleague Season 7 Finals. It’s the first tournament that I’ve won in my CS career.”
How do you envision your future in your CS career?
“I’d want to end up being in a consistent Top 30 team, whether it’d be Finnish or an international team.”
Jimpphat is a 15 year old Finnish Rifler, currently competing with Conquer Gaming. Despite the big shoes to fit with his older brother being none other than sergej, he has shown to be his own player in the server and has dominated in the games he’s played.
NOTE: BASED ON VALVE’S VAC BAN ELIGIBILITY RULES, PLAYERS WHO HAVE NOT BEEN IN A VALVE-SANCTIONED EVENT MAY APPEAR IN MAJORS ONCE 5 YEARS HAVE PASSED SINCE A VAC BAN, MEANING JIMPPHAT CAN PLAY A MAJOR IN 2023.
Who got you into CS at first?
“It was my brother sergej which showed me CS, and I liked it at first glance. I remember that I watched him play CS:S.“
What was it like to play against a Tier 1-2 team?
“When we played against Movistar Riders, it actually felt like [when] we played against any other team. Of course they played more wisely, but I didn’t think [about] that too much when I played against them.”
How did you find your way into the higher levels of CS?
“I got to higher-leveled CS after performing consistently in the Finnish CS scene. I also think that my age took big part of my career, because I am a lot younger than many other players.”
How do you envision your future in your CS career?
“I’m aiming for [a] top 30 team for next year, and I would also like to go pro for a[n] international team. I wouldn’t mind to play for [a] Finnish team also.”
Quick beginnings: myltsi
Most players would have shaky appearances and a lack of success when only playing 6 months of higher-tiered CS. Luckily for myltsi though, he’s not like most players. He may only have 19 maps recorded on HLTV, but with the statistics he has posted against known teams such as Lemondogs, SJ, OPAA, Singularity, and EC Brugge, you could easily mistake him for a veteran.
The young gun of Finland has garnered himself a 1.13 rating during his stays in Conquer, NYYRIKKI, and myllysuola, spanning 177 days in total. Together with the high rating, he also averages a 1.09 K/D Ratio with the AWP, and has an Opening K/D Ratio of 1.16, two of the more important statistics when talking about AWPers. These numbers are shockingly good, even with an ‘AWP crutch’.
Finally, with just 4 events under his belt, myltsi has already led his team to a victory at Fragleague Season 7 with the highest rating in the event at 1.25, beating SJ, KappaB, and Lemondogs on the path to winning the tournament.
It gets even better: Jimpphat
Jimpphat had a slightly larger sample size over 2021 with 55 maps, and recently moved to Conquer, previously playing for SJ and playing against even more well-known teams like Lynn Vision, SKADE, Galaxy Racer, Lilmix, GORILLAZ, and even Movistar Riders.
In 2021, Jimpphat finished with a 1.17 rating, 1.20 K/D Ratio, 83.4 ADR, and an Opening K/D Ratio of 1.18, all with 94.3% of his kills coming from rifles or pistols. In the aforementioned game against Movistar Riders, Jimpphat finished with a 1.02 rating and a 45-43 K/D in a 0-2 loss, and on Ancient he led the entire server in kills with 31 and a rating of 1.18 (second only to mopoz at 1.53 that map).
Jimpphat knows a thing or two about performing at events too, though. On top of the aforementioned Fragleague Season 7 win with myltsi (where Jimpphat was just 0.01 rating points behind myltsi, finishing as the 2nd highest rated player there), he also won the Finnish Esports League Season 9, posting the best rating at the event with a whopping 1.35, compared to the second-best at 1.26 (uli) and his next-closest teammate at 1.02 (SADDYX). He also has one 2nd place finish and 3 additional top 3-4 finishes in just 13 events played. In those 13 events, the only ones in which he had lower than a 1.09 rating were 3 events in which he only played 2 maps. and finished top 3-4 in 2 of them.