Leo "Leo" Jannesson has kicked off 2023 with a bang, claiming the first VLR.gg MVP Award in his second international appearance at just 19 years old.

Starting with VCT LOCK//IN, VLR.gg will be handing out an award for the most valuable player in an international VCT tournament. In order to provide more credible results, the MVP Award will be based on statistics and expert opinions. These opinions were sourced exclusively from coaches in partnered teams for the first award.

Leo at LOCK IN Photo by Lance Skundrich/Riot Games

After being, for many months, considered one of EMEA's best and most flexible players, Leo's first breakout performance abroad came under the FNATIC banner at LOCK//IN. On Sova, Sage, and Fade, the Swede put up numbers that envied his rivals, finishing LOCK//IN with the third-highest rating (1.28) and KD (1.41).

Leo proved to be one of FNATIC's most reliable players, allowing himself and his teammates to trade off of teammate Nikita "Derke" Sirmitev's 53% success in opening duels. This resulted in tying fourth for the highest KAST (81%), a hair under other players, but also in being the player with the second-least first deaths per round (0.02).

While his rating was topped by Lee "k1Ng" Seung-won (이승원) — who had a breakout performance in the one match he played — and Andrey "Shao" Kiprsky — who dominated every opponent in the Omega Bracket — in overall rating, Leo stood head and shoulders above the competition in the playoffs, where he topped several fields.

Leo lifts the LOCK IN trophy He's better, and he's here to prove it. (Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)

FNATIC's main initiator made waves where it mattered the most, coming to life at the tail end of the tournament. His playoffs performance featured the best rating (1.21), KD (1.39), and KAST (80%) of the stage. Leo was also key in keeping FNATIC alive during their toughest matches, recording 13 clutches (27% clutch success rate), nearly half of which came during his two playoffs matches.

Leo put on his best show against 100 Thieves 100 Thieves North America Rank #1 bang Sean Bezerra Cryocells Matthew Panganiban stellar Brenden McGrath Derrek Derrek Ha Asuna Peter Mazuryk , where he was the best player in nearly every statistic. Against the NA reps, he scored a 1.56 rating, 275 ACS, and 89% KAST. He was also, alongside Timofey "Chronicle" Khromov, the only player who didn't lose any head-to-head duels throughout the 37 rounds he played against 100 Thieves.

In purely statistical terms, Shao surpassed Leo in many categories, but featured only in two expert votes. Conversely, Leo was considered one of the best players of LOCK//IN by eleven coaches. Shao remains as an honorable mention, finishing at or amongst the top spots in most statistical categories.