Call of Duty:

The start of a new year is a time to asses what lies ahead, but also a time for reflection on the previous 365 days.

The year 2016 was both kind and cruel to the Call of Duty community as publisher, Activision, took control of the competitive scene. As expected there were teething issues, with clashes on how the competitive circuit should be run.


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Although for many the year it’ll be forgotten, the CoD esports scene in 2016 was still a breakthrough season, providing fans with some of the most competitive tournaments in history, alongside record breaking prize money distribution.

So who were the best players across Black Ops 3 and the start of Infinite Warfare? We’ve chosen our top 20 players worldwide who impressed at an extraordinary level across the year.

Vote for your player of the year in our public poll!

 

IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER

John ‘John’ Perez

john 2

Widely regarded at the end of Black Ops 3 as the best player in the world. Picking up John for the second stage of the CoD World League Pro Division turned out to be a excellent move by Team EnVyUs as the squad went on to win the S2 title and the Call of Duty World Championships.

Biggest Achievements

  • 1st – CoD XP 2016 World Championships
  • 1st – CoD World League Pro Division S2

Ian ‘Crimsix’ Porter

crimsix

The most achieved player in Call of Duty history continued his winning form as he picked up five more first place trophies throughout 2016, taking his total to 27 across his career. He’s consistent and it’d be difficult to argue he’s not one of the greatest players of all time.

Biggest Achievements

  • 1st – CoD World League Pro Division S1
  • 1st – MLG Anaheim

Sam ‘Octane’ Larew

muggsy OG Rise octane

He was accused of a lack of practice at points through the season, but that didn’t stop Octane pulling off some insane moments throughout 2016, including helping the Rise Nation team to victory at UMG South Carolina, his first major tournament win.

Biggest Achievements

  • 1st – UMG South Carolina
  • 2nd – CoD World League S2 NA Playoffs


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Adam ‘Assault’ Garcia

assault

The breakthrough performance by Assault throughout 2016 was dramatic, with the legendary Patrick ‘Aches’ Price recognising his talents to become part of the current Cloud9 squad. Placing 2nd at MLG Las Vegas in late December looks like a sign of the things to come.

Biggest Achievements

  • 2nd – MLG Las Vegas
  • 5th/6th – CoD XP 2016 World Championships

Bryan ‘Apathy’ Zhelyazkov

Apathy Smile

Starting the year with the impressive Team Liquid squad, Apathy narrowly missed out on a spot in the CoD World League Pro Division when his team were reversed swept 4-3 by H2k during the Stage 1 relegation tournament. Joining Team EnVyUs, the rest is history as he won both the S2 finals and CoD XP.

Biggest Achievements

  • 1st – CoD XP 2016 World Championships
  • 1st – CoD World League Pro Division S2

James ‘Clayster’ Eubanks

clayster

Some truly breathtaking performances by Clayster rescued FaZe from a number of sticky situations throughout the year, including one particular play against Infused that allowed his squad to complete a reverse sweep at MLG Anaheim. He proved once again you can never count him out.

Biggest Achievements

  • 1st – Playstation Experience Invitational
  • 3rd – MLG Las Vegas

Matt ‘Formal’ Piper

Formal 1

The extraordinary talents of Formal were once again on show during the 2016 year, helping the OpTic Gaming squad pickup five titles in total, including picking up the MVP award at MLG Anaheim for his performance.

Biggest Achievements

  • 1st – CoD World League Pro Division S1
  • 1st – MLG Anaheim

Jay ‘Studyy’ Astacio

vegas studyy

The veteran player had a lot of ups and downs throughout 2016, but his individual performances under both Team Liquid and Luminosity were often breathtaking. He was one of the best with the sniper in Black Ops 3 and he always showed up when on the mainstage.

Biggest Achievements

  • 4th – UMG South Carolina
  • 3rd/4th – NA CWL S2 Playoffs


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Seth ‘Scump’ Abner

scump esports award

The best player to never win a world championship didn’t get the title again for Black Ops 3, but his ruthless slaying was once again a pleasure to watch. He also captained his squad to win five events across three different continents, an accomplishment that helps him keep his king title.

Biggest Achievements

  • 1st – CoD World League Pro Division S1
  • 1st – MLG Anaheim

Trei ‘Zer0’ Morris

zero

The tall Englishman was part of the Team Infused squad who terrorised North American opposition on Black Ops 3, later joining Orbit for Infinite Warfare. Consistently a standout player for Infused when it mattered.

Biggest Achievements

  • 1st – EGL Open London 2016
  • 5th/6th – MLG Anaheim 2016

Austin ‘Slasher’ Liddlecoat

slasher

Winning his first event since late 2014, Slasher was part of the Team EnVyUs squad for the entire year, with everything finally clicking after the pickup of Apathy and John. He can now count a CoD World League Pro Division title and World Championship amongst his achievements.

Biggest Achievements

  • 1st – CoD XP 2016 World Championships
  • 1st – NA CoD World League Pro Division S2

 

Renato ‘Saints’ Forza

saints

Although he didn’t take home a 1st place all season, Saints showed under Luminosity why he’s considered one of the best slayers in the game, including consistently placing highly throughout the year when it came to kill/death ratio.

Biggest Achievements

  • 2nd – UMG South Carolina
  • 3rd/4th – CWL S2 Playoffs

Dylan ‘Madcat’ Daly

madcat

The extraordinary talents of Madcat helped the Millenium squad win both back to back CoD World League Pro Division titles in Europe, with some impressive performances against international opposition. His move to Splyce alongside Jurd was one of the most exciting moves of the off-season.

Biggest Achievements

  • 1st – EU CoD World League Pro Division S1
  • 1st – EU CoD World League Pro Division S2

Damon ‘Karma’ Barlow

karma

The last member of the OpTic Gaming squad in this list, and often the over looked member of the team because he’s not always at the top of the scoreboard. Regardless he’s a two time world champion for a reason and he was crucial in OpTic’s five titles across 2016.

Biggest Achievements

  • 1st – CoD World League Pro Division S1
  • 1st – MLG Anaheim

Daniel ‘Loony’ Loza

Loony 1

Winning the inaugural first event with different team mates for both Black Ops 3 and Infinite Warfare throughout 2016 showcased the talents of Loony. An SnD specialist, his expertise added weight to the argument that the gamemode wins championships.

Biggest Achievements

  • 1st – UMG South Carolina
  • 1st – MLG Las Vegas

Josh ‘Joshh’ Shepherd

josh-interview

The Splyce captain has had an excellent year as he helped guide two different teams to impressive placements against international squads, including second place at ESWC, the EU CWL S1 Pro Division and second at CoD XP 2016.

Biggest Achievements

  • 2nd – ESWC 2016
  • 2nd – CoD XP 2016 World Championships

 

Jordan ‘JKap’ Kaplan

jkap 1

The fourth and final member of the Team enVyUs squad in this top 20 players list. After winning CoD XP 2016, he became the only other person alongside Damon ‘Karma’ Barlow to hold two world championships.

Biggest Achievements

  • 1st – CoD XP 2016 World Championships
  • 1st – CoD World League Pro Division S2

Ian ‘Enable’ Wyatt

enable smile

The former Halo pro player was another of the standout performers for FaZe Clan throughout 2016, and crucial to his squad coming top 4 at events throughout the year, including winning the Playstation Experience Invitational.

Biggest Achievements

  • 1st – Playstation Experience Invitational
  • 3rd – MLG Las Vegas

Ulysses ‘Aqua’ Silva

aqua 2

The young player was a key part of the success of the Elevate and Rise squads for 2016. Although it took Loony to bring him his first championship, he came top 3 at both MLG open events and third at CoD XP at the end of the year.

Biggest Achievements

  • 1st – MLG Las Vegas
  • 3rd – CoD XP 2016 World Championships

Ben ‘Bance’ Bance

bance

Last but not least is Splyce player Bance, part of the team to place second at CoD XP, surpassing the expectations of everyone. A raw talent who was moulded into one of Europe’s top players across 2016.

Biggest Achievements

  • 2nd – ESWC 2016
  • 2nd – CoD XP 2016 World Championships

Related – Dexerto’s Top 10 Call of Duty Teams of 2016


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