CS:GO

Stuchiu: Top 10 CSGO Player Rankings from Nov 2019-Jan 2020

by Stephen Chiu
ESL

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With the 2020 CS:GO campaign underway for teams around the world, Stuchiu is combing the competitive landscape to find the Top 10 players – what were the biggest changes?

One of my favorite things to discuss in CS:GO is who are the best players. While CS:GO has better stats to make comparative judgements between players, that doesn’t get to the whole story. Teams have different tactics and strategies and players have different roles therein. In order to make this list then, I set out certain criteria that I applied consistently across all of the players. The criteria I included was: consistency, impact, role, and competition.

Consistency is a player’s level average level of play across the time period. Impact is harder to define as in-game leaders and support players have an impact that we can’t see in the server. In the case of this list, impact refers to in-game actions: space-creation, rotations, and gravity. Gravity is the amount of a player polarizes a game. Role refers to what a player does in their team and is required of them. Some players have to play at a higher level for their team to function and they are rated higher as a result. Competition refers to the level of teams/LANs a player attended. If two players have similar levels of impact and consistency, but one played against the top teams more, they will be rated higher.

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Finally, I set the parameters of the list to only include LAN play. LANs were also ranked depending on format and importance. The Major, for instance, is far more important than the bo1 BLAST events or the Summit. The rankings do a three-month span so for this edition it runs from November 2019 to January 2020. For LANs that run from the end of the month to the beginning of the new month, I add them into the month where they end.

10. Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen [New]

LANs:

  • BLAST Copenhagen - 4th
  • IEM Beijing - 1st
  • ECS 8 Finals - 1st
  • EPL 10 Finals - 4th
  • BLAST Finals - 1st

Dupreeh makes his first appearance on my top 10 rankings. It was always going to be hard for Dupreeh as the primary stars of Astralis are Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz and Emil “Magisk” Reif. Their system enables those two players to have a better game relative to dupreeh and dupreeh is often relegated to harder roles. Even so, dupreeh has been shining once again as one of the best players in the world and has individual form has been on the rise. This was especially true at the BLAST Global Finals where he was the MVP of the event.

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It was a surprising return to form as dupreeh had slumps throughout the year, particularly during the AUG/Krieg meta where entry fraggers were often getting killed without recourse. While dupreeh’s form is a bit more volatile compared to either Magisk or dev1ce, he is still one of the most consistent players in the world.

9. Denis “electronic” Sharipov [New]

ELEAGUE

Lans:

  • BLAST Copenhagen - 3rd
  • EPL 10 Finals - Top 4
  • EPICENTER - 5-6th

Electronic is another new entrance to my top 10 rankings. What’s strange about ranking electronic is that if I had purely used the eye test, I think he’s been a top 10 player the entire time I’ve been writing these lists. The only thing keeping electronic from going up further was Na`Vi’s lack of participation in LANs which meant that he had less chances to play games against high-level competition and less games to prove his consistency.

That is why he was able to finally crack into the top 10 now. With the time limit ranging from Nov. 2019 to Jan 2020, that no longer held him back as much. Electronic made it above Dupreeh as he plays a similar playmaking/entry-fragging role, but has to do it as the secondary star of Na`Vi.

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8. Keith “NAF” Markovic [+2]

StarLadder

Lans:

  • 5th - BLAST Copenhagen
  • 2nd - ECS 8
  • 5-6th - ESL Proleague Season 10 Finals
  • 2nd - BLAST Finals

NAF’s placement has changed largely due to others dropping out of the list. With the October LANs dropping out of the picture both Ludvig “Brollan” Brolin and Freddy “KRIMZ” Johansson dropped out of the rankings as DreamHack Malmo and StarSeries i-League Season 8 no longer counted. This took away half of their results which hurt their consistency and peak performance ranking.

In contrast to that, NAF’s best results largely remained the same. He was the secondary star of Liquid and when Liquid played against Astralis, he was their best player. His peak performances against the best team in the world made me place him above electronic.

7. Ozgur “woxic” Eker [+2]

StarLadder

Lans:

  • 1st - CS:GO Asia Championships (CAC)
  • 1st - EPL 10 Finals
  • 2nd - EPICENTER 2019

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Like NAF, woxic’s jump up was largely due to Fnatic’s results dropping out of the time range. At the same time, woxic’s own performances largely remained the same. Woxic was the MVP of CS:GO Asia and was Mouz’s secondary star at both EPL 10 Finals and EPICENTER. Like NAF, he had a key superstar performance against Astralis at EPL 10 Finals. That alongside his consistency and peak put him above NAF for me.

6. Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski [+1]

StarLadder

Lans:

  • 5th - BLAST Copenhagen
  • 2nd - ECS Season 8
  • 5-6th - EPL 10
  • 2nd - BLAST FInals

Nothing much has changed for EliGE from the last ranking to this one. As that’s the case, I’ll take do a side tangent to talk about EliGE’s 2019 as a whole. Overall, this was easily EliGE’s best year as a player as he emerged as the consistent superstar for Liquid. Back in 2018, Liquid’s superstar players were Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken and NAF at different points in the year. Behind them, two or three players usually showed up for their big 2018 runs. In 2019, the consistent superstar force for Liquid has been EliGE.

The initial impetus for this change seems to be the inclusion of Jake “Stewie2K” Yip as his entry-style gave EliGE the space he needed as a secondary entry-fragger. After Stewie2K fell off though, EliGE has continued to be an absolute rock for the Liquid squad. While he is 6th on this ranking, I have EliGE is the third best player of the year.

5. Emil “Magisk” Reif [+1]

ELEAGUE

Lans:

  • BLAST Copenhagen - 4th
  • IEM Beijing - 1st
  • ECS 8 Finals - 1st
  • EPL 10 Finals - 4th
  • BLAST Finals - 1st

Magisk bumped up another rank due to Brollan dropping out of the rankings. As a player, Magisk is one of the most intriguing players to analyze. When he first joined Astralis, no one expected him to be the final piece they needed to become the GOATs of CS:GO. WIth hindsight we now know that his skill set and role specialty was exactly what Astralis needed in a 5th player. Magisk has the best spray of any player outside of potentially EliGE. Unlike EliGE, he uses his spray in conjunction with micro-positioning and is excellent at making plays with extremely small spaces (hence why he’s the best pit player in the world).

His natural passivity lets him avoid conflicts with either Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander or dupreeh who want to make the aggressive rifle plays, but he’s still skilled enough to make them when he needs to. It’s also helped him pair well with dev1ce in CT-side setups.

4. Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev [No Change]

ELEAGUE

Lans:

  • BLAST Copenhagen - 3rd
  • EPL 10 Finals - Top 4
  • EPICENTER - 5-6th

As s1mple had no changes this month, I’ll take this time to write a bit about our perception of s1mple as a player. S1mple broke the bar of peak ability and consistency in 2019. To this day, I don’t believe anyone surpassed what he did individually in the first half of 2019 when Na`Vi were still using electronic in the wrong role. What’s more s1mple continued that level and made it the standard for the rest of the year and for most of 2020 until Na`Vi took him off the AWP.

After going off the AWP, he’s been less impactful on the rifle relative to the absolute god he was with the AWP. What’s curious is that people are now downplaying the level that s1mple is playing at and I believe it’s partially due to the impossible standard that s1mple set in 2019 with the AWP. If we could somehow wipe the name plates off and judge s1mple without the nameplate, we’d hail him as one of the best in the world. But because we know he can not play at a game-breaking level, it feels almost pedestrian in nature compared to what he was.

3. Robin “ropz” Kool [No Change]

ELEAGUE

Lans:

  • 1st - CS:GO Asia Championships (CAC)
  • 1st - EPL 10 Finals
  • 1st - CS Summit 5
  • 2nd - EPICENTER 2019

The evolution of ropz in 2019 has been one of the biggest surprises of the 2019 season. It’s hard to remember now, but ropz was slumping at the end of the Mouz period. His playstyle had become stale and his opponents knew how to deny ropz the favorable scenarios he wanted. Once Finn “karrigan” Andersen came into play though, everything seemed to change. The mechanics seemed to get instantly better and ropz found himself in better scenarios where he could display his skill at the highest level.

What really surprised me though was the final months of 2019 as ropz started to tear down his old identity and expand it with far more aggressive plays that he’d never try over a year ago. He’s probably the most improved player of 2019.

2. Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut [-1]

Adela Sznajder for DreamHack

Lans:

  • Top 4 - IEM Beijing
  • 1st - EPICENTER

With DreamHack Malmo and StarLadder i-League dropping out of the rankings, it was possible that ropz could have overtaken ZywOo’s spot as second. However the overall context of ZywOo’s team and the burden of firepower he carries was enough to win the day. No one else in CS:GO currently has more responsibility to carry as ZywOo does and because of that, I put him above ropz.

1. dev1ce [+1]

BLAST

Lans:

  • 4th -BLAST Copenhagen
  • 1st - IEM Beijing
  • 1st - ECS 8
  • Top 4 - EPL 10
  • 1st - BLAST Finals

The loss of Malmo and Sli hurt ZywOo and pushed dev1ce up to the top for these rankings. Overall dev1ce went to more LANs and more important ones (ECS 8 and EPL 10 specifically). While ZywOo was ahead in the intangibles, the amount of games, the high level of consistency, and dev1ce’s MVP earned him the top spot this month.