CS:GO

Stuchiu: Top 10 CSGO Player Rankings from Sept-Nov

by Stephen Chiu
DreamHack/Adela Sznajder

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Who are the top CS:GO players from September to November 2019? There's a lot to go over and analyze.

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 judgments between players, that doesn’t get to the whole story. Teams have different tactics, and strategies, and players have different roles therein. To make this list then, I set out specific 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 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.

Finally, I set the parameters of the list only to include LAN play. LANs were also ranked depending on format and importance. The Berlin Major, for instance, is far more important than BLAST Copenhagen. The rankings do three months, so for this edition, it runs from September to November. 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. So the Berlin Major counts for September and ECS Season 8 Finals will count for December.

10. Ludvig “Brollan” Brolin

ESL
ESL

Lans: 

  • 1st - DreamHack Malmo
  • 2nd - Starseries i-League Season 8

Fnatic have only attended two LANs in the last three months, but both LANs had the most comprehensive formats of any tournament during that time. In both LANs, brollan had breakout performances. At Malmo, he was a tertiary star to Freddy “KRIMZ” Johansson and Jesper “JW” Wecksell. What clinched his spot in my top 10 was his remarkable performance at Starseries i-League Season 8. In that tournament, he was arguably Fnatic’s best player at that tournament.

What’s more, he had an incredible impact as a consistent aggressive-rifler on the CT-side. His team play with the rest of the Fnatic players is on point, and he perfectly fits into Maikil “Golden” Selim’s fast-paced loose style. On the T-side, Brollan can either outright win duels or pair up with Golden to take map control through trading. Brollan seems like the next great Swedish sensation, and hopefully, he can build on that in the months to come.

9. Justin “JKS” Savage

StarLadder
StarLadder

Lans:

  •  Top 4 - StarLadder Berlin Major
  • Top 4 - StarSeries i-League Season 8
  • 2nd - IEM Beijing

At the start of the year, JKS broke out as a top 10 player, verging into the top 5. That status faded away when Renegades stalled out in the middle of the year due to visa and internal issues. Since coming back from the break, the Australian lineup has surged back to where they started at the beginning. They are a structured tactical squad, and this has once again put JKS on the map as one of the best players in the world.

JKS has been consistently good in all of his roles. He has a fairly versatile skill set as he can duel, create space, AWP, and clutch. This versatility allows him to fill up holes for the squad as he plays the small-site anchor on Train or ramp on Nuke. He’s also the secondary AWPer on Dust2 and the primary AWPer on Vertigo. On the T-side he plays the wings and often lurks, but can also be used as part of the entry pack in the actual execution. Finally, he’s the primary star of 100 Thieves, which clinched his spot in my top 10.

8. Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander

ESL
ESL

Lans:

  • 1st - StarLadder Berlin Major
  • 2nd - ESL New York
  • Top 4 - DreamHack Malmo
  • 4th - BLAST Copenhagen
  • 1st - IEM Beijing

Coming in eighth is gla1ve, the in-game leader of Astralis. Gla1ve was one of the hardest players to rank in this ranking. He isn’t a traditional star or carry player; he’s more of an ancillary piece to the Astralis machine. On top of that, Astralis is probably the best team in the world. So as an ancillary piece, he should get less credit relative to stars of other teams.

However, if you look at his games since the StarLadder Berlin Major, he’s been on a role. In particular, he had some superheroic performances at both ESL New York and IEM Beijing. He was easily the most impactful player for Astralis in their ESL New York run, and I believe he was the primary reason why Astralis beat Liquid on Vertigo. At IEM Beijing, he had a ridiculous impact and was the MVP of the tournament. While he’s been more inconsistent than JKS in the same time, gla1ve brought more impact and a higher ceiling in the tournaments he did well in. He also did it from a play-making/entry-fragging role. While this is unlikely to continue as the entry/play-making role is volatile, I had to give the nod to gla1ve for this three month span.

7. KRIMZ

DreamHack
DreamHack

Lans:

  •  1st - DreamHack Malmo
  •  2nd - Starseries i-League Season 8

Fnatic have surged back as one of the best teams in the world in the post-Berlin Major season. Their biggest and most consistent star in this period has been KRIMZ. Ever since Golden returned to the lineup, KRIMZ has resurrected his superstar form and has been an absolute fortress for Fnatic.

He has a great overall game, which allows him to be impactful at any point in the round. He can win the opening duel, trade, clutch, or use teamplay/positional CS to secure the round. His game sense and consistency make him the rock of Fnatic and one of the cornerstones of Fnatic’s success in the last three months. I ranked him higher than gla1ve for two reasons. His consistency was better, and that was especially impressive when you consider how many games Fnatic had to play at Malmo and Starseries -League Season 8 was more impressive. The second is that he’s the superstar of Fnatic and so he has more responsibility to perform at a higher level.

6. Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski

ESL
ESL

Lans:

  •  Top 8 - StarLadder Berlin
  •  Top 4 - ESL New York
  •  5th - BLAST Copenhagen

For my money, I believe EliGE is still the best player in NA. The problem with these rankings is that they only take results from the last three month period, and Liquid have only played at two LANs at that time. The most impressive thing about EliGE during this period was that he was still as consistently great now as he was during Liquid’s period of dominance earlier in the year.

He has brilliant game sense, aim, and is one of the best entry-fraggers on both sides of the server. EliGE continues to be Liquid’s primary superstar and consistently delivers on that billing. EliGE and KRIMZ had similar levels of consistency, and as that’s the case, I gave EliGE the nod as he played at a higher level than KRIMZ and was comparable to the top 5 of this list. The only thing stopping EliGE from being ranked higher was the number of games that Liquid played during this time.

5. Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev

StarLadder
StarLadder

Lans:

  •  Top 8 - StarLadder Berlin
  •  Top 4 - DreamHack Malmo
  •  13-16th - StarSeries i-League Season 8
  •  3rd - BLAST Copenhagen

S1mple is another example of a player I believe should be ranked higher, but couldn’t due to the criteria I set out at the beginning. S1mple is probably the second-best player in the world, but Na`Vi bombed StarSeries Belek even though s1mple has continued to play at a stellar level.

What’s interesting about s1mple is that he’s recently changed roles from the primary AWPer to a rifler. He’s been put on the wings (which was his old role on his Liquid/Flipsid3 days) and continues to be impactful and consistent from that position. The only worrying thing about this role change is that when s1mple was on the AWP, he was positioned to be in the most impactful scenarios possible as he did the entry duels and closed out the rounds. The shift in positions has put a lot more responsibility into the hands of the other Na`Vi players. So even though s1mple continues to be stellar, the rest of Na`Vi will have to step up for the team to succeed.

4. Cvetelin “CeRq” Dimitrov

DreamHack/Adela Sznajder
DreamHack/Adela Sznajder

Lans:

  •  Top 4 - StarLadder Berlin Major
  •  1st - ESL New York
  •  13-16th - DreamHack Malmo
  •  1st - StarSeries i-League Season 8
  •  5-6th - IEM Beijing
  •  5-6th CS:GO Asia Championships

EG have hit the LAN circuit the hardest. They’ve been traveling from LAN to LAN with hardly any breaks in between. In that space, their two big stars have broken into the top five of the world. CeRq and Vincent “Brehze” Cayonte have been in unstoppable form. Both have been MVP candidates for EG in their numerous runs since StarLadder.

What’s interesting about CeRq is that he’s been completely let off the chain. He’s taking more aggressive duels and is more often than not converting them into opening entries for the team. While he’s comparable in impact to Brehze, his style of play is more volatile, and this has made him more inconsistent. That’s why he didn’t go higher up on the ranking. CeRq outranked EliGE and s1mple due to the number of games he’s played and the consistency and impact he brought to those games.

3. Brehze

StarLadder/Igor Bezborodov
StarLadder/Igor Bezborodov

Lans:

  •  Top 4 - StarLadder Berlin Major
  •  1st - ESL New York
  •  13-16th - DreamHack Malmo
  •  1st - StarSeries i-League Season 8
  •  5-6th - IEM Beijing
  •  5-6th CS:GO Asia Championships

EG’s superstar makes it third on this list. Brehze has been an absolute revelation since his breakout performance at StarLadder Berlin Major. The term “breakout” is a misnomer as Brehze has been fantastic throughout this year. The reason other teams and the community are starting to notice now is that EG’s elevation in the rankings has forced the world to see just how ridiculous Brehze is.

Like KRIMZ, Brehze has a brilliant all-around game. He has the most stable role in EG and can impact the round in a wide variety of ways. He’s good at winning entries, using his game sense, or winning through the clutch. What’s more, he is the only superstar that Astralis have failed to shut down.

2. Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz

StarLadder
StarLadder

Lans:

  • 1st - StarLadder Berlin Major
  • 2nd - ESL New York
  • Top 4 - DreamHack Malmo
  • 4th - BLAST Copenhagen
  • 1st - IEM Beijing

Coming in second place is the immortal dev1ce. In terms of longevity, stability, and consistency, dev1ce is the best in CS:GO history. This was one of the harder rankings to place, as you could argue either way. Both are polarizing superstars of their teams, and they create a critical foundational piece for their team’s identities.

What clinched it for dev1ce was the context of their respective teams. EG are in prime form, and two of their players are in the top five. On top of that, Ethan “Ethan” Arnold was HLTV’s MVP for StarSeries i-League Season 8, and Peter “stanislaw” Jarguz is currently the best fragging in-game leader.

In contrast to that, the form of the Astralis players doesn’t match up. When put into that context, I have to give the nod to dev1ce here as it feels like he has to carry at a higher level for his team to succeed.

1. Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut

StarLadder
StarLadder

Lans:

  • Top 8 - StarLadder Berlin Major
  • 2nd - DreamHack Malmo
  • Top 8 - StarSeries i-League Season 8
  • Top 4 - IEM Beijing

The French prodigy has taken his place as the best player in the world. In terms of consistency, impact, and carry load, no one is comparable to ZywOo. He has better consistency than either dev1ce or Brehze. In terms of impact, the only player comparable to him is s1mple, as no one else has shown that they can reach similar heights. What makes ZywOo stand out among the top five though, is his carry load.

He is similar to what s1mple was in the Danylo “Zeus” Teslenko lineup. ZywOo needs to be the opener and closer for Vitality, though not quite to the extremes that s1mple was (s1mple, for instance, had to take completely different positions to cover the holes in Na`Vi’s CT-side). While other stars do that for their respective teams, no one has to do it with the same level of frequency that ZywOo does for Vitality.

What’s more, Vitality’s tactical system is starting to become stale. The addition of Richard “shox” Papillon for Nathan “NBK” Schmitt has mostly been irrelevant in terms of the tactical system. As for firepower, Shox might win more clutches than NBK, but overall not much has changed. Given these additional factors, it’s clear that ZywOo is not only the best player in the world but also the player that has the most responsibility to carry.