2019 has been another great year for CS:GO, with dozens of high-level tournaments and many teams that have proved themselves in front of the crowd, in big and small ways. We’ve seen many superb underdog stories and miraculous comebacks, and at the end of all this one question remains: Who is the best CS:GO player of 2019?
Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev
He is Natus Vincere’s superstar and the best CS:GO player of 2018. While his team hasn’t done so well in big tournaments for the past three months, and his rating for this period is 1.25, his 2019 peak was 1.38.
In 2019, s1mple led Natus Vincere (Na’Vi) to the following notable results: 3rd – 4th place at IEM XIII Katowice Major; 1st place at StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 7; 3rd – 4th place at ESL One: Cologne 2019; 5th – 8th at StarLadder Berlin Major 2019; 3rd – 4th place at DreamHack Masters Malmo 2019; 3rd place at BLAST Pro Series: Copenhagen 2019; and 3rd – 4th place at ESL Pro League Season 10 Finals.
Na’Vi’s maximum rank position in 2019 was 2nd. At the time of this writing, they’re sitting at 9th.
When assessing s1mple’s place in the global player rankings for 2019, it should be noted that his team went through two big roster changes. Both Zeus and Edward left the organization and were replaced by Boombl4 and GuardiaN. Inevitably, this has led to a temporary decline in Na’Vi’s game.
Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut
ZywOo is probably the greatest new player in CS:GO for 2019 and his individual stats are incredible. The rating 2.0 for this player is 1.28, which is very high, and his contributions for Team Vitality have helped the French squad go from 20th to 2nd place in the global rankings in 2019. At the moment, they’re sitting at 8th place as a result of inactivity and less than exceptional results. But the fact that this French team was able to climb so high this year when there are opponents like Astralis and Team Liquid around is inspiring.
These are the key results obtained by ZywOo and his team in 2019: 1st place at WePlay! Lock and Load; 9th – 11th place at IEM XIII Katowice Major; 1st place at Charleroi Esports 2019; 1st place at cs_summit 4; 1st place at ECS Season 7 Finals; 2nd place at ESL One: Cologne 2019; 3rd – 4th place at IEM XIV Chicago; 5th – 8th place at StarLadder Berlin Major 2019; 2nd place at DreamHack Masters Malmo 2019; and 3rd – 4th place at IEM XIV Beijing.
These results wouldn’t have been possible without ZywOo’s contribution, which is why he’ll probably end up as one of the best CS:GO players of the year.
Nicolai “device” Reedtz
He was ranked the second-best player in the world in 2018 and had an impressive year with Astralis in 2019. Device’s rating 2.0 is 1.22 and his kills per round ratio is 0.78.
In terms of achievements, device’s team won both Majors this season, in addition to four other big tournaments, including BPS Global Final 2019. Apart from these results, Astralis played in three other Grand Finals and had numerous top-six finishes. In fact, you can hardly find a single event where they didn’t finish in the top six.
Being part of such a successful organization, device is likely to be included once again among the best CS:GO players of the season. He may not get 2nd place like last year, but he will almost certainly finish in the top five.
Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski
EliGE had the best season of his professional career with Team Liquid, a team that dominated the CS:GO scene for four months in 2019. EliGE was instrumental in his team’s victories and will likely get included in the top 20 CS:GO players of this year. His rating 2.0 is 1.19 and his other stats are just as impressive: 49.8% headshots, 0.78 kills per round, and 70.4% rounds contributed.
With Team Liquid, EliGE had the following results this season: 1st place at iBUYPOWER Masters IV; 5th – 8th place at IEM XIII Katowice Major 2019; 2nd place at BLAST Pro Series: Sao Paulo; 2nd place at BLAST Pro Series: Miami; 1st place at IEM XIV Sydney; 2nd place at cs_summit 4; 1st place at ESL Pro League Season 9 Finals; and the list goes on. In total, Liquid played in 12 Grand Finals this season and won seven of them.
It’s hard to choose one player when all of them are so good and have done so much for their teams. In fact, the list should probably include several other names who have risen to the top of CS:GO this year. Consider the fact that ENCE and AVANGAR played in the Grand Final of a Major this year. ENCE almost conquered the world in Katowice and AVANGAR nearly did the same in Berlin. The heroic individual performances that were required for those kinds of results will no doubt be taken into account when the final top 20 is announced.
Based on everything I’ve seen, I would pick ZywOo as the winner. But I’m sure that all of the others are just as worthy of the title of the best CS:GO player of the year.