Counter-Strike is easily one of the longest standing Esports in the world. Fielding competition since CS 1.6, Counter-Strike has gone through so many eras defined by teams and star players. CS:GO nowadays is so beautiful with every team so close in level of performance.


Since the dawn of CS:GO, NiP has shaped their own era with their star player Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund. He went on to win 2 successive title of best player in 2013 and 2014. During his time, Richard “Shox” Papillon seemed to be the only player to rival the Swedish rifler.

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GeT_RiGhT was once the best in his own era

2015-mid 2016

The next generation of CS:GO witnessed an unprecedented boom in the CS:GO competitive scene. So many stars rose to power during this time with some significant names like the #1 in 2015 Olof “olofmeister” Kajbjer, the magic AWPer Kenny “kennyS” Schrub. The Natus Vincere AWPer Ladislav “GuardiaN” Kovács also peaked during this time with Janusz “Snax” Pogorzelski from the legendary lineup.

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olofmeister in fnatic's jersey was once the top player during 2014-2015

Mid 2016-2017

The following up era was defined by the coming of the Brazilians and star-studded lineup FaZe. Among the top, Marcelo “Coldzera” David claimed 2 successive titles of best player in 2016 and 2017. The era also witnessed the rise of Nikola “NiKo” Kovac and Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev at the top, arguably among the Greatest Of All Time players.

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coldzera had his own shining time

2018- now

2018 was the year of s1mple. He was definitely the best that year with the closest contender being Nicolai “device” Reedtz in #2. However, under the heavy reign of Astralis, s1mple could not compete much for titles. His teammate Denis 'electronic' Sharipov was also an honorable mention.

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s1mple was the best player in 2018, will he continue to carry his teammates to win this coming Berlin Major 2019?

2019 saw a tide of change. With so many upcoming stars rising to power, CS:GO has become beautiful once again. Among the top are Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut from Vitality, Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski in Liquid. Other notable names are ENCE’s Jere “sergej” Salo, Robin “ropz” Kool from mousesports, Kaike “KSCERATO” Cerato in FURIA. The latest star coming out of Berlin Major 2019 was Otto 'ottoNd' Sihvo. With stellar performance, ottoNd has helped CR4ZY stand strong against the best CS:GO teams in the world.

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ropz has helped mousesports compete at the top level of CS:GO

Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut

ZywOo made his debut in the tier1 scene under the banner of Vitality. Ever since joining the squad with some of the best French veterans, the 2000-born star has dedicated his stellar performance to keep them alive and shooting. The world has witnessed some of the highest levels of skill, rivaled only by s1mple.

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ZywOo has shown up big in important tournaments

People would argue whether s1mple or ZywOo is the best right now. It remains to be seen who will do it better, especially in this Berlin Major 2019 where both Natus Vincere and Vitality have made it to the play-offs. However, we can be sure that they are both the top 2 players right now.

Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski

EliGE has been in the competition for quite a while in Team Liquid. The SG553 rifler has shown his potential since 2016 but never quite reached the peak like he has done this year. Team Liquid is a star-studded lineup with many aim stars, boasting the highest firepower in the scene. In 2018, under the heavy reign of Astralis, EliGE could not show up in time, as Keith “NAF” Markovic and Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken took turn to shine in crucial matches. However, in 2019, with the latest addition of Jake “Stewie2K” Yip and the coach Eric “adreN” Hoag, EliGE has made significant improvement.

EliGE stepped up big in so many crucial tournaments, winning 3 MVP titles in Dreamhack Master Dallas 2019, ESL Pro League Season 9 Finals, and IEM Chicago 2019. He is now the best performer in Team Liquid, the current #1 team in the world.

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EliGE has stepped up big in crucial moments

Though EliGE did not reach the level of “carrying” the team like s1mple and Zywoo partly due to Team Liquid being so strong, he has been the key element in their victories.

Currently, the StarLadder Berlin Major 2019 – the most important CS:GO tournament in the latter half of 2019 is on-going. Who will become the best player this year, possibly winning the Champion of the Major? Only time will tell.