lurppis played CS 1.6 professionally for eight years for teams such as wings, roccat/69N-28E, EG and WinFakt with team winnings exceeding $350,000. Since ending his playing career in 2012 he has stayed active in the CS:GO scene as part of the media.
The competitive Counter-Strike scene is at its peak. There’s more talent than ever in pro CS, which means that in order to pick the best players in the world you need clear, specific criteria. To make this ranking, a player must have competed in a number of top tier events—no player can be awarded top ten status for simply being incredible online. Almost by default, that means the player will be on a top team as well, which is the case for everyone on this list. I also decided to use roughly the past six months’ results for statistical comparison, with obviously more emphasis on recent performances, as they are most likely more indicative of these players’ current form.
Before we dig in, let’s first take a look at some of the big names who barely missed the cut of being in the top ten. Recent fan favorite Nikola “NiKo” Kovac did not make this list because he has not performed at enough events yet. Richard “shox” Papillon came close, and in Titan he might regain the kind of role that will allow him a spot on the list, but currently he must be left out. Finally, NiP’s Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund’s Dubai performance was incredible, but it is not enough after six-plus months of, for him, average play. You could also have made a case for Rene “cajunb” Borg, who has been TSM’s second best player for a long time, and like shox and GeT_RiGhT, boast a strong individual track record at the majors.
10. Kenny 'kennyS' Schrub
France | Team EnVyUs
In late 2014 and early 2015 kennyS was arguably the number one player in the world as the game’s most dominant AWPer. Despite playing on a team barely in the top eight, he constantly put up performances that allowed Titan to compete with all of the world’s best teams, and even score some strong tournament finishes. Since the AWP update he hasn’t been as dominant, and it is possible the limited, in comparison, role he has on EnVy will never allow him to regain the top spot. Even through these changes, Kenny remains one of the world’s best.
9. Tyler 'Skadoodle' Latham
USA | Cloud9
While fans go crazy about shroud’s exciting flick shots, the true star of Cloud9 and the player who makes the team who in the summer was a legitimate threat to contend for titles go, is Skadoodle—one of the world’s best snipers. He’s the best North American player—at least until Hiko fully returns—by far the most consistent player on Cloud9 and the team relies on his strong play more than anyone else’s. It’s possible Skadoodle will climb the rankings in the future, but his team must regain top form to do so—competing in North America won’t help him here.
8. Aleksandr 's1mple' Kostyliev
Ukraine | HellRaisers
Easily one of the most explosive players in the world, s1mple—the third AWPer so far on this list—has been outside of the spotlight since he left FlipSid3, seemingly out of the blue, after the team was knocked out of ESWC. Some of the statlines s1mple put together while playing in a tactical, but not very skilled F3 team are absurd. Once his ESL ban is up and he matures a little, he will become the number one player in the ex-CIS region, and you can expect him settle much higher in this ranking once he reaches his peak—he’s still only 17.
7. Robin 'flusha' Ronnquist
Sweden | Fnatic
flusha was the best player in fnatic for a long time, and his overall performance throughout 2014 was incredible. This year he has taken a backseat in the team while his teammates have shined brighter, but one must not discount his impact in fnatic’s wins either. For one, he has the best stats overall across all the CS:GO majors to-date, and he is one of just three players ever to three majors—and one of five to win two. He has nearly perfected the passive playing style as a rifler, yet is still capable of flashy highlights when needed. flusha could conceivably be the best player on almost any team, but he has practically accepted a smaller role to ensure his team keeps winning.
6. Freddy 'KRiMZ' Johansson
Sweden | Fnatic
No one could have predicted the breakout performances KRiMZ had in late 2014. He was a role player on the successful LGB team, and had been without a team before fnatic picked him up last summer. That KRiMZ went onto have some of the best individual performances on that team is truly remarkable. He was not a player who caught a hot streak and went with it, his nearly flawless fundamentals, especially with the M4A1-S and AK-47, allowed him to elevate his level of play almost overnight, and what’s more, he’s stayed up there for a year now. A cornerstone in the world’s best team’s success, and easily one of the best players in CS:GO.
5. Janusz 'Snax' Pogorzelski
Poland | Virtus.pro
Due to the way Virtus.pro is structured, a lot of the time their players go without the same kind of celebration that top players in other teams enjoy. There is no clear superstar in the Polish team, and at times all five of their players have good enough games to receive MVP awards. In any case, over the long haul the best player in Virtus.pro, and the most important one as well, has been Snax. He is an extremely versatile player, a part-in-game-leader, and probably the game’s trickiest player. He was the MVP of ESL ESEA Dubai Invitational, the second-best player all-time at the majors, and you can bet any time he plays that well Virtus.pro will go deep in tournaments.
4. Vincent 'Happy' Cervoni
France | Team EnVyUs
Happy might be the first in-game leader in Counter-Strike’s history to have the kind of success individually that he has had. He gets criticized by many—including me—for baiting his teammates at times, in a fashion that almost looks like he’s padding stats. In any case, he is the best player on EnVy, who have been a top three team for most of the past year, and has become the game’s best lurker after GeT_RiGhT’s decline. He can AWP, lead the world’s best team, and play with just about every weapon out there. Happy is almost a complete player, and that kind of versatility is especially valuable.
3. Ladislav 'GuardiaN' Kovacs
Slovakia | Natus Vincere
The lone Slovakian player—but the fourth main AWPer—on this list has been among the world’s best since 2012, but aside from the brief period when his Virtus.pro team took down NiP, he did not enjoy the kind of success or fanfare that he likely deserved until Na`Vi broke through as a top tier squad in May 2014. Since then he has probably been the biggest carry in a top five team. Simply put, Na`Vi often lived and died with GuardiaN’s performances. Lately he has gotten more help with the addition of flamie, but make no mistake—GuardiaN has been the most important player, on a team that was recently ranked second-best in the world, for a long time.
2. Nicolai 'device' Reedtz
Denmark | Team SoloMid
It’s safe to say that device has finally arrived. The Dane was championed as the next generation’s f0rest or GeT_RiGhT by Thorin a long time ago, and it seemed only his nerves were holding him back from becoming an absolute force in the Counter-Strike world. Well, now he is one—device has been the best player on TSM while the squad has racked up multiple international wins and even more top three finishes. Much like peak-f0rest, he can both AWP and rifle at an elite level. No longer is he the player who goes MIA in big games and needs to be pulled across the finish line. The best player in the world’s second-best team, device deserves the second spot in this ranking, and could easily edge his way to the top in the future.
1. Olof 'olofm' Kajbjer
Sweden | Fnatic
This should come as no surprise to anyone who has been actively following the scene. Currently—and for a while now—the king of Counter-Strike has been fnatic’s olofm, the player who has been the brightest star in the world’s best team—ever—and has effectively broken through as perhaps the game’s only superstar despite having three other incredibly skilled teammates. olofm has lived up to all the promises, and more, of the LGB days. Often he has been the difference between a top-three finish and another championship, and there is no player as scary in CS:GO currently as olofm having a good game—and other teams can surely testify to that. He is probably the game’s most versatile player—able to play both passively and aggressively on both halves, and handle every weapon, both rifles and snipers, at an elite level. Enjoy it while it lasts, because we do not get to enjoy players like this too often.
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