Top 5 CS:GO Players in the World: Post EPL

CS:GO has seen a flurry of tournaments so far in 2018 and it is time to rank the top five players currently in CS:GO.

Photo Credit: Na’Vi

This is the first iteration of these ranking and to get background on how I made the list, I primarily looked at their HLTV rating, impact, performances in key playoff games and team success. The ranking will be updated monthly or during breaks in major tournaments. 

For this set of rankings I will gauge it on: 

  • StarSeries i-League Season 4
  • IEM Katowice 2018
  • Dreamhack Masters Marseille 
  • IEM Sydney 
  • ESL Pro League Season 7 Finals

As always, these rankings are subjective so discuss the list and comment yours below! 

  1. 5 Freddy 'KRIMZ' Johansson - Fnatic

    Notable team placements:

    • IEM Katowice: 1st
    • Dreamhack Masters Marseille: 3-4

    Notable performances:

    Fnatic were a shadow of their former selves for most 2017. The core of Krimz, flusha and JW before 2018, were held without a trophy since 2016. In 2018 however, Fnatic have found a resurgence and Krimz has been the engine fueling the Swedish train. Fnatic were victorious at IEM Katowice this March past, lifting their first trophy in nearly two years, Krimz has been the rock for his team through thick and thin showing consistency posting >1.20 ratings in three big LAN's helped put Fnatic back into the top 5 in the world. 

    Krimz is the cornerstone for Fnatic at the moment and their success is heavily relied upon the 24-year-old showing up each game. When Krimz has not been the MVP caliber player, that he has displayed to the world throughout the year, Fnatic have placed mediocre. IEM Sydney was the most recent example of this as Krimz himself only mustered a 1.05 rating which played to Fnatic being bolstered out in the quarterfinals.

    Krimz is the 5th best player of 2018 so far as he has showed to us he truly is the engine that fuels Fnatic. Carrying this team back to the top of the world is no easy task for one man, but Krimz has done already and his impact to his team in big events and especially playoff games has not gone unnoticed and makes him more than deserved of the 5th spot.

  2. 4 Keith 'NAF' Markovic - Team Liquid

    Notable team placements:

    • StarSeries i-League Season 4: 3rd
    • IEM Katowice: 3-4
    • ESL Pro League Season 7 Finals: 2nd

    Notable performances:

    The new blood for Liquid has silenced the haters, since arriving to the team post Eleague Major, NAF has been electric and has helped solidify themselves as the clear cut number one team in North America, along with the help of Cloud9's fall from grace. NAF has shied away from his usual supportive role that albeit saw him succeeded in Renegades and OpTic but has now embraced the star role in Liquid. 

    I wanna be like the star player of this team. I just wanna prove myself and prove to you guys that I'm a good player and all that.   - DBLTAP Interview with NAF about transitioning to the star role in Renegades.

    NAF has showcased his talents immensely in key playoff matches throughout his short tenure with Liquid, most notably lifting his team past mousesports in the quarterfinals at the most recent EPL Finals. Along with his consistent performances in playoff matches, NAF has also been stellar in group stages, and although his ratings have dipped in the two most recent LANS, NAF has still been a force to be reckoned with.

    NAF is the 4th player of 2018 so far due to his shear impact and consistency since his time on Team Liquid. The North American has proven he by far the best in his region and throughout his time on Liquid so far, the team and NAF himself has flourished and we can all expect more of them. 

  3. 3 Nikola 'NiKo' Kovač - FaZe Clan

    Notable team performances:

    • IEM Katowice: 2nd
    • IEM Sydney: 1st
    • ESL Pro League Season 7 Finals: 3-4

    Notable performances:

    NiKo has once again been of the best players in the world over the course of 2018. The Bosnian star has taken no prisoners over FaZe's turbulent 2018, showcasing his stellar aim along with his consistency has forged him into of the games greats. Losing the Eleague Major this January past set a fire inside NiKo, a fire ravished by constantly coming close but never fully captivating the trophies. 

    NiKo's spectacular play at Katowice was not even enough to carry them past the old guard of Fnatic, losing out in another BO5 against an underdog seemed like the breaking point of FaZe as a unit, then a lackluster performance at the following Dreamhack Masters Marseille left more unanswered questions for the International super team. NiKo showed up to IEM Sydney on a mission, playing with one motive in mind, to win. During Sydney, NiKo was marvelous this event bolstering a 1.21 rating over 17 maps, helping FaZe upset Astralis in the grand final to once again be crowned champions.

    NiKo is the 3rd ranked player for 2018 so far due to his sheer consistency and impact in high octane games. A 1.16 rating is the superstars lowest performances over the last few LAN's, and with FaZe's identity left with many questions they still will rely on one man, NiKo.


  4. 2 Nicolai 'device' Reedtz - Astralis

    Notable team performances 

    • Dreamhack Masters Marseille: 1st
    • IEM Sydney: 2nd
    • ESL Pro League Season 7 Finals: 1st

    Notable performances:

    Dev1ce throughout his whole career has been widely regarded as a legend of the game, his overall consistency and ability to preform each tournament from start to finish has molded him into a legend of the game. Coming off of his now known sickness the Danish awper has once again been Mr. Consistent for Astralis. After a dreadful major which saw dev1ce shy away from the awp in favor to dupreeh, now reverted to the old ways and Astralis have risen to the top of the CS:GO world yet again.

    Coming into Dreamhack Masters Marseille, Astralis consistently placed in the top 8 at both Katowice and StarSeries, but Marseille was a whole new chapter in the never ending book of CS:GO. A staggering 1.38 rating and immense impact in the final versus Navi was a magical way to cap off Marseille for the Danes, dev1ce has looked back to his usual self, being the mobile CT-sided awper he has molded himself into has left his opposition wondering where he will be posted up during the round.

    Dev1ce is the 2nd ranked player so far in 2018, not only due to Astralis's success as of late but the immense impact he has each match with any weapon.  His high performance in key matches is pivotal to Astralis's sudden rise to the top again, and in the most competitive era CS:GO has seen yet, dev1ce is a diamond among the rocks.


  5. 1 Aleksandr 's1mple' Kostyliev

    Notable team performances:

    • StarSeries i-League Season 4: 2nd
    • Dreamhack Masters Marseille: 2nd
    • ESL Pro League Season 7 Finals: 3-4

    Notable performances:

    We are being graced with the presence of the most dominate form by an individual in CS:GO history. S1mple has put all of Navi on his back in 2018, defining all the odds and making Navi a contender every tournament due to his caliber of play. Navi as a team has placed 2nd at two events this year, being StarSeries and Dreamhack Masters, failing to lift a trophy in both attempts but with s1mple still taking home the HLTV MVP award is staggering.

    The mind blowing statistic behind s1mple is just his pure carry potential. At StarSeries, s1mple's lowest rating in the grand final was a 1.51, which is outstanding in a losing effort due to some of his teammates not showing up individually. A 1.52 rating throughout the whole event in Marseille was yet again not good enough for a victory, falling yet again in the grand final. Analysts are quick to praise s1mple are rightfully so but to say Navi are legitimately a top 5 team is outrageous.

    s1mple is the number one player so far in 2018, as if he was not on Navi they would straight up be a 10-20 ranked team. Consistently carrying his team into top 4's and finals is so much to depend on one man to do, but time in and time out s1mple delivers. It is a piece of art that s1mple is making so far and we are all the buyers wanting more pieces every week. 

    Do you agree or disagree with my list? Comment yours below!

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Nick Chris

Full-time student studying Communications with a minor in Business at the Memorial University.

Contact: [email protected]