Vitality’s Mathiew “ZywOo” Herbaut was the top CS:GO player in the world in 2019, according to HLTV.
The 19-year-old is the youngest player to receive this prestigious award. CS:GO fans learned ZywOo’s name even before he became a pro since he had been putting up crazy stats in the FPL since 2017.
ZywoO became a pro in October 2018 when Vitality assembled its team. He helped them win three tournaments in 2019, one of them being ECS season seven finals. He also received five MVP awards from HLTV during the season, including at ESL One Cologne and DreamHack Masters Malmö, where Vitality lost in the grand finals.
It’s remarkable that ZywOo had such a historical year in his first full season as a pro. The French sniper faced tough competition, though, and beat 2018’s MVP, Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev, who also had an excellent season in 2019, and Nicolai “device” Reedtz, who’s been a top-five player for the last three years.
“I’m still young and this was my first year at the top,” ZywOo told HLTV. “It was an amazing year, but I think I still have a lot of experience to gain and things to learn. I honestly think that the future can be even better, considering the resources that Vitality are putting at our disposal and the support around me.”
The title of best CS:GO player in the world is always a highly-debated topic in the community, but HLTV’s award is the most praised because it uses individual statistics to define its ranking.
In past years, only two players maintained their title of best player in the world. Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund was the first to do so (2013 to 2014) and Marcelo “coldzera” David did the same in 2016 and 2017. To see someone as talented as s1mple finish second means that CS:GO’s skill ceiling is higher than ever.