The best CS:GO players of 2019

CS:GO has become more skill-based in 2019 with players using the AUG and the Krieg.

Photo via ELEAGUE

CS:GO has never had so many talented players. The skill ceiling is higher than ever with young talent that keeps appearing every year. And in 2019, the players who are between 19 and 22 are particularly dominating the scene.

The metagame in 2019 was key to this scenario. First, we had the AUG and now we’re living in the Krieg meta. Those two scoped-rifles give an extra advantage to players who seek individual duels and the ones with the best mechanic skill prevail.

Here are the players who shined the most in the biggest CS:GO tournaments in 2019. We included some statistics from HLTV.org, such as rating 2.0 in big events, impact, and average damage per round.

7) Emil “Magisk” Reif – Astralis

Photo via DreamHack
  • HLTV 2.0 rating: 1.16; Impact: 1.12; ADR: 80.8
  • Notable championships: IEM Katowice Major, BLAST Pro Series São Paulo, StarLadder Berlin Major, IEM Beijing, ECS season eight, and BLAST Pro Series Global Finals
  • MVP medals: IEM Katowice Major

The acquisition of Magisk was definitely the best CS:GO roster move in 2018. After Astralis added him in February 2018, the Danes went on to win 10 major championships.

They didn’t show the same dominance in 2019, but Magisk was still a key piece to Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander’s system. Magisk plays some hard spots, like Inferno’s B bombsite pit, and delivers good numbers. He’s also known for his versatile plays with the AWP on the CT-side of Train sometimes.

Maybe there are other players who deserved to be on this list too, such as Team Liquid’s Keith “NAF” Markovic and 100 Thieves’ Justin “jks” Savage. We can’t leave off the MVP of a CS:GO Major, however—in Magisk’s case, IEM Katowice in February, the first Major of 2019.

6) Robin “ropz” Kool – mousesports

Photo via StarLadder
  • HLTV 2.0 rating: 1.19; Impact: 1.11; ADR: 79.3
  • Notable championships: CS:GO Asia Championships, ESL Pro League season 10, and cs_summit five
  • MVP medals: EPL season 10

The 19-year-old Estonian was already a star on mousesports, but he’s been showing his best form under Finn “karrigan” Andersen’s leadership since May.

At the end of the season, it looked like mousesports were going to have another average year. But everything started working for the international squad at the CS:GO Asia Championships, where they beat ENCE in the grand finals.

Mousesports did the unthinkable right after and won one of the most stacked tournaments of 2019, the EPL season 10 finals. They couldn’t have done it without ropz, who won the first MVP in his short career. He and Özgur “woxic” Eker are one of the most deadly duos in CS:GO right now.

5) Vincent “Brehze” Cayonte – Evil Geniuses

Photo via StarLadder
  • HLTV 2.0 rating: 1.14; Impact: 1.15; ADR: 79.7
  • Notable championships: ESL One New York and StarSeries i-League season eight
  • MVP medals: ESL One New York

Brehze has slowly been developing over the past three years since he joined NRG, whose roster was signed by EG in September. And he finally flourished this season.

The 21-year-old was the most consistent player on EG throughout the year. His hard work finally paid off when EG won their first big LAN tournament, ESL One New York, which was their first event under EG’s banner.

Although Brehze and crew lost a bit of steam in the last events of the year, he’ll head into 2020 as one of the top CS:GO riflers.

4) Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski – Team Liquid

Photo via DreamHack
  • HLTV 2.0 rating: 1.21; Impact: 1.30; ADR: 85.7
  • Notable championships: IEM Sydney, DreamHack Masters Dallas, EPL season nine, ESL One Cologne, BLAST Pro Series Los Angeles, and IEM Chicago
  • MVP medals: DreamHack Masters Dallas, EPL season nine, and IEM Chicago

EliGE has always been a good player, but in past years, he lacked consistency and Team Liquid missed championships. These two factors changed drastically in 2019, however. Liquid found their groove and EliGE became their brightest star.

The 22-year-old is good with every rifle, but he’s probably the best with the Krieg and was the best with the AUG before the nerf. These scoped guns suit him so well that EliGE became a nightmare even for the best snipers in the game.

After 2019, EliGE can be considered the best North American player to ever touch CS:GO alongside his teammate Jake “Stewie2K” Yip. Maybe the CS:GO gods will help him win a Major at some point in his career.

3) Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev – Natus Vincere

Photo via DreamHack
  • HLTV 2.0 rating: 1,29; Impact: 1.32; ADR: 83.9
  • Notable championships: StarSeries i-League season seven
  • MVP medals: StarSeries i-League season seven

S1mple managed to produce almost the same crazy numbers that he did in 2018. But, unfortunately for him, it wasn’t the best year for Na’Vi in CS:GO.

The organization made some roster changes during the year. The addition of Ladislav “GuardiaN” Kovács will determine whether s1mple will be better as a rifler or if he’s more capable at AWPing since he’s mainly using rifles after GuardiaN’s arrival in September.

The reason why he isn’t the No. 1 player anymore is because he won less MVP medals in 2019 than he did in 2018. Last year, he won the award six times, including at StarSeries i-League season four and DreamHack Masters Marseille, where Na’Vi were runners-up.

2) Nicolai “device” Reedtz – Astralis

Photo via BLAST Pro Series
  • HLTV 2.0 rating: 1.23; Impact: 1.31; ADR: 81.8
  • Notable championships: IEM Katowice Major, BLAST Pro Series São Paulo, StarLadder Berlin Major, IEM Beijing, ECS season eight, and BLAST Pro Series Global Finals
  • MVP medals: BLAST Pro Series São Paulo, StarLadder Berlin Major, and ECS season eight

Why does device never top best player lists? It’s probably because he isn’t as flashy as other stars. The 24-year-old, however, is the most cerebral AWPer in CS:GO and has been consistently among the top players for the last four years.

The fact that he’s so good with rifles makes him a versatile player who doesn’t need to buy the AWP every time to have an impact on the game. Device can also read his opponents and exploit their weak points.

He may not be remembered as the best CS:GO player, but he’s definitely become the most victorious.

1) Mathieu “Zywoo” Herbaut – Vitality

Photo via Todd Gutierrez
  • HLTV 2.0 rating: 1.30; Impact: 1.39; ADR: 86.8
  • Notable championships: cs_summit four, ECS season seven
  • MVP medals: cs_summit four, ECS season seven, ESL One Cologne, and DreamHack Masters Malmö

This 19-year-old who started playing professionally last year is already the best player in the world. But why? Without ZywOo, Vitality would be just a normal team.

ZywOo is so daring and mechanically gifted that it makes sense for Vitality to set him up for frags all the time. He’s made highlights with every single gun, whether it’s a pistol, an SMG, or rifle.

ZywOo earned MVP honors when Vitality won a championship because he truly carried his teammates. And even when they came in second, like at ESL One Cologne in July and DreamHack Masters Malmö in October, he still was the best player at the tournament. ZywOo is proof that younger players are playing better than some of the most experienced names.

This was basically his rookie year and he seems ready to do more damage in 2020.