Feb 24 2017 - 8:52 pm
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Thorin's Top 20 Best CS:GO Players Never to Win a Major - Part 2 (10-1)

Thorin takes us from 10 to 1 in the best CS:GO players never to win the major.
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Courtesy of Dreamhack and Adela Sznajder

With more than four years of competitive Counter-Strike and 10 majors having passed, there have been numerous great players and teams securing the ultimate prize and etching their names immortally into history. Not every great player has had his day though and in this two part list I will count down the 20 best to never finish atop the podium at the end of a major.

"Best player" is obviously a contentious term and I have applied it not simply to star players, but also those who were the best at less carry-orientated roles, such as in-game leader or support. The key criteria for this list is that the player was good enough to have potentially won a major during some peak period of their career, but never did, for whatever reasons.

Part 1: 20-11

Part 2: 10-11

10. Danylo "Zeus" Teslenko - The great CIS General

Courtesy of Dreamhack and Adela Sznajder

Results at the majors:

DreamHack Winter 2013 (13th-16th) [Na`Vi]

EMS One Katowice 2014 (13th-16th) [Na`Vi]

ESL One Cologne 2014 (5th-8th) [Na`Vi]

DreamHack Winter 2014 (3rd-4th) [Na`Vi]

ESL One Katowice 2015 (5th-8th) [Na`Vi]

ESL One Cologne 2015 (5th-8th) [Na`Vi]

DreamHack Open Cluj-Napoca 2015 (2nd) [Na`Vi]

MLG Columbus 2016 (2nd) [Na`Vi]

ESL One Cologne 2016 (5th-8th) [Na`Vi]

ELEAGUE Major 2017 (5th-8th) [Gambit]

Zeus had attained legendary status as a leader already in CS 1.6, having won all three majors in 2010 and a record four in a row, including the first of 2011. CS:GO saw him struggling to remain relevant, though, as his stars Edward and markeloff left him to play in the Astana Dragons super-team. That Edward returned was due to the former 1.6 pistol king no longer being a super-star level player. That set the tone for next year and a half or so of Na`Vi: working with lesser talent and relying upon the tactical system to grind out wins.

Na`Vi under Zeus in 2014 and most of 2015 was a team that slowly set-up for an attack, ran the clock down and then moved onto a site. Opposing teams knew the vague outline of what was coming, but the exact variation and call was much more difficult to read. As such, Na`Vi could grind even with the great teams of their era, giving the likes of FNATIC and nV close games again and again.

GuardiaN was Zeus's only true weapon for most of this period, a super-star level talent who was erratic in his performance but deadly when in the zone. Zeus built the team around GuardiaN's AWP much as he had done markeloff's in 1.6 and the results began to come. Na`Vi became the ultimate upset team, capable of winning mid tier events when they hit their peak level.

It wasn't until the development of flamie and the leadership role passing to starix that Na`Vi became true major contenders, though. Despite this, Zeus himself was for this author's money one of the world's best IGLs throughout 2014 and 2015, even if names like pronax and Happy had better squads and more weapons to wield. Zeus even took a team with essentially only GuardiaN as top talent to the final four of a major at Dreamhack Winter 2014, beating out a Dignitas line-up which was stacked talent - essentially the Astralis core of 2015 and beyond.

Best chance:

MLG Columbus 2016 (2nd) [Na`Vi]

Zeus's best chance to win a major came after his time as IGL had passed, when Na`Vi put together what appeared to be the perfect run. In the group stage they beat out long-time rivals VP. The quarters saw them dispatch an NiP who had to use THREAT as a stand-in for the absent pyth. In the semi-finals they did not have to face FNATIC, who had won six tournaments in a row and whose core had never been beaten by Na`Vi in a Bo3 series. Instead, a red hot Astralis arrived, only to deliver a classic semi-final choke and give up an easier than it should have been finals spot.

The finals opponent was Luminosity, a team who had never won a tournament, had barely scraped by a TL with choking issues of their own and who shared a common map pool with Na`Vi. Of course, Na`Vi were to suffer from super-star GuardiaN being entirely neutralised by his injury, a close loss on the opening mirage and then a complete shut-down on overpass, deciding the series for the Brazilians.

After so many years toiling away without the right pieces, Zeus's chance to win with the table seemingly set for him had passed without success. Having moved on to Gambit, one wonders if he will ever get another such shcnace.

9. Egor "flamie" Vasilyev - Delicate monster

Results at the majors:

ESL One Cologne 2014 (13th-16th) [DAT]

ESL One Katowice 2015 (13th-16th) [HR]

ESL One Cologne 2015 (5th-8th) [Na`Vi]

DreamHack Open Cluj-Napoca 2015 (2nd) [Na`Vi]

MLG Columbus 2016 (2nd) [Na`Vi]

ESL One Cologne 2016 (5th-8th) [Na`Vi]

ELEAGUE Major 2017 (5th-8th) [Na`Vi]

flamie was always a prospect in the CIS region, but that he would develop to reach the level of potential he displayed in late 2015 and early 2016 was far from certain. Possessed with phenomenal precision aim with the rifles and pistols, it wasn't until the former DAT team player arrived at Na`Vi that he began to find a role that he could perform beyond mere head-shots.

In Na`Vi he would help the team to some upset victories, claiming smaller titles on the circuit, and the team began an upward trajectory to becoming one of the elite sides. starix, the player flamie had replaced, was said to be working with the youngster on his integration in the line-up, so it is perhaps no surprise that when the aforementioned Na`Vi great took over as IGL that flamie became implemented fully into the team.

The ESL ESEA ProLeague Season 2 Finals showed us flamie was ready to accept the mantle of star player and give GuardiaN the help he had always needed, delivering an MVP performance. 2016 saw flamie in position with the Slovakian AWPer as one of the most dangerous 1-2 punches in the game. Alas, Na`Vi's system and stars routinely got them to finals and top four finishes, but victory almost always eluded them.

Were there a final in December 2015 to February of 2016, Na`Vi would have been the second favourite to take the title, after the dominant FNATIC team. Instead, their silver sorrows continued and they never ascended to the ultimate height of world champions. Look for an impact rifler in that period, though, and there are few who could match flamie's power.

Best chance:

MLG Columbus 2016 (2nd) [Na`Vi]

As outlined in detail elsewhere, Na`Vi's best chance to take the title came at MLG Columbus, where Luminosity and GuardiaN's arm broke their hearts.

8. Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom - Headshot machine

Results at the majors:

DreamHack Winter 2013 (3rd-4th) [VG]

EMS One Katowice 2014 (9th-12th) [Titan]

ESL One Cologne 2014 (9th-12th) [Titan]

ESL One Cologne 2015 (5th-8th) [Kinguin]

DreamHack Open Cluj-Napoca 2015 (9th-12th) [Titan]

MLG Columbus 2016 (9th-12th) [G2]

ESL One Cologne 2016 (13th-16th) [G2]

ELEAGUE Major 2017 (12th-14th) [G2]

ScreaM was the original up and coming player to light the CS:GO world ablaze, showcasing jaw-dropping burst aim and tapping. While his initial addition to VeryGames underwhelmed, with the team falling back further from big event victory, his partnership with shox, who was added a few months later, helped set the stage for the dominance of the latter portion of the year by the French-Belgian side.

During his time in VeryGames and Titan, ScreaM represented something of a problem child for Ex6TenZ, who could not draw consistent performances out of the young Belgian. Nevertheless, when ScreaM did go off, he could take over a map and when he did not, the likes of NBK were good enough to take up the slack of being shox's side-kick, with the French rifle star standing as the world's best.

2014 saw a Titan built around kennyS again rising up to elite status, but finding less success. After ScreaM was left out of the first French shuffle, abandoned to a team of leftovers who were soon banned for match-fixing, chances to compete at the top looked to have gone for good. Playing in Maikelele's Kinguin project was ScreaM's path back, as the squad gradually improved and even cracked top eight at a major. Alas, ScreaM's departure came right before the side made their epic run to the semi-final of Cluj-Napoca.

Back in Titan/G2, ScreaM seemed destined to be trapped in a decent but far from spectacular side. With Ex6TenZ's removal in the Spring of 2016, ScreaM suddenly began to exhibit the kind of consistent and high level play his career had always hinted at but never shown on a regular basis. Suddenly shox and ScreaM were both on and seemingly every game, online or offline. While G2 did not accomplish major success, managing only strong placings and performances in other competitions, the play of their stars was some of the most electrifying of the year and they were a legitimate candidate for best duo in the game.

Give ScreaM the right players around him in the Summer of 2016 and he could well have been contending for a major. Instead, he and shox were elevating a team of cast-offs.

It is worth noting that while ScreaM rarely collapsed at majors, his level almost always took a dip, which is the case for a lot of top players, and he had few notable big maps. It's unfortunate that the last major saw him entirely ineffective, perhaps bothered by the inevitable removal he faced from G2 with the super-team roster shuffle imminent.

Best chance:

DreamHack Winter 2013 (3rd-4th) [VG]

The tragedy of VeryGames/Titan and Ex6TenZ's career is that his team were legitimately a pre-tournament favourite for three straight majors, yet only once managed to escape the group stage. As such, that deep run stands as the most obvious opportunity to win the major. VeryGames came in as the world's number one side, having won more offline events in the previous months than anyone else and slain NiP in three straight Bo3 series.

Meeting NiP in the semi-finals could not deliver a fourth straight win and the series went 2:1 to the Ninjas. Even beyond that match, had VeryGames not fallen for the now infamous coL B fake, where they committed to taking over the site but snuck the bomb to A where it could not be defused in time, then VeryGames would have been on the other side of the bracket, where the teams in question were all those who they held dominance over, particularly pronax's FNATIC - who Ex6TenZ routinely read with ease and beat.

That tournament legitimately stands as one of the true "what if" runs and could very well have seen ScreaM hoisting the first ever major trophy in CS:GO.

7. Dennis "dennis" Edman - Sweden's pistol king

Courtesy of IEM and Adela Sznajder

Results at the majors:

DreamHack Winter 2013 (5th-8th) [LGB]

EMS One Katowice 2014 (3rd-4th) [LGB]

ESL One Cologne 2015 (5th-8th) [Kinguin]

DreamHack Open Cluj-Napoca 2015 (3rd-4th) [G2]

MLG Columbus 2016 (5th-8th) [FNATIC]

ESL One Cologne 2016 (3rd-4th) [FNATIC]

ELEAGUE Major 2017 (3rd-4th) [FNATIC]

dennis has quietly built one of the most impressive major resumes of anyone not on a championship winning side, having reached the semi-finals of the biggest CS:GO competitions on four occassions, despite taking more than a year off competitive play from mid 2014 to mid 2015. As the lost man from LGB, one of their stars and IGL but who voluntarily departed from CS:GO before the game blew up - seeking real world employment, dennis looked to set to be another "what if" name in the game's historical annals.

Returning with Kinguin seemed to be of novelty value, but nobody could legitimately have expected the team to later make a run almost to the final of a major. Leaving soon after, dennis joined up with FNATIC, who had just finished their era as the best team in history, and exceeded expectations by helping a new look FNATIC style win six straight offline tournaments in a row.

olof's injury killed them at Columbus, coupled with an opportunistic Astralis unleashing some revenge, but bad days at majors beyond that still meant semi-finals appearances for dennis and FNATIC.

dennis has established himself as one of the pistol kings of CS:GO, famed for his ability to dominate with the USP. Beyond that, he emerged as one of the better hybrid players in mid 2016, as the team saw a vacuum open up where once olofm's all-around game had dominated. By the end of that FNATIC line-up, which has since been reformed, dennis was the best in a team of multiple time major champions.

The new look FNATIC, again replicating that late 2015 to Summer 2016 line-up, may have flunked their first event (Dreamhack Vegas), but few would bet against them again gaining a shot at another major in the future.

Best chance:

MLG Columbus 2016 (5th-8th) [FNATIC]

As strange as it may initially seem, dennis's best chance to win the major may not have been at any of his four semi-final appearances. Instead, the MLG Columbus in which his team were cast aside by a murderous Astralis in the quarter-final stands out as a true missed opportunity.

Coming into that event, FNATIC had won all six of the tournaments they had played with dennis in the line-up. In winning those titles they had beaten out all of the top contenders for the crown, never dropping a series to other elite teams like Na`Vi and Luminosity. The stage was set for dennis to begin another major-winning era for the FNATIC brand. That is until olofm's injury struck and the event entered The Twilight Zone. In the group stage they lost to an over-time performance from TL and the randomiser.

In the quarter-finals an Astralis who were months removed from mentally stable championship winning form pounced and smashed the Swedes 2:0, with olofm completely absent from the scoreboard, in the context of being the world's best player up to that point, and forced to table injury leave immediately falling the event.

For a team as successful and storied as FNATIC, they do not need any alteration of history to win more majors, but for dennis this was a chance to accomplish something of similar note and it came and went.

6. Kevin "Ex6TenZ" Droolans - The tragic mastermind

Courtesy of ESL and Helena Kristiansson

Results at the majors:

DreamHack Winter 2013 (3rd-4th) [VG]

EMS One Katowice 2014 (9th-12th) [Titan]

ESL One Cologne 2014 (9th-12th) [Titan]

ESL One Cologne 2015 (9th-12th) [Titan]

DreamHack Open Cluj-Napoca 2015 (9th-12th) [Titan]

MLG Columbus 2016 (9th-12th) [G2]

Ex6TenZ was the game's original mastermind, devising the system which had VeryGames the team constantly primed to dethrone NiP during the early 6-7 month period in which the Ninjas never dropped a single map in offline play. VG couldn't beat NiP, but they could and did beat everyone else. When a series of roster moves eventually brought shox, one of Ex6's prodigal sons, back to the fold, VG were finally ready to rule the world and did so with numerous titles in late 2013 and victories over their rivals.

2014 saw the team again reworked, returning to elite status, but this time having to battle NiP and Virtus.pro for titles. Failure at the majors would be the trend, though, each time with Titan set as a pre-tournament favourite and each time with a tough group seeing them getting the key upsets to deny them a shot at the bracket, where they would have had a good chance at a deep run.

It is worth noting that during these majors there was no Bo3 series to decide the final spot, instead it was a Bo1 game. Added to that, for ESL One Cologne 2014, a map randomiser decided the map to be played in said circumstance, hence Dignitas got the nuke on which their CT side was famously lock-down and proceeded to do as much to Titan's chances of the play-offs.

After the French shuffle, Ex6TenZ had an exciting upset team, built around the star AWPing of kennyS and KQLY, but the VAC ban of the latter crippled Titan's hopes of being a dark horse for the final major of the year. Beyond that, Ex6TenZ applied his efforts to building the team around kennyS, who exited the stratosphere to carry at levels never before seen in a team outside the top 2-3 in the world.

Coupled with such carry AWPing, Ex6TenZ's tactical aptitude allowed Titan to on numerous occasions play FNATIC, the world's best team and eventually history's best, close and even score numerous wins over them. Nevertheless, the team could not overcome a lack of a consistent second star, with apEX poorly suited to said role due to the high variance of his playing style and role as the dedicated entry-fragger.

When kennyS was taken from him by EnVyUs, Ex6TenZ was left with a shox who very much wanted a large say in how the team was run and thus the Belgian mastermind's authority was gradually eroded along with his confidence, the team no longer even in position to upset and make deep runs in tournaments. By his removal in 2016, he had resigned himself to becoming a better individual player but in a team that was seemingly headed nowhere.

Now stationed in LDLC, following the kick from G2, Ex6TenZ has eschewed bigger name team-mates to focus on moulding young players from the French and Belgian scenes to his tactical system, with his appetite and confidence for such structure having returned in full force. While he is as far away from a major title as he has ever been, the former VeryGames leader continues to stand by his vow that he would not retire until he had won one.

With gla1ve's victory at the ELEAGUE Major, one is reminded of the tragedy that so many of the great execute IGLs (Zeus, Ex6TenZ, karrigan and MSL) have yet to claim one.

Best chance:

DreamHack Winter 2013 (3rd-4th) [VG]

As outlined previously, the best chance for major gold came at Dreamhack Winter. VeryGames were a team legitimately favoured against any opponent they might have faced in the competition. Had they beaten NiP in their series or coL in the group stage, their chances of victory would have soared even higher, facing a FNATIC shox was lights out against and Ex6TenZ always seemed fully in control against. In the end, coL's fake and NiP's gritty victory denied Ex6TenZ the major title which would have cemeneted "The VeryGames era" as one of the fixtures in CS:GO history comparable to the NiP 87-0 era.

5. René "cajunb" Borg - The fiery third man

Courtesy of Dreamhack and Adela Sznajder

Results at the majors:

DreamHack Winter 2013 (9th-12th) [n!]

EMS One Katowice 2014 (3rd-4th) [Dig]

ESL One Cologne 2014 (9th-12th) [CW]

DreamHack Winter 2014 (5th-8th) [Dig]

ESL One Katowice 2015 (5th-8th) [TSM]

ESL One Cologne 2015 (3rd-4th) [TSM]

DreamHack Open Cluj-Napoca 2015 (5th-8th) [TSM]

MLG Columbus 2016 (3rd-4th) [Ast]

ESL One Cologne 2016 (9th-12th) [Dig]

ELEAGUE Major 2017 (5th-8th) [North]

cajunb has been a talent in Denmark since the days of CS:GO and was in and out of the core of what was then Copenhagen Wolves and later became Dignitas and then Astralis, largely due to his fiery nature. When he finally returned for good, in the latter part of 2014, the unit saw a massive amount of success over the next year and a half, earning as many top four finishes as practically any other team in the game and lifting five trophies, even at one point establishing a winning rivalry against the might all-time great FNATIC of olofm and KRiMZ.

cajun's versatility has been his strength more than the mere power of his fragging. Put into a secondary team in Denmark he could certainly stand as a star, but he is best suited to making up a trio along with other stars, as his time in Astralis and now North has shown. With lower expectations, cajun's carry games put his teams over the top and the reduced pressure to be "the man" seems to work more in line with his easily frustrated nature.

There were times when cajun was perhaps a victim of FeTiSh's failures as an in-game leader and his star device's inability to come through in the big game, but cajun has had much success nonetheless and a number of times been in position, second or third in line, to potentially win a major. With his Astralis brethren, minus karrigan, accomplishing said feat, one can imagine he is only ever more eager to match them and win a major without them, taking the youthful North to the top instead.

It's not easy being the Xavi to someone else's Messi and Iniesta - or the Rodman to someone else's Jordan and Pippen, if you need another set of reference points - but you win a lot more as part of such a trio than you do alone.

Best chance:

DreamHack Open Cluj-Napoca 2015 (5th-8th) [TSM]

As outlined previously, Cluj was the event where the TSM core had their best shot at lifting the trophy. What's more, it was the peak of cajunb within that line-up. In 2014 he had been an up and down player often put into star roles, but within TSM he could settle behind the consistent super-star player of device and the reliable entry-fragging of dupreeh. As a hybrid AWPer, cajun took the weapon from device on certain maps, dust2 being the most notable, and stood as one of the best "third stars" in CS:GO at this time.

4. Mikhail "Dosia" Stolyarov - The original CIS monster

Courtesy of Dreamhack and Adela Sznajder

Results at the majors:

DreamHack Winter 2013 (5th-8th) [AD]

EMS One Katowice 2014 (5th-8th) [HR]

ESL One Cologne 2014 (9th-12th) [HR]

DreamHack Winter 2014 (5th-8th) [HR]

ESL One Katowice 2015 (13th-16th) [HR]

MLG Columbus 2016 (9th-12th) [Gambit]

ESL One Cologne 2016 (5th-8th) [Gambit]

ELEAGUE Major 2017 (5th-8th) [Gambit]

Back before he became a living meme and inadvertent exhibitionist, Dosia was one of the best players in the entire world. In the latter years of 1.6 he stood out as the most talented player in Russian Counter-Strike and he came right into CS:GO without missing a beat. In the days when GeT_RiGhT and f0rest would legitimately dominate seemingly every map, Dosia was one of the few names who stood against them and delivered similarly monstrous performances. As such, it is perhaps fitting that it was his Virtus.pro teams who delivered NiP their first few big offline series losses.

Right through to later part of 2013, Dosia remained one of CS:GO's heavy hitters and it wasn't until 2014 that his fire started to fade. With such a methodical and somewhat predictable style of playing, when others began to display firing skills which were comparable, Dosia's advantages were trimmed and he became merely a good CIS player. That downward trajectory has continued since until he has become a serviceable player but nowhere near the monster he once was.

Had there been majors in the first two thirds of 2013, then Dosia's Virtus.pro and Astana Dragons teams would have been right behind the NiP and VeryGames of the world to take the crown. Even more compelling is the sheer number of big wins and close matches they had against NiP, suggesting that in a world where NiP beat VeryGames that VP or AD could very well had taken a major.

Best chance:

DreamHack Winter 2013 (5th-8th) [AD]

Dosia's best chance, both team-wise and individually, came just before the era of the majors, with the first major - Dreamhack Winter 2013 - actually standing as the start of the down-fall of his team as an elite side, but there was still a chance at DHW 2013. The bracket saw no team favoured over them, as they faced coL in the first round and would have had FNATIC in the semi-final. Astana were favoured against both and had the other bracket played out as it did, with NiP progressing, then Astana Dragons had beaten NiP in the past two Bo3 series the teams had played.

With all of that said, Astana were beaten in three maps by coL, as a mixture of poor performance from Dosia himself and sgares studying the tendencies of the CIS squad cost them the chance to move on. That would be the furthest Dosia ever went in a major.

3. Nikola "NiKo" Kovac - The Bosnian phenom

Courtesy of Dreamhack and Robert Paul

Results at the majors:

DreamHack Open Cluj-Napoca 2015 (9th-12th) [mouz]

MLG Columbus (9th-12th) [mouz]

ESL One Cologne 2016 (9th-12th) [mouz]

ELEAGUE Major 2017 (12th-14th) [mouz]

Despite his young age, only 19, NiKo has been around CS:GO as an active player since the early days. Hailing from Bosnia, that meant he was resigned to a lower level of competition for the first years and then, despite being scouted by mouz, often stuck on the bench of a better team. When mouz blew their chance to show true class on domestic soil at ESL One Cologne 2015, the management of mouz forced NiKo into the starting line-up and the rest is history, as they say.

From that tournament, a major no less, onwards, the world saw NiKo was ready to be a super-star player and more importantly that he could dazzle and dominate even without the team around him to provide a vehicle to win championships. By 2016 had arrived, mouz were still mediocre and scraping the top 10 at best, but NiKo was one of the world's best and most dominant individual stars.

Realistically, with a strong squad around him over the first half of 2016, NiKo could have won a major and even potentially have been the MVP of one, such was the force of his carry games. With that said, as someone who has only competed in four majors and in a team rarely favoured to escape their group, NiKo has been somewhat underwhelming at the majors, with the last - the ELEAGUE Major - standing as a lone exception.

Joining up with FaZe, stacked with talent and lead by a legendary name and fellow occupant of this list, along with team-mate rain, NiKo seemingly has the pieces which might allow him to make his first legitimate attempt at becoming a major champion.

Best chance:

DreamHack Open Cluj-Napoca 2015 (9th-12th) [mouz]

NiKo's best chance to win was essentially hypothetical, building a good enough team around him. In real terms, his first major with mouz was the most likely chance. The team still had gob b back then, who was hailed as one of the better IGLs, and lost a close series to the G2 team which ended up marching all the way to the semi-final and within a round of the final. Had it not been for heroics from Maikelele winning clutch rounds in the opener, then mouz may well have won the series 2:0 and moved on to the play-offs. There they would have faced VP, a team the previous line-up, minus NiKo, had twice beaten in Bo3 series at Gfinity Spring Masters II.

This was not a realistic chance to win a major and requires far more "if's" than are even really worth laying out. NiKo's chances to win majors are yet to come.

2. Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev - Counter-Strike prodigy

Courtesy of Dreamhack and Adela Sznajder

Results at the majors:

DreamHack Winter 2014 (5th-8th) [HR]

MLG Columbus 2016 (3rd-4th) [TL]

ESL One Cologne (2nd) [TL]

ELEAGUE Major 2017 (5th-8th) [Na`Vi]

s1mple, along with NiKo, is one of the true prodigies of CS:GO, players so embued with talent as to be capable of seemingly anything and able to deliver unbelievable performances whether their team-mates can support them or not. While 2015 was s1mple's own time of toil in the wilderness, banned from ESL events and thus ineligable for the first two majors of the years - despite being a monster individual star, 2016 has seen him gradually improving his team environment to gain legitimate chances for deep runs at the world's biggest competitions.

Arguably the most skilled player in CS:GO, good with every weapon and capable of dominating seemingly all opponents, s1mple has been to the top four of two of the four majors he has competed in and never failed to make the play-offs. What's more, the Ukrainian phenom has produced fantastic performances at all of the majors he has competed in, despite being only 19. His attitude kept him out of teams in the past, but his talent has more than been up to the level required to become a major champion. With youth on his side and embedded as the franchise player for Na`Vi, a storied side, s1mple will have more chances to win the ultimate prize.

Best chance:

MLG Columbus 2016 (3rd-4th) [TL]

In reality, s1mple's performances have been incredible but none of his teams were favourites to win any of the majors they attended. Despite as much, they have secured upset wins at all of those majors and often due to his personal play. The best chance, on paper, was the MLG Columbus semi-final run, where they were but two rounds from the final and would have faced a handicapped Na`Vi, with GuardiaN limited by his arm injury.

1. Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács - The tortured carry

Courtesy of Dreamhack and Adela Sznajder

Results at the majors:

EMS One Katowice 2014 (13th-16th) [Na`Vi]

ESL One Cologne 2014 (5th-8th) [Na`Vi]

DreamHack Winter 2014 (3rd-4th) [Na`Vi]

ESL One Katowice 2015 (5th-8th) [Na`Vi]

ESL One Cologne 2015 (5th-8th) [Na`Vi]

DreamHack Open Cluj-Napoca 2015 (2nd) [Na`Vi]

MLG Columbus 2016 (2nd) [Na`Vi]

ESL One Cologne 2016 (5th-8th) [Na`Vi]

ELEAGUE Major 2017 (5th-8th) [Na`Vi]

With device picking up his major last month, GuardiaN stands as the best player in CS:GO history never to claim the most prestigious prize in the game. Since 2013, the Slovakian AWPer has consistently been a contender for world's best sniper, with that contention only fading away in the latter half of 2016, more than three years later.

The first three years of GuardiaN's career saw his erratic but stellar play mirrored in Na`Vi's upset potential to take a map from big teams in majors or take a series in smaller tournaments, yet only manage to win the odd smaller event. Perhaps the most tortured performance of his career was GuardiaN's dominant MVP level performance to drag Na`Vi all the way to the final of Dreamhack Cluj-Napoca, where he was forced to watch long-time AWP rival kennyS beat him to a first major title. This was the moment GuardiaN was ready to be the best player in the world and he arguably held that title into early 2016, when olofm returned to form to battle him for it.

Sadly, injury would hit both players and GuardiaN from the Spring onwards has faded away from super-star play to becoming just an above average AWPer in what has remained one of the better teams in CS:GO. The tragedy of GuardiaN's career is that the first major opportunity he had where his team were legitimately a favourite to win the major was also the worst point of his injury, making him little more than a spectator to the nightmare collapse of the MLG Columbus final.

With his form in a slump and Na`Vi seemingly looking to s1mple to lead the way for the franchise, GuardiaN's chances to win a major seem tied to that young Ukrainian's talents, since the Slovak's time as a monster look behind him.

Best chance:

MLG Columbus 2016 (2nd) [Na`Vi]

As one may expect, reading through the sections for the other Na`Vi players, MLG Columbus was the chance for Na`Vi to win the biggest trophy. With that said, GuardiaN also has the tenure that if there had been a major in the Summer of 2013 then his Virtus.pro squad, which featured current Gambit players, would have had a legitimate crack at taking the title, as evidenced by them taking down NiP in the semi-final of EMS One Summer and then losing the final to VeryGames in the final. Being as VG were losing to NiP at the time, a different bracket could have see VP taking the title.

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