The young French CS:GO superstar for Team Vitality, Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut, has won his second HLTV Player of the Year award in a row.
Vitality's ace has become the third player to win the award in back-to-back years, following Marcelo "coldzera" David in 2016 and 2017, and the recently retired legend Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund in 2013 and 2014.
In 2019, he won the award at just 19 years old, becoming the youngest to do so. He's now the youngest to win the title back-to-back. In 2018, he was accurately picked by mousesports' Robin "ropz" Kool to have a breakout year in 2019.
Following his successful 2019 campaign that ended with a win over ropz and mousesports in the grand finals of EPICENTER, ZywOo and Vitality recovered from a slow start to 2020 with a red-hot summer. They won the BLAST Spring EU Showdown, and made the grand finals of three straight events: the BLAST Spring Finals, cs_summit 6, and ESL One Cologne. They rounded out the year with more victories at BLAST Fall and IEM Beijing.
ZywOo individually notched the highest player rating across 2020, tied with 2018 Player of the Year winner and 2019/2020 runner-up Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev. With more trophies and MVP awards to his name over the year, ZywOo just edged out the Ukrainian superstar for this year's top honors.
“To receive this honour for the second year in a row feels like a dream, especially after such a challenging year adapting to playing online”, ZywOo said in a provided statement. “Playing CS:GO is all I’ve ever wanted to do, and to have this recognition so early on in my career is honestly unbelievable. I’m so grateful to my teammates and Vitality for making me look so good, and I hope to continue making them proud in 2021.”
Recently, ZywOo signed a five-year contract extension with Vitality, ensuring he remains with the French side for years to come. At only 20 years old, it's likely we see the young star top future HLTV rankings yet again.