The power dynamics within the upper echelons of CS:GO have gone through major recalibrations this year. Estimates and predictions have swung to the most unexpected places in the proverbial analyst’s radar, but with the upcoming 2022 BLAST Premier: World Final soon marking the end of the season, it’s time to step back, look at the big picture, and make a list of the best CSGO players of 2022.
The Best CSGO Players 2022
- Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev
- Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut
- Dzhami “Jame” Ali
- Kaike “KSCERATO” Cerato
- Dmitriy “sh1ro” Sokolov
- Helvijs “broky” Saukants
- Casper “cadiaN” Møller
- David “frozen” Čerňanský
- Valerii “b1t” Vakhovskyi
- İsmailсan “XANTARES” Dörtkardeş
10. Eternal Fire XANTARES
Image credit: João Ferreira/PGL
While Turkish team Eternal Fire remains at the outer fringes of the pro scene, where they compete against their second-division peers in second-rate CSGO tournaments, it’s hard to overlook the numbers of its ace İsmailсan “XANTARES” Dörtkardeş.
Since January, XANTARES has played 215 maps, which converts to nearly 5,800 rounds. In comparison, the top three finishers on this list have only played about 3,550 rounds in 132 maps on average.
Despite the added exposure to blunders and whiffs, XANTARES managed to maintain an honorable 0.80 kills per round (KPR) 1.21 kill/death (K/D) ratio, and 90.5 average damage per round (ADR) while keeping a 1.39 impact rating and 1.26 overall rating.
Who is the best CS:GO player right now? XANARTES is the answer for the minor league.
9. NAVI b1t
Image credit: João Ferreira/PGL
Unlike with other sharpshooters, there’s only one variable that matters when 19-year-old Valerii “b1t” Vakhovskyi enters the equation: headshot. After 3,390 rounds or 126 maps of competitive CSGO, b1t’s headshot percentage amounts to a staggering 61.8%, the most impressive anyone has gotten considering both the quality and intensity of matches.
With aim-bot precision, b1t has triggered algorithms and influenced markets on many CSGO betting sites by consistently hitting his opponents in the head. Had there been a piece entitled “The Best CSGO Players 2022: Headshot Edition,” b1t would have been crowned king.
8. MOUZ frozen
Image credit: ESL
MOUZ came to the 2022 Rio Major and instantly silenced doubters who had assumed they were nothing but small fish in an ocean full of sharks. They turned their odds around after winning all of their games in the early stage of the tournament, even beating would-be champions Outsiders 16-6 in a best-of-one.
Part of what led to this was David “frozen” Čerňanský’s display of skill. In the Challengers Stage, he wrapped up with an 82.8 KAST (kill, assist, survived, traded) percentage and 1.35 overall rating, which moved to 77.3 and 1.19, respectively, by the time he and his team had left the Playoffs.
That said, frozen’s impact on MOUZ’s attempt in Rio becomes clear, and with it his authority to be among the best CSGO players right now.
7. Heroic cadiaN
Image credit: PGL
Heroic was having a mixed year, finishing poorly in some events while being stellar in a few others, most notably in the Pinnacle Cup Championship. Then, the Rio Major happened, where Casper “cadiaN” Møller’s leadership truly came online.
Heroic, previously at the peripherals of bookmakers, gradually gained recognition when they defeated Outsiders, Fnatic, and Team Liquid at the Legends Stage. This blitzkrieg was spearheaded by cadiaN, who had a 1.16 impact rating as a 27-year-old in-game leader with an AWP. He was the only member of the team whose impact rating surpassed the average threshold.
On the list of the best CS:GO players 2022, cadiaN has proven through his leadership that he certainly makes the cut.
6. FaZe broky
Image credit: Stefan Petrescu/PGL
FaZe owned the first half of 2022, winning crucial events such as the IEM Katowice S16 in February, the Antwerp Major in May, and the IEM Cologne S17 in July. This series of success was achieved due, in no small part, to Helvijs “broky” Saukants’s superb gunplay.
The 21-year-old Latvian AWPer has managed a solid 74.2 KAST percentage, 0.75 KPR, and 1.16 overall rating—all of which are the highest in the team since January. Given that FaZe continues to be one of the best CSGO teams in the business, this just shows why broky should be considered as an answer to the question, “Who is the best CSGO player right now?”
5. Cloud 9 sh1ro
Image credit: Simon Howar/ESL
Since Cloud 9 acquired Gambit’s roster in late April, sh1ro has played only 78 games, one of them being the tournament point of the IEM Dallas S17. It’s the only event Cloud 9 won this year.
So, when his numbers, a beautiful 76.3 KAST percentage, 0.78 KPR, and 1.44 K/D ratio—which somewhat coincides with the stats of Ana “ANa” Dumbravă, one of the best female CSGO players at the moment—get summed up for inspection, there’s reason to be a little skeptical.
His final moments in Gambit, however, reveal his true prowess. From Stockholm Major to Rio Major, sh1ro has sported a 76.9 KAST percentage, 0.78 KPR, 1.48 K/D ratio, and a 1.27 overall rating over 160 maps.
Throw in his medals and MVPs, it’s no wonder people count him among the best CSGO players right now.
4. FURIA KSCERATO
Image credit: Adela Sznajder/ESL
Those who ask “Is CSGO dying?” need only watch Kaike “KSCERATO” Cerato and company take on NAVI at the quarterfinals of the Rio Major. With a massive Brazilian crowd roaring behind their back, FURIA showed NAVI, the biggest favorite coming into the playoffs, why they’re one of the best CSGO players 2022 has witnessed.
Yet data shows that without KSCERATO’s outstanding performance, things might have turned out differently for FURIA. Counting his record over the 15 games he played during the event, KSCERATO boasts a clean 1.51 K/D ratio, 90.5 ADR, 0.82 KPR, 1.43 impact rating, and 1.36 overall rating. Within the same span, his teammates could only manage a 1.13 impact rating and a 1.19 overall rating.
3. Outsiders Jame
Image credit: Outsiders/Twitter @CSGO_Outsiders
Nobody thought Outsiders would win the 2022 Rio Major, not with their unexceptional run in their former team Virtus.pro and certainly not with their mediocre run in Outsiders. Perhaps nobody even thought of their in-game leader and AWPer Dzhami “Jame” Ali as a possible candidate when they ask, “Who is the best CSGO player right now?”
That is, until he led the team with a 1.27 overall rating, 78.6% KAST, 1.65 K/D ratio, and 0.75 KPR across 17 maps, helping them win the event by outliving favorites and eliminating those who eliminated the favorites.
2. Vitality ZywOo
Image credit: PGL
Team Vitality has been fairly dormant this year, with their 9th-12th result at the IEM Katowice S16 back in February setting the tone for what’s to come: a teetering and tottering in the middle.
Yet 22-year-old French AWPer Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut is hardly to blame. Based on his 150 maps played in 2022 and 170 in 2021, he has stayed reliable with his numbers nearly unmoved, averaging at 75.5 KAST percentage, 0.815 KPR, 0.315 AWP kills per round, 1.34 impact rating, and 1.28 overall rating.
With only more prestigious titles under his belt, ZywOo would be first on any best CSGO players 2022 lists.
1. NAVI s1mple
Image credit: Navi
Where there are solid fundamentals, lucrative championships, and consistent victories, there’s Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev. Often cited as one of the best CSGO players of all time, he’s had another masterful year that’s way easier to articulate than imitate.
What fueled NAVI to claim the Stockholm Major, 2021 BLAST Premier: Fall Finals, 2021 BLAST Premier: World Final, and 2022 BLAST Premier: Spring Finals (not to mention the second place in the Antwerp Major and IEM Cologne S17) surely has to do with s1mple’s record: 0.85 KPR, 85.2 ADR, 74.8 KAST percentage, 1.41 K/D ratio, 1.38 impact rating, and 1.30 overall rating since November 2021.
With these numbers at 4,240 rounds in 160 maps, s1mple will finish this year still seated on his throne with the highest standard of CSGO in his fist.