Those who are into esports should know exactly what Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) is, how it works and how capable some of the best players are. It’s a million-dollar industry with competitions being held all year long, featuring some of the best teams and players from all over the world.
At its core, CS:GO is a multiplayer first-person shooter, pitting two teams against each other: the Terrorists and the Counter-Terrorists. In the competitive mode, the Terrorists will try to plant the bomb or kill the opposing side, while the CTs will try to defuse the bomb or kill the Ts. Each map consists of 30 rounds, the first to 16 wins. The game has a built-in economy whereby players will earn dollars for killing, winning rounds and losing rounds. The money is persistent, so it carries on throughout the game, allowing players to buy better guns, equipment and grenades.
In the competitive mode, there is much more to it. There are a specific number of maps in a map pool, and teams will choose which maps are played in the competitive environment. Players have different strategies, call signs for specific positions on maps, specific smoke grenades, tactics and defined roles. The roles are rather important, and every team will ensure that each role does what they are supposed to do in any given round.
The important thing to remember about competitive CS:GO, is that it’s so different any normal type of CS:GO that can be played, and as a result, needs player-defined roles. Not all teams will stick to this strict metagame way of thinking, and will likely chop and change as the need arises, but many of the best players will fall into specific brackets. These roles are defined as:
These are the players who ideally breach into a site or area and get a kill, and shortly after, die. They are the first ones in, and need accuracy and speed in order to make a substantial difference for the round. If the entry fragger can pick up a kill first, it puts your team at a big advantage for the next engagement.
The AWP is the big gun in the game, and kills in a single shot. This is why the role is so important, and can make a massive impact on any team. Sometimes the AWP player will hold a single sight on his own and can sometimes double up as an entry fragger too. Usually, the most accurate and skilled player will play towards this role.
When your entire team is pushing one particular site, there’s usually one person that lags behind to pick off stragglers. He’ll sit strategically in a position to listen for site rotations, and step out to challenge when is most apt.This is what a lurker does, they lay in wait and pick off at an opportune time.
Supports are the everyman of the team. They extend from rotating quickly, planting the bomb, or being grenade experts. Usually, players who don’t fall into any other role will fall into this one.
Finding Our Five
Picking five of the best CS:GO players in the world isn’t an easy task and it can be very subjective depending on which team they are with, where they are from and what their roles are. Obviously, players and supporters will want to see their favourite teams being the ones on this list, but we’ve chosen these players as a result of past wins, massive differences made in game, and the ability for them to carry a team on their shoulders, should the need arise.
Nicolai ‘dev1ce’ Reedtz
Playing for Astralis, Reedtz is the AWPer in the team. He has been part of the team since early 2016 and has helped them to ten 1st place finishes in some of the biggest competitions in the world. He is currently the third highest earning CS:GO player in the world.
Epitacio ‘TACO’ de Melo
De Melo is a Brazilian player currently playing for MIBR. His previous teams include Team Liquid and SK Gaming. Since joining Luminosity in 2016, he’s helped his teams to nine 1st place finishes, and a 2nd place most recently, losing out to Astralis. He’s most known for his role as Entry Fragger and Support.
Marcelo ‘coldzera’ David
David, also part of MIBR at one point, enjoyed roles with De Melo at Luminosity and SK Gaming, but now plays for FaZe Clan. He’s an amazing Rifler and AWPer and has helped his team to a number of 1st place wins across his career.
Andreas ‘Xyp9x’ Hojsleth
Another Astralis player, Hojsleth is a support role player through and through. His achievements are just as amazing as the rest and he’s the highest earning CS:GO players in the world, amassing over $1.5 million prize money.
Oleksandr ‘s1mple’ Kostyliev
Kostyliev came out of nowhere, and joined Team Liquid in 2016. He was arguably one of the best players at ESL One Cologne in 2016, and helped push his team all the way up to 2nd place. He is an incredible AWPer and has many videos and clips of some of the most amazing shots you will ever see in the game. He now plays for Natus Vincere.