2020 has been, for a lot of people, a turbulent and terrible year. Talking about the bad things that happened, however, isn't what I'm here for. Unless those bad things happened to MIBR, Astralis, an NA team or the French, because that's hilarious.
Instead, I'm here to recap 2020 by looking at the heroes, protagonists and of course, the straight up ballers spilling cash and (virtual) blood all over the floor.
Forget what other Danish sites tell you - these are the twenty best players of 2020.
Some people don't like the AWP. And honestly, we don't blame them. When you have to aim at the head and the guy you're fighting doesn't, it feels kinda cheese-y. That is why syrsoN evens things up by buying the Scout. Like, a lot.
His outright refusal to use a real gun is almost admirable.
He has 202 rifle kills in 2020. Let's put that into perspective - he has more MAC-10 kills than rifle kills. He got a rifle kill once every 40 rounds he played on average in 2020. jdm - jdm! - got more AK47 kills in 2017 than syrsoN got all rifle kills this year, and he did it whilst HARD vibing in that chair.
And of course, he has more Scout kills than rifle kills. Because of bloody course he does.
syrsoN is basically the biggest hipster in the scene, and that alone is enough to grab him a top 20 spot. Now imagine how good he could be if he learnt to use that Scout aim with an AK.
Let me tell you a story about a personal hero, a Korean League of Legends player called Huni.
Huni was one of the best players on an underdog team called Clutch Gaming a few years ago, and helped carry them to the World Championships with his mindless, relentless aggression. He's a former Worlds finalist, and so when it came to contract renewal time, he made the most of it.
Huni didn't have an agent, so he waltzed into contract negotiations on his own and sauntered out with a massive $1m+ contract, and then immediately started running it down. But who cares, he made loads of cash, and then turned to complete garbage for a year.
Now, imagine if you had the worst year of your career (since 2014), and still ended up with a publicly stated massive contract?woxic might have not had the best year in the server, but out of the server he's chilling so hard. Yeah, you guys might be winning trophies and games of CSGO, but woxic is winning at life.
woxic got benched and then eventually cut at the start of this year, but some quick maths has us adding his wage-per-kill on Cloud9 as $235-ish, which is a pretty good salary if you can get it. Oh, and he fleeced Cloud9 out of about $300,000 for the buyout.
All because he had high ping. Crazy.
One of the weird parts of this year for me (aizyesque) has been working from the comfort of my own home, but on tournaments on the other side of the world. Sometimes, that's easy enough, but sometimes you have to wake up at 2-5am and watch Australian, and Asian, CS.
Picture me, having woken up at 4:45am, groggy in my chair, enjoying Australian CS a little bit too much. But then, the Asian CS comes on, and it properly wakes you up. And nobody, nobody, made that experience more enjoyable than DeStRoYeR.
I mean look at his name, for god's sake. The man is just called DeStRoYeR, and he sure destroyed my sides when he stood in his teammate's molotov to open up a round, and followed it up by just straight up running off the map in a crucial pistol round, for practically no reason whatso-bloody-ever.
There's not much else to say - Counter-Strike is entertainment, at the end of the day, and by god was this man entertaining to watch.
Some of us slave for a wage. Like properly, work super hard every week just to get two days off at the end of it, before going back to the grind. It's just what you do. But don't you just wish, that somehow, some way, you could just get more time off and still get paid?
Bubzkji doesn't have to wish.
This guy went from unknown, to MAD Lions' star player, to Xyp9x's seatwarmer within like a year, and now is on arguably the best team of all time, plays one or two maps every few weeks or something, and gets to chill super hard. It's the dream job.
Many people play video games to chill out. Bubzkji plays video games to cut into his chill out time of six and a half days a week.
YEKINDAR is in here for three reasons. Firstly, I felt bad about writing some fun facts on the DreamHack broadcast about his weak performances in some maps. Secondly, I wanted to flex that I liked him before all of you. Suck on it.
Thirdly, the guy is a straight up madman. Like, only two players take the opening duel more often than he does, and neither of those have a positive ratio like our Latvian friend here. He is permanently in straight up 'don't care did not ask' mode, regardless of what team, utility or bombsite is ahead of him.
We asked him for comment on his place in the list via DMs, and he just said 'WWWW'. Because he never lets go of W. Either that, or he's seen our recent FACEIT form.
When you have JAME on your team, you have to go pretty hard on the offensive, and YEKINDAR epitomises that. He's more offensive than saying the word 's*mp' on Twitch and more aggressive than Twitch's banning philosophy. Topical humour.
What do s1mple, kennys, ZywOo and shox have in common?
Between them, they've won as many 1v5s as our man floppy.
I know this has been talked about a lot, but floppy quite literally won two 1v5s in two days. Two days! Two 1v5s! This literally cannot be ignored.
Perhaps being the least hyped and intriguing member of the Colossus, largely in part due to his low cost and already being a part of the organisation, floppy proved himself to be arguably the most colossal of them all.
And if that isn't good enough, he's an M4A4 truther. Extremely based.
To be completely transparent - I don't really know that much about leaf. He's a solid player, clearly, and every time I've seen him I've been impressed, but not blown away. But this isn't about what he did in the server - in fact, it's very much about what he isn't doing.
leaf, as far as we know, isn't cheating. Unless you live in Brazil, where he definitely definitely definitely is, just because there's a few strange clips.
What followed was about a few months of MIBR fans, led by Gaules, the controversial streamer/caster/personality who led a campaign to lambaste the poor teenager for his crimes of... top fragging against MIBR and checking angles.
Purely on entertainment value of winding up about half a country worth of people, leaf become the top rustler of the autumn (or Fall). Get it? Because the leaves rustle. God I'm good.
What is the point of Counter Strike?
That's not a philosophical question. Just answer it.
If you answered "to kill scrubs" then you are correct, though your slang is a little dated. And no player went scrub-hunting more than our man FL1T.
He literally got more kills than anyone else in pro CSGO this year, and not a single one of those kills was at all memorable, which is in itself incredibly impressive. I can only respect the hustle.
Is it me or is FL1T a bit of a boring player? Like you see at the end of the year "oh FL1T has 6563 kills" but you can never remember them? Can you remember a single FL1T kill?
But try facecrack... you can see the egregious overpeek. I remember a facecrack griefing an entire game because he refuses to not dry peek.
Remember when freakazoid said that he 'wanted a bunch of non-thinkers on [his] team'?
He would have bloody loved facecrack.
facecrack might be the least cognitive player I've ever seen. I don't think it's that he can't think, it's that he refuses to. He plays on pure instinct, like some sort of leopard.
And like a leopard, he didn't change his spots despite being cut. He got cut for his refusal to use his head, got put back in, and instantly started dry-peeking absolutely everything he could again.
I have nothing but respect for someone who is too stubborn to change the style of play that got him cut, and nothing makes me laugh more than watching him try not to overpeek. It's like putting a Haribo in front of a six year old and telling them not to eat it.
Oh, and his name is straight flames. He's going to run in and crack your face. No questions asked.
"You got a pat on your back, I got a f**king nation on mine" were the salient words of Scottish rapper Soul in a rap battle, and words I always thought were quite poignant. You know, for a rap battle at least.
In a time where NA players with mountains of resources, teams, minor leagues and history are vacating the scene for a cartoon game, a young kid from Guatemala is making waves. Putting up really solid ratings is one thing, but doing it as a hard entry with an absolutely bonkers headshot percentage? That's worth looking out for.
To show you what I mean - this was the guy's biggest game of his career so far. A BO5 final, and he had been outspoken about it being an amazing opportunity for him - he dropped over 100 kills with 74 headshots. Nobody else had over 50 headshots in that game.
He put Brazil on his back with Guatemala for that tournament.
The guy has some of the most extraordinary aim, and we at TLDR are officially malbsMd stans. Yas queen.
You know how you always hear players say "Oh I was introduced to this game by my older brother" and it's always the good players whose brother made them play?
Nivera is still really good, even though his brother is, s1mple please forgive me for uttering these words, a V*LORANT player.
Even though this "ScreaM" fellow seems to be alright at multiplayer Borderlands, I just don't see how the skills of a V*LORANT player can possibly translate to CSGO. I just don't think "ScreaM" would be very good at CS without all the weird smokes and molotovs he has on that game.
Overcoming those odds, as well as seemingly only playing Dust 2 without going completely insane, means Nivera has absolutely cemented himself as one of the finest gunmen on the planet.
He's at the very least the best Belgian player of all time. Only guy who comes close is a guy who coincidentally shares a name with his V*LORANT playing brother! Must mean something else in... Flemish?
If you were a team owner, what would be the only thing better than one Kovač? Two Kovačs, correct.
Now, if you were an IGL, what would be the only thing worse than one Kovač?
Obviously the whole 'NiKo takes over the IGL duty' thing is well known and a little bit tired at this point, but as an IGL, you'd have to be a little worried that you might get coup d'état'd.
nexa continuing to not only keep his job, but frag out to show himself as the alpha dog, is extremely admirable. The fact that he keeps picking into Dust 2 for absolutely no reason whatsoever just to ensure the person on G2's social media can laugh at their own expense, only makes him a better leader - not just for the team, for the organisation.
Look: I love chrisj. The guy has been consistently clutch in big games for the last few years, and he's a sneakily mechanically gifted player who has aged like fine wine. I also love karrigan, because he wasn't clutch in the biggest game of his career.
But my god, those two managed to find some oars and row it straight down mid for most of this year.
ropz still looked like one of the best players in the world, putting up obscene ratings and k/ds all the way through the year, despite the veterans on his team mobility scootering it down.
As someone who has had a good game once, I know what it's like, and keeping calm and continuing to play like a monster is something that not many people can do.
Though, it should be expected when he literally has 'Kool' in his name.
"This might be the hardest you've ever had to work to justify putting aizy in here", I hear you crying. Well, dear reader, that is where you are wrong.
Because you guys kept saying that North only cut their best players, you've already admitted that aizy must be the best player in North. And as we all know, North are the best team in Denmark, so...
I personally can't wait for aizy's cadiaN-esque return to the top, and the gloating I will be able to do. He's already proved himself as the best Vertigo player in the world, and all the other maps are boring anyway now.
I mean, who even wants to be the best Mirage player? Being the best at Vertigo makes you the fastest learner, which according to the definition of the word intelligent, makes him the smartest player in the world.
Someone sign him, man, I'm working my ass off here.
I know what you're thinking. "But Elliott, broky is an AWP-using, FaZe-Clan-representing baiter. Don't you hate everything about that, like everyone sane does?"
Yes, but hear me out. Anyone who out-baits coldzera whilst being on the same team should be commended, because that's hilarious.
broky literally has a lower deaths-per-round this year than the Brazilian Shadow (so-called, because whenever you turn around, the guy is right there), which is really impressive given he's a teenager who is out-waiting coldzera.
We can all learn a lesson from broky - when you have a matchmaking random baiting you, just stand behind him and wait 'til he does something. You'll end up losing, like FaZe Clan do, but you teach baiters a lesson.
The thing about getting destroyed in CSGO is, it's just a max of 30 rounds, and then you can move on. Even if you're getting shut down by device, or taken apart by ZywOo, you can just... wait it out. Move on.
arT, on the other hand, will not let you breathe.
He will fly through a smoke on the A ramp of Vertigo to kill you, then you'll go to the kitchen to get a drink while your team try to win the 4v5. You go into the fridge, and BAM. arT just noscopes you from behind. He's followed you there.
With the pandemic, NA teams have been unable to get away from arT as they have to play him every week. He runs at you, he follows you, he just keeps pushing. And then he does it again next week at the next tournament.
NA teams have found just one way to escape the inescapable menace. V*LORANT.
arT is literally such a madman he's single-handedly destroyed the NA scene by making them change game to avoid the guy.
There's loads of different ways of getting a team into the top 20, but most of them rely on signing really good players and shooting people to death. Look at Complexity, Cloud9, FaZe Clan, Nor- you get the idea, no need to embarrass myself.
kRYSTAL is different. He builds mish-mash teams and still manage to brute-force his way into the top 20, even though he had kRYSTAL in his team.
Seriously - who, other than kRYSTAL could carry kRYSTAL to the top 20?
kRYSTAL is so bad at fragging that even Sun Tzu couldn't win a war with him - yet the absolute genius who leads his team to success manages to. And that genius was kRYSTAL.
He's the ultimate paradox. An IGL so good at leading, he can lead the worst fragger he knows to a top team - but he's both of those people. Imagine if Arsene Wenger was still winning titles while playing up front with Thierry Henry.
kRYSTAL is basically Ash Ketchum, if he made it to the Elite Four by fist fighting a Charizard.
Neymar has played against ZywOo once, and knifed him once. That's a 100% record. cadiaN also knifed ZywOo in his first game, but he's screwed it up since. Neymar might never do that.
He also laid out 2/5ths of Vitality with this clutch, making him already better than most of the world who let the French team be number one for the bigger part of the year.
Not only that, he's on track to get a HLTV page before TLDR member Brian, who has been standing in for actual NA teams and making them lose just by being associated with them, in an attempt to get one.
He's already got a mention off the official CSGO twitter, a much coveted award, and he's done all of this without faking an injury. Yet. Maybe in 2021 diving will be added to CS, and he can be 1st on this list.
You said it couldn't be done. We all thought it was over. But no.
FalleN, miraculously, finally fixed MIBR and got them back to being a real team by the end of 2020.
Don't get me wrong, he did it by finally leaving the team he'd managed to run into the ground. But he fixed it. Cutting a player is never easy - that's why MIBR had to go behind his back to cut fer and TACO. Cutting yourself, though? That requires some genius foresight.
FalleN built the legendary Brazilian team, but the art of being a builder is being able to recognise the flaws in your structure. The art of being a man, is being able to recognise the flaws in your own structure. FalleN was able to realise he was flawed, and part of the flawed fabric of MIBR.
I've called FalleN the GOAT before - I just didn't realise he was a sacrificial one.
s1mple destroys teams. ZywOo takes them apart. device... well, he gives them the rope and lets them hang themselves.
None of those guys, though, can hold a candle to the mangled mess that allu left when he took a knife to the throat of ENCE.
His interview with HLTV Confirmed was the most destructive one since the Seth Rogan one that got Sony hacked and compared to terrorists, admitting he cut the wrong player and managing to piss off the few that seemed to be on his side. suNny, sergej, Aerial, aleksib and xseveN all seemingly hate the guy, yet somehow he is still the leader.
It reminds me of the times I take over Liverpool on Football Manager, sell all their players and buy non-league goalkeepers and play nine of them up front. Because I HATE Liverpool.
Who can destroy a team this badly? Even when s1mple drops 40 kills, the destroyee can still go on to win the next game. Hell, they can win the next map - but this ENCE team will never be the same again.
Well, maybe Yugi from the Yu-Gi-Oh! series could destroy a team that badly. allu just straight up shadow realmed ENCE.
The joke with allu always used to be about flipping a coin, and one side was God, and the other was BOT. What they really meant was that allu was a Man-Eater Bug - when you flip him he destroys something.
This year, it was ENCE.
You might think it's bad-natured for me to rate someone for taking a team apart like this - and yeah, maybe it would have been. But allu has destroyed Finnish CS in an attempt to sign aizy and MSL and make Finland Danish (again).
Taking out ENCE and replacing them with North 2? Now that, truly, is what greatness is all about.