These are the players we expect to rock the maps at the last big tournament of the year
With an action-packed year for CSGO coming to a close, there’s one last event that everyone has their eyes on. BLAST World Final is essentially an annual swan song for CS, and this year will be no different as the holidays come right afterwards. As eight of the world’s best teams will be competing, there’s plenty of speculation about the results, and with speculation comes predictions. We have already made team predictions which you can read here. Now, we’ll dive a bit deeper and pick out one player from each team that we see shining at this event.
Just how good their performance will be or what impact it’ll have in the grand scheme of things is irrelevant — we’re only predicting which player from each team we see being the best among that particular quintet. Without further ado, then, here are 8 players to watch out for at BLAST World Final.
FaZe Clan – Robin “ropz” Kool
With its stacked bevy of talent, FaZe is a favorite to win just about any tournament. It’s very hard to determine who out of their all-star roster will top any given match, but as far as entire tournaments go, it’s usually Håvard “rain” Nygaard, Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken or Helvijs “broky” Saukants who stand above the rest.
That being said, our boy ropz is far from a slouch. With a decent 1.15 HLTV rating over the last 3 months across 26 maps, he’s a consistent fragger with a head cooler than most. His 1v3 clutch on Ancient in the Grand Final of the Fall Final was just a taste of what he’s capable of, and anyone who underestimates the Estonian usually lives to regret it.
Outsiders – Dzhami “Jame” Ali
You can hate him, worship him or make memes about him, but you can’t deny that he was the brilliant architect of Outsiders’ incredible win at the Intel Extreme Masters Rio Major. With a unique CS brain under his meninges, Jame takes decisions that might seem absurd to us mortals, but to a man who has a specific type of time named after him, it’s the way to go. It’s the way to win.
The experienced AWPer might need a bit of time to get used to the 5-bullet update, but given his patient playstyle, the update shouldn’t perturb him much. He has maintained a rating of 1.17 over the last quarter of a year, and has contributed to 76.4% of the rounds he has played in over 40 maps.
G2 Esports – Ilya “m0NESY” Osipov
It’s not everyday that a 17-year-old talent takes the CSGO world by storm, but m0NESY’s rise to the top has been nothing short of meteoric. Since joining G2 from Natus Vincere Junior when he was only 16, he has made his name not only as a nutty fragger, but also an ice-cold clutch player who isn’t afraid to duke it out with the best of them. If CSGO has a poster boy in 5 years’ time, it will most likely be m0NESY.
The youngster (and young star) has been the standout performer for the French organization, and although his squadmates haven’t been doing well, Osipov has been trying his best to lift his team up and over this dip. At a brilliant 1.21 HLTV rating across 90 days, albeit over only 18 maps, m0NESY is a bonafide star, and one of the few players on the planet who could equal and even outshine the great Nikola “NiKo” Kovač.
Team Liquid – Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski
If a player from Liquid steps up over the length of an entire tournament, you can rest assured that it’ll be either EliGE or Mareks “YEKINDAR” Gaļinskis. However, while the latter has only been a hard-hitter for a year or two, the former has been a standout performer for the better part of a decade now.
As one of the most bankable names in the esport, it can be said that EliGE is one of the greatest players of all time despite never having won a Major. With a 1.07 rating over 49 maps in 3 months, his recent form hasn’t been stellar, but anyone who has been watching him over the years knows what he’s capable of. Moreover, the break between the Fall Final and its World counterpart will have given him some much-needed rest.
Natus Vincere – Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev
There’s no way you didn’t know this was coming. After 6 consecutive years of finishing in the top half of HLTV Top 20 players’ list — 4 of which were 1st or 2nd place — s1mple is inarguably one of the greatest players of all time, and arguably the single best. There’s not much we can say about the man that hasn’t already been said. The Ukrainian legend is the current poster boy for CSGO, has been for a while, and chances are will be at least for the next couple of years.
He hasn’t had the best of times over the last couple of tournaments, but even then his statistics and performances would be considered phenomenal if measured by any yardstick other than his own. With a rating of 1.23 over the last quarter of a year, 0.81 kills per round, and some truly brilliant pop-offs, the matter of s1mple’s dip in form is really only applicable for someone of his caliber.
Heroic – Casper “cadiaN” Møller
The passionate Dane might have his haters, but anyone with a brain will have to admit that he is one of the best players out there. This 27-year-old is an absolute beast with an AWP. He might not always put up stellar numbers owing to the way Heroic operates, but cadiaN is one of the most reliable players on the scene right now. It's rare to find an IGL with so much fragging power, but cadiaN makes it look easy.
It’s very difficult to pick a standout performer from Heroic because of how good they all are as a team. On any given map, any one of René “TeSeS” Madsen, Martin “stavn” Lund, Rasmus “sjuush” Beck or Jakob “Jabbi” Nygaard can be found top fragging with the rest not far behind. However, without cadiaN's leadership, the chemistry just wouldn't be there. In the course of the last 90 days, cadiaN has had a rating of 1.14, but more impressive than that is the 73.3% rounds contributed.
Team Vitality – Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut
The only person to clearly outperform s1mple is French maestro ZywOo. The only player to knock The Ukrainian off of his perch in the last 4 years, ZywOo came in with a bang in 2019 and placed 1st, 1st and 2nd on the HLTV charts in the last 3 years. Incredibly consistent and with countless highlight-reel-worthy rounds under his belt, the Frenchman most recently made a splash with Vitality’s ESL Pro League 16 win, and although the team is going through a bad spell since then, ZywOo’s form hasn’t gone anywhere.
The 22-year-old will not just be the player to watch on Vitality, but one of the players to watch in the entire tournament. If Vitality make a deep run at this event, it will undoubtedly be via ZywOo’s talent. He has a phenomenal 1.34 rating over the course of the last 3 months, with an incredible round contribution percentage of 76.5 across 40 rounds.
OG – Abdulkhalik “degster” Gasanov
The young Russian AWPer has plenty of potential, but is perhaps not being able to make the best of it onboard OG. Nevertheless, most of OG’s performances this year have been facilitated by him. Still new to the scene at 21 years of age, degster has a long way to go as far as becoming a complete player is concerned, but he’s definitely on the right track.
A rating of 1.09 over 34 maps in the 90 days leading up to the World Final might not say much about his skills, but on an OG side that hasn’t made deep runs in any tournament since the Fall Groups, that’s the best there is. A round contribution of 72.1%, though, is quite a feat.
We’ll be writing plenty on the World Final — both recaps and analysis — so join us for the duration of the tournament, and feel free to indulge in our vast variety of CSGO content in the meantime.