Take a look at the best Controller players of the 2023 season of Valorant
Controllers in Valorant often do not come into the limelight due to their supportive and passive role, mainly focused on staying alive to deploy smokes for their teammates. This cautious approach frequently places them in clutch situations, and it's precisely in these moments that Controllers have the opportunity to truly shine.
The 2023 VCT season has drawn to a close, and we now find ourselves in the off-season, eagerly anticipating the upcoming VCT 2024. Numerous players showcased exceptional skills and performances in their respective roles this year. As we await the start of the new year, let's turn our attention to the Controller players who dominated the 2023 season.
Credit: Riot Games
5. Cahya “Monyet” Nugraha
- VLR Rating: 1.13
- Average Combat Score (ACS): 219.1
- Kill-Death Ratio: 1.13
- Kill/Assist/Survided/Traded: 75%
- Average Damage Per Round: 142.4
- Headshot Percentage: 24%
Monyet has been the talk of the community for several weeks now, particularly since the announcement of the Indonesian prodigy's inclusion in the SEA super-team Paper Rex. However, this isn't the first instance where the 18-year-old has captured the spotlight and made waves in the community. Monyet previously garnered attention for his extraordinary Controller skills while playing for Global Esports.
Monyet joined GE in October 2022 when the Indian franchised organization was assembling its team for the Pacific League. Initially part of a seven-man roster, it didn't take long for Monyet to establish himself in the lineup permanently. While GE was consistently on the backfoot throughout the season, Monyet always delivered standout performances in nearly every match.
Monyet's outstanding performance throughout the season is underscored by his impressive rating of 1.13, marking him as the second-highest-rated Controller player in the league, trailing only behind MaKo.
4. Jake “Boaster” Howlett
- VLR Rating: 1.02
- Average Combat Score (ACS): 170.2
- Kill-Death Ratio: 0.94
- Kill/Assist/Survided/Traded: 76%
- Average Damage Per Round: 105.1
- Headshot Percentage: 19%
Boaster has earned the reputation of being the best IGL in the franchised leagues, largely due to FNATIC's dominance in the 2023 season, where they clinched two international trophies. In addition to being the team leader on the server, he shoulders the role of the Controller for his team. From what we have seen from him for the past three seasons that he has been with FNATIC, although he may not possess the same level of mechanical prowess as others on this list, it is his profound game sense that sets him apart.
Boaster is able to play all four Smoke agents adeptly. His playstyle is a bit safer, a natural consequence of his role as a Controller across all maps. However, his gameplay also boasts innovation, as seen by his unconventional role as a secondary OP-er for his team on the Attack side. This unorthodox approach, although rare, has proven remarkably effective on numerous occasions, showcasing Boaster's ability to push the boundaries and find unique ways to contribute to his team's success.
3. Sam “s0m” Oh
- VLR Rating: 1.12
- Average Combat Score (ACS): 204.9
- Kill-Death Ratio: 1.16
- Kill/Assist/Survided/Traded: 77%
- Average Damage Per Round: 130.9
- Headshot Percentage: 25%
s0m underwent a remarkable transformation, transitioning from a duelist extraordinaire to establishing himself as one of the most gifted Controller players in the NA region. The 21-year-old American was the only player NRG retained from their pre-franchised team. With the addition of s0m to the NRG core and European superstar ardiis, they crafted one of the most formidable rosters of the VCT 2023 season.
In the new roster, s0m took the role of Controller, and there were considerable doubts regarding how well he could perform. The doubts were dispelled soon enough after the start of the VCT Leagues. Despite NRG's sluggish start to the season, s0m emerged as their most dependable performer right from the outset. Even as NRG regained their form, it was s0m and his impeccable Controller gameplay that arguably exerted the most significant influence on the team's success throughout the season.
2. Marco “Melser” Machuca
- VLR Rating: 0.97
- Average Combat Score (ACS): 183.9
- Kill-Death Ratio: 0.93
- Kill/Assist/Survided/Traded: 73%
- Average Damage Per Round: 119.9
- Headshot Percentage: 30%
Melser left Leviathan and joined KRU Esports for the VCT 2023 season. KRU is infamous for being the most unpredictable team in the world. In one event, they may finish at the bottom of the rankings, and in the next one, they could emerge as champions. That said, Melser, during his time with the Latin American team, has been their most consistent performer both during the team’s highs and lows. The current season serves as the most compelling evidence of that.
KRU started the season on a dismal note with 10 losses in a row. The team placed last in the Americas League, and expectations were exceedingly low as they entered the Americas LCQ. However, in a remarkable turn of events, Melser and his teammates defied all odds by embarking on a sensational winning streak that culminated in them clinching victory in the LCQ and securing a spot in the Valorant Champions 2023.
Melser played an instrumental role in KRU's Cinderella run, delivering an exceptional performance as the Controller-main for the team. Despite KRU’s overall result, Melser has surely cemented himself as one of the best Controller players in the world with his performance this season.
1. Kim “MaKo” Myeong-kwanqq
- VLR Rating: 1.15
- Average Combat Score (ACS): 211.3
- Kill-Death Ratio: 1.11
- Kill/Assist/Survided/Traded: 76%
- Average Damage Per Round: 136.4
- Headshot Percentage: 18%
MaKo’s consistency has been unmatched for a while now. He embarked on his Valorant journey with Vision Strikers (now DRX) in 2021 and immediately established himself as the best Controller player in the game. This status has remained unaltered for the past two years. Whenever discussions arise about the season's top Controller players, MaKo has always been in the conversation. For example, it was Marved, pancada, and MaKo last year, while this year, it is between MaKo and Melser.
The 2023 season saw DRX embark on a mission to put an end to their international trophy drought, but it ultimately yielded a familiar narrative. The Korean powerhouse came close to clinching the trophy but fell short by the narrow margins. Yet, no blame can be attributed to MaKo, as the 21-year-old continued to shine as the most impactful performer on his team. His remarkable clutch potential and the ability to secure crucial rounds for his team were nothing short of incredible.