The 8 Best CSGO Players to Watch Out for in Group a of ESL Pro League 17

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The 8 Best CSGO Players to Watch Out for in Group a of ESL Pro League 17

Pointing out eight individuals who we think will be amazing in the ESL Pro League 17.


CSGO is very much a team game, but shining individual performances can very much affect the outcome of a match. On rare occasions, a single player can even carry their team over the course of an entire tournament, with superb runs in the vast majority of matches. Such turns are undoubtedly worthy of acclaim, and we picked out 8 players from each team at ESL Pro League’s 17th installment whom we think might pull off such performances. For the sake of keeping things even, we only chose one player from each team.

Outsiders: Pyotr “fame” Bolyshev

  • HLTV Rating: 1.11
  • Impact: 1.14
  • KAST: 70.8%
  • ADR: 77.4

At just 19 years old, fame isn’t your run-of-the-mill incisive rifler with nutty aim, but he’s someone who gets the job done and done well. He is often outshined in the stats department by teammate Dzhami “Jame” Ali, but that’s mostly because the latter saves on more rounds than just about any other player to maybe ever play the game. It was a tough call to make between fame and Evgeniy “FL1T” Lebedev, but we have a gut feeling that the younger Russian will stand higher.

IHC Esports: Tengis “sk0R” Batjargal

  • HLTV Rating: 1.11
  • Impact: 1.14
  • KAST: 70.8%
  • ADR: 77.4

The little Mongolian who could have been stealing the limelight with some solid performances at the top level, and with the proper training and nurturing could become Asia’s finest. At only 20 years of age, sk0R has his whole career in front of him and the love and support of an entire region behind him. His lack of experience is just about the only thing holding him back, and a few more years of top-level competition could put him on the map for a major foreign organization, or he could take his own rising team to the top.

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MIBR: Felipe “insani” Yuji

  • HLTV Rating: 1.11
  • Impact: 1.12
  • KAST: 71.2%
  • ADR: 79.5

An Impact Rating of just 1.12 may not sound amazing, but considering the fact that insani has only been playing at the top level for a few months and is only 18 years old, it’s inspiring. His recent recruitment by MIBR seems to have done wonders for his game, and the youngster could well become a mainstay for the Brazilian side, given his fearless playstyle. His gameplay certainly needs more polish, but we think he has what it takes to be the most important player for MIBR at this tournament.

G2 Esports: Nemanja “huNter-” Kovač

  • HLTV Rating: 1.12
  • Impact: 1.23
  • KAST: 72.1%
  • ADR: 84.5

This place used to be reserved for the likes of Nikola “NiKo” Kovač or Ilya “m0NESY” Osipov, but huNter- has taken over with his incredible recent form. The Bosnian was always a talented, hardworking player, but he has really come into his own in this current G2 lineup. Playing alongside his cousin NiKo seems to have taken his game to a whole new level, and becoming the MVP following his team’s triumph at Intel Extreme Masters Katowice was the much-awaited jewel on this king’s crown. We’re definitely not alone in wanting to see more of huNter-’s plays.

Fnatic: Fredrik “roeJ” Jørgensen

  • HLTV Rating: 1.15
  • Impact: 1.21
  • KAST: 71.6%
  • ADR: 83.3

From a trio of young blood, we move to a mature, even aging rifler. Fnatic’s finest recruitment in a very long time, roeJ has been instrumental in bringing the Swedish side back into contention for the bigger prizes in the CSGO scene. His stats aren’t exceptional, but that Impact Rating speaks for itself. The Dane is a team player through and through, and age seems to have done nothing but sharpened his skills. If Fnatic get far at this event, you can rest assured that roeJ will have had a huge part to play.

Cloud9: Dmitriy ”sh1ro” Sokolov

  • HLTV Rating: 1.26
  • Impact: 1.21
  • KAST: 76.3%
  • ADR: 78.8
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One of the best AWPers of this era, sh1ro might not be as ridiculously fast as some of his more flashy peers, but he’s a force of nature when he’s in full flow. A brilliant anchor who can lock down almost any part of any map, sh1ro is also known for pushing himself and his team hard in search of better results. The Russian isn’t quite as impressive as he was during his team’s dominance in the Covid-19-enforced online era of CSGO, but he is still an indispensable part of the machine that is Cloud9. 

Evil Geniuses: Vincent “Brehze” Cayonte

  • HLTV Rating: 1.10
  • Impact: 1.14
  • KAST: 71.6%
  • ADR: 80.1

Not to pick on EG, but if someone with Brehze’s stats is your best hope, something’s seriously wrong with your team somewhere. Brehze isn’t a bad player by any means, but the 24-year-old just isn’t as good as he used to be, and although he shows signs of his powerful old self from time to time, EG as a whole is just not strong enough to enable him to flourish. Nevertheless, here’s to hoping Brehze can make a difference at this iteration of Pro League.

Eternal Fire: Ismailcan “XANTARES” Dörtkardeş

  • HLTV Rating: 1.17
  • Impact: 1.35
  • KAST: 72.3%
  • ADR: 89.3

Let’s face it, we all knew this was coming. It takes some serious chops to have a maxed-out Impact Rating of 1.35, and a player who has spawned an entire eponymous subgenre of skill has chops in troves. The former BIG rifler also has an insane ADR of 89.3, and is widely known to be one of the best raw aimers in the game. With such stats, the only thing holding XANTARES back is his team and a lack of decent strats. However, watching him play is always a treat to the eyes, and we’re hoping he’ll at least give us some crazy highlights in Malta. 

Stay tuned for recaps, analyses and more from EPL, and browse through our massive collection of CSGO content in the meantime.

The 8 Best CSGO Players to Watch Out for in Group a of ESL Pro League 17
The Old One
When he's not sighing at sub-standard teammates in Dota 2 and CS2, The Old One is writing about those two games (among other things). If you see his name around the site too many times for your liking, well, the guy just never stops writing. Yes, we've tried an intervention.