After phenomenal performances at two of the year’s biggest events, Håvard “rain” Nygaard may have a claim as the best player in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in the world right now.
FaZe Clan ended IEM Cologne 2022 with one of the best grand finals of all time. The best-of-five went the distance with FaZe and Natus Vincere trading the smallest advantages back and forth. While most FaZe fans were paying attention to the incredible highlights of Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken, rain was the real star of the show.
The Antwerp Major, which was also rain’s first MVP award, is when fans really began to take notice of his performance in important matches. FaZe’s rifler put out 107.9 damage per round in the grand finals with 52 kills across series. rain closed out the Antwerp Major with a 30-bomb on the final map.
That reputation as a consistent performer in high-stakes matches continued at IEM Cologne. rain performed well in the first two matches, but his stats skyrocketed after the 1-1 scoreline. The decider on Nuke was his most impactful performance with 81.8 damage per round and 23 kills. rain even matched s1mple 3-3 in duels on the final map, a tall feat for any player.
Both of these tournaments show that rain lives up to very high expectations in the biggest events. Many top players, including some on FaZe, have a reputation for choking under pressure and failing to finish an otherwise excellent tournament run. rain is not that kind of player. He performs when the chips are down, which is a shared trait with another pick for the best CSGO player in the world.
How rain stacks up against s1mple, the best CSGO player
To see how rain’s stats hold up against the strongest of competition, let’s compare him to the popular pick for the best CSGO player in the world.
s1mple also performed quite well at the Antwerp Major, though Natus Vincere notably failed to clinch its second consecutive major. He scored a 1.25 KDA with 18 triple kills or more. 46 opening kills is very high stat for an AWPer, but it speaks to s1mple’s flick prowess and skills with the standard rifle. In the grand finals against FaZe, s1mple notably underperformed with 45 kills to 52 deaths.
As for IEM Cologne, Na’Vi’s AWPer still put up great numbers throughout the playoffs. s1mple’s HLTV rating never dropped below 1.26 before finals and it peaked at 1.54. However, his performance dropped in the grand final. He earned 109 kills to rain’s 110, though s1mple’s role as an AWPer hides the gap. s1mple actually won his third MVP award after losing at IEM Cologne, though he wasn’t necessarily thrilled about it.
When comparing rain and s1mple, a clear pattern emerges of performance as the tournament goes on. rain’s numbers slowly climb up right to the grand final where he puts on his best performances. s1mple’s stats are better the further back the tournament goes, though he still puts on moments of genius in top eight. In terms of consistency, rain wins out. However, many fans and analysts are more eager to praise the clutches and unthinkable multi-kills s1mple delivers.
Going off the stats, it’s still too early to definitively call rain the best CSGO player in the pro scene. But if the rifler continues to put up huge numbers at the most crucial moments, rain’s name may soon enter the conversation. The title of best player in $1 million+ grand finals is enough for now.