s1mple tops ZywOo in CSGO player rankings, Astralis climbing back

Nick Johnson • January 21, 22:04

As Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev and Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut compete in the BLAST Global Finals, the two also went head to head in WIN.gg’s biweekly player rankings.

s1mple starts off the year in the number one spot, narrowly beating out the Vitality AWPer in the first set of player rankings for the new year. Over the past three months, both players are nearly tied in rounds played and total kills, and while many would agree that the past two years have been a two-horse race between the top stars in the game, these rankings are intended to highlight peaks and trends in player performance. The next few weeks are going to be crucial to see which of the two takes a commanding lead.

s1mple beats out ZywOo for best player to start 2021

While ZywOo is an incredible player, predictive models love it when players are consistent. At first glance, they both are. The two players only had a few games with ratings under 1.0 in the last three months, but the difference between ZywOo’s highest highs and lowest lows are much larger than s1mple’s. In other words, even though the Vitality star has had fantastic games more often than bad ones, the bad games were pretty bad.

It’s a surprising statement, especially considering that many fans often think of s1mple as impulsive and hot-headed. In reality, he’s neither. Add into the mix that while s1mple is an incredibly good AWPer, he’s isn’t hamstrung without one.

S1mple is a rifler first. His talents with an AK or M4 enable Natus Vincere to take chances without feeling compelled to save and drop it to him. ZywOo is also a capable rifler, but just like s1mple’s AWP play might not measure up to his own, ZywOo just doesn’t have the same impact without a sniper rifle.

But while s1mple and ZywOo try to avoid one another at the Global Finals, another set of names might welcome the chance to climb back up the rankings. Two of Astralis’ core players in Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth and Emil “Magisk” Reif snuck back into CSGO’s top 10 players with this week’s rankings. Their teammate, Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander, fell along with Magisk in the closing moments of 2020. Now, Xyp9x has replaced his in-game leader on the charts. As for Magisk, it looks as though he’s managed to do enough to slow his slide as CSGO’s 2021 season starts up. 

CSGO veterans RPK and tabseN remain on CSGO top 10 after break

Finally, CSGO veterans Johannes “tabseN” Wodarz and Cédric “RpK” Guipouy kept their own top-10 spots. RPK stayed in fourth with consistently solid and dependable play. tabseN did slip two spots to number eight, but even BIG‘s losses at the end of 2020 couldn’t move the vet out of the top 10. 

2021 kicks off in an interesting space for players in CSGO, with teams such as Vitality and Na`Vi experimenting with substitutes as more and more tournaments allow their use. Along with the subs comes the opportunity for fans to see some new faces in the first-person shooter’s esports competition, and that means they could also see new names in the top 10.

For now, BLAST’s Global Finals are where fans can tune in to see a whopping seven out of 10 players on the rankings go head to head for the last title up for grabs from the 2020 CSGO season. 

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