It has been a crazy run of tournaments in professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive recently, but this week’s CSGO rankings were even more surprising than was anticipated. It’s not just which players made it into the top ten, but also which two famous players dropped out.
Vitality’s Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut and Astralis’ Nicolai “device” Reedtz found themselves on the outside looking in this week as they fell behind the pack in March’s edition of the WIN.gg‘s player rankings. The two fell to 10th and 11th place respectively after a rough month in which both players struggled against lesser teams.
It’s important to note that the word “struggle” means something different when we talk about these two players. device tallied ratings above 1.00 on all but one of Astralis’ most recent maps. ZywOo did even better, averaging a 1.19 over his past four matches.
But for teams that rely on these player’s performances each match, a rating difference of only 0.2 or 0.3 can spell trouble. Without that extra edge, both teams lost matches they normally would’ve been expected to win.
Even more concerning is that both Vitality and Astralis have kept their high placements in CSGO’s team rankings. In simple terms, that means that while the math is confident that Astralis and Vitality will continue to be successful overall, it has become less sure about the future performances of device and ZywOo in particular.
ZywOo is the more interesting case thanks to the extent that Vitality relies on his explosiveness to win matches. Vitality’s past four maps have been losses, with 16-5 and 16-14 losses against Ninjas in Pyjamas just after it dropped two games against ENCE.
ZywOo did okay in the losses, but he wasn’t the ZywOo fans have come to know.
Vitality’s AWPer died late into rounds without impact and without his trademark clutch mentality on display. To make matters worse, ZywOo looked hesitant in Vitality’s game against NiP. And his teammates didn’t much help.
Dan “apEX” Madesclaire doesn’t do his teammates any favors early in the clip, but even with apEX’s questionable push considered, these are situations that Vitality and ZywOo don’t normally lose.
Five months ago, few would bet against ZywOo in a situation like this. But now it seems that Vitality has forgotten how to support its star player. ZywOo and Vitality should bounce back in the long term, but if the star AWPer can’t find his confidence, it’s going to be a long spring.
device is in a similar position, but CSGO’s other famous AWPer is struggling more than his Vitality counterpart.
It doesn’t seem like it on the surface. After all, device has top-fragged in Astralis’ recent losses and has been a factor in the team’s wins. But there is a set of statistics that reveal that this device isn’t the one fans are used to.
In 2020, device went 712-479 in opening duels, good for a 1.49 kill-to-death ratio and a 1.21 rating. Those numbers stayed consistent to start 2021, but have plunged in Astralis’ recent performances. Since February 1, device is 60-48 when taking those critical opening duels, leaving the AWPer with a 1.25 KD and an opening kill rating of 1.19.
These two AWPers might just be caught in a funk, but these small dips in performances sometimes signal the start of a much bigger drop. There’s no indication of this happening to these two CSGO legends just yet, but fans will want to keep a close eye on both moving forward.