The countdown for the HLTV Top 20 Players of the Year 2018 has already started and the announcement date draws nearer than ever.
In total, there were as many as 21 tournaments classified as “big events” this 2018. Although this resulted in arguably the most action-packed year CS:GO has ever said, the number of events and top performers throughout the year means that HLTV will definitely have their hands full. No one is definitely envious of them trying to narrow down the list to just 20 of the very best players in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive this year of 2018.
As is always the case, you can expect “staples” to drop way below expectations. Or, worse yet, drop out of the list completely.
Having said that, let’s get right down to our predictions for the HLTV Top 20 Players of the Year 2018.
What Is The HLTV Top 20 Players of the Year?
Starting in 2010, HLTV decided to try and see if they can prepare a “definitive” list of the Top 20 players in CS:GO. Although, back then, the statistics that they used were from Counter Strike 1.6 as the list (nor the competitive scene) would not fully transition yet to CS:GO until a few years later.
While the results are almost always subject to debate, by using statistics from major LAN tournaments, team achievements, as well as individual awards and how each individual player performed in the biggest matches of the year, HLTV’s annual list is as close as we can get to an unbiased list of the best performers in the scene in a particular year.
The HTLV Top 20 Players of the 2018 list should be no different.
Because it is a list of the best CS:GO players of the year, MVP and EVP medals play a huge role. However, that’s not all. In addition to the parameters mentioned earlier, other factors are also considered as well. This includes, among others, damage dealt, multi-kill impact, opening frags or clutches, their consistency throughout the year, how well they performed under pressure at the biggest events of the year.
Who Are The Heavy Favourites?
Nearly every year, there are a handful of players fighting over who’s going to be at the No. 1 spot. However, for the HLTV Top 20 Players of the Year 2018, only two players are considered the heavy favourites. Meanwhile, the rest are long shots to taking the top spot, including the two-time back-to-back winner, Marcelo ‘coldzera‘ David, who had a rather uneventful year with MIBR, a team composed of the former SK Gaming squad members.
Nicolai ‘dev1ce‘ Reedtz
The case for dev1ce is weird, to say the least. He might be a superstar, but he’s not the lone star in Astralis. In fact, one could argue that every player in Astralis could go on and star on another team. That’s just how stacked the Danish powerhouse currently is. However, make no mistake, as much as dev1ce may have benefited from playing with good teammates, he’s more than capable of pulling his own weight. Case in point, he was the recipient of seven (7) MVP medals this year alone. In total, he’s won twelve (12) throughout his illustrious career.
dev1ce is a staple of the HLTV Top 20 Players of the Year rankings. In fact, dev1ce has placed no lower than fifth-place since he broke through the scene back in 2015, when HLTV ranked him third, just right behind Ladislav “GuardiaN” Kovács.
Boasting a 1.23 rating in 2018, dev1ce is, by far, Astralis’ highest-rated player. His best performance came at the ELEAGUE CS:GO Premiere 2018 where he led Astralis to a flawless record en route to the title with a 1.44 rating. Even better, dev1ce only posted a negative rating just once, posting a 0.91 rating at the ELEAGUE Boston Major in January of 2018, while his lowest rating in a tournament since has been 1.11.
In terms of both individual (7 MVP medals) and team success (10 LAN titles), it’s hard to top what dev1ce did this 2018.
Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev
If there’s one player who could make a strong case for beating out dev1ce as the top player of the HLTV Top 20 Players of the Year 2018, it would be Natus Vincere’s 21-year-old superstar, s1mple.
In terms of trophies and MVP medals, s1mple nor Natus Vincere cannot even hope to come close to what Astralis and dev1ce achieved this year. However, s1mple does have one thing going for him — it’s his sheer individual skill and prowess.
Consider this, the past three winners couldn’t even achieve a 1.25 rating throughout the year. Olof ‘olofmeister‘ Kajbjer Gustafsson had a 1.2 rating when he won the award back in 2015. Meanwhile, coldzera had 1.2 in 2016 and 1.24 in 2017. As for s1mple, he has a 1.35 rating in 2018, and 1.34 in tournaments classified by HLTV as “big events”.
That is absolutely insane.
More than the stats, s1mple could be considered the best sniper, rifler, and deagle player in all of CS:GO right now. In fact, his prowess on the Desert Eagle and the AK-47 has often allowed Natus Vincere to plan entire strategies based solely on how s1mple can just simply outplay and outfrag opponents.
In 2018, s1mple didn’t just play extremely well, but he has also redefined what it means to be the best player in all of CS:GO.
HLTV Top 20 Players of the Year 2018 — Who’s Going to Win?
At this point, it’s pretty much a toss-up between s1mple and dev1ce. The only question is, which of the two will win, because both are definitely deserving and there’s a strong argument that could be made for each player.
According to the betting odds presented by the oddsmakers over at GGbet, dev1ce is currently the overwhelming favourite at 1.3 odds (bet $100 to win $130) to win outright. s1mple clocks in at second place at 2.5 odds (bet $100 to win $250). The rest aren’t even worth considering; the gap between these two and the rest of the field is so enormous that the odds aren’t even remotely close.
Either way, with only a few days to go before the HLTV Top 20 Players of the Year 2018 list is released, we should know soon enough who’s going to come out on top this year.
Which players do you think will make it to the HLTV Top 20 Players of the Year 2018 list? Do you think dev1ce will win it? Or will s1mple’s historically dominant individual performance trump Astralis’ dominance? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.