s1mple tops HLTV Top 20 players list for 2018; device, Niko round out the top three

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Photo: ESL

It’s that time of the year again, when Counter-Strike Global Offensive fans get excited to see who has made it to the Top 20 list made by HLTV. The 2018 edition was a highly anticipated one, with fans eagerly waiting to see just how much the landscape of the Top 20 rankings had changed in the space of a year.

HLTV have a unique way of revealing the Top 20, starting backwards revealing one player each day. But, they added another cool feature, perhaps owing to the immense speculation as to who among device and s1mple will bag the #1 spot. HLTV decided to reveal #1 and #2 on the same day, which added to the anticipation among the CSGO fans.

But, at the end of the day, the community was happy as HLTV crowned s1mple as the best player for 2018, with the Natus Vincere AWPer boasting insane statistics throughout the calendar, especially in BIG events.

device was a close second, despite having more MVPs than s1mple and bagging more team honours as well. Niko came third and was undoubtedly a step ahead of electronic, who was a positive surprise for Natus Vincere fans after his addition to the roster.

The entire Astralis roster made the Top 20 rankings, with four of them in the top 10 – dupreeh (5), Magisk (7), gla1ve (8), Xypn9x (13).

There was just one North American player in the Top 10, with Liquid star NAF coming in sixth, owing to his impressive fragging power at Renegades and eventually, Liquid throughout the calendar.

But, there was more cheer for North American fans, with as many as four players from the region making it to the top 20, which is a record for the region.

Not as big of a surprise, but mousesports had three players in the top 20 but none in the top 10, perhaps showing just how consistent the team had been without actually being able to break into the top 3.

While Astralis are the most represented organisation within the top 20, with all of their players making the list, organisations like Faze, mousesports, and Liquid are close behind with three of their players on the list, showing just how dominant they have been within the CSGO scene in 2018.

Natus Vincere had just two, with both of them in the top 5, showing just how hard the duo have had to carry the team in order to achieve the success they did in 2018. Nine teams were represented in the top 20 list, making it one of the most diverse lists in the history of HLTV rankings.

The players usually call out a name they believe will make the top 20 in 2019. Newly acquired Optic star refrezh was the most named among the players, with sergej close behind. Interestingly, XANTARES was named just one, despite recently moving to BIG and having impressed everyone already over the last couple of years.

There are a few players that will feel hard done by HLTV, with the likes of Stewie2k, Tarik and no one from NRG making the list, despite a confirmation that nahtE was on the cusp of making it to the top 20, along with Natus Vincere rifler Flamie.

It will surely be intriguing to see how 2019 pans out for s1mple, device, Niko and the rest of the stars that made the list.