5. Karan ‘Excali’ Mhaswadkar
Already recognized as one of the best players in India, Excali started off 2018 on a bright note, winning the ESL INDIA Summer Phase with Invictus. But, Excali has since struggled to exert himself on the server after joining Entity.
He has been commendable but has failed to reach the same level he showed at Invictus. Still, two events under his belt is a credible achievement. But, his performance at Dreamhack Mumbai left a lot to be desired, something he would be keen to correct in 2019.
4. Anuj ‘Amaterasu’ Sharma
Lauded as the most complete player in India, Amaterasu showed another side to his game, taking over the in-game calling from HellRanger at Entity. While his individual ratings have suffered since, Entity have thrived, bagging Dew Arena Lan and Taiwan Excellence Cup while finishing second in the ESL INDIA Summer Phase.
With Dav and Solo being brought in, Amaterasu is no more burdened by the duties of in-game leading, which is likely to free him up again to be the menace he can be on the server.
Amaterasu himself knows he has much more to do, now that Signify has entered the scene. But, knowing the kind of player he is, he will be more than up to the challenge.
3. Sabyasachi ‘Antidote’ Bose
To be fair, Antidote had already announced himself on the National scene and had established himself among the best of names within the scene. But, 2018 saw him propel to a new level altogether. Antidote was consistently dominant on the server, starting with Team Malhar with fellow Kolkata star Gurtej ‘Proud’ Singh and CS 1.6 legend Raju ‘PokerF’ Jittu.
Antidote took the chance of trying out for Optic India and was selected in the final lineup. Again, like yb, his achievements with the team will be nullified to a great extent after the Forsaken fiasco. But, the incident aside, his own individual performance while being a part of the team was impeccable.
Antidote matched up to almost every awper and not just in India but against SEA Opposition as well. 2ez picked up the former Optic India star and Antidote has since continued to deliver on the server. It is wonderful to see just how Antidote has been able to transform himself into an out-and-out Awper, seeing as he was more of a hybrid star.
He would have been higher up the rankings had Optic India’s achievements not been discredited and if 2ez had managed to make more of a splash at Dreamhack Mumbai. But, I guess, he can make sure of it in 2019.
2. Ishpreet ‘Huntr’ Singh
Explosive as always, Ishpreet Singh comes across as the most gifted CSGO player within the Indian Counter-Strike circuit. Unable to devote himself to the game full-time due to his personal commitments and his professional events in the Snooker circuit, Huntr has lived up his name, hunting down everyone that comes against him on the server.
His 37 frags in 29 rounds against 2ez on Train in the semi-finals of the ESL INDIA Summer LAN Finale was a particular highlight. But, his defining performance on Inferno in the Grand Final of the event against Entity was perhaps what convinced the team to bring in Ishpreet along with Excali.
At Entity, Huntr was good but not at his usual best, perhaps not being able to adjust to the new tactics. Still, he was able to get two big events under his belt with the Entity banner in the form of Dew Arena 2018 and Taiwan Excellence Cup 2018.
Back at Invictus citing issues with devoting time required to be a part of Entity, Huntr has posted an average IR of 1.26 in the ESL Winter Phase thus far. Perhaps, if he committed to CSGO full-time, we could see Huntr break into a new tier. For now, #2 is where he is at.
1. Agneya ‘Marzil’ Koushik
His Sostronk profile reads, “I am going to crush you and throw you into the wind.” And he is not far off describing what he does to his adversaries on the server. Marzil has been known for his raw ability. But, 2018 saw the star reach a new level, thanks in large parts to the Optic tryouts.
Emerging as the best player at the tryouts according to many, Marzil chose to leave Entity to try his luck at Optic India. Again, like Antidote and yb, their achievements under the banner have been marginalized. But, the improvement that the tenure brought to Marzil’s play is something he can attest to himself.
Individually speaking, Marzil embraced a no-nonsense aggressive style on the CT side a-la Fer, which was a refreshing thing to see, especially as no one apart from 2ez’s Rexy has been known to be uncharacteristically aggressive on the server.
Posting just seven <0.9 IR maps before the Dreamhack Mumbai LAN, Marzil has perhaps taken a support role within Signify, which could justify his disappointing individual numbers at Dreamhack. Although, Marzil was perhaps the most successful of the Indian csgo players going by achievements.
Confident of his and Signify’s chances to break into the international scene, it will be interesting to see how 2019 pans out for Marzil.
We have also released a recap of 2018 of Indian Esports for our readers.
Note: The rankings have been released with assumptions, the stats of the Indian CSGO fraternity has been considered. Had we done Top INDIAN Csgo players instead of Top CSGO players in India, Havok would have come into the list and be in the Top 2 along with Ace, whose achievements with XCN will be credited in that case. Marzil would drop to number 3 on the list and effect would trickle down to other rankings.