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The Best CS2/CS:GO Players in 2023

The Counter-Strike community made a big transition in 2023 from CS:GO to CS2. The game has changed for the better, including visual improvements and more realistic physics.

Most players are strongly focused on wonderful external changes, like richer colors of some weapon skins—and such items really had good chances of becoming CS2 best sellers. For esports professionals, the adaptation to CS2 is more about maximizing practical aspects. You know, the ability to remove smoke by shooting through the cloud directly affects players’ actions, and may cause some changes in team strategies—and it’s only one small example.

We have no doubt that skilled and talented CS2 pro players quickly figured out what is possible in the environment of the new game engine. But who succeeded the most in this historic year? Who were the best Counter-Strike players in 2023?

Traditionally, we publish such a list on DMarket Blog. It includes 10 players, and it’s based on their performances and achievements at the biggest esports tournaments (2.0 rating at Majors*). This year, we have included both CS:GO and CS2 major events. Let’s check out who was (exceptionally) good in both games.

Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut

Mathieu ZywOo Herbaut
  • Rating 2.0 — 1.29
  • K/D ratio — 1.38

Team Vitality had an amazing competitive year, winning five(!) S-Tier tournaments in 2023: from Intel Extreme Masters Rio (CS:GO) to BLAST Premier: World Final (CS2). This success became possible despite having significant changes in the main roster. ZywOo is one of those who was with Team Vitality through and through—and he remains in the organization for further success.

In general, it’s not a surprise to see ZywOo on top. The guy amazes the community with his stable performance, and not only in 2023. In our previous list of the best CS:GO players in 2022, ZywOo was second. But this time, he is definitely the number one.

ZywOo is an AWPer and a rifler, but the player is terrifying with any weapon (sure, for his opponents). We could see some mind-blowing pistol rounds by ZywOo. And when he was on his main weapons … those were absolute miracles of positioning and precise shooting. Just take a look at his Kill/Death ratio! It’s the highest on our list.

Nikola “NiKo” Kovač

Nikola NiKo Kovač
  • Rating 2.0 — 1.17
  • K/D ratio — 1.17

NiKo has been playing for G2 Esports since 2020, and it feels like his performance has been consistently top-level throughout his career.

With his team, NiKo won three S-Tier events in 2023: BLAST Premier: Spring Groups, IEM Katowice, and IEM Cologne—all of them in CS:GO. With the release of CS2, the results of G2 Esports slightly dropped, but being 3rd–4th at IEM Sydney is also amazing. We sure can expect a lot from NiKo and the team in this new competitive era of Counter-Strike!

NiKo is a rifler, an entry fragger. His style is quite remarkable, with almost perfect mechanic skills. In many game moments, it feels like nothing is impossible for this guy. His abilities are priceless, especially when it comes to aiming and accurate shooting in dynamic situations. NiKo was named MVP at IEM Cologne 2023.

If you want to follow the steps of players such as NiKo, you should work on your own skills and on your reputation as a reliable teammate and opponent. Discover more info in our article about Trust Factor in CS2.

David “frozen” Čerňanský

David frozen Čerňanský
  • Rating 2.0 — 1.17
  • K/D ratio — 1.22

frozen was with MOUZ for almost the whole of 2023, and only at the beginning of December left the team for FaZe Clan.

This MOUZ period brought frozen ups and downs. Winning ESL Pro League Season 18 is certainly great. Being 2nd at IEM Dallas 2023 and CS Asia Championships 2023 is also not bad at all. But some other placements were not that high.

Still, frozen was (and remains) an exceptional player. His personal achievements carried him to third place in our list. Can FaZe Clan help the guy get more stable results? With the new team, frozen was 2nd at BLAST Premier: World Final 2023.

frozen is a rifler, and he regularly delivers wonderful headshots and succeeds in lots of tough situations. We can witness clutches from him, sniper extravaganza, and many last-moment miracles. frozen is certainly a player to keep an eye on.

Lotan “Spinx” Giladi

Lotan Spinx Giladi
  • Rating 2.0 — 1.17
  • K/D ratio — 1.20

It’s not a surprise to see another Team Vitality player in our list of the best CS2 pros in 2023—considering how powerful the organization was (and is). And also, it feels logical that Spinx is the second player (alongside ZywOo) who remained with the organization throughout the year, despite big changes (two players and a coach were replaced).

Spinx joined Team Vitality at the end of 2022. It was a good decision, as they celebrated many S-Tier victories in 2023, within both CS:GO and CS2. And the future also looks bright, as the most recent win, at BLAST Premier: World Final 2023, happened just recently, in the middle of December. The Vitality players certainly have all the chances to carry on with this momentum.

Spinx is a rifler, lurker. He knows how to be unnoticed on a game map and bring sudden, unexpected death to his opponents. In 2023, the player shined with his skills in various situations, from massive team actions to solo clutches.

Robin “ropz” Kool

Robin ropz Kool
  • Rating 2.0 — 1.14
  • K/D ratio — 1.18

FaZe Clan shined brightly in 2023, and ropz certainly helped his team reach these amazing results. They were 1st at S-Tier tournaments such as ESL Pro League Season 17 and BLAST Premier: Fall Groups 2023—for CS:GO. And when CS2 was officially out, FaZe Clan won IEM Sydney 2023, Thunderpick World Championship 2023, and CS Asia Championships 2023. Other placements are also very high: 2nd and 3rd at the biggest Majors.

ropz is rifler (lurker), and he so often delivers unexpected and absolutely impressive kills. ropz well knows how to approach opponents to confuse them and easily win shooting duels. Like most Counter-Strike esports professionals, ropz certainly makes great combinations of skins and gloves—you know, to play with style. To get this knowledge for yourself, take a look at our article with the best cheap CS2 combos.

Helvijs “broky” Saukants

Helvijs broky Saukants
  • Rating 2.0 — 1.10
  • K/D ratio — 1.14

broky has been playing with FaZe Clan since 2019, and his performance is stable and simply great. With the team, broky had a few impressive S-Tier victories in 2023 (you can check out some details in our description for ropz). It’s interesting that FaZe Clan did well in both CS:GO and CS2 game environments.

broky is an AWPer, but he absolutely can deliver kills from other weapons too. Many, many opponents have become broky’s victims.

Alvaro “SunPayus” Garcia

Alvaro SunPayus Garcia
  • Rating 2.0 — 1.10
  • K/D ratio — 1.15

SunPayus spent most of 2023 with ENCE, but in the middle of December, he moved to Team Falcons.

ENCE had some really good results last year, including victory at IEM Dallas and 2nd place at IEM Cologne and Gamers8. As for Counter-Strike 2, they won CS Asia Championships 2023. SunPayus is an AWPer, which is one of the hardest roles in the game (check all roles in Counter-Strike), requiring precision of timing and positioning. The player is also good at dynamic shooting, with a sniper rifle or other weapons. Do these movement skills help SunPayus stand out in the pro CS2 “crowd”?

Good timing is crucial in Counter-Strike—in the game and even around it. Check out our guide on the best time to buy skins.

Casper “cadiaN” Møller

Casper cadiaN Møller
  • Rating 2.0 — 1.09
  • K/D ratio — 1.12

cadiaN is one of the most experienced players among active CS2 professionals. He played for Heroic for most of 2023, but in October, he was benched. In December, cadiaN moved to Team Liquid, becoming their captain too.

The year brought some really high placements for Heroic. They were 2nd at IEM Katowice 2023 and IEM Rio 2023. They celebrated victory at BLAST Premier: Spring Final and Fall Groups. With Team Liquid (and in CS2), cadiaN couldn’t prove himself in 2023, but they’ve already won an online qualifier for PGL Major Copenhagen 2024.

cadiaN is one of the best AWPers — and sure, he is an in-game leader, who leads the whole team to success. The player is great at coordinating and motivating his team. Alongside this role, he demonstrates amazing skills in many situations, including clutches and lots of unbelievable kills. One key feature of cadiaN’s style is his dedication and aim at results. His example teaches us not to give up in the game and to reach the highest results possible.

Martin “stavn” Lund

Martin stavn Lund
  • Rating 2.0 — 1.09
  • K/D ratio — 1.05

The Heroic period of stavn is similar to cadiaN’s. In October, the team acquired new players, and some were benched. At the end of November, stavn was transferred to Astralis. It will be interesting to witness how the refreshed roster of this Danish team will perform in 2024.

stavn is a rifler and AWPer. His ability to find a great position and eliminate opponents is simply miraculous. And his shoots through smoke and during movements are legendary. Check out our latest guide on how to improve movement in CS2.

Jakob “jabbi” Nygaard

Jakob jabbi Nygaard
  • Rating 2.0 — 1.09
  • K/D ratio — 1.05

jabbi moved from Heroic to Astralis together with stavn. Even pretty good results did not stop the team from refreshing the roster—in addition to the achievements mentioned in our description for cadiaN, Heroic were 3rd–4th at Paris Major 2023, IEM Dallas 2023, and Gamers8 2023.

jabbi is a rifler who gets many kills thanks to his patience and knowledge of where to camp for opponents. We could see some amazing aces from the guy thanks to such an approach. jabbi was named MVP at BLAST Premier: Spring Final 2023.

We at DMarket will follow the new era of Counter-Strike esports and inform you guys on everything exciting.

And we sure will continue explaining various things in skins trading. For example, check out how to prevent mobile scams. Your safety is as important for us as your achievements in competitive play! Hopefully, articles on DMarket Blog will help you with both these aspects.

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