Road to IEM Katowice - Top 4 players with highest rankings

Intel Extreme Masters Season XVI - Katowice begins today. After 2 years of hiatus because of the pandemic it’s the most anticipated live esports event of the year, and we are covering it exclusively throughout the week.

Let’s take a look at the top 4 rated players –or 4 horsemen of the apocalypse depending on your point of view, according to HTLV ratings:


Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostylievalso, also known as the demi-god of CSGO, is an AWPer for Natus Vincere from Ukraine. He may not be the best guy when you take account of his rocky past and his inflammatory comments about Germans back in 2015, but getting older seems to be doing good regarding his attitude. Considering his skill though he is the Gennady Golovkin of CSGO.

He has won 19 HLTV MVP medals, a Major and an Intel Grand Slam trophy, among other S-Tier trophies, and has been named the best player of 2018 and 2021, as well as a runner-up for the best player of 2019 and 2020.

He got immortalized on the old version of Cache with a graffiti after he pulled off a 1v2 AWP falling no-scope clutch round against Fnatic at ESL One: Cologne 2016. He also got the graffiti tattooed on his left shoulder.

He is currently considered the best CSGO player of all time.

With a K/D of 1.36 throughout 980 maps 25920 rounds, his all time HLTV ranking is 1.25


Image via Stephanie Lieske/ESL Gaming GmbH

Mathieu Herbaut, commonly known as ZywOo, is a French professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player for Team Vitality.

He is regarded as one of the top players in the history of the Global Offensive, and has been named as the No. 1 player in the world by HLTV in 2019 and 2020.

At 19 years of age, he was the youngest and also the only teenager to be ranked first on HLTV's Top 20 Players of the Year ranking.

He holds the record for the most HLTV MVP awards earned during a player's first year of professional play at cs_summit 4, ECS Season 7 - Finals, ESL One: Cologne 2019 and DreamHack Masters Malmö 2019.

He's also known as "The Chosen One" since he was born on the commercial release day of the first Counter-Strike game on  November 9, 2000.

He’s currently the second only to s1mple according to HLTV stats, but take into account their 3 year age difference and we could easily say that he’s on par with the best himself.

With a K/D of 1.33 throughout 536 maps and 14305 rounds, his all time HLTV ranking is 1.23.


Image via Stephanie Lieske/ESL Gaming GmbH

Currently the best rifler out there,  Nikola "NiKo" Kova (previously NiKolinho and nIKOLINHO) is a Bosnian Serb player with G2 Esports and a former semi-professional Counter-Strike player. He was born on February 16, 1997.

He is also the cousin of Nemanja "huNter-" Kova, effectively making them the Skywalkers of CSGO.

NiKo is widely regarded as one of Global Offensive's most mechanically proficient players, and has been a contender for the title of greatest player in the world numerous times throughout his career.

With a K/D of 1.18 throughout 1201 maps and 31984 rounds, his all time HLTV ranking is 1.15.

What sets him apart than his peers is the immense number of maps and rounds he has played, and that makes him an even dangerous opponent than s1mple and ZywOo


Another young name that proved himself over and over throughout his career.  He was accused of cheating, he faced loss in his family and yet he never failed to impress.

Robin "ropz" Kool: He was named by dennis and NiKo as a potential breakout player of 2017. He’ll be playing as a lurker/rifler for FaZe Clan in IEM Katowice 2022. Prior to joining mousesports, Kool was a sniper for Team Horizon in Call of Duty.

Kool joined mousesports in April 2017 and has won 8 titles throughout his time with the club.

He was named MVP of the ESL Pro League Season 10 Finals, and he has continuously ranked in the top 20 players on HLTV since 2018 (#19, #10, and #7).

He has a K/D of 1.17 throughout 816 maps and 21587 rounds, his all time HLTV ranking is 1.10.

honorable mention: dev1ce

Image via Helena Kristiansson/Turtle Entertainment

Sadly the legendary Danish player isn’t among us this year in Katowice because of health issues. If he was, he would be occupying ropz’s place in the article as the 4th highest ranked CSGO player of all time in Katowice. His place in the Ninjas in Pyjamas roster will be occupied by Love "⁠phzy⁠" Smidebrant for the time being.

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