When it comes to CS:GO, 2019 hasn’t been short of stars. From s1mple to ZywOo, to Twistzz and EliGe, the game has been blessed with the sort of talent that previously would have been considered once in a lifetime many times over, but here at Luckbox we’re all about the team.
Sure, we love flashy plays as much as the next fan, but we also admire the people who might fly under the radar a bit - the unsung heroes, if you will. So here is a little look at some of the people who have had a huge influence on the game in 2019 without making many headlines.
David ‘frozen’ Čerňanský - mouseports
HLTV rating: 1.13
The newest addition to the professional scene on Mousesports hasn’t had the most amazing year in terms of team results, but his side finished the year well by beating a G2 that just needs to be put out of their misery at cs_summit a week after taking EPL Season 10 finals.
While ropz is the best player statistically, frozen has produced consistently at a level we rarely see from rookie year players (matching EG’s Brehze in HLTV rating) and already looks a great all-rounder with room for even more improvement.
Andreas ‘Samuelsson’ Samuelsson - Fnatic (coach)
Over the past few years it’s fair to say Fnatic haven’t been well-managed, with the peak of their bad decision-making being the decision to cut Golden the first time around. For his second stint trying to save JW et al from themselves the IGL is at least lucky enough to be working with Samuelsson, a man who doesn’t hog the headlines like a zonic or zews, but who appears to be a crucial part of why the team is good again.
No doubt the IGL is also a factor, but Fnatic’s rise and rise can’t be ignored, and the coach deserves a lot of credit for his work blending two generations of Swedish talent into one great team.
Justin ‘jks’ Savage - Renegades/100Thieves rifler
HLTV rating: 1.16
Now, it’s not as though jks has gone under the radar this year per se, what with his team doing so well at the Major and then getting picked up by 100Thieves, who are on their second CS adventure, but it has been an incredible year for the American in exile.
It may even be that he is the difference between his team being picked up and not, meaning he not only secured great paydays for his team mates but also the Grayhound guys who moved to RNG in the wake of jks’s and his mates departing.
Nemanja ‘huNter’ Kovač - CR4ZY, G2 rifler
HLTV rating: 1.22
To paraphrase a famous Englishman, or, rather, a famously English reply to a famous Australian: At least huNter is probably the best player in his family. Known for so long as "NiKo’s cousin", which is probably both a blessing and a curse for an upcomer, 2019 was the year that saw huNter break out and earn a payday at G2 alongside his long-time colleague Nexa.
As a player, huNter is the complete package, and over the last 12 months only five men have better ratings than he does at big events, suggesting there is more to come in 2020 from the "other Kovač".
There you have it, a quartet of unsung heroes for 2019 that could easily become massive names in 2020. The sheer depth of talent in CS:GO is also really promising for 2020, as is the fact we now have multiple coaches at the top level, not just zonic and zews. If you can think of another person who deserves more of the spotlight, shout up - we’d love to hear your suggestions.
Did you know? Every Luckbox account starts with $5, so you can start making your esports predictions straight away. Luckbox has streams, stats and odds on all major esports, including CS:GO, Dota 2, League of Legends, Overwatch and more. Create your account, find your favourite game and make your predictions now.
Pictures: StarLadder / Flickr