It’s been an amazing 2017 for Counter-Strike, with tons of great plays and even greater stories. With that in mind, we’re taking a look back at some of the best.
We’ve put together a list of 10 of the best players storylines this year. These players may not have all had the best results in 2017, but they all had the best stories.
Kicking off our list at number 10, is swag. Now swag’s 2017 wasn’t hugely eventful. But for one of the most famous players permanently banned by Valve, 2017 brought an important change as ESL and DreamHack announced they would unban swag and other former IBUYPOWER players from their events.
The move gave his fans some hope they may see the CS prodigy on some of the biggest stages in the game once again, despite still being banned by Valve.
And at cs_summit, Swag showed us that he still has what it takes to compete with the best in the world.
9. gob b
Number nine on our list, gob b, the in-game leader for BIG, had an unexpectedly strong year, placing second at two DreamHacks and winning the minor championship for the Kraków Major.
But perhaps most unexpectedly, gob b took an underrated roster of misfits to Legend status at the Major when they made it to quarterfinals.
There was some controversy surrounding BIG at the Major when they utilized the jump bug during the group stage that allowed invisible and soundless peaking on some maps. But after a gentleman’s agreement between teams to not use the bug, BIG still defeated SK to 3-0 the group stage.
And though they fell in the Top 8, gob b and BIG have guaranteed themselves a spot at the next Major in Boston, and we’re excited to see what 2018 could bring for them.
Once widely regarded as the best player in the world, olofmeister joined FaZe in August after a somewhat lackluster end to his time with Fnatic.
And since joining FaZe, Olof has proven he’s still one of the best, helping the team win ESL One: New York, and the ELEAGUE Premier while also placing second at IEM Oakland.
FaZe still have a lot to prove if they want to live up to their potential, but all eyes will be on this team and olofmeister heading into the Boston Major.
GeT_RiGhT has not had a good year. But he ended 2017 with a redemption story and that’s why he is number seven on our list
After missing out on their third consecutive Major by falling in the online qualifiers for Boston in October, GeT_RiGhT was heartbroken. Saying, “There is nothing more to say than... This is soul crushing... Don't really have any words.”
But his play at IEM Oakland in November showed that the organization that first dominated CS:GO still has a bit of fight left in the them.
Number six on our list is electronic. Long seen as a bright star on a struggling FlipSid3 Tactics, electronic finally got his break this year, joining a Na`Vi roster filled potential.
With Na’Vi, electronic placed 12th at Season 6 of Pro League and won DreamHack Winter.
Na`Vi haven’t quite lived up the hype surrounding their roster, but their win at DreamHack Winter represented signs of life for the squad and electronic may have finally found a team where he can really shine.
Playing with two Brazilian squads in 2017, boltz comes in at number five on our list.
With Immortals, he placed 3rd-4th at the IEM World Championship in Katowice, and second at Kraków Major.
But big results aside, boltz’s story this year revolves around the roster shakeups, after Immortals’ Brazilian CS:GO team effectively dissolved despite their strong performances.
With many ex-Immortals players joining new teams, boltz was the most successful of his former teammates in the later half of 2017, returning to his former Luminosity Gaming teammates on SK.
With SK, boltz won EPICENTER and BLAST Pro Series: Copenhagen and placing 3rd-4th at IEM Oakland.
For fans of the Brazilian scene, boltz’s return to Fallen and the rest of SK was thrilling, but equally thrilling was his performance throughout 2017.
Coming in at number four on our list, Zeus rose to the highest highs of Counter-Strike in 2017. He won the Kraków Major with Gambit and had somewhat more measured results with Na`Vi, though he did win DreamHack Winter 2017.
But for Zeus, the win in Kraków was the culmination of a year-long promise to himself and his leadership on Gambit was central to their victory at the Major.
And though he has since returned to Na`Vi to somewhat mixed results, his win with Gambit at Krakow after his colourful declaration almost a year earlier helped define his 2017.
Along with an always-strong SK Gaming, fer had a very strong 2017, placing second at DreamHack Masters and then winning IEM Sydney, ECS Season 3, ESL One: Cologne, EPICENTER and BLAST Pro Series: Copenhagen.
They had a somewhat weaker showing at the Majors this year, placing Top 4 at ELEAGUE and Top 8 at Kraków.
fer has always been an excellent player on an excellent team, but 2017 saw him really cement himself as one of the core stars that has made this SK roster so successful.
With SK looking to make a splash at the ELEAGUE Major in Boston 2018, there’s no question that fer will be front and centre.
Number two on our list, dev1ce had a 2017 that saw him in peak form, winning the ELEAGUE Major and the IEM world championship in Katowice. He also placed Top 4 at Kraków.
But what should have been a landmark year for the prodigal AWPer took a sour note, when he was forced to take a break due to medical issues.
With Astralis playing a series of stand-ins, dev1ce has had to take a back seat at the end of 2017. Though he may be able to attend the next Major, Astralis say it’s still not a sure thing.
It’s a bitter end to the year for one of the game’s strongest players. We can only hope he’ll back back in force in 2018.
Surprising no one, NiKo rounds out our list at number one. Starting the season off with a struggling mousesports, NiKo placed 12th-14th at the ELEAGUE Major. And after joining FaZe Clan they also struggled at the Kraków Major, placing 15th-16th.
But a late-season resurgence saw them finish first at ESL One: New York and the ELEAGUE Premier; second at IEM Oakland and third at BLAST Pro Series: Copenhagen.
NiKo’s 2017 saw the realization of his enormous potential — long seen as the primary carry on the former mouz roster. Though the new FaZe Clan took some time to gel, they look like one of the strongest teams in the world.
And NiKo’s play has been a huge part of that.
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