The HLTV.org rankings marathon continues, with cyber athletes from our teams storming into the top 10. Today, we will look at the seventh line, which went to Denis "electronic" Sharipov. It is controversial, as it underestimates his contribution to the team's overall success.
For the fifth consecutive year, the rifler of the Natus Vincere team is in the top-10 of the best CS:GO players in the world, but this time, with the lowest result for himself. Many would dream of being in Denis's shoes, but this year's HLTV selection raises questions when one analyzes Sharipov's performance. Yes, perhaps, given the obvious triumph of NaVi teammate Alexander "s1mple" Kostylev in the first position, b1t and electronic got places below their achievements. But why does it matter? Let's figure out why we are more surprised than happy by Denis Sharipov's position in the rankings and the key criteria for the organizers in compiling the top.
Natus Vincere demonstrated one of the best years in the history of Counter-Strike teams. The team won 8 tournaments, half of which were in LAN format. Electronic got 9 EVP competition awards. Currently, no representative of the ranking is even close to this figure. We suspect that not all upcoming players in the positions above will repeat this result. Denis has had some impressive performances, starting with IEM Cologne 2021. The first offline tournament in 1.5 years reminded the audience that Sharipov was a prominent LAN player. According to the statistics, in the second part of the season, when NaVi's results were overwhelming, electronic was regularly among the best players in every tournament.
If you take the statistics of the year's main events, Denis Sharipov let only the main stars of modern CS:GO get ahead of him. If you compare his achievements with those of Nikola "NiKo" Kovač, who won zero times at the tournaments this year, we'll get more and more questions. So, what guides HLTV? It seems that it's personal statistics. But why are there two Gambit Esports players above? Here we come to perhaps, the key criterion for electronic. His competitors from the Russian team have the MVP awards. Denis was close to the title of the best player of the competition several times, but s1mple always comes at the right moment and does not leave a chance to teammates. Sharipov was called MVP only once as a member of Natus Vincere. However, it didn't stop HLTV from ranking him 4th and 5th with much worse trophies in previous years.
Still, the uneven performance at the beginning of the year, when Gambit was on top, influenced the organisers' decision. The NaVi rifler shone, as we mentioned earlier, after the return of the LAN competitions. But his contribution to the team's tremendous success cannot be measured in numbers alone. Sharipov was an athlete who brought so many victories to his team due to his experience, high game IQ, sharp shooting, and rational decisions. S1mple took a big amount of the vital rounds, finally achieving their main career goal. After several sad losses in the main CS:GO events, Sharipov and Kostylyov now proudly bear the title of the "Major winners." What they did at the PGL Major Stockholm, rolling up the field and losing no map, is inscribed in history. Electronic led the team from the first games on the most important event, defeating Heroic and Virtus.pro, and then the team got involved.
Denis' statistics approves that he is one of the strongest players of his generation and of the game itself. Electronic is often called the best rifler in Counter Strike.
Let's say a few words on Denis' influence on Valeriy "b1t" Vakhovskiy. We have mentioned that electronic is the individual coach of Valery in our material about the NaVi new player. The bright rise of the young talent to the Olympus of the global CS:GO is a great credit to Denis, who has supported the shooter from the very beginning. Electronic predicted the breakthrough of b1t in top-20, Vakhovskiy replaced Denis in his first fight for NaVi. We regularly hear Sharipov's hints to Valeriy if the camera is close to the players or the TeamSpeak. The mentor role for b1t is the distinctive feature of electronic in 2021, which he can take credit for.
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What will happen to NaVi in 2022 is an open question. Still, suppose the tournaments continue to take place in LAN format. In that case, there is no doubt about the strong performances of electronic, who being super motivated to return to the HLTV top-5, will help the team in every way possible to extend the Natus Vincere era.