The new competition season is just around the corner. That means the time for rethinking what happened on the pro scene in 2022 is ending. One of the integral parts of that time is the traditional top 20 players of the season, which is slowly approaching its logical conclusion. We continue to rank the year's protagonists based on ACMv2 rankings, personal awards, and team achievements.
Read on in our material for the next part of the top players, which will give you more unexpected rankings.
10th place - m0NESY
This year top ten must be opened by the top young talent of 2022 - Ilya Osipov. We are used to the fact that the paths of the world's best players started hard: a succession of transfers, poor organizations, and little-known tournaments. The G2 AWPer was luckier in that respect, as the whole world has followed his career for at least four years. The move from the academy level to the Tier-1 level was a logical outcome, which marked the last season. What was rather unexpected was how perfectly Ilya joined the team, gaining excellent turnovers against the best teams in the world right from the start. A high 2.0 rating indicates that against respective teams, which has remained consistently above the 1.15 mark since the spring. Note that m0NESY's highlighter at the last major online tournament of the post-covid era was his best of the year. After the first MVP medal of his career (at the BLAST World Finals), it's safe to say that Ilya is not a player at his peak but a mature AWPer of the tier-1 level.
Objectivity is paramount: Western colleagues in the "orthodox" top 20 put the young Russian in seventh place, but our position is also valid. There are equally formidable rivals ahead of him, marking slightly more honors.
9th place - rain
The very stability blighted the Norwegian we have so often mentioned in its positive manifestations. It is no secret that the "FaZe era" in 2022 lasted exactly into the summer: the same length was also the peak form of Howard, who closed that stretch with an EVP award in Cologne. By the autumn, both utility rounds (KAST%) and K/D and ADR, which have long been the hallmark of rain, had sagged very low.
But FaZe's rifler came to 9th place in the top as well, deservedly so. If you re-watch the matches in the first half of the year, it becomes clear how high the peak of our hero's game was. Mathematically speaking, if he had remained at that level until the end of the season, he would have been 'booked' in the top 20 by the arithmetic average of the two halves of the year. Nor should we forget the singularity of his only MVP award, as it was for winning the majors in Belgium.
Despite the slump, the Norwegian's spring fuse was enough to rank high in the world in terms of headshot percentage, impact rating, and ADR.
8th place - Ax1Le
At the time of writing, it has yet to be discovered what place Sergey has taken in the top 20 from HLTV. One thing is certain: higher than in our version.
Last season's Ax1Le could easily be a blunder in viewers' minds: with excellent statistics on all filters, many needed to remember his candidacy after Rio de Janeiro. This can be explained by the fact that the attention level was riveted on his teammate sh1ro, whom the whole team only tried to look up to at the Majors. Ax1Le, despite one failure at the IEM Rio Major, is a model of stability that can be shown even in the team's infrequent appearances at the top tournaments. You can see from the explanations of special statistics that Sergey represents a new group of players, which according to some metrics, is among the top 3 in the world.
Our hero's calling card is different from the usual high K/D gained through a passive style of play and low mortality. Despite seemingly all the modesty, his useful rounds percentage and impact rating are high. It leads one to conclude that Ax1Le is the Russian version of KSCERATO. The only downside, if you don't count the performance in Rio de Janeiro, is only one EVP award for the winning Dallas, which largely allowed Sergey to get into the top ten.
7th place - NiKo
The heavy artillery, which has proved itself over the years, is in action. For the second year in a row, both Kovac brothers are in the top 20, regardless of the ranking compiler. While Nemanja remains in the shadows (in a good way), quietly and steadily doing his hard work, Nikola continues to hold his own on the stage. Аor all the talent of HooXi, the stability of huNter- and the over-performances of m0NESY, without the flagship attack, G2 would not have achieved even half of what they have now.
Nicola is no longer the kind of player with a reputation for selfishness, pulling the blanket over himself. Even so, the underlying stats remain world-leading in many respects: that's a very hard thing to achieve when playing in a balanced roster. By ACMv2 in the entry fragger filter, NiKo came first, splitting the team's role in half with the captain. So, put the Bosnian in a little more numbers in the individual metrics, and ACMv2 would have «thrown» him much higher. In addition, let's remember the lack of MVP awards, without which Nikola Kovac absolutely loses his chances of reaching the top 5.
The special stats column deserves a special mention. It's an outrageous level, carried through the years.
6th place - ZywOo
Whereas G2 is often written about in the context of "the team that was storming, " Vitality got lost at one point. The paradox is that even the arrival of Spinx at a distance made little difference. Certainly, the triumph in Malta is a strong argument for the positivity of change, but we should not forget the "euphoria effect after the transfer". Then came the kind of Vitality we were used to, the emphasis on ZywOo, who in some places, is no longer up to the task.
It's fair to give the Frenchman credit for an abundance of individual awards over the past year. You can consider the average statistic a model of stability, or you can look at how a panel of experts regularly singles out the player. In total, Mathieu had 4 such awards in 2022: a record number at the moment of the top. Inconvenient factor number two: ACMv2, the hard-hitting ZywOo, who has lost to sh1ro, s1mple, and broky this season. We factored in this slippage in the odds and placed Mathieu Herbaut much higher than he could have been, with a rating of 47.7.
For all the complexities, denying the Frenchman's contribution to every Vitality win is silly. This is indicated, for example, by the simply atrocious frag rate per round. Only s1mple is higher in this metric, which will surely be discussed in the next (and last) part.